When I had my stroke on December 28, 2017 my doctor told me I had won the proverbial lottery....a stroke with no serious consequences. I had a wake up call then, and the message was 'Clarke, you're not 19 anymore'. I won the lottery in the sense that a bad thing happened to me, but there were no long lasting effects....in fact, all the symptoms had disappeared within 24 hours. I made some minor changes in my lifestyle thinking "I've got this under control". My blood work at the time indicated my cholesterol level was at 170.....wonderful for a person my age (67 at the time), but in addition to taking 20 mg of lisiniprol and a baby aspirin per day, my cardiologist gave me a prescription for a statin (cholesterol medicine) to lower it even further. I took it for a while, but eventually thought why am I taking this if my cholesterol is so low? In my arrogance I decided I knew better, and stopped taking it. That, in retrospect, was a mistake. Why? Well, since December of 2017 my cholesterol has climbed to over 200. Now, I know that the plaque buildup in my main artery did not all occur over the last 1.5 years, but was already well under way when I had my stroke. Taking the statin (cholesterol reducing medication) would have begun to reduce that plaque, but my refusal to continue taking it allowed it to continue to build to the point where I had a heart attack. My purpose in being so transparent is not to engage in the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" blame game, but to encourage all of my readers to follow their doctors advice. If in doubt, get a second opinion, but do not substitute your knowledge and experience for a doctor's years of experience, and knowledge. My arrogance almost got me killed by my own hand.
So, here I was on May 13th thinking I was doing pretty well, and suddenly I find myself on the edge of cashing in my chips once again. I end up dodging the 'Angel of death' once again, and within 24 hours I feel great....as if nothing had happened. I feel blessed, but extremely embarrassed that I have been given, once again, a 'get out of jail free' card when I don't seem to deserve it. I wonder why, but I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole. I hope I have learned my lesson....I'm pretty sure TLE will not let me forget this lesson.
I am humbled, and appreciative by the response to my announcement first on Facebook, and then in my belated blog post Wednesday evening covering the events of Monday and Tuesday. As you know, I have never missed a day of blogging since I began to blog every day back in October of 2012. I know that many read my musings every single day, and when I even post late in the day, instead of first thing in the morning people have gotten concerned, but in this case I was late into a second day. Thank you for your patience!
So, for the second time in 1.5 years I have been forced to face my own mortality. Intellectually I know I have been granted a finite amount of time on this earth, but it is easy to avoid thinking in those terms. When you go for decades with really good health, and no discernible health issues you begin to take good health, and physical condition for granted. You assume you will wake up every single morning, and that bad things only happen to other people. I know so many people who have passed early who were also in seemingly good health, but I preferred think I would live for another couple of decades, and just not wake up one day, but live to a ripe old age. I had one good friend, Ray Revenaugh, who seemed the picture of health. He was active, a bicycle rider like myself, and ate healthy. One day he was out riding his bike and had a massive heart attack.....there was no warning....one minute he was here, and the next he was gone. Nothing is guaranteed, that is for sure. Now, each day I wake up I turn to TLE and tell her...."Well, apparently, you've got me for one more morning".....I almost did not get to tell her that Tuesday morning, and had I not been able to wake up that day and tell her "Well, you've got me for one more morning" it would have been 100% my fault. I owe her more than that, and I will do everything the rest of the days God has granted to me to be alive to do everything I should be doing to be able to greet her each and every morning.
I was discharged from the Cardiac Unit at Palomar Medical Center around 12:30 pm, and with newly prescribed medications was on my way home with TLE courtesy my son, Tim, and daughter-in-law, Laila, who drove us back to RORVR. We were home before 2 pm, and bidding adieu to Tim and Laila. It was so good to be back home. As the afternoon progressed the reality of what had happened began to really seep into my brain. Over the course of the afternoon and evening TLE kept coming to me in my recliner and kissing me, holding my hand, and sometimes displaying a tear in her eye. I almost left her. She has spent so much time in doctor, and hospital waiting rooms over the past few years....never complaining, and always so grateful I am still able to greet her each morning.
To cap off our return home we watched the season finale for 'Survior', fittingly won by Chris who had to spend 28 days on at the 'Edge of Extinction' island waiting for his chance to get back in the game. He beat out a dozen people to get back in the game, and made the most of his last 4 days, easily winning the $1,000,000 for outwitting, outplaying and outlasting all of his competitors. Another great season is in the books, and another day in my life with TLE as well. I woke up this morning (Thursday) and greeted TLE....."Well, apparently, you have me for one more morning".....I am so sorry I needlessly put TLE through the last two days.....I love you so much, Elaine, and you deserve my best!
Thanks for stopping by!