I always considered myself as being “bullet proof”, able to do and achieve whatever I wanted.
In fact, for the past few years, I had no trouble in mixing my passion for my work, my love of live bands / music, and my responsibilities as a “Mr Mom” on 3-5 hours sleep each day.
That all came to a screaming halt on 1st October 2008 when at 3am in the morning I was rushed into surgery to correct a blockage in the main artery in my heart. I was fortunate. The surgery was successful … and I got a 2nd chance!
Not everyone gets a 2nd chance. In the UK alone, about 26% of the deaths in men and 19% of women under 75 are caused by coronary heart disease. Another 13-14% die from other related conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels.
My son prepared a brief summary for me on the impact of cholesterol shortly after I was discharged from hospital. I urge you to have a read …
Having a major illness – and recovering – is a wake up call, a
milestone in your life telling you that things MUST change.
The obvious change is in your lifestyle, specifically your diet, exercise regime, and sleeping habits. It’s easy in some areas such as exercise, but hard in others – e.g. having a Greek heritage, I have had to forgo all my favorite Greek dishes which dominated my diet beforehand.
It also affects your work. Many who survive an experience like this end up scaling right back with their work … because stress induced from their workplace is often the cause of their situation.
Like with many health problems, there is an extensive recuperation period required and you may in fact be off work for some time (in my case, almost 3 months). And when you do return, you more than likely will have to change your work habits as I have had to do.
Mind you, changes can be for the better as has been the case with myself – both physically and mentally.
I don’t wish a health issue like this on anyone and whilst preventative measures (diet, exercise, etc) can all lessen the chances of a major health issue happening to you.