Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The gifts of Life, Strength, and Love♥

Happiness is a form of courage.. Watch this before anything else...I mean it! Stop and click the damn link. Why? Because you just happened upon this blog and I know you. You think there is no reason to live. You feel so alone. You feel as if no one really cares that you turned 21. You feel as if you weren't here no one would miss you.

You are wrong. You know who would miss you the most? Me. So watch that video and then continue reading this blog...

Ok, Hi everyone! Long time no talk. Literally. I'm going to try to organize this blog to the best of my ability but please excuse my fogginess, I'm currently still on heavy meds so I still am "high" as they say and my brain is still soaking as much oxygen as I breathe but the main point to remember is that I am sitting here breathing and writing this blog to you and to anyone who is looking for a sign that life is too precious to waste. Here goes my story....

As most of you(my loyal readers/fans) know, I was diagnosed at the end of May with hyperthyroidism. For information on that, there is earlier posts and Google so go ahead and research all you want. That's all I was doing all summer. Basically, it just means that my thyroid was producing too much TS3 and TS4 which are the hormones that regulate organ functions and energy levels as well as metabolism. Basically too much of these hormones is like massive shots of Red Bull rushing through my system and making me anxious, have a high heart rate, increased appetite, despite rapid weight loss, etc. If left untreated, it is incredibly dangerous. It affects women more than men but regular or annual blood work is important to make sure all your body hormones are in order. Ladies and gents, go get your blood work checked. It's so important.

I did not go for treatment until August 1st so I've been overcoming this battle all summer. Yet, I had not had my TS3 and TS4 levels checked in three months from the original diagnosis and the specialist I went to automatically but me on Methimazole(Tapozole) which is an antithyroid pill that kills new thyroid hormone from forming in the thyroid. I was put on 20 mg a day for two weeks. The first day I took it I felt great but it took five days to really affect my system. On Tuesday Aug 7, I woke up early and was exercising outside on my patio and started having a burning/chills sensation all over my skin. I finished my workout because I just thought it was just a sign that my muscles were out of shape but really think about it...I work out regularly. I watch what I eat. I'm all about being healthy and in shape and I hadn't exercised for three days and I was out of shape. That was warning sign number 1.

After taking over the counter pain medicine and taking a nap while bundled up in winter blankets despite it being 95 degrees outside, the chills/fever went away and I was thankful because the next day, I was off to Leo to visit my boss and maybe run into a few friends.

That went well but even Wednesday, I was incredibly overheated and had this nauseous feeling all day. Nothing tasted good. I thought maybe it was just jitters because I was going to Leo and I always get nervous /excited to be there because as much as I hate it there, I love it even more. This was warning sign #2.

Thursday, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with the burning/chills again. I bundled up but could not warm up. When my mom got up to get ready for work, she took my temperature and I was running a 101.5 fever. My mom called the specialist for my thyroid because I remembered that these were listed as the side effects and I was told to stop taking the Methimazole. Despite not taking it, I rested the entire day and had muscle pains, nausea, dizziness, and a heavy congestion feeling in my chest. I went to sleep that night hoping I would wake up tomorrow feeling all better  but it only was downhill from there....

Friday, I woke up with jaw pain. It hurt to eat and let me just say if you are a woman with heaviness in your chest and jaw pain, alert medical attention immediately. These are actually signs of a heart attack.

The heaviness in my chest only got worse as the day wore on as well as the dizziness, weakness in my muscles, and nausea. The nausea was so bad that I was eating fast food and everything had a metallic taste. Went to bed early that night because I was suddenly hit with a bus of fatigue and then my mom went to bed later. By the time my mom went to bed, I could not stop coughing and my mom just thought I needed some Robitussin so I took it but the cough only got worse. The cough was so bad it sounded as though I was literally going to cough up a lung yet every time I tried to clear my airway of mucus, nothing would come up.

Saturday morning was the worst because that's when everything became real. I woke up and my breathing was so scary it felt as if someone was sitting on my chest. My chest was literally vibrating as if it was collapsing. I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom or even lift my head to take a drink of water. I couldn't barely tell my mom that she needed to take me to the hospital. Somehow, she drove me there and I walked into the ER and waited to be seen. God was my only strength during this time because now as I vaguely remember it, I wasn't there anymore. I saw myself outside my body because my body was slowly failing me.

When I was admitted, I was put on 15 liters of oxygen and my heart rate was 140 bpm. These are basically signs of congestive heart failure. I'm basically so blessed and grateful I got to the hospital when I did otherwise I can honestly tell you, I would not still be here if otherwise. :O

After doing chest x-rays on my lungs and blood work to check cultures and thyroid hormones, I was moved to the CSU or Cardiac Surgical Unit and that in itself freaked me out. I have never in my life beside birth had to stay overnight at a hospital let alone ever been sick enough to need surgery. So, I knew most likely I was going to have to be operated on. Which meant trusting someone you don't know to cut you open and do what they need to do to figure out what is wrong with you as well as fix it if need be. Crazy!

Needless to say, the only thing that got me through this was faith, strength and love from friends and family, and all the nurses/caregivers at the RMC Bayonet Point. I'll just let the pictures explain the rest and go from there:

 On Sunday when I found out I was going home Monday!

 Peggy had this made for me while I was in the hospital ♥ Love my best friend.

 All the cards and flowers I got while in the hospital ♥

 Grace, Faith, and Hope ♥ Kept me company while I slept each night. Thank you Jayde, Sarah, and the Stephens family. :D

 My best friend Sarah bought this for me because she knows Demi Lovato is my hero. Read it the night before surgery and it gave me strength to stay positive. Thank you Sarah and Meaghan who drove an hour just to come see me in the hospital and give my mom flowers for her bday. You two are such beautiful young woman. I love you both!

 Sitting at home last night and my neighbor baked these cookies just for me to welcome me home.

Seriously so loved and so blessed.♥

The rest of this blog is going to show you some of the things people posted on Facebook on my behalf that I read every day through text notifications and it meant so much to me....

 Something inspiring to remember when life gets hard to take...from my author page:

 My eye opening status after all this♥

 Friday's Status♥

My sister Jamie posted this on Geniveve's Facebook wall because mine was deactivated.♥

 Never seen so many likes on a picture of myself. Thank you for so much love♥

 My mom was so strong during this. I love her so much and couldn't be more grateful that she is MY MOM♥


Ok so where do I go from here? I can only go up. I mean it. I was literally at death's door. Whether or not you believe in God, I still love you if you don't but I can honestly say I seen Satan the night before my surgery. He lead me into a black castle of darkness and in each room he had a different scarier face and he just kept calling me. He wanted my life, he wanted my soul. Despite him, I was not afraid because my guardian angels appeared around my bed and they are meant to be feared...they were so strong and beautiful and the one who saved my life in a car accident when I was thirteen was there and she said, "Don't listen to him. We've got you're back. God is not done with you yet. He has so much for you to look  forward to. Love, marriage, graduation from college, success as a writer, as a marketer, as a human being. You are such a sweet, loving, kind individual, Chelsea. All of us here in heaven are standing in alliance for you. You just must receive your authority and believe you will get out of surgery stronger than ever. Repeat after me: "I am strong. I am tough. I am a fighter." You are loved Chelsea. You are the apple of His eye. Keep breathing for  you will see another day. ♥

These are words I heard in my spirit. All were heard by only me but they live on in my heart and hopefully bring some hope to yours.

Thank you everyone for standing with me in my darkest hour. 

As my favorite Christian singer Francesca Batistelli sings, "Sometimes it takes the darkness to open up your eyes, sometimes."♥

Until next time, remember Just Breathe♥

Love all of you so much! 

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!

~Just Keep Swimming~

P.S. I will be writing a novel about all of this. Most likely will be called One Last Breathe: a novel of hope because life is a gift. 

Also, may have a future as a Playboy pin-up since modesty went out the window in the hospital so look for me as a future Miss August who they can nickname "Breathless." lol.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As summer ends; life begins.♥

Happiness is a form of courage...So I'm finally 21! And I want to tell you all about it but first, I should start from the beginning... It all started, hm, I think our story starts at the Big Busch. I visited it and was all excited to finally go and enjoy the park and of course, Congo River Rapids aka my favorite ride was closed. Needless to say, I was hot, sweaty, and smelly (well that was mostly the animal manure) but you get the idea. Much of the weekend is a blur but I have some random pictures:
 Hazel loves me so much!
 Jamie and I acting silly!
 Jamie and I acting cray!
Sunday, my dad bought me $50 worth of goodies for my bday. Such goodies included greek salad, bacon and pineapple pizza, hostess goodies, and Publix cupcakes. :) On Monday, my mom treated me to a movie. We went to see Adam Sandler's That's My Boy. Very funny movie, I must say:
 After that, birthday partying didn't occur until my actual birthday(8/4). As of 8:37 a.m. I was 21 but even before that my phone was blowing up with Fb notifications of some of my closest friends wishing me happy bday. Some of them include:
In total 54 friends wished me happy bday on Facebook, two on Twitter, and two by text. :) I'll let you do the math but I think that's 58. It is sad that a lot of people couldn't be bothered to wish me happy bday. It's only two words. Not that hard to do. Oh well, to each his own. Mom and I :) My first legal drink. It was funny. I ordered a Coco Loco which is served in a take-home coconut head. It's basically a pina colada without the pineapple. It has coconut rum and a hazelnut floater...It was cray good!
 Then we took pictures on Hudson Beach♥
 AFterward, my mom ordered pizza and we had cake. This year instead of Twix Pie, I had Oreo pie. It wasn't as good but it was a change. :)
 Hazel is such a poser :)
 Overall, I had an amazing bday! School is just around the corner so look for another blog before I go back so I can tell you about my goals this year!
 Until next time remember, faith isn't just waiting on God to cause something to happen. Faith is moving despite how bleak the situation looks or how much pain you are in. Faith is knowing no matter what you are facing/dealing with, God is with you and he's ready to lend a helping hand anytime you need him.♥
 Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
 ~Just Keep Swimming~