I have been silent here for over a month. 4 weeks ago I had a heart attack. A week and a half ago I underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery and now I'm back on my feet and easing back into a new phase of life - Life 2.0
The curious thing is that I haven't had any great epiphany. I don't think life has any more or less significance than before. I haven't had a conversation with 'God' (I am still an atheist). Nothing miraculous has happened to me. I ignored my health, I ignored medical advice and the consequence was all but inevitable. In this I realise I am just like a large proportion of men. In the New Zealand vernacular we have an expression "She'll be right, mate" and it close companion, "No worries Mate."
It is culturally accepted, encouraged even, to be self deprecating, rather than to place one's self first in a situation.
This kind of thinking is curious when you examine it. It's for good reason that airline safety messages emphasise that, in the event an oxygen mask should fall in front of your face you should attach the mask first to you, then attend to others, including children.
So, now I have decided that I will look after myself and make me my life's work. I have begun a programme called Pimp My Pump™ which is my personal journey back to good heart health (at 46, following the bypass procedure, I have been told I can expect a 'normal' life-span - all things being equal if I become more active, reduce sugars in my diet, manage my cholesterol and weight (paying particular attention to abdominal fat). There is a Pimp My Pump™ blog where I tell my story and encourage men 35-50 to get a heart check by their doctor. So, in taking care of me I can then be in a position to help others - in case you thought looking after me was the selfish meme in action.
I will be developing a book, for which I have a publisher, and am establishing a charitable trust to educate at risk men about Heart Health - but doing it my way (because I realise worthy-but-dull messages fall on deaf ears).
Anyway. Nice to be back.