Rockford, IL 61107
On April 10th, 2008 my eldest son turned 13. That morning I woke up and looked in the mirror, like I do every morning. But, this morning something clicked, and I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to get this weight off! It has been with me for 13 years and it was time to GO! Not to mention, I didn’t want to get married looking like this! My Fiancée David, now Husband, and I were planned to wed on January 3rd, 2009. A destination wedding, with a Reception when we returned. Anyway, I took some advice from a friend to check out a dietician, that people were raving about. I just hoped that it would work. I decided to go the next day, I had a piece of cake to eat today…. My son is 13!! I’m old! LOL!!
The very next day I drank my last pepsi as I walked into the Doctor’s office to begin my diet. I lost about 10 lbs in the next few weeks, and it felt good. But, I still wanted to do more, so I joined my local YMCA. I tried out quite a few of the Unlimited Fitness Classes they offered (for free), and didn’t seem like I was hitting something I could get into. Oh, I got PLENTY of suggestions! But, nothing that seemed to want me to come back. Until, I read a flyer that was posted in the restroom- Latin Rhythms, Salsa, and Meringue… now this sounds like fun. So, I gave it a try. My first class wasn’t so graceful, yet the instructor- Liz- made me feel welcome and complimented me on my ‘moves’. I walked out of class wanting to come back, if nothing else- to see if I could do it better! So, from then until November, I made sure I was in class every week! I Loved it! And, without even realizing it- I was hooked! I had also lost 60 lbs by then. I looked and felt GREAT!! I didn’t mind having to purchase a 2nd wedding dress… The first one was WAY too big now! That was AWESOME!
Then, On November 5th 2008, I underwent a ‘simple’ out-patient surgery, a breast reduction. I was told that everything went ok and to come to the office in the morning to have the drain tubes removed. My Husband and I stayed in a hotel that night, so we didn’t have to drive all the way home and back again. It would give me a little more time to rest. That night I remember getting up in the middle of the night, and not feeling so well. I thought it was just the anesthesia working it’s way out of my system. I did have a moment of weakness, where I fell to my knees. But, didn’t think much of it. In the morning, we got up and I had a little breakfast, so I could take a pain pill before going to the Doctor’s office. It was one of the rare occasions when I actually DID what a Doctor told me to do. LOL!
After arriving at the Doctor’s office and being taken to a room, the Nurse Practitioner came in and looked at the large lump that had formed on my Left side (next to my breast). She became VERY quiet, then stated that she was going to remove the drain tube from my right side. As she was removing the right tube, she mentioned that she was going to ask the Doctor to come and look at the Hematoma that had formed on my left side, and see what he wanted to do.
It took him a bit before he came into the room. When he finally did, he looked at it and asked me when I last had something to eat. I told him, and he informed me that I would have to go to his surgery center and undergo an operation to remove the Hematoma. But, I would have to wait until 2pm, due to me eating at 7 am. I had to wait 6 hours! My Husband was patient and caring. He stayed with me most of the time. I’m sure when I fell asleep he took off for a bit. There wasn’t anything to do, and you can only read so many magazines before you feel like peeling the wallpaper off with your fingernails!
After the surgery, I woke up to a room full of people. They all looked worried, my first thought was- am I dead? Why are you all looking at me like that? Am I missing an arm? What the! Anyway, I was asked the normal questions- my name, date, etc…. Then I was informed- ‘We need to transfer you to the UW Hospital. You lost a lot of blood and will need to get a blood transfusion. The ambulance is here and ready to take you.’ I BEGGED them! ‘Please! Can’t you put me in the back seat of our car? Dave will drive careful! We can follow the ambulance!’ Yeah, they didn’t go for that. So, instead I went on the longest, MOST painful ride of my life! I sure didn’t feel like myself, and didn’t have the strength to move my head around to see where in the world I was. If it wasn’t for a great staff at the UW Hospital explaining EVERYTHING, I would have been really stressed! They made me feel a little relaxed, well, as much as I could be in the situation that I had been handed.
There was a great deal of traffic in and out of my room, none of the faces were of people I knew. David was the only face that I knew, which was nice. I know how much he hates Hospitals, so it meant a lot that he stayed. But, he couldn’t stay all night, someone had to go home and take care of the dogs. He left about 10:30pm. I still had not had the transfusion, but knew it wouldn’t be long.
About a ½ hour later I noticed that my left shoulder and underarm were black. I pointed this out to the nurse and said, ‘I don’t think this is normal.’ She told me she would be right back, and within seconds came back in with a team of surgeons! They grabbed my bed and quickly took me down to the operating room, explaining that I was hemorrhaging and it needed to be stopped. I started crying and asking ‘why are you trying to kill me! It was just a simple operation! Why! Call David! Call David! I just want to go home! Will I ever see my home again?!!’ As they started the anesthesia, the Surgeon came to me and said, “I am truly sorry, this time we will go all the way in and fix it correctly.” This was the last thing that I heard as I went under. I will NEVER forget those words.
I woke up at about 3 am, I had a needle the size of Toledo in my Right hand, and a catheter! What! I IMMEDIATELY called for the nurse and insisted her to take out the catheter. I never agreed to that, nor anything else, but ESPECIALLY not that! Her concern was that I wouldn’t be able to get to the bathroom, I didn’t care. Take it out! Ok, so after I got my way with that, I wanted to make sure that David was called. I was reassured that he was. I then asked if they planned on doing anything ELSE to me, and when could I go home. I have to be honest, I was pretty upset over the whole deal, as I should be. But, I was in no condition to do much of anything about it. She didn’t say much about the first part of my question, but she did say I should be able to go home the next day. I started to cry, I really missed my kids. And, I was suppose to get them for an extra couple of days this week. But, that’s over with now. Thanks Doc. Oh, and yes, I did FINALLY get the transfusion. It wasn’t until after the third surgery, but I did get it.
Dave came in just before lunch, and he brought a friend! A little penguin dressed in a girl’s pirate costume. Oh, and when you press her fin, she giggles. He told me that he thought I would smile every time I heard her giggle. How sweet! It did make me feel better!
That evening I was finally released. Who would have thought that in less than 36 hours I would undergo 3 surgeries and receive a blood transfusion! But, it was SO good to finally be going home. Even tho, I would have a home health nurse coming to make sure I would be ok and do an assessment, I didn’t really care. I was going home! We went to pick up the kids first. My eldest son, Allan, didn’t want to come. I was in no condition to argue with him, so we got the Alex and Alyssa and headed home. Dave was hoping that Allan would come with, not only did it upset me but we needed his help. Dave had to work the next day, and he didn’t want me to do anything. Nor could I do much of anything. Alex & Lyss said they would take care of everything! Which was good, cause I had a lot of difficulty even walking to the bathroom without passing out. He was very worried having to leave, but felt a little better knowing that the nurse would be here in the morning.
It was hard on me having to rely on others for whatever I wanted or wanted to do. I couldn’t get up the stairs without help. I was just too weak. So, going to bed was only going to happen once. The rest of the days were spent on the couch.
I tried to plan for the wedding, which was getting closer and closer, but it was just making me weaker. So, we had to come to the decision to postpone the wedding. No one thought I would be able to travel, and we didn’t have a back up plan. This is when the depression started to seep in. It didn’t take long before I was just tired of fighting. Every day of my life I have fought something, and now I’m just tired. What good has it brought? More and more disappointment. I just wasn’t destined to be happy, so why try so hard. I gave up. I work and work at everything I do, and the end result is always the same… disappointment. After a few weeks had passed, I received a call from Liz, my Zumba Instructor, asking where I was? I told her what happened, and that I still wasn’t feeling up too it. She was so sweet, and welcomed me to join whenever I am feeling better. But, David had other plans. He told me, ‘I don’t care what I have to do- YOU ARE GOING TO ZUMBA! ‘ He reminded me that it ALWAYS made me feel better, and he was sick of seeing me lay on the couch and do nothing. That wasn’t me. So, I went and he was right. I did feel better! And I remembered why I went to Zumba in the first place. I LOVED IT!! It was that night that I made another decision. –When I felt like myself again, I would become an Instructor! A ZUMBA Instructor!- Of course, I had a LONG way to go, but I have the fight back in me and I’m going to do it! No if’s, and’s, or but’s!
It was just before Christmas when David asked me, ‘Can we still get married on Jan. 3rd? Just because we can’t go away and get married, doesn’t mean I want to wait. Can you work your magic and do something small here?’ I did it, and the ceremony was Beautiful! Our wedding night consisted of me falling asleep. It took a LOT out of me. Someday we will get our reception, and someday we will go on our Honeymoon.
Over the next 8 months I worked hard on getting better and into shape, again. In getting better, I gained 40 lbs. But, on August 16th, 2009 I became a Zumba Instructor! Dave and I stayed with some friends that weekend, they lived about an hour from where the training session was being held. On the way back to their house, I cried. It meant so much to become certified. And, Tony Witt was fantastic!
I thought my journey would end there, but it didn’t. After arriving home, I worked hard to take in all the information that I received. That same week, I tripped over our new dog (I’d say puppy, but she was rather big) and ended up with a knee injury. It was really hard to do the moves that I was trying to learn. And, really difficult to shadow another Instructor at the YMCA! But, I did it! And, in November I began teaching- starting as a sub, and then getting my own class in December. I was terrified and excited all at once! By profession, I work as a Stagehand, not a performer. I was scared to death to be in front of people! In class I was the one in the back corner. Now, I had to overcome a huge fear- being in front of a room full of people!
Just when I thought I was over what had happened with the surgery, David told me that my heart had to be restarted during the surgeries. I was shocked, and angry. Angry at him for not telling me this before. When I asked him why he had not told me, he simply said- ‘I thought it would be too much for you to handle. I was going to tell you before, just never had the chance.’ The memories were back, and I felt like I was dealing with them all over again. It took a long time for me to forgive and forget. How do I handle this? I felt fortunate that I had Zumba, it did help.. and so did my students. More than they will ever know.
I look back now, and see how far I’ve come. I Love being in front of my class! I’m even doing better on stage during Zumba events! Still don’t care so much for pictures, but I’m trying! Here is the best part, currently I have lost 30 of the 40 lbs I had gained, with the only exercise being Zumba! I’m BACK Baby!!! I’m BACK!!
I want to give a very special Thank you to all of those who have been there for me, supported me, and lent me a caring ear. I Love you all, and will never forget what you have done for me. Thank you!
104 S. Madison
Rockford, IL 61104
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Trains within 25.00 miles of 61107