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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Little Part of My Story - Part 5 and Blog Linkage

Good Wednesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I just wanted to remind everyone about the MotherWalk for Ovarian Cancer which is coming up the Saturday before Mother's Day (May 10).

This will be our family's third MotherWalk in as many years, and unless something changes (and things can always change), there will be 18 of us walking for Team Tootsie this year.

If you are interested in details regarding the Walk, feel free to contact me on Facebook or the blog...

Or you can go to www.motherwalk.com!


Brad and Stephanie... post-run.


Bev and Grandmother.


This thing was gigantic.


Josh finishing the 5K.

He didn't decide to run the 5K until a minute before time to start, and he did great.


Roxie and Grandmother.


Brad warming up.

I'll be posting more pics from the 2012 and 2013 MotherWalks the next few posts or so... just to get you motivated!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Okay. Here is the second part of my rant about Humidity originally written in 2009.

If anything, my feelings have only become stronger and more bitter as the years have come and gone. Also, I have installed my own personal heating system... also known as The Menopause!

That being the case, I have no need WHATSOEVER for Humidity.

HUMIDITY AND THE RAVEN CONCERT - PART TWO

In case you're just tuning in, I left off yesterday having a good ol' time at Alabama Adventure. I had already changed clothes twice, and as you can see below, I was heading for the Big Gold Van to change once again because of "massive wetness" thanks to our friend, Humidity!

Two hours later, I repeated the "changing" process which was "iffy" because at 4:00 p.m., we still had four to five more hours left in the park since the concert didn't start until 7:00. I made a rookie mistake. I should have packed FOUR outfits, FOUR bras and FOUR pair of underwear. I knew better. I had grown up in the South. Now, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was going to become the mildew"y" person by concert time. Something a true Southern Belle fights to the death NOT to become!

Because it was an outdoor concert (of course), we had brought blankets and camp chairs to set up in the grassy area. By the time I re-entered the park after changing, the line for the Raven concert was already forming... THREE HOURS EARLY! The four moms decided to take turns standing in line with the blanket and four camp chairs for 30-minute intervals. It was a very good idea, and we had four very pleasant moms in our group... not a whiner in the bunch. This plan worked very well until 5:30... my shift. At 5:30, the line began to move... 90 minutes before the concert was to begin. I had four camp chairs, a blanket and for some unknown reason, a duffle. I later found out the duffle belonged to the people behind me in line, but they let me carry it for a while before they told me it belonged to them. (I don't think they were truly Southerners. A real Southerner would carry their own duffle! Except for maybe me.)

I used my handy-dandy cell phone to call in the troops, but once everyone arrived (85 minutes before the concert was to start), it was decided two of the moms would stand in food lines and the remaining mom would take the girls to another ride before the concert began. Since every task had a comparable amount of line standing, I offered to stay put and everyone scattered.

We were very smart women. We calculated we had at least 40 minutes before I would actually make it to the front of the line. Everyone had their own tickets. We were ready to rock and roll.

We only thought we were very smart women. Almost immediately upon the departure of the kids and other moms, the line started moving at warp speed. By this time, there are too many mildew"y" smelling people around me to even begin to wonder who smelled the worse. Plus, I couldn't put the chairs and blanket down to do a "test sniff" to make certain it wasn't me. And I'll just be honest. I didn't care any more. That's right. I had lost the will to smell nice.

I called the other chicks as I entered the gate, and told them where I was going to set up our little "Raven Camp," and as food was purchased and the girls finished riding their ride, they trickled in about 15 minutes before the concert was to begin. Of course, there was no shade, but on the positive side, there wasn't another body too close to mine, and I sat "wetly" in my camp seat waiting for the concert.

That was when I noticed the black thunderclouds in the distance. If there is a plus to living in one of the highest humidity-producing states in the USA, it would have to be the possibility of a really good thunderstorm in the late afternoon (caused, I'm sure, by the heavy humidity). Hey! I'm a Southerner... not a meteorologist!

The best thing about a Southern thunderstorm is the wonderful breeze that comes before the pelting rain, crashing thunder and cloud-to-ground lightning. Yes, sir! I was pretty excited! A breeze was coming, and if by chance I was struck by lightning... Well, let's just say by that time, I was spiritually, emotionally and physically ready to "meet my Maker."

I have a rather anticlimactic ending, I'm afraid. The breeze did come, but not before the concert began. Strangers did close in on our little group as the concert crowd grew WAY too large. I discovered the only thing worse than being soaked through and through (and through) with sweat, was to be soaked through and through (and through) with sweat while sitting in a camp chair with two little girls I did not know squealing at the top of their lungs in my left ear.

I decided Raven was an excellent performer, and watching our little chicks sing, clap and dance along with her made me happy.

And I promised myself I would remember all the good times we had that day (which were many), and forget about Humidity. But, as you can see, Humidity has a way of "sticking" with you in the South.

Before I end this excruciatingly long story, I will say the breeze was lovely, and had I not been SO hot and wet all day long, I know I would not have enjoyed it (or even noticed it) quite so much. The rain began as we started walking to our car, and it didn't storm until we were on our way home. The girls were tired, red-faced and happy, and as we were slowly leaving the park more than one of them asked, "Can we do this again?"

"NO!" my mind screamed... but all the moms (including me) said, "Of course." And believe it or not, the next year... we did!

RANDOMNESS #3 - A Little Part of My Story - Part 5 - Okay. I'll answer the big question. The question that is weighing on everyone's mind.

"Where are you now, Enchanting Belinda? Seven and a half years from your first panic attack, where are you now?"

Well, for starters, I haven't had to visit my local paramedics late at night in a little over two years. That is huge for me.

AND I haven't had to go to the Emergency Room the past two years either.

Another biggie.

It isn't that I no longer have attacks, but I am very quick to respond to the very first symptom, and I try not to ever let it get out of control.

"Control" is not really a word you use with regard to panic attacks, but still I try.

One of the most important things I had to learn to do was recognize my own personal symptoms.

I have three different kinds of chest pain. Not four. Not five.

If I experience something different from the three distinctive chest pains I have previously experienced, I will head to the paramedics or hospital within a few minutes.

I have never experienced tightness or "the elephant sitting on my chest" sensation.

I have had shortness of breath due to the panic, but never because I couldn't draw a longer breath.

I have never had severe shooting pains down my arm, pain in my shoulders or in my jaw.

I never have discomfort after I work out... I mean, I have discomfort, but not the "chest pain" form.

Again, if any of those things occurred, I would know something else was wrong.

At one point, it became very important to me to come off the medication. I was never on a large dose, but no medication is always better in my mind.

Under my doctor's supervision, I slowly came off the medication. Within a month, I began having panic attacks multiple times a day... anytime and anywhere.

I fought it as long as I could, but as the attacks worsened, I spoke with my doctor and slowly began going back on the medication, hoping I could at least use a smaller dose.

Thankfully, at this time I am on a smaller dose, but I also have panic attack "breakthroughs."

The attacks aren't too frequent, but sometimes they can still be severe.

As of this writing, I haven't had an attack in over three weeks, and I am prayerfully hoping I can go longer and longer and longer before another episode.

The reasons I write about this each year or so is to raise awareness, help remove shame and embarrassment and open a dialogue with anyone out there who might need to talk.

I am so very blessed to have Mike by my side. He would probably tell you he absolutely did not understand, but he never tried to talk me out of having a panic attack. He never shook he head or rolled his eyes. If I was convinced I was having a heart attack and needed to go to the Emergency Room, he was ready within seconds and he would sit beside me while I had "my tests." Usually it would last well into the wee hours of the morning.

I know everyone doesn't have a "Mike" in their life, and if that is the case for someone reading this today, I offer my sympathy and help.

I'll probably re-post this again next year and the next, Lord willing.

Hopefully, I will have even better news to share, but if not, it is more than okay.

I mean, today is the only April 30, 2014 I will ever have, and so far it has been panic-attack free!

Blog Linkage - If you need cute, useful and inexpensive ideas for Teacher Appreciation Gifts, go to eighteen25 under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "You Gotta See This - Teacher Appreciation Ideas."

Have a grand and glorious Wednesday. I'll be back Friday morning with some updates about the family, pics and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

1 comment:

  1. Indeed you are blessed to have a husband like Mike. I hate to think the eye rolling and sighing I would encounter for such health events as you have had. BUT that proves, the Lord gives us the mate best suited to us. God knew you needed a non-complainer, sympathetic man, and the Lord knew my husband needed a woman like me, so who are we to question HIS wisdom? It's all good and we are all blessed. Have a great weekend.

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