Sep 5
Johnlynk , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Second Chances

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So I became an empty nester at the age of 49 and vowed to get back into much better shape.  Started exercise program and began training for a sprint triathalon.  During this time I found out that I am gluten intolerant.  I changed my diet to reflect this and started to watch a lot more on how I ate.  At this time I started to have upper chest pains that would even go up into my throat.  These would only last five minutes or so and would only occur once or twice a week.  Went to doctor after I self-diagnosed myself and declared I had GERD. Mind you I have a severe needle phobia and talked doctor out of getting a blood test.  (Wrong move)  I started taking a prescription reflux med.  This seemed to work most of the time.  I took these and continued to work out and ignore they ever so infrequent attacks for almost a year.  The Monday before Thanksgiving of 2017 I started feeling like I was coming down with something.  Went to urgent care and was diagnosed with Upper Respiratory Infection.  My blood pressure was good and everything else seemed fine.  Felt better that night and great on Tuesday.  Wednesday felt terrible.  Thanksgiving morning had chest pain that lasted for five minutes or so.  Felt fine and traveled with family to my brother's two hours away.  Immediately after dinner started getting the chest pains again.  This time did not go away.  After 30 minutes my family rushed me to the hospital.  I walked in almost feeling normal.  They hooked me up and within seconds told me I was having a heart attack.  What I thought, no way, not me.  I am only 49, I have been athletic my whole life, never smoked, not overweight, not diabetic.  Not me!  Once stabllized I was transferred to St. Vincents in Carmel, IN.  (Best Place!!)  Had a heart cath next day and artery behind my heart was 100% blocked and the widow maker was nearly 100%.  If I would of laid down when I didn't feel well I am not sure if I would be writing this today.  I ended up having double bypass a few days later.  Back to all of those things I was thinking....   They were all true, but there were several things that I was not considering.   My blood!  Proper tests would of revealed that my levels were off the chart horrible.  I pretty much ate and drank whatever, whenever, and as much as I wanted my whole life.  I lacked good consistent exercise in my adult life, and my stress management has never been good my whole life.  As I laid in the hospital bed after surgery I made a lot of promises to myself about what I was going to do different.  I am so happy to say that I have done all of them and I continue to do daily.  My blood levels after three months now are off the chart awesome, my diet is exceptional.  I exercise 5-7 times a week.  I have done my sprint Tri, and run many 5k's all of the time.  I changed careers, and I work very hard on my stress management.  I am also doing some other things that all relate to my experience.  Some days it isn't that easy but I am driven to be better and to embrace my second chance at being a better person inside and out.  Thank you all for reading if you got this far.  Lol.  Very happy to be part of this site.  Any questions on anything please let me know.  People ask me all of the time about my experience and I cannot tell you the wonderful feeling I get trying to help people.

Peace, John

1 Comment
  • AHAASAKatie

    Thank you so much for sharing! best Katie

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