Some of you know me personally, but many of you don’t. That means you aren’t aware of why I haven’t been blogging for a couple weeks.
I had a heart attack.
Yes. I’m 47, and from all outward appearances, I was healthy and reasonably fit. There were no warning signs. Just out of the blue, I had a strange discomfort in my arms and chest that developed into an absolutely crushing pain. Fortunately, I was home at the time, and my wife was there to call 911. An ambulance was on scene within a few minutes, and the EMTs wasted no time getting me to the hospital.
Without delay, I was whisked into the cardiac catheterization lab for angioplasty and a stent. My Left Anterior Descending coronary artery was 100% occluded. After the procedure, one of my nurses told me they call the type of heart attack I’d suffered “the widowmaker,” because the LAD artery supplies over 50% of the heart muscle with oxygenated blood. If that baby stays blocked for too long, over half the heart tissue can suffer irreparable damage. Lucky for me, the doctors got my blood flowing through that artery within 34 minutes of the start of my heart attack, and I suffered very little damage.
Still, it got me thinking. Hard.
Life is short, and just about everybody thinks they’ve got plenty of time left to work with. We tend to think that we’ll always have time “some day” to do the things that would make our lives richer and more fulfilling, favoring the mundane, workaday routine instead.
Well, I’ve had my eyes opened.
It’s no cliche when I say that life is fleeting, and the time to pursue your dreams is NOW.
If you’re like me, you want to see as much of this big, beautiful world as possible before your number is up. As I lay in that hospital bed, I thought about how fortunate I’ve been to travel as much as I have, but I also realized I need to get moving because there’s SO much more I want to see and experience.
I’ve spent the last couple weeks focusing on my recovery. Cardiac rehab has been going well. My blood pressure and pulse rates have been right where they’re supposed to be, and my stamina has been improving steadily. I can’t wait to hear the cardiologist say I’m healthy and fit enough to do the things I enjoy so much — travel and scuba diving.
Because once I’m cleared, I’m gonna focus on really living while I still have the chance.