I originally wrote the majority of the following on 28th June, within two weeks of having my Heart Attack. At the time I wasn’t comfortable publishing it. A post I recently read, written by the wife of a Heart Attack Survivor (Wherein the Sh*tty-A$$ Heart prevails), reminded me of it.
Life is good for us now. We’ve come a long way since June. So, no particular reason for publishing this now, but I thought I’d share it to help complete the story.
It’s all about me
Actually it’s not. Not even remotely.
When everything is going well and life is “tickety-boo”, it too easy (for me at least) to get caught up in my own world. Oblivious to most of the goings on around me, at least those that don’t impact me directly. I look after myself, deal with my business, and expect everyone else to deal with theirs.
Up until now, this is how I’ve tended to operate. It’s how I am.
I don’t feel so independent any more. My bubble has been burst. The whole Heart Attack episode has given me a heightened awareness of the many personal dependencies, connections and influences there are in my life.
Of course, there are the children; totally dependent, innocent, scared. There’s never a good age, but my girls are too young to see their Dad in a hospital bed. They are too young to have to deal with something like this, I felt terrible for putting them through it. They have been very brave. They provide support and make us laugh. Just being around introduces a sense of normality to proceedings.
Louise, my wife is now more of a Nurse, Carer and, of course, Mum. She holds things together. She is generally cautiously positive, planning my recuperation and beyond. I’m sure there are times when she is scared too. It sounds silly when you write it down, but me dying would have a much bigger impact on her than on me. I don’t really think about it… she does, a lot.
Then there’s our Family and Friends, Business Partners and Clients. The news of the Heart Attack will impact each and every one in a slightly different way. For some the news will generate the biggest impact… Why? How?. For others it’ll be the consequences, immediate and longer term… So what?, What now? What will change?.
After the surprise or even shock, with most people there is genuine concern for me combined with a hint of selfish curiosity; “What could this mean for me?”. I totally understand. What else would you expect? Apparently the 40-somethings are concerned… sales of salads are rocketing in the office.
Even strangers pay more attention than normal. They want to understand how it could have happened, how can they prevent it from happening to them. I wish it was simple…
Me: “I had a Heart Attack because I used to eat 15 Snickers a day.”
Them: “Oh, that’d do it.”
Me: “I’ve given up Snickers so I should be fine now.”
Them: “Oh, that’s a relief!”
Me: “Do you eat too many Snickers?”
Me: “So, you should be fine then. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
Them (Smiling): “Yes, thanks.”
I wish it was that simple.
It’s tough because there are few easy answers. I want to be able to get my head around it all. I want to understand why it happened. I want to know what the implications are. I want to be able to explain it to everyone. Then I want to get back to normal.
Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Some things may become clearer in time, others will remain a mystery. That’s life I guess.
So ultimately it is all about me… but not just me me, it’s about you me, and her me and him me too… it’s all about us!
This is an awesome blog! So glad you dusted it off and shared it with the world. I got a good chuckle over the ‘snickers” dialogue. I totally know that convo–person you are talking to scrambles around mentally for what makes them different–OH, you gaze at the stars on Thursday night and I DON”T do that–so I’m good! Too true. I started reassuring people that they could ask for a stress test from their doctor if they were really concerned about their health. I also wanted to share the Facebook group with you that contacted me after my blog post. https://www.facebook.com/mendedhearts?fref=ts , So cool to connect in cyber world. Give your awesome wife a hug from me, and here’s to MANY more years!
Fantastic, Thanks Susannah!