I had a heart attack last Thursday. And it was scary close.
I wish I could say the statement above is a metaphor for something crazy or outlandish that happened to me other than an actual heart attack, but I can't. I had a massive heart attack. The result: I was life-flighted by helicopter to a hospital. I was rushed into surgery, had three stents put into my heart (one artery was 90% blocked and another was 100% blocked). And I spent sometime on my backside in a hospital bed getting poked, prodded, and pricked night and day.
I want to say this up-front.
This blog post isn't about the things I've learned from my heart attack—although I'll throw a couple of things out there for you to ponder (I'll flesh these out in later blog posts). And I am not writing this looking for sympathy from you. It is just a blog post about letting you know what happened to me last Thursday, and where I'm at today.
In the back of my mind.
In the back of my mind I thought something like this could be a possibility. Heart disease runs in my family, but I didn't think it would happen to me at forty-three years old.
One of my best friends asked me today how I'm feeling emotionally, and this is my answer I texted back to him:
"Well, I have moments of thinking all this is crazy—I'm forty-three, about five to ten pounds overweight (I weigh around 190), so not to crazy. I'm somewhat physically active. I eat a very a healthy diet. So this sucks, because now I'm limited a bit, I take seven different medications. I have to carry around nitroglycerin pills just in case I have a heart attack. I might have diabetes for good, because my heart attack caused my blood sugar to go sky high, and I have to deal with that now... But then I have moments where everything is fine and I'll get through this. It's all unsettling right now in both a good way and a bad way."
So there you go. That is how I am holding up. I am still just trying to wrap my head around it all. And I think often of my wife and kids. I am loving God, people, and moments. I am thankful and just glad to be here.
Now I snack on healthy snacks every three hours between meals which makes me feel like I'm back in preschool... BTW I have a blog post coming out later this week about how snacking and our relationship with Jesus are similar...
My family and I are very thankful for all the prayers, the calls, the meals, visits, and medical help. I am also grateful by all the messages via text and Facebook—I haven't been able to respond to all of them yet, but I will. Believe me when I tell you that it can get tiring trying to respond to the messages—I am not feeling my full self just yet. Our church family has been full of grace, mercy, and compassion—they are exhibiting the character of Jesus full well.
It is good to know you are loved!
Normally, I am the guy visiting everyone in the hospital, so it has been interesting and humbling to be on this end—I will definitely blog on my observations about this in the future.
A quick thought for any of you who have someone dealing with a tragedy or major incident in their lives...
If you don't know what to say, don't say anything—its okay to show up and not say anything, and just sit there with them. If you feel you can't do that then it is best if you don't go visit them. You could send them a text, I don't recommend calling—phone calls stressed and wore me out. Instead of calling, write them a note. Trust me a person can only watch so much hospital TV. It brought comfort to me to read a handwritten note someone gave me—whatever happened to handwritten notes by the way...
And it is okay if you don't call, show up, text, or write a note. Most of us who are stuck in a hospital or have been stricken with tragedy aren't think about the people who didn't call, visit, text, or write a message to us. We are just trying to figure out what the heck just happened to us.