Round Here

October 16, 2009

One thing thats hard about asthma, and congenital heart disease is that they are “silent” diseases, no one really knows you have them, unless they pick out the little clues, the scar, the inhaler, the posture you take when you arent breathing so hot, this makes it hard for others to understand what its like to deal with, no one really “gets it” when you are having a bad day…even when you arent, people just seem to believe that they dont see it so it must not be that big a deal, and even if they do, its not that bad cause its not visable.

Most of the time this isnt a big deal, but sometimes it can really grate on you, one day, as I was getting ready to have my ablation in march I was listening to music, which is one of my favorite things to do, also seems to be very theraputic when I am dealing with crap…and I heard one of my favorite songs in a WHOLE new light (its amazing what a little perspective will give you) The song is Round Here by the Counting Crows, and parts of the song really hit home…

“Step out the front door like a ghost
into the fog where no one notices
the contrast of white on white.”

(having something invisible going on, no one gets it, the only indication is the scar, inhaler, etc)

“I walk in the air between the rain
through myself and back again
Where? I don’t know”

(while I’m doing my daily routine, especially when I am having a rough day I’m “in my head” alot trying to deal with the mental/emotional part of this, it hardly ever gets me anywheres, but its definitely a journey)

“Round here we always stand up straight
Round here something radiates”

(again, a picture of normalcy, busy doing day to day things, conforming to the norm and trying to give off positive vibes, again, if you arent positive, people around you tend to feel sorry for you)

“Round here we’re carving out our names
Round here we all look the same
Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs”

(back then I was busy at school and work, trying to continue with the semester, getting ready to take my boards, now I’m day to day at work trying to become the best I can be, again, I look no different than any of my classmates and co-workers, and therefore am no different in most peoples eyes. I go to work every day, I advocate for my patient’s best interests, I try my hardest to be the best I can be, but sometimes I just cant be that all the time, sometimes I just need to break down and cry)

Round here hey man we got lots of time
Round here we’re never sent to bed early
and nobody makes us wait
Round here we stay up very, very, very, very late

Chronic illness can make you feel alone at times, especially when its silent, this lyric represents to me feeling alone in the school/work environment, but it also represents me having to take over my healthcare (no one’s running that show any more, I have to take it over myself {no one’s telling me how to do it anymore, “when to go to bed”})

“see i`m under the gun round here
oh man i said i`m under the gun round here
and i can`t see nothing, nothing round here.”

(I’m under alot of pressure day to day, needless to say, sometimes it’s hard to get perspective, sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees, on the flipside, sometimes this helps alot when I’m not feeling well to be really busy, cause I can put my head down and just get it done, but that can lead to not taking care of myself, forgetting to take meds, not getting enough sleep, etc)

if this sounds sort of dark, its cause I first wrote this down when I was in a rough place, I was getting ready for my ablation and I was pretty scared, and felt really alone, I am in a much better place now that I’ve had my ablation, and things have stabilized, but I think its good to look back at some of the hard times sometimes to realize how far you’ve come, and I’m hoping I can help others by expressing some of the crap I’ve been through


crazy week!

March 21, 2009

this week has been absolutely nuts!

for clinical I was with the charge therapist, and it was busy, and boring at the same time, a bipap in the ER and an RSV slide on a baby in the ER and helping out on the intensive care units(ICUs) pediatric ICU and surgical ICU were particularly busy this week, with pediatric ICU taking the cake! a bunch of really sick babies hanging around there this week, but otherwise basically a couple mundane days at clinical. . . running my ass off!!!

on tuesday I went out as a tradition with my mother, her boyfriend, and a couple friends to see a couple Irish bands play, we had a couple beers and ate some pizza. . . american flatbread is freaking awesome! all in all, it was an awesome night, I cant believe I caught a buzz off from a beer and a half though!

Thursday I had class and I did pretty damned good on the last test that I took, I got a 100! right now I am carrying a 96 in my cardiopulm disease class, woo hoo!

other than that things are pretty good went to costcos today, its amazing how fast you can spin through 200 bucks there!

Hopefully I took my last dose of diltiazem today. . . Whats that? oh yea, diltiazem or “dilt” is a calcium channel blocker, it slows the signals from the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart, basically (almost) preventing the arrhythmia that I am having. . . I said almost, that’s why I’m having the EPS and ablation. . . hopefully the next few days are not too bad, cause I have to stop the meds a few days ahead of time so they are able to start up the arrhythmia. . . during the procedure they actually have to cause the arrhythmia so they can map it and see where its coming from, this will help them figure out where to ablate it and stop it from happening, having meds on board to prevent the arrhythmia doesnt help this cause. . . problem is that I could have issues with having the arrhythmias again between now and then, I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed, hopefully it wont be too bad, hopefully its worth it and I’ll never have to touch the stuff again, I hate taking pills!

well, its time to go catch up on some Z’s may be the last chance I have to get a good nights sleep in a while!



well, its time to go catch up on some sleep

life summed up in one word right now: Distraction! Work, School, Music, Life! Wait! isnt that 5 words, damn, I digress already.

A little about me, My name is Morgan. I’m 22 years old. I’m a Respiratory Therapy student, soon to be graduate! I’m a respiratory therapy assistant at my local hospital, also working in the food service department in the meantime, I’m a music lover, I love to be with family, I LOVE coffee (it definitely deserves its own food group), and beer for that matter, I love to be outside, I’m a hard worker, and, eh, I live with congenital heart disease every day of my life.

what’s up today? Right now life is crazy, school is crazy, work is crazy, my car is filthy (I bet you couldnt count the number of respiratory books I’ve got in that little beetle on 2 hands! that might be why my gas mileage went down at the beginning of this semester) today I took a break, I chilled out this morning and took care of some odds and ends, I took my practice RRT exam and got an 82 without even doing the math! Woo hoo! I should be safe for this week as far as various extra stuff going on now, and I even got the grocery shopping done! It’s nice to have a couple days off, I havent seen two days off back to back in. . . eh. . . a really long time, I dont even remember! The next time I see that will be March 26th. . .

One of the reasons I started this blog, among many others, is to chronicle my experiences, one of the biggest things on my mind lately is my upcoming Electrophysiology study and Ablation, and one of the biggest things I have noticed in getting ready for this procedure is that there isnt enough information about the actual experience of going through it, so I was hoping to help some people by detaling what its like to actually go through it for people. Right now that means the mental and emotional preparations, its alot to deal with at any age, but being 22 years old, and being told they are gonna snake a catheter up from yor groin, into your heart, and burn pieces of your heart into submission is freaky! Add to that being a medical professional, I see shitty things happen every day, and as a respiratory therapist, most of what I see is when things go wrong. . . that results in some pretty funky head trips, I cant even explain some of the dreams I have had!

My answer: Distraction, its not hard to do with work and school, but my favorite form is music! My goal right now is to make myself a new playlist on i tunes, as someone who deals with medical appointments and stuff, I’ve learned one trick, given to me by a fellow adult congenital heart patient: reward yourself! so, thats what I’ve been doing, I’ve been buying new music on i tunes, I cant believe it, I still havent exhausted the list of music I like from the 90’s! that added to the pair of pajamas I bought to wear to the hospital, I should be all set! The trick is to keep at it between now and the 26th. . . shouldnt be too hard, I seem to be pretty good at it!