Tag Archives: heart attack

The Wrong Person Can be Lurking Anywhere.

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At the end of February this year I decided to look at renter options. I live in a big house and several people had encouraged me to rent one of my rooms. One friend was very persistent about it, to the point of being demanding, and I couldn’t get her voice out of my mind.

I had rented space in my house many times before but not in about 10 years. I really didn’t want to do it and that should have been my first clue.

I was looking at Craigslist on a whim and found an ad that sounded like something I could do short term. This is the ad:

 Two Month Rental wanted for March and April (St. Paul) 

Good morning,

My 6 month lease is up at the end of February and I have an apartment lined up for May 1st. However that leaves a two month time frame where I need to find a temporary place.

Brief about me:
I’m a writer in my early 30’s that works at a well established art gallery in downtown St. Paul 6 days a week (sometimes 7) 9-11 hour days.My work schedule is typically 10 am to 9pm. Sometimes the start and end times fluctuate an hour.

I dont drink or party. I do not mind those who do, as long as they remain respectful and safe to be around.

I do not have a significant other, so I won’t be having any over night guests.

I moved back to Minnesota in mid August from San Diego where I worked at a Greyhound rescue center. Aside from California and my college days in Denver I’ve lived and worked in the twin cities for most of my life.

My hope is to find a simple and safe living arrangement that is as close to my job if not closer. That leaves about a 10 mile max commute out of downtown. I love to bike to work in the summer so location is a factor. I’m a very clean and organized person, but that’s just me. I’ve lived happily with messy people during times in my life.

I also enjoy oddjob DIY home improvement projects when im not working . The homeowner of my current rental in South St lowered my rent to redo his basement and vestibule, which he was very happy with. I’m in good shape physically and can contribute basic handy man skills and yard work.

I’ve never been evicted from anywhere or late on a rental payment.

I’d really appreciate responses from individuals looking for a temporary renter or a month to month basis. I have May 1st all lined up for housing, just unfortunately, not the immediate two months. Any responses would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time and consideration.

-LW “

This person sounded perfect. I could do this for two months and it would be a win/win for both of us. I could make some extra money, which I needed, and he would have an interim place to stay.

Before he moved in I met his aunt, who is a Judge for the State of Minnesota. I said to her “He seems like a great guy” to which she replied that he was and she hope this would be a good situation for both of us.  With the information in his ad and his aunts affirmation it looked like a go. ( I found out later that she purposely withheld information because he was living in her son’s basement and they wanted him out. She actually put my life in jeopardy because she knew he was dangerous)

LW moved in. He was polite, respectful and a likable young man. He was respectful of my space and accommodating to my requests. The first 2 weeks he lived in my house he worked long hours so wasn’t home much.

He wanted me to know more about him because he was living in my house so he slowly began sharing his history.  Some good and some not so good. At the beginning of the third week he quit his job. The second one he had since moving in. That day he sat down with me and shared that he had been in jail for a year for domestic violence and was in residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in California. (Not working in a grey hound rescue center) He was in jail for assaulting three different women. He said he only got violent when he was drunk and he wasn’t drinking anymore.

Great! Me a single woman with a potentially violent male living in my house. The one benefit in my favor was that I had 26 years experience as a therapist behind me so I knew how to de escalate and talk to people with mental health issues.

At this point I would like to address the fact that several people have said I was stupid for renting to someone from a Craigslist ad. The truth is, an unstable person could put an ad anywhere. They could place an ad on a college bulletin board, on the Nextdoor app, in a coffee shop, or even come from the recommendation of a judge. Everyone on Craigslist list is NOT unstable. Unstable people can be found everywhere.  Based on the information I had, this sounded like a good roommate.

Another important factor is, unstable people work very hard at looking normal, maybe even overcompensating, like LW did in his ad.  What he said was mostly true…when he is clean and sober and on medication.

Through some kind of divine intervention, I met his sister and she had my phone number because he used my phone to call her. One morning I got a message from her that he had threatened to kill a family friend and there was a order of protection against him.  That is when my anxiety kicked in. I wanted him out immediately! I talked to a neighbor and put a safety plan in place and gave my daughter information in case something happened to me.

I had watched his manic state escalating since he left his job and it was keeping me awake. We had talked about it several times and he said he would be more conscious of the noise. With this recent information I wanted him to move out.

The next morning, I got up the courage to ask him to leave. Trust me, it took a great deal of courage because I knew he could explode.

AND SO ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

I told him he needed to find a new place to live. I told him it was because of the mania and my not being able to sleep. I didn’t want him to know I had spoken to his sister or that I knew about his terroristic threat.  Instead I said I hoped he got help for his mania because it was not going to go away on its own and that I thought he was a great guy and wanted him to have a happy life.  He told me he was worthless and left the house.

He didn’t return for 10 hours.  I heard him come in and I got anxious. He was in the kitchen slamming things around and I heard him talking to a woman so I felt I was safe. I was in my room on the second floor and I could smell alcohol all the way up the stairs.

When he started storming up the stairs swearing and screaming I knew I was alone in the house with a violent drunk man. He had been talking in both a man and a woman’s voice. A classic psychotic break.

As he passed my room he angrily stated mimicking things I had said to him. As soon as he passed me room, I ran for my life out of the house. I went to a neighbors house and the police were called.

At first they wouldn’t remove him from my house because he was just drunk, hadn’t harmed me and it was my fault for renting to someone I didn’t know. Victim shaming at its best. I was in a full blown panic attack by that time, feeling helpless, shaking to my core and freezing at the same time. I could calm down. While I was out of the house he was destroying my things.

The police didn’t care about my heart history. They told me to go back into the house. They would only take him if he hurt me.  His sister called me and patched her brother in on a three way and I handed the cop the phone and he put it on speaker phone. LW threatened to kill me, his sister, said he was satan and knew witchcraft and other threatening things. The police went to my house and took him away.

I had a stress induced cardiomyopathy heart attack and spent two days in the hospital.

I will never rent to anyone again. If you are considering renting to someone you don’t know, no matter where you found their ad, do a background check and get references before you say yes. It could save you a lot of heart break.

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Third Anniversary of Heart Attack

 

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Three years ago today, on the Equinox, I had the first of three heart attacks, that resulted in my having open heart surgery.  This first heart attack lead me on an amazing journey home to my heart. I painted this painting to celebrate the anniversary and my healthy ❤️

Early in the morning, three years ago, I had a dream that was a sacred ceremony in which the six pointed star was placed in my heart and the Vesica Pisces was placed in my womb. Both of these are symbols of balancing the Masculine and Feminine energies. So is the Equinox. I woke up knowing something powerful had just happened. That evening I had the heart attack.

I was blindsided. Soul contracts are like that!

That began a 2 1/2 year journey of self discovery, where I found out what I was capable of doing under extreme pressure. It showed me what I was truly made of and that I could endure the worst and become my best. It showed me my mortality and highlighted my desire to live❤️

This journey brought me back to my heart, which is the source of my wisdom. I know what my heart desires and what it doesn’t. It brought me back to my purpose, which is to share my love and deep wisdom through my art and I am committed and dedicated to that purpose now more than ever. No more distractions.

My heart is open. It is tender, sensitive and knowing as well as strong, wise and healthy. I am at home in my heart.

Thank you for witnessing my process, loving me through it, shoring me up when I needed it and showing me the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of care.

Sharing this journey was the most vulnerable thing I have done and not easy, but it felt important.

That chapter is done and I am onto a new chapter.

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Filed under A wakening consciousness, Awakening The Inner Physician, heart Health, Resilient Heart, Uncategorized

Healing is a process many don’t understand.

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Changing your story isn’t easy,especially if it is one that turned your world upside down and inside out. It takes courage, tenacity, desire and will to move from the known to the unknown and trust that you will find something better on the other side.

There is an ‘after’ after a life threatening illness, but from the outside looking in, most don’t understand what it takes. I am speaking as someone who has been inside of a healing process, which included financial troubles.  I didn’t understand what it would take either until I went through it.

People on the outside don’t understand what it takes. I had people ask why I didn’t go out and get a job after having open heart surgery. Why did I need to have a fundraiser to help me through this healing process? Why was I so destitute? I had people say you look good so you should be good to go. I see you going for walks so why are you getting a job. Why do you have to ask for help. I have also heard that I created this illness with my thoughts so why can’t I heal by changing my thoughts. Other people I know recovering from life threatening illness have had similar experiences.

This made me think about what is really involved in healing and recovering and creating a new life story.

Healing is a process and many of the steps repeat over and over before they resolve. Recovery by itself takes desire, strength, trust and vision of something better. Those things take mastery of focus when you are in a “reality “ where you don’t feel well.

Here is a list of processes you go through when healing.

1-Life threatening illness

2-Shock

3-Fear

4-Grief   (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) Most people cycle in and out of these. Some get stuck in a stage.

5-PTSD (Anxiety, Depression, Fear, terror ) this is common when you have a life threatening illness. You wonder if/when it will happen again

6-Financial Difficulties( Fear, Worry, Increased body pain, Raise in Stess Hormones, Hopelessness, Self-Doubt, Feeling like a failure)

7-The healing Process itself (extreme illness, determining what it is, finding the right treatment, finding the right doctors, feeling better and sometimes setbacks)

8- Acceptance, the stage where you can start thinking about how to create a life that is better.

9-Distancing yourself from current reality, which can include pain and disability and side effects of the illness , so you can even think about something better.

10-Writing a new story for your life

11-Learning how to adjust and navigate the new story

12- Integrate it so it becomes part of your life.

As you can see, there are many things involved in the healing and recovery process. Each step takes time. You might look good on the outside but all of this is going on, on the inside.

I had three heart attacks, every four months over ten months. I didn’t have enough time between heart attacks to physically heal before I had another one. Each one took me back to the beginning of the healing process. By the time I had open heart  surgery, I was still healing from three heart attacks which made healing even more difficult.

The healing process is challenged further by the fact that you will probably face financial difficulties as a result.  53% of Americans with health insurance have difficulty paying their medical bills. More than a third of seriously ill use all of their savings to pay for care. 21% had trouble paying for basic necessities.  This should not be the consequences of getting sick in America.

So add this immense stress to the healing process and it is even more difficult recovering.

l say this to remind you that if you haven’t gone through a serious illness, please be a compassionate witness to someone who is. Understand they are doing the best they can under the circumstances and that if they had a choice this wouldn’t be happening. Don’t make assumptions.  Understand that recovery and getting their life back doesn’t happen over night. Even if they look good on the outside it doesn’t me they feel better. And if they have to ask their community for help, know that is uncomfortable, embarrassing and humiliating.

What a person in recovery needs the most is loving kindness.

 

 

 

 

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Heart Disease is an Epidemic

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#Healthyhearttip

Few people alive today are old enough to remember the beginning of the coronary heart disease (CHD) epidemic in the 1920s and 1930s, when physicians in the U.S. and U.K. began sounding alarm bells that an uncommon disease was rapidly becoming the leading cause of death. By the 1950s, their predictions had come true. A decade later, a new generation of physicians replaced their predecessors and began to doubt that heart attacks had ever been uncommon. Gradually, the idea that the disease was once uncommon faded from the public consciousness, and heart attacks were seen as an eternal plague of humankind, avoided only by dying of something else first.

According to U.S. National Vital Statistics records beginning in 1900, CHD was rarely given as the cause of death by physicians until after 1930. It used to be uncommon and now it is such a common occurrence that it’s an epidemic. It happens so often it’s like the common cold.

Did you know that 80% of heart attacks and stroke can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Here we are almost 90 years later and the medical interventions still being used are pharmaceuticals, stents and bypass surgery.

Doctors aren’t taught about natural supplements and nutrition as an option. It was natural supplements that save my life as far as I am concerned. What is considered a heart healthy diet is far from heart healthy.

When I was in the hospital after one of the heart attacks, they brought me a menu and I order the things that would fit with the Paleo diet I had been on. Lots of veggies and a hamburger without a bun, no wheat and no dairy. Soon after my food arrived a nurse ran into my room and grabbed my tray and told me I couldn’t eat that and that my food needed to come from the Heart Healthy Menu.

She arrived a few minutes later with a large plate of spaghetti, covered in sauce with meatballs! I was stunned! If this was what was being fed to heart patients as heart healthy, it would appear they were trying to kill people off! This wasn’t the exception. All of the heart healthy food was like that. If it was low sodium and low fat you could eat it. Nothing else was taken into consideration.

I wrote my book to address what wasn’t being address. Things you can do to prevent heart disease in the first place .Mystick Creek Publishing 

#Resilientheart

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Heart Tip:Hug a Tree

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#healthyhearttip

Most of you know, if you have followed my journey, that I love trees and that I even adopted a tree named Grace. This tip is about trees.

Introduction to Chapter 40 from Resilient Heart…Hug a Tree

“It used to be that hugging trees was something that only hippies practiced and that it had little value aside from how humorous it looked. Now it has been validated by science to have incredible benefits for both people, the trees and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging, leaning up against or being near a tree can boost your health in several ways.

Part of the healing power of the forest is due to various oils, called Phytocide which are found in wood plants and some some fruits and vegetables. Trees emit them to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher, inhaling Phytocide improves immune system function.”

In Japan walking in the woods is called Forest Bathing and it has been prescribed by Japanese medical practitioners for a long time.

“The scientifically-proven benefits of forest bathing includes:
Boosted immune system functioning
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced stress
Improved mood
Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy levels
Improved sleep

I experienced all of these things and forest bathing was a huge part of my recovery

Painting is from my series of 32 paintings I did to heal my heart.

Buy the book #Resilientheart

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