11.01.2011

Here's the Story . . .

I think it's important to establish some background for why I've started this blog. So, whether you know the story or not, here it is:

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2009, I moved to New York with one of my best friends from college. We quickly settled into a fantastic apartment near Columbus Circle on the 45th floor of a high rise. With panoramic views of the Hudson River and neighbors like Lincoln Center and the Time Warner Center, we were in heaven. Residential heaven.

My first post-grad job was at a law firm, working as a litigation legal assistant. It didn't take long to figure out that the legal world was probably not for me. I'll never forget that first Friday at my new job. Around 6:00 pm my coworkers and I were gathering our belongings, discussing plans for the long weekend - it was the Fourth of July. Like all New Yorkers, most of us would be evacuating the city to enjoy a few days at the beach or by a pool. I was changing into my ballerina flats ready to head out when the phone rang. It was our lawyer calling with a last minute project for the team. By 1:30 am we had all dug into our weekend bags, dressed in an assortment of pajamas and beach gear, ties and pencil skirts scattered on the floor. I stared at the clock in shock, wondering what I'd gotten myself into. We stayed until 3:00 am that Friday and went back to the office Saturday morning to finish up. So much for the long weekend.

The hours were crazy and the work could get monotonous, but what really bothered me about my job was the fact that I was finally in New York City, living my dream, and I barely had the chance to enjoy it. The food, the art, the theatre, the shopping. I felt like the city was mocking me with its culture, dangling it above my head, just out of reach.

In November of 2010 I left the law firm to work as a public relations associate at a corporate communications firm - 4:00 am copying projects officially became a thing of the past. Still, many times I found myself in an office at least half the hours of a day, wondering if I'd ever get to take full advantage of living in such an amazing city - particularly during daylight hours.

On our way out of the apartment, I'd joke with my roommate, "Sometimes I wish I could quit my job and just enjoy NYC. I want to be one of those people that walks through Central Park at noon on a Monday and goes to a Wednesday matinee on Broadway. Could you imagine getting to a Friday gallery opening before the drinks have run out? What a luxury that would be." We'd laugh and part ways as we'd each head to work.

Well, you know what they say. Be careful what you wish for...

A Sunday night in April 2011 my roomie and I had just gotten home from a day out. We were discussing ordering Thai for dinner when I collapsed. I woke up three days later to learn that I had had a heart attack, went into cardiac arrest, was in a coma, during which I had been frozen to maintain my brain function, and that the only reason I was still alive was thanks to my incredible roommate who had immediately called 911 and begun CPR. Apparently one of the first things I said when I awoke was, "Did I go to work this week?" Frozen or not, work was always on the brain.

I won't go into too many medical details on this blog, but if you ever want to know more please feel free to ask. Happy to answer any questions. 

I was released from the hospital nine days after collapsing - the shortest time any patient had ever left the CCU following full cardiac arrest. After meeting with many doctors it was determined that I had blockages in the arteries of my heart but with the right care and medication I could most likely go back to a normal life - with a few minor adjustments, of course. In May I had two arteries opened up as well as two stents put in to keep them in place. The plan had always been to get back to work in August.

But in July 2011 I started to feel chest pain. I had another angiogram the first week of August to find that two more arteries in my heart were beginning to close down again. The doctors opened them up and placed two more stents. They were about ready to finish the procedure when a giant blood clot formed in my heart - essentially, I was having another heart attack. I was back in the CCU for a week and my medications were upped. They started me on heavy blood thinners to prevent any future clotting. My doctor explained that for a year I'd be on an extremely high dose of thinners - which meant some more serious lifestyle changes. I'd have to be more careful. No contact sports, no heavy lifting, no high stress. My doctor also recommended that I stay in New York for the year.

So there you have it. My wish came true.

I've decided there's no use in dwelling on the misfortune of the whole thing. Instead, I'd rather think of it as a blessing in a somewhat horrific yet clever disguise. I consider myself incredibly lucky. I am alive, I'm under the best possible care, and I finally get to explore, experience and enjoy being in the city that I love.

My goal is to take advantage of this opportunity. I want to take pictures and go to shows. I want view exhibits and visit sample sales. I want to cook, eat, sip, and see. I want to dance. I want to take this gift of time and put it to the best possible use. I propose to blog my way through this year, sharing what I've been doing with any free time.

I get to live in New York and act like I'm on vacation. I get to be The Resident Tourist.

For updates, click HEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

Please message me at anytime with questions, comments, or opportunities.


9 comments:

  1. Tini- this just gave me chills!!! Love you and cant wait to read all of your posts- you are such a beautiful writer

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  2. So excited to read this! love you so much

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  3. Good luck in this adventure on your beautiful blog!

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  4. I second carolina! Update often!!

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  5. Teens this is such an awesome idea for a blog, and I love the first postie!!! xoxo, Car

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  6. "i want to dance." - hell yesssss!!!!!!

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  7. Me encanta. Estaré muy pendiente y con ganas de leerlo. Muchos besitos

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  8. Glad you're ok. Don't work too hard... soft dancing only please.

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  9. Wow all that happened , You are a strong woman keep it up continue to live life as it comes and just like you i want to come live the New York life style but here in Antigua
    you have to work hard for what you want so just may be one day you might run in to me on the streets of New York city also taking pics.As for the photography part if you so happen to need any help am just a message away :) take care and keep being strong......

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