I guess that’s what happens when a life-changing event occurs. Everything is highlighted, enhanced and multiplied exponentially based on the personal importance the event, person or happenstance has in your life.
Sadly, I wasn’t paying much attention to these while my life played out. So please bear with me while I wax philosophically — or try to— about how much more aware I’ve become since my latest adventure along my road of life.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Since my heart attack — a big admission I need to constantly validate, especially if it helps someone else — my awareness of every heartbeat, pulse, twitch and feeling inside or about my body is off the charts. I don’t know how many times a day I stop and ask myself, “What was that?” It’s an awfully big number. I can tell you that. Then, just for kicks and giggles, I get to monitor whether or not it goes away in a timely manner. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.
The fact is, these things have been happening all along as I’ve lived and breathed.
It took over a week of serious chest pain, breathlessness at the slightest exertion and just an overall feeling of unhealth to even go to a doctor. And it took my doctor about two hours to order me to the emergency room. So not paying attention almost cost me my life. Yet, finally paying attention allowed me to play a small role in saving it. And that role allowed the health care professionals to do the heavy lifting in keeping me alive.
The events of the past two months have made me much more aware of what’s going on with my body. I walk more than two miles a day, a hike that’s growing longer. I take vitals every morning, I monitor my weight, diet and food labels. I’m more aware of how what I do, others do and events affect my life.
So imagine my shock when my blood pressure recently spiked. Not like a 140 over 100. I’m talking about 220 plus over 120 plus. I felt the same as I had for the previous three weeks when waking up, and that’s been great and healing. But something that morning was wrong. And when it didn’t get right, I did something else the old Craig wouldn’t do, I went to the ER. While every question didn’t get answered, at least a process was put into place to treat what’s wrong .
Why am I telling my heartfelt — literally — story again? Simple. I hope it helps someone who thinks or feels something isn’t right with the body, mind or soul to seek help. There are professionals able, willing and desiring to help. Give one a call.
Speaking of those able and willing to help, let’s talk about my kids once again. While their above and beyond commitment and love to me has been proven beyond a doubt, this is more about my connection to them. As I tearfully told them a few nights after getting home from the hospital, “This has to mean something.” I know, not very specific.
But to me it is.
The emotions I felt in saying those words were more about our relationships, what I bring to the world instead of just enjoying and taking. And what the future should be about. I’ll be more involved in everything they do. I’ll drop what I’m doing should their pictures pop up on my phone. And I’ll do everything in my power to help them, be present for them and to build their faith in the almighty and the human race as long as I live and breathe — a privilege of which I’m much more aware these days. Mainly because I now realize I don’t know how long that will be. My plan is a long time. But I also realize I’m not in charge of the schedule.
I was going to take this more into the role of government and politics and their effects on the events, people and happenstances in our lives. Something the old Craig would do in what many would describe as a diatribe or rant. I’ll only say this: We exert little effect on what these folks do once they’re elected or placed in the bureaucracy. I mean, do you think the senile and infirm in charge in Washington, the Little Napoleon in Denver or our elitist city council care a whole lot about government overreach into your life?
After the obvious answer, my suggestion is to embrace life, love and liberty (what’s left of it) outside of their lecherous paws. Like the Borg on Star Trek, once it takes root, you become part of it faster than you can make up a lie about our local House rep.
My point is simple. Take personal interest in your life, your loved one’s lives and the things immediately around you that affect those lives. Washington, Denver and Grand Junction will always have busybody do-gooders telling you they care. But they can’t and don’t care like you do.
Make your difference where you can.