It Must be Indigestion!
Well this is a surprise, not to mention embarrassment.
There’s me regularly blogging about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, how it’s never too late to adopt good habits and get fit, and proudly walking the talk for 20 years too! Then suddenly I’m in our local Hospital Cardio Care Unit festooned with monitoring leads, hanging on every word of the cardiologist as he discusses live screen images of my left main stem artery.
The fact they found “an issue” actually gave me a weird sense of vindication. I’d grabbed the only emergency appointment at my GP surgery the previous day and the doctor had been fantastic: She arranged immediate acceptance by the local Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic. Raided the “closed for lunch” practice pharmacy and personally dispensed emergency medication. Then hand held me until the paramedics arrived to give me the “Blue light” service into town. Yes I was feeling a bit of a fraud as we headed along the A14.
No way have I got a heart problem!
To be fair I guess my surprise and embarrassment masked a sense of denial.
I couldn’t possibly have heart issues. I’d quit smoking 20 years ago. I live off porridge, fruit, fish and chicken. I have impressively low cholesterol thanks to the red wine. And I exercise daily and vigorously – I’m still having physiotherapy for the repaired torn rotator cuff, ruptured by an overladen bar bell several months ago.
But if I’m honest I had put in a fair shift of unhealthy living in the preceding 30 years so maybe I shouldn’t have expected complete absolution. perhaps I was getting carried away with a sense of immortality?
Immortality, Complacency and Laziness perhaps?
Yes a sense of immortality or at least complacency isn’t far off the mark.
I’d certainly launched my healthy living regime with bags of early drive and commitment.
Each week-end and often evenings too I’d be on my mountain bike. Setting new personal best times on the 12 mile ride around Boughton House and surrounding villages. Now, shamefully the trusty Townsend hangs from a wall in a garden outhouse and has done for most of the last 10 years.
Previously every Tuesday night I’d be be up the local school for an hour of Tai Chi followed by an hour of martial arts (or in my case avoiding painful punches.) These days it’s 10 minutes of very sedate chi gung before breakfast.
The healthy low fat, sugar free, white meat and pasta diet has lasted quite well, but at some point in time I can’t quite remember when, biscuits, cakes and puddings crept back and re-established themselves.
In truth of late I’ve been living a healthy lifestyle that’s more reputation than reality.
The Big Fat Epiphany Moment.
Sometimes we need a jolt, some kind of epiphany moment to get us back on track. I’m taking my visit to cardio care as such a moment. It was a moment also helped by others that were there. Maybe they were meant to be there for me?
Now I know what I say next is wrong. Wrong in so many ways! But I have to say there were some “big” people in my ward. Big patients with big spouses. Big couples, big enough to weigh out as four regular size individuals. Big “heart cases” who from one unavoidably over-heard conversation I learned was making a return visit to Cardio Care. As they waited for discharge the hospital shop also enjoyed a return visit, once for chocolate bars and again for ice-creams.
Propped up in my bed my mind scrolled through expressions like: “You are what you eat!” “Take responsibility for your health.” “Heed the signs and the advice and learn the lessons.”
“Elephant in the room” kept coming up but I thought that was unkind and judgmental.
So I Need to Heed the Lessons.
Yes, I definitely need to heed the signs and learn the lessons.
I’ll get back to a worthwhile level of aerobic exercise. Use the aerobic stool that has never moved from my lounge rug, but for its intended use not as a rest for my coffee cup.
I’ll get the old Townsend down from the shed wall. Hang on. I’ll put it out front for the “recyclers” and treat myself to something a bit more modern.
And it’s good-bye to the biscuits, cakes and puddings, oh and chocolate too.
Yes I’m raising my Healthy Living game. No more return visits to Cardio Care for me.
For more thoughts and advice on making the rest of your life the best visit www.onwego.co.uk