Enjoying the Little Things
Heart failure can feel like everything in life is focused on doctors’ appointments, medications, eating boring foods, and managing symptoms. What we tend to lose sight of is that we are still alive, just like we were before heart failure. Yes, things are different to an extent, but in the grand scheme we are the exact same person we were before, and possibly better.
Not caring for myself
When I look back on life before heart failure, I was a decent person, but I was lazy. I didn’t want to exercise. Forget about cooking when there is a microwave with delicious frozen foods, or even worse, fast food. I also did not really take care of myself in the sense of going to the doctor regularly to make sure everything was ok. There is no way I can be the only person that was like this.
After diagnosis, I changed. I finally woke up from the dream world where I was invincible and immortal. Sadly, and happily, this is when I started to actually live my life. I started to exercise and eat right. I found a love of good, healthy food. I wanted to work out and feel my heart pounding in my chest. It made me feel alive. This is when I finally started to realize all the little things I took for granted are some of the most amazing parts of life.
Just enjoying life
How many people wake up and look outside to see the sun shining or animals playing in the yard? I bet the majority of people that do this are people who have a chronic illness or something that happened in life to make them realize we only live once. My old way of life was in front of a TV screen or cell phone and I thought it was great. I slept in every day and laid in bed until whenever I wanted to get up. Now I am happy to wake up and get moving. There is nothing like looking out the window or stepping outside, even when the weather is not ideal, and just enjoying life.
What fun is that?
It would be easy for me to wallow in self-pity. I could easily feel bad for myself and continue with my old way of life, but what fun is that? I do have limitations, but it’s pretty rare for anyone to have such limitations to where you can’t even go outside. Yes, I feel like I was dealt a not so great hand in life. What can I do about it though? Nothing. I can’t change who I am, and honestly, I don’t want to. I love being me, problems and all, and I love being alive.
Wake up with a smile
I challenge you to find one thing you assume everyone takes for granted and make that the focal point of your day. Make it the reason you wake up with a smile. Mine is being outside. It doesn’t matter if I am standing on the porch while it’s raining, I just want to be outside. Find something like this for yourself. Make it your goal to better yourself so you can wake up for the next 50 years and enjoy all the little things in life.
What 'little things' do you like to enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!
Do you use exercise to help manage your heart failure?