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Can we skip to 2019? + My word of the year!

January 5, 2018

Yep, it’s true.

Even though 2018 has just begun, I already want this year to be over.

Preparing for open heart surgery, the actual surgery, recovery process and so much more in between all that basically takes a full year(sometimes even more). So, can we just fast forward to the 2019?  Ok, maybe not, but boy am I looking forward to 2019 already.

Although, it’s going to be a very long and tiring year, I am really trying not to waste away the days. But, of course that is way easier said than done. If there is anything I’ve learned from my last two open hearts, is to keep busy until that dreadful day in June.

And that’s exactly what I am going to do. I start another round of Grad classes soon. I am working a lot or as much as I physically can handle. Trying to get in the best physical shape possible for a faster recovery(yea I’m that awkward girl at the gym that thinks she can lift weights but nope). And of course spending every possible moment with the people I love, especially my little nieces and nephew.

If you follow me on instagram, you might know I posted my word of the year recently. My word of the year is “bravery.” After praying about a word of the year, bravery kept coming to me. It actually takes a lot of courage to not only go through another open heart surgery, but surrender yourself to a new surgeon and care team in a different state. Especially, after you put so much trust in your last care team. Not that they did anything wrong. In fact, they saved my life thus far, but it’s time for a new route. It takes so much energy, both physically and mentally to truly be at ease with surrendering your body to what really are complete strangers, yet people you want to call your heroes.

Then, the truly hard part is you hope and pray that the surgery will be successful and worth it in the end. Talk about bravery?! I might not be that brave(ask my family), but I will pray for the grace to live out the word bravery during this year. I know I will be faced with a lot of hard decisions  once again and have to legally sign paperwork that no 29 year old should shave to sign. But, I’ll be reminded by my word of the year to embrace what it means and hope to come out stronger on the other side.

I’ll be 30 at the end of this year. Yikes!! But, honestly, I can’t freaking wait. I have always said, my thirties are going to rock. And if I can get through this year, It gives me hope that the next decade is going to be nothing but pure joy, gratitude and whole lot of fun. I can’t wait.

Cheers to a healthy and quick(maybe not that quick, but you get the point) 2018!

 

 

5 reasons why I love working for VIPKID from HOME!

December 4, 2017

As a congenital heart patient, my life does not have the same normalcy as most people. Therefore, I’ve had to search and figure out other options in life. One of these is finances.  But, let’s be real, we are all looking for some extra money to bring home whether for medical bills, family trips, holidays, and more.

After much research and asking a ton of questions to friends about a certain work from home teaching job, I had to give it a try. To be honest, I was a little skeptical. I thought it could be a scam or something that I would work hard at, but never get paid.

I was wrong! Thankfully, I knew people who were involved and decided to go for it. I signed up, passed the interview and made it to the step that almost made me not show up. But, I realized it was step that boosted my confidence and the motivation to get up to teach every morning. I am so glad I showed up and passed because this job has been a blessing financially,physically and mentally.

Here are my top 5 reasons why I love this job.

  1. I can work from the home(which is great for anyone who needs a desk job if you have a chronic illness)
  2. I choose the hours
  3. The pay is great
  4. No lesson planning involved
  5. I get to learn about another culture(which is actually pretty cool) and continue my love for teaching

Along with the generous pay incentives which are ALWAYS attainable, the list could go on, but these are the main reasons why I absolutely LOVE this job. As someone with a chronic illness, lots of Drs. appointments, and so much more, this has been an true blessing.

Here is a sneak peak of my little teaching corner(still a work in progress, but excited to have my world map up on the wall).

Even if you are not someone with a chronic illness, but looking to make some extra money in between your brick and mortar job, this might be a great fit. The hours are in the early mornings and late evenings since you are teaching students in Beijing, China. So if you are looking for some extra side money, it is definitely doable to work a few hours before or after your 9-5 job. All that is required is a Bachelors degree, but does not have to be in Education.

If you are interested in learning more or getting started with the interview process, I have a referral code for you. I would LOVE to coach you through the whole process. I had someone coach me through it all and it was a huge lifesaver for not only my time, but nerves and sanity.

Become a VIPKID Teacher

Use code: 03SVFV

Feel free to ask as many questions as need be.

 

It’s time to live with Blind Obedience!

November 28, 2017

There are three words as a heart patient you don’t want to hear. You might have an idea what those words are. Drum roll please….

Open Heart Surgery.

A few weeks ago, I had to hear those words again behind closed doors at a doctors office in Boston, Massachusetts. Although, I knew it was coming way before my appointment, part of me was hoping this second opinion would magically have some new invention by the time I saw them. A girl can dream, right?!

The past 6 months have been challenging not only physically, but mentally. Although, I knew this disease takes some adjustments in life, I didn’t know it meant your whole life.

It means closing doors that you think you can still go through, but simply can’t because of your health. Little did I know, that the adjustment I thought I was making was no where near what actually had to be done. Talk about the biggest brick you can imagine crushing your hopes and dreams. Sounds dramatic, right? But, it’s true. When your care team says it’s time to start making real life adjustments, you see the world you always envisioned come to an end.

Rightfully so, I felt like a failure. After recovering from two open heart surgeries, I’ve spent the last five years of my life trying to become a young independent adult, settle in a career, date, get married and start a family of mine.  In fact, there were times I didn’t believe I actually had a heart problem until walking up a flight of stairs became more and more challenging. It’s amazing how much can change in a second. We truly never know what tomorrow will bring.

In all honesty, I am angry that I have to have another open heart to not only live longer, but thrive longer. Isn’t two enough?! But, I am also SO grateful that surgery is an option because it means God is giving me another chance at life. It’s a feeling that simply can’t be put into words.

I am slowly learning this life is not about what I want.  Rather, it’s following God’s will.  This adjustment doesn’t mean giving up concrete goals, hopes and dreams, but making new ones.

There is a virtue that keeps coming to my mind lately. It is called Blind Obedience. Preparing for a third open heart surgery at age 29 while needing to close doors and not knowing what doors to open next, this virtue seems quite fitting these days.

If you are preparing for open heart surgery, feel free to contact to me. This preparation should never be alone. Know you are not alone while waiting for that dreaded date to come. Be a warrior and don’t give up!

5 years since I earned my zipper!

August 28, 2017

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since my 1st Open Heart Surgery?!

Somedays, it feel likes a lifetime ago and then some feels like yesterday. Anniversaries, whether you’ve had one or multiple open heart surgeries bring a mix of unexplainable feelings.

You want to shout from the rooftops of how grateful you are for every single person that operated and saved your life that day. You want hug your family members and enjoy the beauty of the world a little closer on those days.

And then, you want to hide away somewhere and forget it ever happened. The rawness of the pain and suffering still exits because by the grace of God, you still have your memory. Although, trust me, these surgeries definitely do a number to it. If I’m ever talking to you and forget midway through a conversation of what we’re talking about, please accept my apologies and we’ll just blame my surgeries. Yea, talk about thinking you are going crazy.

Open heart surgery anniversaries are so special. They bring a whole new meaning to what it means to live.

So, if you have a special anniversary coming up, celebrate and share them!!!

You’ll be finding me with a glass of wine, Netflix and enjoying the comfort of my own home(thankfully not in a hospital) and my family!

Learning to live in the moment for 2017!!

January 1, 2017

I think it’s safe to say 2016 was THE fastest year of my life. It’s true what our elders say about the older you get, the faster time goes by. Scary, but so true.

To say I am beyond blessed to have another year behind me on this Earth is a understatement. We truly never know when God will call us home. Having a heart defect and it being a life long disease makes look at life a little differently. Every morning I wake up, I thank God my heart is still beating. As you can imagine, my biggest fear is my heart stopping. But, I know God is in control of my life. You learn to never take things for granted because you know first hand how life can be so short. Ending 2016 always makes me feel sentimental as it does for most, but for me it’s a time to truly thank God for another year that I get to physically be with my family and friends. To see my nieces and nephew grow up and complete milestones, to watching my little brothers go through High School to spending quality time with my amazing parents is something I am so thankful to God didn’t take away for me just yet.

Although, my own heart defect has given me a new perceptive on life each year, this year has taught me something else. Without going into to detail, I am so grateful to God for giving me all of my siblings. 2016 was a tough year for one of my siblings, but it was also a year full of God’s mercy. The Lord is truly faithful in all his works!!

As we embark on a brand new year with many goals and ideas on life, let’s remember to truly spend quality time with our loved ones. One thing I learned from this past year is that taking  pictures of a certain loved one or event is NOT the same as in truly living in that moment. It was a hard lesson for me to learn as I love to take pictures, but I realized I was missing out the those special moments of living in the present.

2017 for me will be trying my best to LIVE IN THE MOMENT! I hope you will do the same! I wish you all a HAPPY and HEALTHY 2017!!

A brand new chapter!

August 28, 2016

I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I’ve earned that zipper on my chest. 4 years since my very first Open Heart Surgery. It’s absolutely mind blowing to think it was only 4 years ago as some days it seems like yesterday and others seem like decades ago. And not to mention having had a another full blown open heart in between those 4 years.

Anniversary dates are extremely important. They help remember the good and bad times of that significant day. They help you move forward and set goals to achieve things you never thought you could attain.

Once again, God know his plans for us. Each one of us. I have chosen in the last 4 years to ignore his plan and close doors that were literally in my face. But, like anything, life is full of suffering, mistakes, meeting new people, learning and loving and that’s exactly what the last 4 years have been for me.

This Tuesday, I get to begin a whole new chapter in my life. One that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to do. In the last month, my life and health has been filled with a lot of unknowns. One thing I know is that my health will always be filled with unknowns. That’s part of accepting the disease and not letting it dictate your life and desires.

I will be starting my Master’s in Education focusing on Pre-K-4th grade and I couldn’t be more at peace and excited to actually call something my own! I am not comprising my health and get to work with children and families and love them in a way that God has shown me how to love. I couldn’t be more grateful. If it was all taken away tomorrow, I would still be grateful enough that I was able to know how it felt to have a peaceful heart. It’s a beautiful thing. I pray that everyone puts their hands into God’s hands and he shows them the same peace because it’s something so special and beautiful.

Today, August 28 will always be a day that brings so many emotions for me. But, it’s a day that has brought more peace, understanding, new beginnings, gratitude and a love I never knew existed.

August 28 is also the feast day of such a profound saint, St. Augustine and couldn’t be more of a perfect day to share my 1st Open Heart Surgery with.

 I will leave you with this quote that fits perfectly for this day and for all those who struggle with lifelong health problems.

“Let us understand that God is a physician and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation”. -St. Augustine

Living a natural life style with a life long disease! It is possible :)

June 27, 2016

Good Morning beautiful people!!

Happy Monday to you! Today, I am going to be sharing a few details of how I try to balance a natural lifestyle while living with a Congenital Heart Defect.

Living with a Congenital Heart disease (or any lifelong disease) is TOUGH. Daily medications, eating habits, sleeping and overall lifestyle can sometimes be hard, but necessary.  Necessary to live, but also to enjoy and be present in YOUR life.

I have found that there are 4 things that if are not in check on a daily basis, my life may see upside. These are:

Eating habits

Physical fitness

Sleep

&

Attitude

Let’s start with food. After my 1st Open heart Surgery about 4 years ago, I made the switch to be 100% Gluten Free and have never looked back! Is it hard? My goodness it is, but it is SO worth it. Major surgery can bring on a lot of different issues including inflammation. Inflammation was a big issue for me and eliminating gluten from my diet was a game changer. Most of my family and friends even noticed a different in my face as gluten made my face puffy. Still to this day, if I accidentally ingest gluten, I will pay for it. This goes a long with life being being hard, but necessary. Happy body equals happy life.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Y’all have heard how important it is to keep your body active? Yes, i’m sure you have. But what if you are limited due to a heart defect or something else that might effect you from keeping your body active? This is a hard one for me. I am a heart patient and cardio workouts(if can manage) are super important. There are days and sometimes parts of my life where my defect has taken over and working out is too hard. Thats doesn’t mean I stop working out all together. One of the best ways to keep your heart and overall body moving is simply walking! I try to make an effort to either make a morning or evening walk everyday. I also incorporate low stress workouts like yoga and pilates. These two workouts are especially important for someone who struggles with a heart defect and may face multiple surgeries thats brings on other external issues.

*Of course, I am not a Doctor and you should always check with your physician or care team before starting any new exercise program or class 🙂 *

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SLEEP

Don’t we all love our sleep? If you have had multiple intense surgeries or struggle with anxiety, sleep may be your long lost best friend. Fear not, there ways to get back on a proper and necessary sleep schedule.

~Rule of thumb for me is if I am tired during the day and need to lie down to rest, then I do it!! Just means my body needs rest after all it has been through and the same could be for you. I have found when I force myself to stay awake until bed time, I end up with a terrible night sleep and MORE tired the next morning.

~Put away your electronics!! This was a hard one for me because during both my recoveries, I was attached to my phone for many reasons. Fear being number one that if I needed help, I could call right away and then mainly when you sit in a recliner for weeks upon weeks you get pretty bored.

~Lavender Essential Oil. People think i’m this hippie girl with all these crazy oils that don’t work. Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that they do. With two Open heart surgeries and recoveries, along with a slew of anxiety problems, I needed something that would work and not bring on another side effect from more medication prescribed. I’m on enough meds, thank you very much. A part of my bedtime routine is setting up my diffuser with my Lavender Essential Oil. Sometimes, I’ll use other oils that promote a calming atmosphere such as Frankincense. It’s set up on my nightstand and I turn on before hitting the pillow.

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*If you are interested for information on Essential oils and how they can help sleep and more, feel free to ask or click Kindred Oils

ATTITUDE

This is probably the biggest part of my daily routine. It’s hard, downright hard especially when things keeping knocking you down, but having the right attitude about your food intake, workout plan, sleeping arrangements and more will help you each day to physically be present and enjoy the little things in life.

Focusing on these 4 important parts is what makes my life a little easier to live when things do get tough health wise.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse of my daily life living as a person with a Congenital Heart Defect. You can follow me more at http://survivingwithheart.org and I’ll be your biggest cheerleader for taking care of yourself and a support system for surviving through life’s challenges 🙂

Thank you to Michelle from Beettherainbow to letting me guest post on her account today!

Ditch the toxic sheets!

April 10, 2016

I LOVE using Young Living’s Essential Oils for supporting my body and mind. One thing most people may not realize is these oils can be used for so many different things around your house. One of my favorites is the laundry.

I love doing laundry. Growing up in a big family, it was something that aways had to be done and of course there was a lot of it. I tend to find folding laundry even therapeutic for me. The putting away part…now I find that to be a chore. Ha.

One of my favorite things about doing laundry is finding ways to save on time, money and of course clothes smelling better than ever!

So ditch those chemical filled store bought dryer sheets.

What do you need instead?

  1. 3-6 Wool Dryer Balls(depends on size of load)
  2. 2-4 drops of Young Living’s Purification or Lavender Essential Oils
  3. Smell your fresh clean clothes & fold away!!!!!

I bought my wool dryer balls on Amazon and always use Young Living Essential Oils. Super simple and natural 🙂