Monday, February 21, 2011

Tragedy Averted

It's taken me awhile to be able to have the time and presence of mind to blog about this.

Two weeks ago tomorrow, that was 2 Tuesdays ago, my husband suffered a heart attack.

I'm lucky I still have him. The Saturday before we had a bit of a row which was the worst we'd had in our 25 yrs together. From his perspective, it was serious and he claimed I didn't love him.

Fast forward a couple of days and by my actions I proved that I did. I didn't listen to him. I ignored his words. He said, "I'll call the MD once I get to work" and proceeded to shave, fix his tie, brush his teeth and ignore the fact that his left arm was numb, he had shortness of breath and he had a pain in the middle of his chest.

I turned right around and called the MD. Of course they said get him to the E.R. He says, "I don't want to go by ambulance."

So, in a snow storm, I drove him. He says I drove like a bat out of hell and he's awfully proud of that. Me? I'm pissed I couldn't go faster because I ended up behind 3 cars and a truck who were going at a snail's pace down back country roads. No passing anywhere.

Guys? Some advice. Call a frigging ambulance. Don't be stubborn because I tell you, your life IS on the line. When an ambulance responds, they have the gear and the meds to assist immediately to stabilize you. Driving in a car, stuck behind cars whose drivers have NO idea about the medical emergency driving behind them, means that if he went into full out cardiac arrest there would have been nothing I could have done to help him. I'd be an early widow.

God was our co-pilot, our guide and our strength. We made it. The MD flat out said that because I got him there as fast as I did, (and it would have been MUCH faster if I didn't have those frigging cars in my path) is the only reason he survived the heart attack.

He ended up 95% blocked in the artery that caused it all. We later found out that he is 40% in two others. He had one stent put in.

What does that mean for his future? That means a diet low in salt, fats and high in Omega 3s, veggies and other healthy foods is a must. I'd often mention his breakfast regime of sausage, bacon, ham - all those processed Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's breakfast sandwiches - were bad and doing him harm. Him being a guy, ignored me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

::face palm:: Unless a man can see inside his body, he shouldn't assume no symptoms means no worries.

Now? He can't have kielbasa, liverwurst and veal loaf; his favorite comfort foods. No pizza, no ice cream, no butter, no salt -- let's face it -- he can no longer have any of the trappings that society relies on for flavoring food.

And me? I am the one who bears the brunt of providing him a changed nutritional food venue day in and day out. I have to learn to shop differently, prepare the food differently, read labels and organize my time a lot more efficiently.


Because ALL of the pre-processed foods touted on TV and in magazines that say they will simplify your life by saving you time end up costing you time on this earth. They are NOT healthy. Hello, Trans fats anyone? They are NOT good for you. They are in crackers, cookies and in foods you'd never expect! Now I have to build time into pre-making my own broth because I have to let the fat harden and skim it off before I can even use it.

Do you realize that every flippin' turkey or chicken I tried to buy has been "flavor enhanced"? I simply could NOT find anything fresh or frozen that was untainted or non-manipulated. (if that's a word)

Do you know what that means? They are not doing it to make our food tasty. Oh no. They claim that but what it really does is preserve the food for longer shelf life. For centuries societies have used salt to preserve food. Here, they use so danged much it's ridiculous. We are basically becoming pickled humans.

The only turkey I could find not tampered with was at Whole Foods Market. Do you know what I PAID for the bird? FORTY DOLLARS!!! Just so I could give him lean meat, healthy meat not already loaded with the salt he needs to stay away from.

And the doctors wonder why we have so many cases of high blood pressure in this country. Just go food shopping and read the labels. You'll see.

So, that's my momentous update. I'm on a new food journey and I'm glad for Google because I'm relying on it a lot for guidance, recipes and choices.

Readers - pay attention to your diet choices - it will prolong your quality of life.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks for blogging about this. I'm glad things are ok, but man, that's scary stuff. ((((Hugs)))))

Dru said...

I'm so glad you had the presence to get him to the doctor.

You are so right at the price of eating healthy, spending up to 3 times the amount.

Marianne Arkins said...

It's so frustrating to try to eat healthy -- it's costly and difficult and you really have to be dedicated.

You're doing great. (((hugs)))

Brandy said...

It is very hard to eat healthy. With all of our "improvements" to the food industry, we've made it harder for people to afford and find the food that is the healthiest. I can recommend the Betty Crocker Heart Healthy cookbook. We bought one for FIL a couple of years ago as he has had heart surgery and a stint put in as well.
Hugs. And I have faith you'll do whatever needs to be done to help your husband stay healthy.

Michele said...

It was scary, Wendi.
Glad it's over and I CAN look forward to a future with him.
And thanks for the hugs.
Well appreciated.

Michele said...

Hi, Dru!
I am too, believe me.

And as for healthy eating - it's a challenge to do it every day.
I figuratively fell on day so far- one mistake won't hurt him but it buried me under a mountain of guilt for a bit.
Now I'm paranoid - can't trust those food claims on those packages.
Fresh IS best.
So yeah, food spending is way up. Can't wait until SPRING!
Garden, here I come.

Michele said...

Thanks, Marianne.
I'm glad I have you in my cheering section. :-)
And thanks for the hugs.

Michele said...

OOoh, a book recommend.
Thanks, Brandy!

And I agree with you. The industry improvements are for THEM and their bottom line, not us.