One week Post Heart Attack

TLDR – I had a heart attack last week. I’m home feeling much better, almost like nothing happened.

Made it home

In the last episode of our drama, I’d just had an Angiogram where they put 2 stints inside my arteries. After the Angiogram I had an Echocardiogram (ultrasound) of my heart to look for damage. In the evening of the same day, the Doctors reported my heart looked ok, and I should be able to head home tomorrow.  Going home sounds fabulous – it is the end goal of all hospital stays. Tuesday morning they checked me out again, I met with the cardiac team and was approved for discharge.

Yippie I get to go home !

The last thing on the list was cardio physiotherapist meeting and going over my medications. The Physio meeting was me, the therapist and someone literally double my age at 87. We went over recovery and lifestyle changes after being released from the hospital. Sometime after that they finally let me walk out of the hospital where I took a Taxi home. The timing was off, it was in the middle of kid pickup time for Michelle and the kids, there’s a cab line in front of the hospital; it was the simplest option.

Made it home in time to meet the kids as they arrived home from school. I sat down in a chair in the kitchen and they smothered me in hugs, kisses and love. What a feeling of joy and relief to be home.

Back into life at home

It’s been a week since I had a heart attack. The first half of that week I spent in the hospital, the second half was spent at home. All praise to medical science for making this process seem so routing and lacking in impact. A 30-minute procedure through a tiny hole in my wrist to repair my heart, a few weeks of rest, and life will go one with a new normal. It’s extremely shocking to me how good I feel. In my head heart attack is life over massive impact.

The reality is far from game over it seems to be some rest, a new diet, and back to life as normal. I find myself taking a pause in amazement multiple times a day in awe I’m doing so well.  The first full day back home I rode a bicycle with the kids to school, went for a walk to the shops with Michelle, and took the family for a walk to the playground I laid on the ground in. Somewhere near the end of the day, it all hit me and I fell off a cliff energy-wise – Falling off a cliff being forced to cut the adventure short humbled me a bit letting me know I am not back to normal.

right in front of where Michelle is sitting is where I spent an hour laying on the ground in pain
Kids playing at the park

The next day a bike ride, only one walk with some time on the couch I did not fall off a cliff and did much better.  The heart attack is a hard line in the sand to a new life. Genetics and lifestyle created this situation. Genetics are out of my control but lifestyle is controllable. A love of butter and salt and being slightly overweight since Trenton’s birth are things I can change.

I’ve always been active and mostly been in shape, but I have been fatter then I want to be. BMI has been between 28-31 for a long time. Cholesterol has never been great. BP has been on the edge for a long time 135/84 – 145/95 – Nevermore will these numbers be on the edge. It’s been a week and I am down 9 pounds. If only it was this simple to lose all the weight. Thanks, water weight for the initial great numbers and motivation.

The new Normal – Food

I’ve dove headfirst in the diet. I’d like to drop 40 pounds as quickly and healthily as possible.  Doctors said I should not fast on all of the drugs. But they did ok me to go super low cal. I am eating about 800 calories a day right now in two meals. Black beans and egg whites for breakfast with garlic and pepper.  Salad with, lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, burrito mix (lentils, nuts, corn, peas,  onions, some lean beef, and taco seasoning(Beef to be dropped in next batch)) and low sodium salsa for lunch.   Maybe a bowl of carrots or a handful of pills mixed in for a snack.

So many pills

Once I have lost the weight I’ll head back to the GP for blood work and create a new normal sustainable diet. When I close my eyes and think about what happened I picture Khaleesi’s face looking down at me laying on the ground unable to move. The look of fear and helplessness on her face provides unlimited fuel to motivate me to make all of the changes.

Some more images

Talking to the kids
Not allowed to grapefruit with the pills, so the kids wanted to try one
Khaleesi and mom calling in the hospital
Movement tracking for the last week – can you tell when I was in the hospital?

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