At approximately 00.30 on 16th June 2013 I awoke with a severe tightening in my chest. I was having a Heart Attack.
I was 42 years old, happily married with two beautiful daughters. It was a shock!
However, the clues were there. I knew …
- I was overweight
- I should have been doing more exercise
- I could have been eating more healthily
- I got stressed at work
- I was drinking too much
- My work / life balance wasn’t balanced.
I guess you could have described me as “a heart attack waiting to happen”. Isn’t the benefit of hindsight a wonderful thing!
Since the Heart Attack a lot has changed.
Through this Blog I’m sharing some of my experiences. Hopefully it’ll be entertaining, but mostly the intention is to raise awareness so that others may benefit. Initially it was all about uncertainties and fragility. Now it’s more about hope and the future. I have learned that life can go on (and improve) after a Heart Attack.
Although many changes have been forced on me, in many ways my experience has been a positive one.
Please tell people about this Blog if you know someone who may benefit from its content.
I’d also be delighted to receive feedback.
Note: In case you’re interested, I’ve left the text from my original “About” page below. It’s funny how things develop!
At approximately 00.30 on 16th June 2013 I awoke with a severe tightening in my chest. I was having a heart attack.
I am 42 years old. I am happily married with two beautiful daughters aged 12 and 13. This was not in the plan.
I have my own business, a team of 5 business consultants. Things have been going well. We are growing and in demand, working with some great clients.
For the past 20 years or so I have worked hard, sometimes really hard. I enjoy a drink and watching sport. Physical exercise comprises the occasional round of golf (which I have been doing less because I’ve been busy at work).
I guess, from time to time, people may have described me as “a heart attack waiting to happen”… well the wait’s over!
Its still very early days, but I guess I’m writing this for three reasons:
- To help me structure my thoughts;
- To help keep friends and family in the loop; and
- Possibly, just possibly, to help someone else who may be in a similar position. This didn’t have to happen to me, it just did.
I won’t necessarily post every day or every week. Setting constraints would defeat the purpose. I will post updates as and when, for as long as it makes sense to.
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Thank you for sharing your experience and for reminding us to never stop talking about ours. I included our story on my blog first thing this morning after reading yours & made sure to mention your “heartattackwaitingtohappen” so others will read your inspiring story. Thanks Paul!
Thanks for the positive feedback and for helping to raise awareness of Heart Disease. Good luck with your move! I shall continue to watch with interest!
Hi Paul, I wish you the best of luck in the Euro City Cycle. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks Michelle! Your challenge looks amazing! I will follow with interest. Good luck!
Hi Paul, thanks for liking http://taichivinesworks.wordpress.com/121-2/ and the article about tai chi, cardio rehab and the BHF. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and wish you all the very best on your Euro Cycle in May. Again, it strikes me that having a positive attitude shapes the way in which we respond to the “challenges” that life throws up! Best wishes, Helen
Thanks Helen! It’s a shame that it takes one of life’s little “challenges” for some of us to “tap in” to our positive attitude. If more people were more proactive the world would be a different place. I look forward to seeing your Tai Chi video on the BHF website in due course.
Hi Paul, I wanted to thank you for liking a post on my blog which ironically had to do with my best friend’s heart attack and the need to raise awareness. I got chills reading your “About” because it reminded me of my friend’s situation. You are definitely correct in that we need to bring this issue to the forefront.
Thanks Steph! Good luck with the exercise. I look forward to you unveiling the Red ensemble in due course! Keep spreading the word!
Thank you so much for sharing for story. I am so glad that out of such a nightmare you are able to find something positive, a second chance. I have been doing the 28 Day Healthy Heart Challenge and really am working on improving my health for me and my family. I need to share your story with my husband, who is in the same boat. I have been made the Ambassador for the Heart Health Challenge for Day 23. I hope that you will stop back at my site and possibly share it with some of your readers. I have to say, this challenge has changed my way of thinking, and I foresee many changes in content to my blog because of it as well. Good luck in your challenge! Enjoy your new you!
Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad your challenge has increased your awareness of the importance of Heart Health. Please feel free to share my story, if it helps one person in a small way then it has met it’s objective. I will follow your Blog with interest – what will Day 23 have in store?
I agree, if one person is helped it is more than worth it. I will send you some links soon. I (along with my children, although they don’t know it yet) will be doing 3 jumping jacks for every US Gold Medal in the olympics. I know you are in the UK, maybe you could cover the UK gold? Oh yeah, and a recipe of course :).
Hi Paul, just heard your interview on R4 and as a 43-year old parent who sometimes ‘lets things get to him’ it was … sobering. All the best for ongoing recovery, and I’ll be sure to wave if I see you out on your bike.
Thanks Tom! I’ll look out for you! All the best, Paul.
Thank you so much for sharing your story – I heard you on Radio 4 tonight. I told my wife about you and your background. To which she said, “How much of this resonates with you?” Sadly a lot – getting stressed at work and letting the small things worry me. It has brought me up short. Good luck. And thank you again.
Thanks for the feedback Ian,
I think the most difficult step is moving from awareness to action. I was given a clear warning, but I think it’s hard to reconcile yourself to the fact that changes might need to made.
Small steps on a number of fronts are probably the best approach. Personally, I’d recommend regular exercise and a diet as the first two areas to think about.
Hey Paul – I heard an interview on radio 4, recognised the voice, then heard the name and then your age and I put 2 and 2 together! What a shock for you! Send me an email, would love to hear from you! Vicki