It seems longer and it seems like last month. Two years ago I had a major heart attack. Nothing has been the same since then.
On the advice of my cardiologist, I became a strict plant eater and would you believe that I, a person who never denied myself anything or any amount (food-wise), have been 100% compliant? It’s true. I call my diet Vegan Plus although when you think about it, that should really be Vegan Minus. Not only do I avoid animals and animal products but also extra fat in any form. That means no oil, butter, mayo, nuts, avocado, egg yolks, cheese, animal milk. And yet, I eat better than ever before, have a much wider variety of meals and snacks and I’m never hungry. Plus, my lab work is perfect, I lost a ton of weight, I’m more active and my skin looks pretty danged good.
Anyway, two years ago and I’m still standing. I say this because I’m not dead. That’s not as funny as it sounds because throughout my younger life before I became a nurse, I used to hear about people who had major heart attacks – always embellished with helpful editorial remarks such as “came back from the dead” , “already died once” and “should be dead already” – I thought of those poor people standing right there in front of me as the walking dead. After I became a nurse, my way of thinking never changed. It didn’t help that I was in a nursing specialty that dealt with people who had a terminal disease. Not heart disease, but my mind had been trained to accept the concept of borrowed time. Over time, that feeling subsided, or maybe I just didn’t deal directly with sick people anymore. I never thought of the heart attack victims living on borrowed time at all.
Then, it happened to me. I was almost dead. But I came back from the dead. Even though I should be dead already. When I’m with my friends, I try to read their minds to determine if they think I’m living on bowered time. I’m afraid that if the tables were turned and I was looking at them post-heart attack, I’d be thinking that.
Actually, I feel quite normal. Except that I have to neurotically touch my pacemaker every day, which makes me feel like I have verified that it’s functioning properly. Or try to mystically assess if my coronary arteries are closing up due to unwitting consumption of hidden fat. And take a minute or two to fret that everything could just go black all of a sudden and then just like that, I’ll actually be dead. Again.
Not so much Walking Dead as Walking A Little Bit Crazy.
Well, this took a dark turn. I meant it to be the celebration of life, of the joy of veganism, the power of plant based eating, an old dog learning a wonderful new trick. Instead it turned into a look inside my head. Sorry about that.
That’s what I love about blogging. The truth comes out no matter what you set out to do. I should do this more often.
To end things on a happier note, the crape myrtles are in bloom now.