Can we all agree that 2017 was a doozy of a year? I’d like to take a second to sum it up and reflect on it.
For the most part, 2017 started out with a bang. Right off the bat I met a man who completely changed my life. Despite swearing off dating until after my 30th birthday, I met a guy through the Feral Mountain Co Ambassador program and decided to grab a beer with him. In my defense I wasn’t 100% sure if it was a date or not, he could have just wanted to chat about adventures and stuff. Turns out it was a date and he was the best thing that happened to me in 2017.
The first few months of 2017 were filled with a lot of adventures – a weekend backpacking Canyonlands, a few ski trips, a girl’s trip to Arches, a visit from my family, lots of hiking.
In February I lost my grandma. She was an incredible woman and is greatly missed.
This was also the time when I started trying to figure out out what the hell was wrong with my heart – stress tests, echocardiograms, EKGs, blood work, an MRI.
April was a big month. I turned 30, went to Iceland with Michael, and found out that I was going to become an aunt (my little nephew is due today!).
The summer was when things started to get interesting.
Michael and I moved in together. I’ve never lived with a significant other before (because none of my previous relationships ever got far enough to even consider that option), so I was a little nervous, but co-habitating turned out to be easier, smoother, better, and more fun than I imagined.
My parents and sister came to Denver for a super fun visit.
July was the start of 14er season. I was able to bag a few peaks before my heart decided it really didn’t want to work that hard anymore. After finishing a hike up and down La Plata Peak I ended up in the Leadville ER.
From there shit started to get real (scary).
Luckily, Michael and I fit in a fun road trip to Glacier National Park for his birthday before anything too terrible happened.
The next weekend I went into cardiac arrest and from there it was a blur.
The fall was spent recovering from a procedure that left me with an internal defibrillator and then recovering from open heart surgery.
During that time I was blown away by the amount of love and support I received during this time. It makes me instantly tear up every time I think about it. Everyone’s prayers and encouraging words are what kept me positive. Truly.
Thanksgiving was spent in Denver with Michael, his sister, and her boyfriend. It was a relaxing day of too much delicious food.
Then, somehow, it was December.
I flew back to Minneapolis to celebrate a friend’s wedding and then headed back to Mayo for my final procedure – an ablation that would help eliminate my arrhythmias. Unfortunately, I found out that I have a blood clot at the tip of my heart and the doctors could no longer do the procedure. Instead I was put on blood thinners and an anti-arrhythmic medication and sat in the hospital for 3 days while they monitored me to make sure the meds were working with my body.
Learning about the blood clot was devastating. I think that is the most I’ve ever cried in a week. By now I have found piece with this news, but it still makes me cry just typing about it. I’ll go back to Mayo in June to see if this blood clot is gone. If so, hopefully I can get the ablation then.
After being discharged from the hospital I spend the weekend celebrating Christmas with my family in Canton, SD. Then flew back to Denver on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas with Michael. I was lucky and got to spend the holidays with all the people I love most.
For me, 2017 was physically and emotionally the most difficult year to date with a lot of amazing memories sprinkled in. It was also a big year of learning. I learned a lot about myself and my body. I learned who I can count on. I learned that it’s ok to cry and show emotion and ask people for help. I learned more about backpacking and nature. I learned a lot about the heart muscle and how it functions. I learned how to be in a strong and loving relationship. I learned how to adjust to a new way of living. I learned that a positive mindset goes a long way.
There were highs and lows, many laughs and tears, celebrations, road blocks, new friends, good food, and adventures. Through the good things and the bad, 2017 will be a year I never forget.
On top of all the stuff the happened to me, 2017 was a traumatic year for the country – hurricanes, fires, a new president, mass shootings, etc. As much as I was challenged in 2017 I am still very lucky to have my life, a home, a job, and an amazing network of friends and family.
And now it’s 2018. I have goals and plans that I’d like to keep private for now, but I am thinking that it’ll be a good one.