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steveSD, July 11,  2020  12:46pm EST

2020: What a year.

I guess the last time I was on here was the end of March or maybe early April when quarantine was only a few months in at the height of staying home, washing/disinfecting everything, and wondering what was next and what else would get canceled. I even missed Jeff's return.

It's been an incredibly tough year (or half of a year as it were). I got married on 02022020, a palindrome date that only happens every thousand plus years, after a long engagement and it was wonderful. It was small in terms of guests but huge in family and love. This was supposed to be one of the best years in a very long time. My twins would be graduating high school, my daughter sang the National Anthem at a Gulls hockey game, she was ready to have a great track & field throwing season, my son made varsity lacrosse, I celebrated 3 years post HA in amazing shape working out 5-6 days a week and eating healthy, my 50th birthday was coming up, and we'd just booked our honeymoon for the end of June... to Italy.

Definitely not the best year. I went from the best day of my life to the worst year I can even imagine. Everything was canceled. Processing all those losses took a huge toll. My birthday was so forgettable I've joked that I'm still 49 because it was canceled too. Zoom family calls are not the same as being together. I hate "feeling like a patient" because the news tells me over an over that I'm high risk and the non believers say anyone with a pre-existing condition would have died anyway like Covid doesn't matter. With the gyms closed I couldn't work out like normal. My daughter works grocery so she stayed at her moms and distanced for 13 weeks. My son struggled and there have been more than a few confrontations about following the rules. (They're both 18)  My diet hasn't been on point with more carbs and stress eating, not terrible but not great either. I started off walking quite a bit but even that fell off as the cancelations hit harder and harder each month. June was a complete wipe out with graduation and not getting to take our honeymoon. Reopening added to the stress.

All of which brings me to what brough me back today. Tuesday night I felt something I haven't felt since Dec 2018, chest pain. I had angina for over a year and a half after my heart attack and I got used to it but as I got healthier it eventually stopped. I took a nitro in the middle of the night Tuesday and passed out. Between that and the pains my wife called 911 and I got an ambulance ride to the ER. Thanks to Covid I couldn't have any visitors and I had to wear my mask the whole time. The good news is that I didn't have a heart attack. I also now know that I don't have Covid and the nasal swab wasn't that bad. I had all of the usual blood tests, chest xray, echocardiogram, and an angiogram, thankfully through the wrist this time. Everything shows a strong heart, no worse than 3 years ago. Still one blocked artery and the 2 stents are looking good, along with everything else. The only blip in my tests results is my A1C is up to 6.6 and I had it down to 5.2 last summer before my hip replacement. So the chest pains were basically angina reminding me that I still have a heart condition and I still need to exercise, eat well, and manage stress. For a long time I cut back on drinking to about 2-3 drinks per month and these past few months I've been more like 3-4 a week, which is still quite low but probably not great for me either.

I know it's a long post but I just had another blowout with my son about hanging out with friends and most of the people I know just don't get it. I was only a few pounds away from my goal weight in March and feeling amazing, not even thinking about my heart and my hard work got me there. Now 15 pounds later I'm climbing back on the horse. My wife says the silver lining is I just got the most extensive checkup I've had in 3 years and it shows I'm doing well. I've beaten diabetes before and I can do it again. It's a new day.

Stay safe everyone and be well. Here's hoping for better times ahead. - Steve

3 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, July 12,  2020  9:49am EST

    I am so sorry that you have to experience this. And I agree with your wife about the extensive checkup , although it can be hard to find a silver lining these days. I am very proud of you for going to the ER. Right now hospitals across the country as seeing a decrease in visits because people are scared of COVID-19. The AHA even started an entire campaign centered around Don't Die of Doubt.

    I think we should all agree that there is such a thing as the COVID-15 , its the 15 pounds that have come with being stuck at home and battling isolation, depression, drinking too much (for some of us) and such. It makes me smile to think of it as like the Freshmen 15 when we were young and in college. But it is a real issue and something we must address.

    Being the AHA, we have a great workout program called
    Move More if you are interested.

    The workouts are designed for people to do at home and can be tailored to specific health needs.

    I am also on the struggle bus with my 19-year-old about social distancing as well. She is immune comprised and, works with the public and is not as careful as I would like.


    Please keep in touch, let us know how you are doing and know that you are not alone.

    Best Katie


  • Mb120918
    Mb120918, July 12,  2020  2:26pm EST

    Hi SteveSD,

    It has been a rough year for all of us.  Unfortunately you had so many things planned that were cancelled on you.  Your wife is right about the silver lining.  Sounds like the stress has gotten the best of you.  As far as exercising I am in the same boat.  I am going to try the link that Katie sent you. (Thanks Katie).  Rehab has opened but I don't trust it yet.  Also, people that refuse to wear masks make it difficult for the rest of us to go out. Congrats on  the wedding  and  the great health report.  Hope things lighten up soon for you and you get to go on your honeymoon.  Try to stay calm.



  • vancet
    vancet, July 13,  2020  2:11am EST

     Sorry to hear of your troubles, Steve.  Hang in there and keep at it.  My wife has been on me daily to get myself moving during this covid times so the hard earned gains during cardiac rehab the past year don't go away.  Very thankful for her.  

    Like many, we made plans to be out and about this summer but now have to staycation.  Ah well, could be much much worse in this pandemic.

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