How Facebook Helped me get to (Cardiac) Rehab

CHD awareness

In honor of CHD awareness week, I am sharing an essay I wrote a few years ago about a personal struggle after open heart surgery #2 in Dec 2007

I sat there staring at the phone. My mom’s last words echoing in my head, “Call cardiac rehab, set up an appointment.” I was terrified. The fact that I was even awake was a good sign and now they wanted me to walk on a treadmill? I could barely walk across the house without getting winded. I was just starting to hold down food again and now they wanted me to get dressed, stop clutching my pillow to my broken sternum, and heal?  Who were these monsters?

They had called 2 days before to tell me to start at any time. I was terrified and this was one thing my parents were not willing to do for me. Pick up food that i’d barely touch or throw up later? Sure. Hold me up in the shower? Ok. Brush out the mattes in my hair? Well they sent me to a salon for that, but at least they made the call. Call cardiac rehab? Nope. On my own.
So what’s a girl to do when faced with something she doesn’t want to do? Facebook! I started surfing around Facebook. I went through old photos. It was January 2008 and I was walking down memory lane, stopping at Spring 2006. I had just moved in with some fantastic girls. I had a great boyfriend. I was a straight-A student. And, I was hitting workout classes at the gym 3 times a week. I never expected that just looking at a workout ball would make me exhausted. On St. Patrick’s day my roommate and I ended up at “The Rack” a club in Boston that no longer exists. The line was out the door, but we knew some people who were having a party. It was before the pacemaker, the 2nd open heart surgery, and the countless cardioversions. That night, everything was free:drinks, t-shirts, dancing, and as cheesy as it sounds – me. I was free of any worries and concerns. The photos were great – totally random. There were the silly ones, the ones I should probably delete from Facebook, and the ones that I had no idea were being taken. Those were the best. I was so happy. I wanted to be there again. I wanted that state of mind, that life, that healthiness.
I put down Facebook, picked up the phone, and called cardiac rehab to set up my first appointment.
A walk down memory lane:

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