Valeria Lukyanova, the “Human Barbie” from the Ukraine, has revealed that she will live on air, and light, from now on as she does not need food to exist. The 23 year-old model has revealed that she has converted to Breatharianism. This “new-age” cult believe that food and water are not necessary to survive as they can get all their nutritional requirement from “sun-gazing” and from absorbing energy from a giant invisible spacecraft that is stationed over the U.S.
For those who follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you will have noticed that I have had an addition to my household. A lost cat who tried to “adopt” me roughly four weeks ago. He is now a fully fledged member of the Smith clan, United Kingdom branch.
His newly christened name is Puddin as that was how I referred to him when I mistook him for a her. The lack of two appendages led me to believe that Puddin was a she cat, turned out that he’d been “fixed,” Hence the missing cojones.
I had turned Puddin out the first time we met, almost four weeks ago, as after he’d yowled to be let in, he was in good condition. Not hungry or thirsty, I believed the little chap to be just lost and after calming him down I released him back into the night.
On last Friday, when I returned from visiting with my daughter Megs and her boyfriend Max at around half twelve in the morning, I heard a cat crying out in distress. At a decibel level that could shatter glass, some poor creature was in the car park next door, “screaming the place down.”
I walked over with my mini torch (flashlight) and found a very familiar little face looking back at me from under a car. I made soothing noises and the cat followed me into my house.
I knew immediately that this was the same feline who’d visited me before. This time, however, he was starving. I opened three tins of food; some salmon I did not like; a small tin of mackerel; and a tin of tuna. He scarfed the lot and then wound himself around me begging for attention.
I played with him and gave him the attention desired. When I finally had to call it a night, I put him back out as I had nothing in the way of a kitty toilet. I then went to sleep.
I was awakened by a neighbour knocking on my front door. I went downstairs and upon opening the door, a grey and white streak shot into the house looking for the food dish. My Indian neighbour, whom I had never had the opportunity to speak to other than a friendly hello, was asking if the animal was mine.
I gave an account of how the creature wound up at my house. She then explained that the little thing had been wandering between my front door and back garden, yowling non-stop. She had thought that Puddin was a cat that another friend’s neighbour had lost. She told me that when she walked up to the friend’s house, the cat followed most of the way, but turned back halfway there.
Later the “friend” and a small brood of female children came to see if this was their neighbour’s pet.
They brought up the possibility of the cat having a microchip and my neighbour asked if she could take Puddin to the vet to check for the chip and treat a bloody back claw. I thanked her and took her up on her offer, but decided after talking to my daughter, to take Puddin myself.
I invested in a litter tray, since my “new” cat didn’t appear to like the great outdoors, and invested in some cat food. I also checked with the local pet store who assured me that they could check for a chip.
I then bought a carrier and checked if there was time the next day for an appointment.
Needless to say, there was and I got everything sorted out. Puddin had no chip, but, he did have a new home. All the young ladies at the vet’s loved my choice of name and they assured me that it was just as suitable for a male cat.
Puddin is the name and he is now a very big part of my household. I have since discovered that his meowing is almost always at ear shattering level, except when his “pretend” meows. He is just starting to feel comfortable enough that he doesn’t enter an empty room and start yowling till I show up.
He is also a bit older than I originally thought. The nice vet explained that he’s around 10 years-old. I don’t mind. He is house trained, loveable, and he likes to snuggle. He is also starting to sharpen claws on my settee, I believe a scratching post is in order.
I will get him microchipped, unlike his last owner, and will enjoy him for as long as I can. He has given me a lot of joy in such a short time. I’m glad he decided to adopt me! I also need to thank the neighbour who left a tin of cat food outside my front door for my new family member.
- Puddin’ (oddxbroad.wordpress.com)
My body remembered, even if I did not. While setting up my calendar for appointments next week, I forgot to set the calendar back that resides on the front of my fridge. Being naturally scatty sometimes (Sometimes? I hear you cry. Only sometimes?) I glanced at it on Thursday and decided that today, Friday, was the 27th.
I decided to do yet another blog post on my 30 August experience on the actual day. I even had a title for it. Anatomy of a Heart Attack. Catchy, no?
But even though my conscious mind had made the anniversary date two days in the future, my body did not. I actually called it an early-ish night. Stopping at around 03:30 in the morning. I finished up some projects that I was “multi-tasking,” or attempting to. I shut everything down; locked the downstairs windows; double-checked the doors and took myself, the iPad and the fan upstairs.
After checking all the windows upstairs, I then went to bed.
I was tired. I had walked over five miles yesterday at varying paces and had written five articles. Feeling both body and brain tired, I started that pleasant drifting off feeling that usually preempts my entry into the land of Nod.
Suddenly, at around 05;45, my stomach decided to swell and cramp with a combination of indigestion and gas. The end result was up and down to the bathroom the remainder of the early hours of the morning. I finally gave up trying to sleep and went downstairs. Turning on both laptops, I then went to make a coffee and start writing.
After the coffee had been sorted, I sat in front of my MacBookPro and signed in. The first thing I noticed was the date: 30 August 2013.
I suddenly got very tired and shut everything down again. I left the coffee and went back upstairs. It was 07:45, the exact time that I woke up last year on the 30th and went downstairs to wait for the electric chap to come fit a new meter.
I lay back down and drifted off to sleep around 08:30, waking up about one-ish. Fully awake now I went back down to make another coffee, make breakfast and remember last August when I almost died.
As I said before, I’d set my alarm for 07:45. The electric guy was coming around between eight and a twelve to hook up the meter. I went downstairs in a pair of sweat pants and put the kettle on for a cup of coffee. While it boiled, I turned on my old laptop to check my emails and my blog. A few days previously I’d been Freshly Pressed and I wanted to see how many views my post was getting and to answer any comments.
Once I made my coffee, I lit my first cigarette of the day and stood in the back garden drinking coffee and smoking. I then went inside and sat in front of the laptop. As I reached for the keyboard I experienced pain in both of my hands. The best way to describe the pain is to liken it to how your hands, and arms, feel after doing a particularly heavy session with weights. Like when you’ve really crunched out a set of arm curls.
Your arm muscles and hands feel like they are going to explode. If you look at them after the set, they look bigger because they’re full of blood. My hands felt like that, but worse. It was incredibly painful. I sat looking at my hands as I opened and closed them. Making a fist and then releasing, like that would help the pain go away.
I stood up and walked out to the back garden and lit another cigarette. While I pondered this pain, I finished my coffee and the second smoke and went inside to boil the kettle again. I had an earache in both ears and thought that I might be getting a sinus infection.
Second cup of coffee made and back down in front of the laptop. Reaching again for the keyboard the pain returned, this time not just in my hands but in my forearms as well. The pain has cranked up a few notches. I went back out to the garden, coffee in hands that felt like they were going to explode, along with my forearms. Lighting my third cigarette. I decided to “wait out” the pain.
In my mind, the entire time, I was thinking I had done something like pinched a nerve or somehow strained muscles and that this would pass.
I finished my second coffee and checked my cell phone, I’d gotten a text from the electric guy. While going to make my third and final coffee, the pain came back. This time it is in both arms and spreading towards my chest and back.
I stand there in agony and wonder, “what the hell is going on?” I’d had my arteries and heart checked out a year or so before and everything was “normal.” So I’m thinking, “It cannot be my heart…So what the hell is it?” The earache has returned and I’m having trouble thinking.
I then realise that I must be having a heart attack, or something very close to it. The pain was now so bad that I cannot stand. I crawled up the stairs to my daughter’s bedroom and knock the door open with my forehead.
She sits up in bed, eyes wide and startled.
“I’m, I think I’m having a heart attack. Call 999 and tell them to get here.”
She grabs her cell phone and calls. She talks to them calmly, only a slight tremor surfacing in her voice. She turns to me and asks what are your symptoms? I try to explain and offer to take the phone.
The emergency operator, says no, sit down somewhere and wait for the ambulance.
I went into my room and got dressed in my summer trousers, after putting on underwear as I had not been wearing any, (my grandmother would have been proud as they were a freshly cleaned pair) and put on socks, shoes, and a shirt. I got my wallet and went back down the stairs by sliding my ass down over each step till I got to the bottom.
I unlocked the front door and went to sit on an armchair.
The ambulance arrived and the two paramedics came in. By that time, I was sitting on the floor as I felt like I could pass out. I was not that lucky. The pain was increasing steadily and I have never felt pain like it. Sweat was pouring out of me like some kind of comedy skit with freshets of the stuff spurting out of my pores.
One of the paramedics asked me if I could sit in the chair. Out of breath I answered no. He stopped, confused, “Does it hurt you to sit in the chair””
I replied, “No, but it’s a lot further to the floor from the chair if I pass out.”
Everything became a blur. My world had shrunk to just me and the pain and the sweat. I concentrated on trying to make the pain go away. At no time did I not believe that they wouldn’t have something in their ambulance that would give me relief.
They did not.
On the way to the local hospital, they give me shots of morphine and “spritz” nitro-glycerine under my tongue. Nothing helps. My daughter watches me with eyes the size of Texas.
We get to the hospital with sirens wailing, that to me, sound very far away. We get there and I’m carried quickly into the emergency room. A lady doctor comes over and after what seems like hours, the sweat drys sufficiently to get the pads to stick. I’m asked to “breathe normally.” I want to laugh at that, but I’m in too much pain to do more than snort.
They get their reading and ask if I’d rather go to Papworth Hospital at Cambridge, an hour and a half away, or Basildon. I don’t care either way and the decision comes down to lack of bed spaces at Cambridge; so it’s off to Basildon.
I find out later that the drive should have taken over an hour and twenty minutes. We got there in 45 minutes. Meg, my daughter, told me that they drove through the thunderstorm from hell. Sirens screaming as they swerved around traffic. On the way, they gave me some sort of gas.
It was magic. Unlike the morphine or the nitro-glycerine, this stuff makes the pain bearable. So bearable that I am able to breathe somewhat normally and the sweat begins to dry up. When we arrive at the hospital, I ask everyone if I can have some more of that magic gas.
The rest you already know. How close I was to dying. The emergency stents and then stopping everything bringing me back to consciousness and the emergency aortic dissection aka bi-pass.
My sleepless night in the wee hours of the day I had my heart attack a year ago, because of my “stomach ailment” must have been some sort of “carry-over” from that event. Even though, in my mind, I thought Sunday was the 30th.
Funny how the mind and the body remember things that we’ve chosen to forget, or have forgotten to remember. I hold my hand over my heart (pun intended) and promise that this is the last time, for a very long time, that I’ll be writing about my “life changing” experience.
I decided to chronicle the day’s events as I remembered them. I will point out that I did relate it in time slots. The time I got up and the time I got the text are imprinted in my memory. I do know that by the time we got to the first local hospital, it was almost four hours, if not more, from when I first started having my symptoms. I also believe that I’ve left a cigarette out…Like I said, it was sort of a blur.
I’ve written the account in both past and present tenses. It seemed appropriate to help get the confusion across that I felt on the day. I would also like to point out that, at no time did I think of the possibility of dying. It never entered my head. There were no moments of praying for God, or whoever, to make it all stop or to “spare” me. I just “knew” that the doctors would help me.
And they did.
30 August 2013
- Neil Armstrong is Remembered a Year After Death (guardianlv.com)
- Signs of a Heart Attack, for Men and Women (donbobbitt.com)
- Silence, a Mug of Coffee and Past Memories of a Kid (yushu93.wordpress.com)
- Happy Heart Attack Anniversary…Almost (mikesfilmtalk.com)
As it gets closer to the one year anniversary of my heart attack and near-death experience, I find myself in that state of cautious anticipation at night before sleep. The one where any little twinge in the chest or forearms – it was agonising pain in my forearms and hands that presaged my heart attack – and I will lie awake for hours waiting to see if I am going to have a revisitation to the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
Another anniversary date is also approaching, it has almost been a year since my blog was Freshly Pressed. An event that occurred just four days before my heart attack. Interestingly enough, that anniversary has none of the wariness and fear that the other one has.
I was lucky in a sense that after my two emergency surgeries – that for the record, kicked my ass – I was in such an exhausted and doped up state that I had no problem sleeping. I was so messed up that I found that one night I had squashed a good sized spider to death by apparently rolling over it. When I found the poor critter’s carcass the next morning my only reaction was to dispose of its body.
The first few months of my recuperation are a blur of pain from a lower back injury sustained at my previous job as a prison officer and the subsequent steroidal injections just a week before the heart attack that made the pain worse instead of alleviating it. Shambling to the bus stop that is only a 20 second walk from my front door, stopping no less than seven times, heart pounding and head swimming from the pain.
The slow process of increasing my walking distance each day and feeling like I had a sign on my back that said, “Mug Me I am Helpless.” During that time period I was given an early retirement from my job with Her Majesty’s Prison Service and was in financial dire straits. It was not a great time, but apart from the stresses from my life changing event, I was shocked to find out just how close to death I’d actually been.
I had come to grips with that a little while back. I was sleeping like a baby at night and had increased my “usual” sleeping time from four hours a night to eight and over. It is only recently that I have had problems dropping off and fighting the panic that these unknown twinges evoke.
In my old job, the mental health folks who dealt with the prisoners (aka psychiatric types) used to talk about triggers and anniversary dates as being a normal thing for people to experience and in-turn, these two things affected how people reacted to things. While not a prisoner, I’m finding myself back to the time when the terror of an unknown pain could keep me up for hours.
This trigger will pass, just as surely as the anniversary of my heart attack will come and then go. While time rushes on in the greater scheme of things, the minutiae of our lives trudges along with all the intensity of a turtle trudging resolutely against that fast footed rabbit that is our life. I, like many others have to fight against that irrational fear of the grim reaper calling again so soon.
For as resilient as the human body is, like the old Timex adverts it can take a licking and keep on ticking, we all have a limited warranty in the area of the body’s almost magical ability to heal itself. As we get older, besides the obligatory aches and pains that increased age brings about, the parts of our machine get worn, old defects that we never noticed before suddenly leap to the forefront screaming, “Look at me!”
As we all reach that age where our mortality is shoved, sometimes brutally, in our face we have to accept that, like everyone else in the world, we owe a death. It is a debt that we all must pay, as Katherine Hepburn used to say, “Of course life is hard, it kills you.” But I have not yet reached the age where I can look back over my life and say, “I’m okay with dying right now, I’ve lead a good life and won’t complain when it is time to pay my dues for a life lived.”
I do not think that such an age exists for the average person. I believe that none of us are ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. Most people fight the grim reaper with whatever strength they have left. Some, who have been in pain for so long that they welcome it, are of a different ilk. Suffering for any amount of time is tiring and soul destroying. I thank God, or whoever is in charge, that I have not had unbelievable pain for longer than the 5 hours or so that I was conscious before my heart surgery.
I admit that it is only at night, in the quiet hours, that I’ve had a revisitation of the alarm that came once I’d gotten out of my exhausted stage of post surgery. The daytime is full of more things to do than I have time for and that is a blessing. This anniversary heart attack trigger, my almost one year anniversary, will pass soon enough. Until then, I’ll lay in bed at night listening to my body and sweating every time something feels “wrong” in the areas that my body remembers from the heart attack. During the day, I’ll keep writing the articles for the paper, doing posts for my blog and trying to fit everything else in around the two.
Happy heart attack ‘almost’ anniversary to me.
22 August, 2013
- Flu Jab may Cut Heart Attack Risk (medindia.net)
- Paramedic has heart attack while treating heart attack victim (newsfixnow.com)
- Heart attack – Know the signs (asianheartinstitute.wordpress.com)
- All over 50s should get flu jab to protect from heart attacks, researchers say (telegraph.co.uk)