Micheal Wallingford – You are not alone
You can probably tell by my bio that I am a bit defiant and matter of fact when telling my survival story. I am always supportive of anyone that I meet that has had a heart attack or is at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. As a nurse, you would think that I would have been able to stop my own heart attack all by myself but that’s not the way that it works…ever. As I would later find out, after speaking with a few of the most awesome survivors of stroke and heart disease, every story is both unique and the same all wrapped up into one.
Our stories are as different as our age, gender, body type, hair color, and the list goes on. Even the time of day of our incident - where we were at, our response to the pain and discomfort, and what we did first, is so far apart from what someone else experienced that it mimics a fingerprint. Never to be repeated quite the same exact way again.
The most important part of our stories, the part that binds us together, is our will to survive. Sure, we’ve all had hiccups along the way in our journey of healing by the commonality is that we have overcome and we will continue to persevere. I draw great strength from my experience and from those around me that have made it through their own journey. Just to know that I am not alone in my fight can take me miles down the road on my run. It gives me the courage to not stop until the work is done and the mission-minded thinking that my purpose in life has yet to be discovered…but I just bet that this is part of it.
Be encouraged because a few things will happen to all of us at one time or another. We will get discouraged. We will have good days and bad days. We will have days of anger, regret, stress, and depression. (Believe me that depression is real). But at the end of the day we can reach the conclusion that we are survivors and yes you can do it. It’s all in the choice.
If you have also been affected by heart disease or stroke, join Mike in our making a difference at http://myresearchlegacy.org
(My wife Kim (right) of 27 years who has never left my side, who is my greatest supporter, and also keeps me active as we do everything together.
( Me, pre-heart attack at the beach 210 pounds -I hid it well).
My first triathlon 2013 St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Florida (3 years post-heart attack).