“Can’t” Is Not In My Vocabulary

When I was told I had heart failure, I was told that I would need a heart/lung transplant in about five years. That was 2007. 2012 has come and gone and my heart and lungs are still in my chest, and I sure as hell intend for them to stay there for many years to come.

When I had my defibrillator implanted, I was given a whole list of can’ts. I can’t do this and I can’t do that. Some of them are pretty obvious such as I can’t get an MRI. Don’t want that super magnet literally pulling my buddy out of my chest, now do I? If I go for any sort of X-ray or CT scan, I have to let them know that I have a defibrillator implanted so they don’t put me any where near an active MRI machine.

The list is really for my own protection, but there are some things I just would not give up though. On the list is No Contact Sports. Well no worries there! I hate contact sports. They bore me to tears.

Another one on the list is No sledding! What?! No sledding? Are they crazy? Well, no. They’re not. Why no contact sports and no sledding? There are these wires called leads that go from the defibrillator, through a vein and then into my heart, where the ends are screwed into the interior chambers of the heart. If you get a hard enough blow, the leads can literally dislodge from the heart wall, and send the defibrillator crazy because it thinks there is no heart beat, so it will try shocking you back to life – continuously. Then there is the fact that the leads probably would leave rips in your heart where they came out of, so you would probably bleed to death.

When I first got the implant, I obeyed the rules. For a bit. I gave it two years. I figured in two years the heart tissue would have surrounded the anchors enough to secure them into the heart good and tight. (Although, it took six years for heart tissue to grow over the plug in my hole in my heart before the leak was completely closed up. Good thing I wasn’t a dyke in Holland)

Two years after the implantation I said to hell with it! I am not depriving myself from one of the few things I really enjoy. We have a hill that has a run of about 250ft on our property that goes right down to a pond that is about 125ft wide, and when the pond freezes over, there is nothing more exhilarating than going down that hill, and onto the pond, and sliding all the way over to the other end.

The walk up the hill, in snow is exhausting, but oh so worth the trek. The way I figure it is if I fall off of the sled, I will be landing in nice fluffy snow which will break my fall and decrease the impact. I think the fall onto hard floor from standing if I trip over my own two feet has a greater chance of killing me.

This winter we have more snow than what we know what to do with. The end of the driveway has snow mounds almost seven feet high from the plow. The ground, has about eight or nine inches of fresh snow, and that is a lot of cushioning as far as I am concerned.

The snow will probably be around until April, and I intend to milk the winter for all its worth and sled every chance I get. And if it kills me, so be it. At least I died happy!

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