* update #22 * Day 241 ! ❤😊 …trying to PLAY FISHY again! 🐋
Bonjour my Dearest FRIENDS ❤
As sooooo many of you have SOOOOO very caringly expressed endless caring, loving and support to my little “post heart attack + 5 surgeries in a row! ” journey, I thought that I would share with you today a new little update… and just to let you know that I have been trying my best to PLAY FISHY again!!! just as I used too before my massive heart attack… and of course, I am talking about now being a very VERY SMALL and VERY SLOW🐌 … FISHY!… but FISHY it is! 🐳🐋🐳
To most people, going back to swimming laps after an interruption of a few months would be, well… a non event.
In the case of little me, it is kind of a milestone for several reasons which I will share here under for those of you who so caringly and very sweetly follow my journey of endless health struggles, while yet still finding lotssss of inspiring learnings as well as also always finding way to find lotsssss of sunshine between the raindrops as I like to think of it 💖, despite all the emotional and physical pain omnipresent in my body in pretty much each and everyone of my days…
Let me first share a few snapshots from my cheap little phone, and whose only goal are to bring a little laugh to your day… from seeing how silly and funny a true French Frog 😉 actually looks like… especially when it is coldddd outside AND the water is also very colddddd (due to being the last few days of the season and of the pool still being opened) – by the way these snapshots will also, as a “no extra charge” bonus… let you view what a baboon who would have drank too much moonshine might just happen to look like… if such a crazy baboon did indeed exist of course!? 😉
(the fact that I am wearing my amazing cranal bone transmission MP3 Players also helps a lot to make me look even more… hummmm?… crazy! 😜- but without my MP3 player my mind would soooo get thinking about a million things that I want to do all while swimming all my laps as I used to – so I always take advantage of my swimming to listen to great TED CONFERENCES which I sooooo love for all that I learn from all those great passionate people… or I also love to listen to great music! – the quality of the player is truly AMAZING!).
Also as you will notice on the snapshots… the pool was, well, ALL MINE 😊 and totally empty… which might of course have something to do with the water being super cold as fall is coming?… or maybe people were too scared by the sight of a mix of a French Frog and a baboon?… very plausible explanation 😉
OK, after bringing a little laugh to your day… let’s get back to a few more serious sharings about why my going back to swimming was actually such a struggle… in so many ways… and one filled with very many fears…
A few random facts…
- I have not swam a single lap since my massive heart attack back at the beginning of the year… which was followed by 5 consecutive surgeries (heart, spine and defibrillator/ICD), endless hospital and ICU stays, and endless dozens of needle pricks and endless other sources of pain (every 2 to 4 hours, days and nights, when in ICU… which all adds up! – when you are half asleep and you hear a nurse at 4 am complain ” arghhh! I can’t find any more veins to stick!!!?… ” – you know for sure that you are definitely NOT on a Caribbean vacation! )
- I was swimming 100 to 120 laps, twice a week, right before my heart attack, and for the past few years… all of which being by the way such an interesting random fact to share with you… since it clearly did NOT make a single difference in little suddenly “dying” anyways!
- I was actually swimming that many laps the day RIGHT BEFORE that massive heart attack hit me out of nowhere… one very sad morning at 1:06am – btw I pretty much never ever remember any dates or times of events from my past… except for my 2 beautiful baby’s birthdays of course 💕 – but, for some reasons, I do remember vividly, and probably forever, the time and date of when I collapsed to the floor of my kitchen, all alone that night… Maybe my PTSD (as most of my fellow heart attack survivor and I have in common) has something to do with it? 😏
- One of my 3 heart surgeons had warned me that whenever I would go back to swimming, if I ever did again, that I should make very sure to tell the Lifeguard to keep an eye on little me… just in case that my little heart decides to take a little nap again 😉 … or just in case that my ICD/defibrillator (that the surgeon implanted deep into my left pectoral muscle – which by the way gave me the most pain I EVER had in my life when I went through that surgery! 😥) would decide to trigger and which there is always a risk that it would do so by accident… an “accidental shock” as the medical professional call it!… aka “scared to death of getting shocked!…” as the patients like me do call it! lol – and in which case, due to the fact that when you get “shocked” it is experiencing the equivalent of a horse hitting you with both of its feet in your chest… this would of course not really be ideal per say to experience while you are swimming! lol … especially if you are at the very bottom pool as I often love to do an entire first lap at the very bottom – for it is soooo magical, serene and peaceful down there and I sooo love it … especially while listening to music 🙂 on my underwater MP3 player – anyways, no Lifeguard present there at that pool… which triggered some more fear of going for it 🤔🙄…. but I did…
- another interesting point to also share with you is that, guess what!?… one of my heart surgeons had also had said that ” repetitive motion ” could possibly pull out, or even break, the 2 leads (the medical term for the “wires”that they connected from defibrillator inserted in my chest… to deep into my heart). And if this were to happen and 1 or 2 of the leads would get damaged, this would mean getting 2 MORE of that surgery which was, as I mentioned before, triggered the MOST PAIN that I have ever endured from any surgery (and God knows I have been through quite a sample of them already in my life, especially when I had a major extensive JAW surgery at age 22 or so and where they literally sliced off my entire upper jaw at the gum level… then same with lower jaw… then played “Lego” with me 😉 then put me back together with an extensive little network of 26 titanium screws and plates which are still… 30 years later… all over my face! (I included a little snapshot of my X Rays as it always soooo surprise any new dentist being handed this from their nurse after X Raying me! lol – Back then I thought that that jaw surgery was very painful until… I was privileged to the recent ICD/defibrillator one! which was pretty much 10 times more painful to recover from 😥)
… anyways, back to the wires (who just said ” I think that Pascal might be a little SOOO ADD!?!?” lol )… so, should my 2 wires going inside my heart get broken or displaced, I would then be subjected to not just 1 but 2 MORE of that very same incredibly painful surgery … 1 to remove everything… let it all heal for several weeks… then go back at it and cut me open again and do it all again… quite a scary thought and probably enough of a scare to any heart patient with a defibrillator to attempt ANY kind of repetitive motion (not sure how the ones in France deal with that limitations though? as … flipping a bird to other drivers repeatedly through their day kind of sound like a “repetitive motion”to me isn’t it ? 😉 and the French truly REALLY excel at it! 😉
- returning to swimming has also been very challenging for little me as… both of my arms have been banged up pretty badly and as those of you following my journey will remember…
– my left arm used to be in extreme pain and it still hurts a lot quite often from the ICD/defibrillator (that hard metal device the size of a bridge deck of cards) that has been permanently implanted in my left pectoral muscle and therefore moving my left arm swimming pretty much hurts with every lap… it is bearable though… but not pleasant to say the least… (and for those of you following my little journey will also remember, and as if all the pain from the ICD surgery in itself was not enough, the cut that the surgeon had to do slicing deep into my pectoral muscle got INFECTED! … not just once… but 3 times over the few weeks following the surgery!… which means that each time they had to “play with it” aka… cut it open some, mess with it, disinfect it etc. … 3 times!
Did you hear me say… “not fun!!! ” ? 🙄
– now in regards to my right arm… well… some of you will remember how I totally lost its entire function one sad day, within just a few hours, all out of nowhere, and due to a sudden and major herniation in my spine… which all triggered a very risky emergency spine fusion surgery (the Doctors all said that I had 1 chance in 50 to die bleeding on the surgery table due to my very recent massive heart attack, all the heart meds I was taking etc…) .
So as you can imagine, swimming with 2 arms in kind of permanent rehab… is not the easiest thing to say the least but I really needed to, both for emotional reasons in regards to trying all that I can to somehow recover from those 5 surgeries and heart attack, and also because it is one of the rare things that is helping me some with a pretty much constant and very draining and painful low back pain (by the way if any of you has any hints of options on how to improve a chronic and very debilitating low back pain, PLEASE be so kind as email me… as it is a constant drain on each and everyone of my days 😥
Ideally, I would find an extremely knowledgeable Yoga teacher or mentor or a medical professional to very gently and progressively help me with it… but I have so many other body limitations these days that this is not so easy to find… )
Now also added to all this, the fact that 30-40% of my heart is now “dead forever” and transformed into non recoverable scar tissue by the massive heart attack, all combined with all my heart meds which very quickly get me short of breath… all make it let’s say not ideal 🙄 to swim laps right?!… lol
As you are most probably starting to realize by now, getting back to playing fishy ended up indeed not being that simple of a journey in my personal case… and I decided to share these few thoughts with you today for one simple reason… to ever so humbly remind you and share with you that, no matter how much CRAPPPPPP (how is that for using some beautiful Shakespearean very un-sophisticated vocabulary?! lol) life, and destiny, occasionally or constantly throws at you (and we all either have been through similar situations, still are, or one day will… ) occasional and random suffering and darkness are truly and simply part of life… yet, and which is the most important and beautiful concept 💖 of all here, as much as you and I do NOT have ANY “control” whatsoever on how much “crap” life will indeed be throwing at us… we yet ALWAYS have FULL CONTROL over how you and I are going to CHOOSE to EXPERIENCE it all… and we also ALWAYS have FULL CONTROL on how you and I are going to CHOOSE to ACT on it!…
And in that both very painful and yet very beautiful journey of learning and self learning, one of the biggest help and approaches that I have ever found to be of tremendous value to my own life ‘s journey and endless struggles is… BABY STEPS!!!… which I actually even prefer to describe and call… MICRO STEPS!!!
Yes indeed, the only thing that I have ever found to truly matter to get me out of an place of darkness and/or suffering is to:
1- Always do /try something DIFFERENT and/or NEW – try any very “DIFFERENT” APPROACH, both in your actual habits as in your MENTAL/EMOTIONAL habits (since you clearly know by then that whatever it is that you have doing in your day and daily habits and doings up to this point is clearly only conducive of maintaining and feeding the darkness/suffering that you are ALREADY IN… so yes CHANGE is as CRITICAL as it is VITAL to get to a better place! 💗
2- The next critical tool to make this happen and to get the MOMENTUM of something new, anything new… STARTED is to do so with indeed very very SMALL STEPS… MICRO STEPS! 🙂😍 as indeed as soon as you will have gotten started, no matter how SMALL that very first step might be, and whether it is for physical activities like my swimming, or emotional ones like trying new trains of thoughts, and new habits of thinking… you will then be on a brand new and so much HEALTHIER MOMENTUM…. and I promise to you that from doing it over and over… and very very SLOWLY INCREASING IT will all make it SOOOOO MUCH EASIER every time!
And with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that you will embrace PLEASE DO HAVE GREAT SELF LOVE, SELF COMPASSION, and SELF EMPATHY for the beautiful magical miracle Human Being who you truly are 💗 and please do remember to CHOOSE to make it all in SUPER SMALL, MICRO SMALL, beautiful steps ! 💗
Please remind yourself that the Great Wall of China… the Egyptian Pyramids… and any and all single beautiful architectural work of Art… was ALWAYS BUILT… one single brick at a time 💗
On a practical side, let’s say for example that you would like to start… swimming laps?
Your very first goal should never be to swim 30 laps… not even 10… nor 5… but just and simply and peacefully… 1 LAP! that’s it! …and your plan is to then leave the pool or just float or good around or enjoy yourself… and guess what?! …on your drive back home from there I am betting you a billion French croissants lol … that you will only be thinking ” Holy cow! I can’t wait to go back to the pool and try… 2 laps! ” … and guess what you will have just ACCOMPLISHED! …which is TREMENDOUS 😍
You might be thinking ” Oh but I can of course swim a few more laps than just 1… ” but the whole concept here is NOT to overthink this… as, as soon you will, your mind will ALSO find reasons to NOT get started and NOT go to the pool… the only and actual reasoning here is to … GET YOU STARTED! 💗 to actually get you to the pool! and to break the habit of NOT going to the pool… while yet making your brand new habit of going there part of your days and thinking and whole new self 💗
You will then have indeed just BROKEN YOUR MOMENTUM of NOT doing laps and letting your old momentum of finding a million reasons on why you can NOT do it to… a whole new momentum of “I can’t wait to try 2 laps next time!…” 💗
PLEASE DO TRY IT!… and do so for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in your life… and please keep a journal so that you can remind yourself of who you once were… and who you have now DESIGNED YOURSELF into! 💗all to your credit!
The very same approach of course totally applies with anything EMOTIONAL or any new MENTAL HABITS that you would like to acquire and make yours… to keep REDESIGNING, or starting to DESIGN, YOUR BEAUTIFUL AMAZING SELF!
All this is pretty much the approach that I drastically used for 30 years to totally change my life and character for the better… going for example from being EXTREMELY SHY and with ZERO SELF ESTEEM (actually having and living with, a very NEGATIVE self esteem😌) … to becoming very extroverted, with a very strong, very free and very healthy sense of self 💗
So PLEASE DO TRY MICRO STEPS … whether you have already died once as I did… or never did… PLEASE DO NOT EVER “MISS LIFE” … whether for a new personality trait you would like to acquire (I have changed SO many things and ACQUIRED SO many new traits of character my whole life… maybe one day I will write about it)… or for a business that you always dreamed of starting (I have probably started over 20 businesses in my life and took drastic turns so many times, such as suddenly going from being a Day Trader… to a photographer!) … of for a move you want to make (when I left Paris to move to Los Angeles and “America” 💗)… the places you want to visit… the hobbies you want to try… the people you want to date or love… etc. PLEASE DO NOT MISS LIFE!!! … do not miss YOUR LIFE 💗 a Life that should be precisely as YOU and YOU ONLY will want it to be, or to drastically change… anytime… and as often as YOU WILL CHOOSE! 💗
The “BOOK OF YOU” 💗 should always be written by YOU, and YOU ONLY 💗
ps: I thought that I would also share here with you a couple of the very many Inspirational Quotes that I write to help me in my own journey (and share with all my followers to modestly help them in theirs ❤️) and which are relevant to the concepts that I shared in this post…
“ We are all equal in the face of the unfairness of suffering.
We are all, anything but equal… with everything else. “
“ Should you be so fortunate as to meet
your very first wrinkle, your very first gray hair,
… for it will be the most beautiful reminder
that you were so much luckier than many who, tragically, never had that chance. ”
” Bad things happen to good people all the time… and good things happen to bad people all the time… both always being such a gift to our lives, from their most beautiful opportunities for evolving of self. “
I truly hope that these few modest words maybe will help you on your own journey… they have helped me so many times on mine…
You can find my modest book on Amazon – click here –