I had a very best friend named Nicky Roberts. She was like a sister to me, because both of us grew up in a family of brothers. We told each other EVERYTHNG! We laughed our way through spouses. We laughed our way through the "BIG 4-0". We laughed our way through menopause and we were supposed to laugh our way through whichever nursing home we decided to go to together. It all ended when she was diagnosed with PH.
I had started feeling bad myself and decided it was sympathy pains. Little did I know I was in for the same diagnosis, which is so strange, because the first time we met, I had an earache in my right ear and she had one in her left ear. And through the years, we continued to have the same illnesses at the same time, thus the picture. I made this for her for her birthday one year when I was going through cancer and very low on funds. She framed it and hung it beside her desk!
When the call came that they were taking her off life support, our friendship was so special that her parents, husband, and two brothers had a chair sitting beside her bed especially for me. I held her hand and told her it was alright to let go until she took her last breath. I read her eulogy at her funeral then I proceeded to go home and sit in a chair for two years and gain over 100 pounds. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and RA and depression. I started having chest pains and went to a cardiologist, where I was finally diagnosed with secondary PH. All I could think was, how apropos.
About two months ago, I could almost hear Nicky screaming at me to get my fat behind out of that chair and LIVE! I decided to go on Nutri Systems and lost 21 pounds in the first month! Because of ankle and knee injuries, the only excercise I could do was swimming. I built a pool, installed a Badu jet, swam 3 minutes the first day and after two months, I am swimming an hour a day.
My husband, Henry, told a friend I was swimming so well he thought I'd be able to swim the Mississippi by next year. From there it bloomed in my head to a huge event, where I swim the mighty Mississippi river in honor of Nicky, which I intend to do September 4, 2010. Media, vendors, games, the whole nine yards! Did I mention that Nicky and I met 25 years ago because we were both Marketing Consultants and Event Planners?
Wish me luck and please help me bring attention to PH and honor my best friend, Nicky. I'm counting on you and hope you can attend the event. And one word of advice: if you have a dear friend that you feel the same way about, cherish him or her because you never know.......................
Post: August 29, 2009 - I am proud to say at the end of my third month I have lost 29 pounds. I had an infection that set me back a week, but I'm back going strong. I stopped losing weight for several days and my nutritionist backed me down to 30 minute swims and added a carbohydrate and two protiens. The problem was I was building muscle mass and I don't want to look like Popeye! So I'm concentrating on weight. 30 down - 70 to go..............
I have decided since my name is Lil Battle Long, the event will be called "The Long Battle for Nicky"! Catchy, huh?
POST: September 3, 2009 - This time two years ago, I was getting ready to get the call that the family was getting ready to take Nicky off life support. I would, later today, be holding her hand while she took her last breath. I miss her everyday and I encourage everyone to take the time today to tell your friends how much you love them. You'll never know how important they are until they're gone! To all my friends out there who have been so encouraging with their words, donations, and support, I love you all!! A special thanks to Alice Murphy, Anne Martin, and Mary Lou Parker and especially my husband Henry Earl. I'm going to go do some remembering.............................
By the way, I desparately need sponsors and volunteers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lil Battle Long
Post: October 5, 2009 - Yet another setback. Found out last week on top of PH, I have asthma. Not a great combo! What I thought were panic attacks were actually asthma attacks. Now when I get through swimming, I have to use my inhaler as soon as I come out of the water. Bummer!
On the bright side , I have lost thirty eight pounds!
Post: November 19, 2009 - The good news is I've lost 45 pounds. The bad news is something is wrong. When I swim, I'm gasping for breath. So, headed to The Cleveland Clinic in Weston (near Fort Lauderdale) to get poked and prodded and find out what's going on. Have no fear! I'm still tackling that river. Please keep me in your prayers. I don't want ANYTHING to keep me from my goal. Thanks, everybody.
Post: January 7, 2010 - Spent 34 days at the Cleveland Clinic to find out what I already knew. "Nough said!
Post: March 3, 2010 - At the end of January, I slipped in dog slobber (yes, you heard right) and on February 8th, I had to have total knee replacement surgery. Did ok for three days, then started losing blood. I had to have a blood transfusion and spent four days in intensive care! That's a wierd place to wake up!! I came home on the 18th and nine hours later, got a 72 hour stomach virus!! Talk about physical therapy!! I am now walking on my own and had NO professional physical therapy. The Dr. is going to let me back in the pool in two more weeks. Don't count me out yet. If intensive care didn''t get me, that river ain't going to get me either......
Post: May 27, 2010
Now comes the fun part! July 31st. 7pm - 11pm. Silent auction and live auction. Live music by Jimbo Richadson and his band. Free food. Cash bar. Come one, come all..........................
Post: May 30, 2010
My dear friend of many years, Robert Chapman, died this morning at 2:30. He was one of the four of us who decided to take phen fen together. There are only two remaining. One is already very, very ill and then there's me. The odd thing is, I took the stuff longer than anyone. Why am I granted permission to still be here? I can't imagine. I am heartsick......
Post: June 14, 2010
Went to my class reunion Saturday night. As I looked around at my lifelong friends, I thought how blessed I was to grow up in a small town and have friends for life! Having PH makes me take stock of all that I've been blessed with and though I may be gone, I love my hometown of Tunica. I hope I'll be here for years to come to go to many class reunions. I love you guys and it was great seeing you!
Post: July 6, 2010
Last Wednesday, I woke up with minor chest pains. Didn't give it much thought. Got dressed to go to a Long family wedding and my Daddy Long's 92nd birthday. Really looking forward to the day. By 10:30am my chest pains were horrible. I was driving and got so dizzy I had to slow to 35mph. I didn't want to ruin the day, so I ate a Valuim and carried on through the wedding/birthday party. When It was polite enough to leave I started home but I could not breathe. I called my husband, turned around and went to Bill Lewis, our local Dr. He did an EKG then gave me a nitro glycerin tablet which relieved my pain. I was then taken to Cleveland Hospital by ambulance and spent two nights there, then sent to Memphis for a nuclear stress test. Making a long story short, my blood pressure dropped drastically and my heart rate.dropped drastically. It made my arteries constrict and caused chest pains. The nitro opened the arteries, thus relieving the pain. Good news....I didn't have a heart attack and the monitering gave my cardiologist valuable info to tweak my meds and she still says I can swim the river. Bad news.....It hurt like HELL and scared me "almost" to death!
Post: August 7, 2010
Well, the benefit is over and I have so many people to thank I don't even know where to begin. Alice did a fabulous job bringing together the best group of volunteers anyone could dream of. My volunteers went way beyond the call of duty and I was astounded at how beautiful The Warehouse looked when I walked in. The band was fantastic! They learned my theme song "Many Rivers To Cross' and I just loved it. The artists that donated were so generous. I can't thank them enough. The food was great too. I would not have changed a thing!
I am hunkered down at home, eating protien, not drinking, swimming every day. My Cap'm is a little worried about river levels, but I'm begging him to let me go anyway. I think I'm ready. I've trained an entire year for this and I DO NOT want it delayed, so keep your fingers crossed for me
I hope to see everyone September 11th!! Take care and love to everyone.......
I made it! I made it! Almost a mile across in 27 minutes!! Thanks so much!
This awful disease must be stopped!
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support.