On the Trail

The starting lineup for the 2009 Bolder Boulder is set – nine adults who have had  sixteen major heart operations will be participating. We’ve got nothing to prove: I jokingly say that when I wake up in the morning, I stretch my feet forward and look at my toes. If there is no toe tag… I’m still winning!

I’ve talked a lot about the race, but I’m having a hard time putting into words exactly what this means to me. Certainly it’s going to be a lot of fun – I met a some of the Denver area Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) members while I was in Philadelphia and in Washington, DC; they are good people. And we all have a common story, we’ve all Walked the Difficult Path. When I talk about my heart with these people, they automatically understand. If the air is thinner than I’m ready to deal with and I need to take a break, I don’t have to feel guilty about begging off for a little while. I won’t feel left out, because every one of us has Been There and Done That at one time or another.

I’ve run into several “technical difficulties” getting organized for the trip. My Cardiologist prescribed a little extra Oxygen for me while I was out there, and for a while I thought I was going to have to ship a 60 pound Oxygen Concentrator cross country! The local group was right there with offers to handle things on that end. (I’ve been able to arrange to have it delivered to the hotel, so no hearts or backs were damaged in the making of this trip!) A few weeks ago when my hernia was really giving me a fit, I emailed the local ACHA organizer that I might not be able to come after all. Almost immediately I was told that if I could get there, I’d be loaned a wheelchair and an assistant to push me around. That’s going above and beyond! Thankfully the hernia is quiet and if all goes well, I’ll be able to be on my own two feet. But the offer was greatly appreciated, and as far as I know it still stands. I’m sure I’ve been a pain in the rear end trying to work out the details, but the Denver crew has been patient, and I am so thankful for them.

Like the team that is actually on the course, I’m fortunate enough to be in pretty good health. Other adults with heart defects are not. Heart Moms and Heart Dads look at their Cardiac Kids and wonder what the future will bring. A lot of things have changed since I had my surgeries, I’m hopeful that they will have an easier journey than my parents did. And perhaps one day, with more knowledge and funding, no one will have to walk this path at all.

And that is why we’ll be out there. Because every heart deserves to live a lifetime.

Until we speak again;

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One Response to “On the Trail”

  1. carolyn compton Says:

    Just awesome!

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