Now that you know that I cheated death and that my own body was trying to kill me, let me share a little background about me with you. I’m special. My mother always told me that I was. Okay, perhaps she exaggerated and really there isn’t really anything special about me physically or genetically. Perhaps I am a tad more stubborn then you, and I might “question” things a little more than you. I’m just your average, six-foot, grumpy 64 year-old, Caucasian (mostly English, Scots with a bit of Scandinavian somewhere in the bloodline) male. I am a former U.S. Navy EOD veteran (Hooyah) who has held down an office job for the past fifteen years. I grew up in a household where the food pyramid was king—steak and potatoes nightly were the norm, maybe fish on Fridays, milk doing a body good, and all of that. Full disclosure: I was athletic in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. From the end of the 90’s to the mid-00’s, I half-heartedly worked out—nothing much beyond a sweat—and no one was knocking down the door for me to be a fitness model. Last time I sported a six-pack was high school, and during the pandemic, like many, I added to the layer for warmth around my waist topping out in March of 2021 at 265. It was not grossly obese, but with closing in on a 40-inch waist, I could have stood to lose a few pounds. My health was otherwise not bad taking in marginal age-related (and misspent youth) deterioration, mainly arthritic and some joint degradation—you know, ankle and knee work and a bit of work on the spine. I pushed the edge a bit growing up and while in the Navy, I had also played recreational soccer in my 40’s and tore my ACL. Generally though in reasonable health for a 63 year-old.
So now you know about a little bit about me, how I ate, how I exercised, and how I lived. Now let’s talk more specifically about my health practices. Annual medical assessments and physical and dental cleanings were conducted here and there as required during my adulthood; however, they became more regular in the past decade or so, as my wife would schedule them, so to keep the peace in our home, I went. I occasionally took vitamins and natural supplements, but the only medication I was prescribed was a statins, of course. I say, “of course,” because greater than 1 in 4 adults over the age of 40 are prescribed statins. What patients—the every day people who are prescribed these statins—don’t know is that a 90% of those prescribed statins, the drug only inhibits your body’s natural ability to produce cholesterol (by the way, there is no cholesterol in plants), and not surprisingly, statins are one of Big Pharma’s biggest cash-cows: In 2020, the pharmaceutical raked in a staggering $14 billion (with a B), just from statin sales in the U.S. alone. More on this later in another blog post, but here is your first task – research this yourself. Do NOT just take my word for anything. For context perhaps a little of what I’m not—I’m not a fan of medicines, I’d rather work through the pain rather than take medication.
And for proper due diligence, because it’s a part of my daily work conversations and interactions—vaccinations. Vaccinations historically for me were hit or miss mostly. I received the seasonal flu shot when it was convenient, took the doctors’ recommended vaccinations which were considered safe including recently vaccinated for shingles, because I have experienced shingles more than once and do not want to experience that again. Relating to COVID-19, I am fully vaccinated and had the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on March 12, 2021 — 37 days before my heart attack.
Based on what I just shared about myself, I pretty much did what I was supposed to do or what was recommended. And bottom line, it just wasn’t enough. I still had a heart attack. My body began to shut down, and I was scared. Writing that makes me think for a minute. I’ve been in special operations, in the midst of conflicts, on dangerous humanitarian missions, and other dicey situations, and to be honest, I didn’t believe I would live this long. I accepted that death happens, and I was ready when it was my time. However, I believed that death would be inflicted on me, not my body shutting itself down.
So what next? Was there something that I could to change? I am definitely a creature of habit, so accepting change can be difficult; however, I accept change head-on once I have researched, planned my path, and made the decision to get started. My wife and family will attest that once I am ready to go, they either come along, catch up, or listen to my stories of my journey.
Looks like the first lifestyle change would be diet. Not diet in the sense of a fad, a temporary solution, but a true lifestyle switch against how I was raised and lived my life until April 17, 2021. Again I will share my story, my continuing journey, however, what I really want you to do as you follow along with my journey is to conduct your own research and become educated to be able to make decisions, accept change, and enjoy more life.