Hi Friends! When I first began writing this blog, it was specifically aimed at other young adults who found themselves in the scary position of having a cardiac event, but having nowhere to go to find information from like individuals. In the past 4 1/2 years since I’ve been writing, I’ve come to find that my blog has had a profound effect on not just people in that category, but on a number of others. Young, old, male, female, healthy, sick, and from all corners of the world. That has been both shocking and incredibly humbling to me.
When I started, I told myself that if I helped even one person get through their struggle a little easier, that it would be worth it. I feel (I know) that I have more than accomplished that goal, but I also believe that I can do more. I haven’t written on my blog as much recently, because I began to feel that I was writing for the sake of writing, and that I wasn’t having much of an impact. But then, low and behold, I will learn of someone sharing my blog with someone else who they knew going through something similar, and sometimes those people will reach out to me thanking me for writing, or asking questions. For those that know me, I am very comfortable talking about my cardiac event and heart disease (I guess hence the blog, eh?). I’ve had conversations with co workers, family, friends and perfect strangers that I believe have led to positive changes in the way they view healthy living (and in a few cases I truly believe that I have helped others avoid cardiac events by being proactive in changing their health/diet and by proactively seeking out a cardiologist).
I don’t say these things to gloat. I say them because I believe that I have a unique perspective. One that needs to be shared to help those who haven’t had the good fortune of almost dying far too young like I had. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek of course, but in some ways I do feel lucky that I had my cardiac event and stared death in the mirror at a fairly young age. Why? It’s as simple as one word, Perspective. Perspective of the role that work plays in my life. Perspective of the role that my wife and kids and family play in my life. Perspective as we go through a global pandemic. Perspective on the importance of physical/mental/emotional health. This list could go on for pages, but I have been blessed with a perspective on every aspect of life, that prior to my cardiac event, I was largely oblivious to.
The reason that I felt compelled to write this blog today, is that I have seen a number of articles of “healthy” young adults who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 (and some that have passed). I read these articles, and they say that the individuals didn’t think that they could get the virus because they were young and healthy. Now, this post is NOT about COVID-19 or saying that those individuals weren’t necessarily healthy. It is simply to say that it made me think back to myself just prior to my cardiac event. I thought I was healthy, and wouldn’t have thought in a million years that I was on the brink of a massive heart attack. Welcome to my least favorite Facebook memory of all time. July 16th, 2013. Thanks to my brother Dave for posting this that day, I am reminded annually by Facebook of this glorious photo. I can almost see my arteries clogged through my skin in the 2013 photo (as a side note, I think the white of that solo cup is more tan than I was!). That was me about a year and a half before my cardiac event. Fast forward to July 16th, 2020, and there is quite a transformation. Transformation in my appearance that can be seen in a photo, yes, but also a transformation in who I am overall. A transformation built on perspective. I am nowhere near perfect (just ask my wife ;)), I am still not as healthy as I would like to be, I’m not as good of a dad/husband/professional as I’d like to be, but I continue to learn more about myself and strive for more each day. It takes commitment to devote time each day to your physical/mental/emotional health, but I have learned through the lens of perspective that that specific commitment is worth more than its weight in gold.
I hope that sharing my uniquely gifted perspective may help you or someone you know now or in the future. If I can help you or anyone that you know, please let me know. Stay safe and stay healthy friends!!
As Always….Dream As If You’ll Live Forever, Live As If You Only Have Today!