For ‘Every Beat of My Heart’ Thanks

The King of the Hoodies.

It has now been 44 days or one month and two weeks since my heart attack and the two subsequent surgeries (one of which was an emergency surgery) that saved me from taking a prolonged vacation with that king of all ‘hoodies‘ the big Grim Reaper.


In many ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in others ways it does seem like 44 days. I know that I am recovering incredibly well, everyone is telling me so. My scars (quite impressive if I do say so myself, 9 inches on my chest and 12 inches on my right calf) are fading quickly and no longer itch as much.

I can walk a little bit further each day without my traitorous back seizing up and today I actually went into the town centre and traipsed up and down the High Street. Although I was not able to do too much gallivanting about, I did have to stop occasionally and stretch my back and butt muscles. I only limped a little bit and in the area of breathing and heart rate, I don’t think I did too badly at all. No breathless episodes and my heart didn’t feel like it was going to come leaping out of my chest.

All in all, a good first shopping day out.

I am still learning to curb my natural inclination towards impatience and feel that I’m not doing too badly. My first ‘follow-on’ appointment with the surgeon is on the 17th and I will be driving the almost 2 hour drive to the hospital myself. On the first of November I’ll have my initial ‘fitness’ assessment and I will finally learn what I can and cannot do and how to get my self and my heart back into shape.

There are other tests and assessments scheduled as well, like cholesterol and the like, but everything is going pretty smoothly and I am not inclined to rush any part of the process. I’m even going to have a ‘flu jab‘ this year. I have never liked the flu shot. When I was in the USAF each year I had the damn thing (in the Air Force it was mandatory, you had to have it) I invariably got some sort of chest cold that lasted for months.

This nasty experience has led me to turn down all offers of flu jabs full stop. But in keeping with my new healthier mindset I’ve agreed to having the jab in two weeks time.

I am learning to make healthier meals. Meg and I made our first turkey mince chilli the other night. While it was not a blazing success, it was not inedible and as we cautiously picked our way through it, we saw how it could be improved with the addition of various spices and the odd herb or two.

Turkey chilli from

It will never taste as good as the ‘real thing’ but it’ll do. I had thought very briefly about making chilli using Quorn. The moment I saw the price of this ‘meat substitute‘ I began to think the stuff had a solid gold base. Price prohibitive to the nth degree, I doubt that I’ll ever be using that stuff as a substitute for anything. I’m sure that some of the Quorn products aren’t that expensive, but the mince is obscenely overpriced.

We have a recipe for a winter vegetable lasagna that, despite having the horrible white sauce that the English insist on putting in every Italian dish instead of cheese, looks and sounds quite yummy. There are chilli recipes on websites that sound tasty, although the one I just looked at had celery in it and no mushrooms, but I will be adapting the ones that sound the best sans celery.

The lovely Marilyn over at Serendipity gave me some wonderful suggestions on food ideas after my blog post on the blandness of my new diet. She pointed out that spice is our friend and that sushi and sashimi were not only healthy but tasty as well. I do like sushi and although I never actually thought of preparing it at home, Meg (who also likes sushi) said we’d “give it a go” as soon as we find some recipes.

So there we go. It’s all stations full steam ahead. I’ve been incredibly lucky, I think. I was talking to my mother the other day and she told me that her father (my grandfather) had died age 52 of a massive coronary caused by his leaky aorta aka the  widow maker.

I still think I have a hard time realizing just how close I came to taking a “dirt nap” and not being part of this wonderfully exasperating world. When I left the hospital, they told me to expect it to all sink in later. “Most likely,” they said, “It will be when you least expect it. Some people go home and burst into tears when they walk through their front door. Just don’t be surprised when it happens.”

Well it hasn’t happened yet. I suppose I’ve still got too many plates spinning up in the air. Of course there is the possibility it will never ‘sink in’ as they put it. I might go through the remainder of my life blissfully unaware of just how close it was (and according to the experts it was very close) and that would suit me fine.

I’ve had my warning shot and I may not get another one. I consider myself very, very lucky. I just hope I can do something to justify this extra time I’ve been granted.

Your time starts…Now!

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

19 thoughts on “For ‘Every Beat of My Heart’ Thanks”

  1. Dear Mike Recent events will hit your head when you least expect it, filling you with a mix of horror, exhilaration and fear. Like any near miss with mortality the risk of a post traumatic stress reaction is high. I am sure your time in the USAF will have taught you how to recognise the symptoms. Seek help if it happens, and I hope and wish you a long and fulfilling life.


  2. A month probably seems like a lifetime but it sounds like you’re on the way back. Like Marilyn, I’m a BIG fan of Sushi and Sashimi. Here’s hoping you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. I’m looking forward to lots more exchanges of good stuff.


  3. Kudos and keep on truckin’… Thankfully, the King of Hoodies (love that name) will find toys elsewhere. Time does fly and sticking with your new diet will pay huge dividends… not in stocks and bonds, but muscle and stamina. 😉


  4. Be very careful where you buy your fish. I don’t know about the UK, but here, fish that is “ok” for sushi is marked “sushi quality.” You might want to chat with your local sushi chef, find out where they get their fish. I have a couple of friends who make fantastic sushi. One time she also made sashimi, she proudly announced that “this bass was swimming in the ocean just an hour ago.” More Vineyard memories!


  5. Reblogged this on Serendipity and commented:
    Brushes with death have a way of altering ones perspective. Sorting out those changes takes time … and you never know exactly where you’ll be when you finish the sorting.


  6. BTW, the new installment of “Hook Ups” is on my page now, but take your heart medicine before you read it. It’s saucy, and we wouldn’t want you to have a relapse. 😉


  7. I’m glad you’re a survivor, Mike. You’ve had my well-wishes ever since Meg told us about it. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so there you go. Even with the culinary sacrifices, I think your spirit will rise and you’ll be stronger than ever. Even if it hasn’t “sunken in” yet, you’re alive to give it an opportunity to. That’s something.


      1. A month probably seems like an eternity, Mike. But it sounds like you’re well on your way back. I agree with Marilyn about Sushi AND Sashimi. I love them both!! Here’s to lots more exchanges of good stuff!! Cheers!!!


  8. It’s hard to believe a month and a half has gone by on my end, but like you said, it’s both believable and yet feels like another lifetime altogether for you. I’m glad you’re doing well, Mike, though I can’t say I’d be thrilled with the dietary changes either! 🙂 Good luck with your continued recovery, and keep truckin’ on! 😀


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