This is the first of ten posts discussing the lessons my second heart attack taught me.
Now you may or may not know that in July 2020, as the first wave of the pandemic flattened out a bit. I had a heart attack at work.
It was a typical woman's heart attack -- it was silent and had only one undefined symptom: I felt like I had a pinched nerve in my neck. I had this feeling for four days before I decided to go to the ER and get a shot for pain.
Turns out, I was having a heart attack. I never considered that it could be a heart attack because I have no family history of cardiovascular disease, I had well managed blood pressure and my cholesterol levels were never of concern. I had been well managed my whole life because I had rheumatic fever as a child so I was no stranger to echocardiograms and stress tests.
I needed two stents and then had 18 months off work to remove stress from my life, I followed the rehab plan, the medication plan, the lifestyle plan. And yet in November 2021, I had a second, much worse, heart attack.
These lessons are what I learned in coming to terms with the fact that you can do everything you are supposed to do and, as my Cardiologist said, still have "shit house bad luck"
Lesson 1: It is great to be alive no matter what you experience in your day.
It is hard to state this strongly enough but the majority of things we allow ourselves to get upset over mean nothing over time and we get wrapped up in them with no results possible. We are in them because we want to be right. And we want the other person or organization or system or whatever to see our rightness and adapt their ways to ours.
This kind of self-inflicted stress wastes our energy and has us living in a negative head space.
Now I work every day on letting go of the stuff I have zero control over and have learned to walk away from conversations that are simply argumentative and focused on getting the other person to think the way I think.
Being alive is the greatest gift you will get in your day. Remind yourself often of that. Feel that in every cell of your body. Honour your body's continued functioning -- even it if it diminished -- and give it what it needs.
Hear me when I say this -- No work, no task, no other people, no system, no belief, no thing is more important than being alive. And if you continue to sacrifice your body's wellbeing for any of those things, you won't be around to experience them.
Your body has a limit.
Join me next post for Thing #2 - Stress Accumulates.
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