My blog and I are celebrating our third anniversary! Can you believe it? I know I find it hard to believe because the time has flown by. I also find it hard to believe because I have written over 150 blog posts. I never thought I would find that many ideas to fill a blog. But each week, the ideas multiply and the words flow from my fingers as I type.
In the previous years, I have referred to this event as celebrating my blog’s birthday. But I think the term anniversary may be more appropriate. Merriam Webster defines anniversary as "the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event". So I think this hits the nail on the head: an important milestone happened three years ago for me and for the on-line posts that I write. Three years ago the posts started appearing on this site. And three years ago was when my heart and spirit started a healing process that is allowing me to live a fuller life.
Also, we are like a couple that is celebrating together. When it comes right down to it, I decided that the blog and I are an inseparable couple. People now seem to link us together. So maybe it is appropriate that we celebrate an anniversary of our successful endeavor to help myself and hopefully others as well.
I looked for ideas on an appropriate symbol for the third anniversary. The spruce.com is a website that provides home decorating, gardening and entertaining advice. Here is something that was on their website regarding wedding anniversary gift ideas:
I thought this was very appropriate to the relationship that I have forged with my blog. It’s a comfortable and durable relationship. As I write each post, I have learned to become flexible and resilient; to test my perspective; to put myself in someone else’s shoes; to revise my conclusions when appropriate; and to learn to live with uncertainty. In some respects I am surprised at this, but then again, I was trained as a lawyer. We were taught to be comfortable in a gray area. When it comes to chronic illness, I can’t think of any grayer area. But in the ambiguity, I have learned to experiment with ideas and change my outlook. I think it is writing the blog that has given me the medium to accomplish this.
I also think it is appropriate that the Spruce quote mentions considering giving journals as a gift idea that is unique to the couple's relationship. Actually, I can't think of a gift that is more appropriate for us. When it comes right down to it, what this blog has become is a journal of my travel through the world of heart failure. Like any other memorable journey, I have some unique souvenirs of my trip – with a CRT cardiac device representing the highlight of my souvenirs as it can always jump start a conversation if things get quiet at a cocktail party. Plus, like any other interesting journey, my traveling companions have made this a fulfilling experience that is worth the time and effort.
At the same time I am celebrating the third anniversary with the blog, there is a fifth anniversary that I am observing. Can you guess what it might be? Approximately five years ago, I learned that my heart damage had progressed much further than we had imagined. My ejection fraction dropped to a low of 15, which in some instances can be a sign that the patient will soon be in need of a heart transplant.
So it was five years ago that I upgraded my cardiac device to include the defibrillator. It was also five years ago that I made an appointment to see a heart failure doctor at a heart and vascular institute. It was a scary time, especially when I saw a statistic that 50% of patients with heart failure have a life expectancy of less than five years. But I am still here after 5 years, and not only that, I’m still exercising, still finding humor in serious topics, and still writing this blog. I haven’t been admitted to a hospital for more than the procedures to put in my pacemaker and then to upgrade it to include the CRT device with both the pacemaker and defibrillator. So I no longer worry about whether I will become a victim of the five year statistic.
Instead, I like the comment I saw on Cardiosmart, the website of the American College of Cardiology:
The blog is one of the ways I maintain my quality of life. It focuses me on a number of things I dearly love to do (researching, analyzing, writing and joking). It also helps me keep my hope alive by finding out about new technology, medical trials and medicines that are out there that might improve not only my quality of life but make my life even stronger. And the blog led me to the idea of initiating a support group where those of us with chronic illness can share our stories, learn from each other, and provide continuing and inspiring support.
So I think that my relationship with this blog will not only continue to grow stronger, it will give me plenty of other outlets I can use to remain healthy, wise and in good humor. And most important, it will give me hope. Because at the end of the day, as my doctors and nurses remind me, it’s all about staying ahead of the curve and staying in the game. Because you never know what medical science has coming around the bend that will be a game changer for me and my damaged heart. And once that day arrives, me and my blog will have many many new anniversaries to celebrate.
Gotta go - time to shop for a really one-of-a-kind leather journal that will hold all of my new blog ideas!
Melanie discovered that she had heart failure in 2013. Since that time, she has been learning how to live with the condition, and how to achieve balance and personal growth.