My Heart

(Below is an excerpt from a confusing time in my life, written by myself, during the semester at Valpo in Spring of 2015.)

[Pulmonary Valve Regurgitation: blood flowing back into the heart before it goes to the lungs to get oxygen…caused by Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries)…caused my blood vessels to thicken…hearing a murmur…may need a new pulmonary valve (surgery)]

I transferred from USI to Valpo. I visited the Health Center on campus here at Valpo to get a new physical, as I was changing universities. Everything went as usual until the nurse practitioner told me she may have heard a heart murmur. I was in disbelief because I’ve been healthy and heart-strong all my life, being an endurance athlete. She said I would need to get it checked out.

The next week, I went to a clinic on LaPorte Ave., close to campus. I got an EKG done by one doctor and another reviewed my results. He (the second doctor) noted my EKG (electrocardiogram) results were good, except for a little hitch in my heartbeat waves. He also noted that I had high blood pressure for a young, healthy, athlete, with no family history of this. I was referred to Dr. Shah, at a Med. Center on Roosevelt Rd.

Two weeks later, I did see the young Dr. Shah. He was outstanding. He talked to me about my heart and answered all of my questions. I felt comfortable around him. He seemed the most knowledgable of any of my doctors whom I’d seen so far. He checked my murmur and blood pressure. Each had gotten a little worse over the two weeks. He scheduled me for an ECO (echocardiogram), where they would rub gel in different places on my bare chest and get all different 3-D views of my heart on a screen. This was to be done in two more weeks.

Today, Feb 10, I got my ECO done by a lady doctor. She said my heart was easy to read on the screen because I am fit. However, after the results were sent to Dr. Shah, he concluded this: my pulmonary valves are abnormally thick and have a moderate leakage of blood out of them. They are located on the dorsal side of my heart and lead to my lungs. My result? I will have to go in at a later date and get a TEE test done along with some blood work, in two separate appointments. I will be put to sleep and doctors will stick a camera down my throat and esophagus to get a better view of the dorsal side of my heart, my pulmonary valves. I was born with this. I’ve been active and fit all my life.

This worries me.


LOTR Quotes

Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Don’t be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

Why the hallfling? I do not know. Saruman believes that is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I’ve found. I’ve found that it is the small things, everyday deeds from ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.

Where the warg howls, there also the orc prowls.

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places…but still there is much that is fair, and, though, in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the stronger.

The wolf that one hears is worse than the orc that one fears.

His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking. (Beorn’s house)

Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.

The sun went down and there came a great silence. Darkness fell upon the land.

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

To bear the Ring of Power is to be alone…this task was appointed to you…and if you do not find a way, no one will.

Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them.

How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back?

Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.

James 1: 2-4

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Week 1: January 2-8


  • Bendix Woods, 10:44am: 6mi (42min…594′), 2x30sec strides
  • H/G
  • THA


  • Broken Promises…Treadmill @ Thompson’s, 9:02am: 6mi (1 WU, 4 T, 1 CD…0′)
  • Rehab
  • XT (Indoor Bike): 25:00, AVG HR = 141


  • Bendix Woods, 9:39am: 7mi (49min…837′), 2x10sec uphills
  • H/G
  • YB7


  • Dystopia…Olive Track, 9:59am, 7mi (1 WU, 5 V, 1 CD…197′)
  • Rehab
  • XT (Ski): 1mi, 13:26, AVG HR = 149


  • Bendix Woods, 8:21am, 7mi (49min…551′), 2x10sec downhills
  • H/G
  • YB7


  • Spicer Lake, 8:22am, 7mi (49min…387′), 2x30sec strides
  • Rehab


  • N/A


  • Run Miles = 40.6mi
  • Run Vert. = 2,753′
  • XT Time = 0h38m26s