Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Thoughts during a heart attack

I often use the word spry to describe how I am feeling, as “I am not feeling to spry today”. Well to keep with that word, I have to say I am feeling pretty spry today. I think it is fair to say a heart attack can indeed knock you on your butt for a while. This past 3 weeks has given me a lot of healing time and thinking time.

In the past I have written about the power of words and of how just a few simple words can affect another. Twice while I was in the hospital I has a few words spoken to me that, hit home with me. OK, I am not the swiftest learner all the time and really it has taken until now for them to sink in. We can never know the power our words will carry as they leave our mouths. At the time they are said they may seemingly have no impact what so ever. But as is in my case they may linger in the mind to be mulled over in the future. I sit here a prime example of that very thing.Words spoken to me 3 weeks ago are finally sinking in.

What are these words that are so powerful to me? I wish I did have a better memory, I would like to thank one nurse in particular for just a few words she said to me. “You are not taking this seriously enough”!! Now it might be asked how can you not take a heart attack seriously enough? Well that is hard to explain or I suppose justify. Could it be, this was #5, have been through this before, heart attack is over and I feel good and am in the hospital, so good enough, I am going to be fine, so no need to worry. I really wasn’t worried or scared. I said a prayer on the way to the hospital and then just relaxed to let it play out around me. OK, OK all the drugs they pumped into me may have helped with the being relaxed part.

Even going to the agioplasty, knowing a cathiter would be going from my groin up into my heart, didn’t “really” phase me. I had the, “been here done that attitude”. I had said my little prayer, had total faith in the doctors so let’s just get on with it. No worries, until the doctor came and talked to me. In reviewing my file he had seen that I had signed a DNR. In very overly simplified terms a DNR tells the doctors that if my heart were to stop, that is it, nothing more is to be done. He came to me asking to waive that for this procedure. In extremely rare cases the heart can stop during the procedure but can easily be restarted. Would I give him permission to do that? Well, yes if it is as simple as that. My fear is ending up brain dead in a living body or even worse having a fully functioning brain trapped in a “dead” body. If either such case should arise, PULL THE PLUG. Though I admit having that question asked of me did rattle the nerves a little. But, I can’t say I was anywhere close to being scared or anything like that.

I like to think it was that I had said a prayer placing myself in God’s hands and the hands of the doctors He would be directing, so really what did I have to worry about?

I think back to while I was actually having the heart attack. First off, I was at home alone. Now, I am not even going to try and describe the symptoms I had as a heart attack can present itself in so many different ways. I wouldn’t want anyone to read my symptoms and from that think they know what a heart attack feels like, it really can be different. Anyway, the symptoms appear, I use my nitro spray short term improvement but then back at it. At some point I realized, ah gee, I had better be getting to the hospital. Not nervous or scared in the slightest. I suppose at least in part that could be as I have chest pains on a fairly regular basis, have gone to the hospital to be told it was angina and not a heart attack. This one felt different so in my mind I sort of felt like it was the real deal and it was. Thoughts of dying or fear of dying never entered my head. I have to wonder am I maybe getting a little to cocky, now I wasn’t even thinking it. But, I wonder if deep down inside I have a little of the attitude described my nephew Trent in a comment he left for me. “It will take more than 5 heart attacks to put a Howdle man down”.

I like to think, I had no fear because there was nothing to fear. I had said a prayer placing myself in God’s hands, what better place could I be. What is destined to come will come. I wish I could say something like I felt a Heavenly Presence there to comfort and support me, I didn’t have what I would call any sort of “magical, mystical” feelings about me. But when I think of it, the loving support was there, comforting me on some sort of inner lever or something. While I wasn’t aware of it specifically, it did remove all fear for which I am so grateful.

Those few words spoken to me at the hospital had a big impact on me even if it has taken a while for them to really sink in. I thank God for getting me through #5 and for placing the highly qualified and very professional doctors and nurses in the spot where I needed them to be.

I know I have written before on the awesome power of words. Each of us individually has that awesome power within us. Are we using that power? Do we realize we have the power to touch, even change the lives of others with a few words? How are we using this great power, in a positive way or in a negative way

Just rambling on with thoughts in my head about the heart attack.

14 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Thoughts during a heart attack

  1. missprofe says:

    Hi, Bill. I’m glad you made it through your heart attack, so that you could come back to us, and share your wonderful insights.

    Just the other day, my father and I were talking about DNRs. My dad has always said that if he were ever in a position where he could not do for himself, he didn’t want to go on. I respect that.

    As far as realizing the power which exists within each of us, no; I don’t think we realize that power. More often than not, we give it away.

    Hi missprofe. My thinking is the same as your dad’s.
    You are so correct in your comment about our power. Each of us have with in us such a power to do so much, yet we make use of it or worse yet as you say we give it away. Nice to hear from you.

  2. jewwishes says:

    What a lovely post…

    We are powerful in so many aspects, if we only understand that.

    I am glad you are feeling better…please continue to take care.


    Thank you Lorri, so nice to hear from you.

  3. steve says:

    Bill, hope you continue to recover quickly from your heart attack. I’m sure your attitude has a lot to do with your ability to recover.
    Two weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Todd was killed in a car accident. He was 43 years old, married with four kids. Although it is sad to loose a friend, the circumstances are amazing to me. We have a home group( like a Bible study) on Tuesday nights. We had spent two hours discussing Ps. 23 and John 10: 1-10. Our discussion settled on heaven and the thoughts we had aboout it. Todd was the most animated. He talked about descriptions he had read, and that he was even jelous of those who were already there. Then 15 minutes later on his way home the accident happened and we are assured that he is now in Heaven. With four kids and a wife with cancer there is no way he would have intentionally done this. This has really encouraged me and helped me with my perception of what I have to look forward to after life on this earth is over.
    We can each be thankful for each day we live here with family and friends, and look forward to a future in Heaven that will be better than we can even imagine.

    Again, I want to wish you a speedy recovery so you can get home and on with your life, and give you the assurance of a better future after your time here is finished.


    Hi Steve, welcome to the blog and thank you for sharing your very touching story. I have no doubt in my mind what so ever that there are wonders beyond my imagination awaiting.
    I hope to hear from you again.

  4. Mel says:

    (((((( Bill )))))))

    All too familiar with a fella in my life getting to do a similar journey.
    I’m grateful G-d ain’t done with ya yet–and that He puts good people in your path.

    Mel, you are right about God putting good people in our paths. I am greatful, he put you in my life journey.

  5. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    Just thought I’d stop by here for a quick hello and let you know that I’m thinking about you and Vi. Hope all is at least a little bit better with her and that the pain has begun to subside to tolerable levels. And I hope you are behaving yourself by taking it easy. Take care of each other, Wiseman.

    Thank you Irene, nice to hear from you and I hope all is well with you and yours

  6. Mel says:

    Thinking about you and Vi…..hoping healing is happening….

    Thank you Mel

  7. clary says:

    First of all I am thankful that you made it one more time, the nurse’s words should be taken to heart. It is a good thing that you have come to terms with your situation but don’t stop taking care of yourself.
    Words have been very important in my life, I tend not to be so good on the spoken one since sometimes I feel like I am rushed to say something when I know I should think things through. Writing is more on my terms and I feel the need to express what is in my heart in that manner. I doesn’t come easy sometimes but deep inside it feels good once they are released. There are always times when you think you should or shouldn’t have said something, there are mistakes, hurt and anger but there is also love, tenderness and hope. What more can we ask for?

    Hi Clary, I thank you for your kind thoughts. The power of simple words is such an awesome thing. Saying them, hearing them can have such an affect.

  8. Mel says:

    Just checking in and checking up on you and Vi…..hope all is well and that healing is coming along nicely.


    thank you Mel

  9. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    Is all OK with you and Vi? Hope things are repairing nicely and that the sunshine (and heat!!!) finds everyone in good form.
    Praying for you and your family, Wiseman.
    Thank you Irene

  10. V. says:


    I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world and your journey with me. Today was a bad day. It was a hard day to realize that parents don’t have all of the answers that you were looking for and that no matter how tough the personality, sometimes our bodies just don’t keep up.

    I had a long talk with family about why we’re here and what good it does to exist at all. You’ve reinforced everything. Kindness is the most simple and most concrete thing we can impart while we have an opportunity to. No matter our background- religious, racial, economic, geographic- we can all be good to each other. If I carry nothing else with me, I’ll hold that to be true. Thank you for this. Thank you for helping me realize that we may/may not be destined to do something historically significant for humanity- but that we can in our own way by loving, sharing kindness with, and supporting one another throughout our lives. I’m going to start thinking more carefully about what I say and what I do, starting with the decision to post and thank you instead of standing idly by. I’m thinking about you and yours. ❤


    Hello V, welcome to my blog and thank you so much for you so kind comment.
    It is reading comments such as yours that make this whole blogging experience worth while and I do thank you so much. You in your short message have hit on what I have so often tried to say in my rambling way.
    I do hope you will visit again and comment often. We can all learn from your words.

  11. planetcity1 says:

    Thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt post. I’m sure all of Bill’s readers were enriched by it, and I hope you will post more often.

    Hi planetcity1, your comment to V is so right on. I do hope we hear more.

  12. babychaos says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well. I do understand how you feel, it’s exactly what I thought when I had the boy. You put yourself in God’s hands, not that you do nothing or get apathetic, you just do what needs to be done and hope for the best…



    Hi BC so nice to hear from you. You said it, put your self in God’s hands what better place could you be. How is everything going with the new addition to the family?

  13. Mel says:

    k……forgive me for worrying.

    I know.

    If you’re gonna pray, why worry?!


    Could you check in, please?

    *sending prayers and healing thoughts*

    Sorry to worry you Mel, had a little down time but all is well and I am back at the computer today.

  14. Amanda says:

    I found your Journal very interesting. I have made it through 3 heart attacks at present and at the age of 43 it put a great strain on my thoughts and ideas of life in general. I still suffer the *angina* pains regularly and constantly have the same thoughts *is this it? is it happening again? is this the final time*. Being told to get on with life is not quite as simple as it sounds, life has and will not be quite the same i feel.People are too quick to tell you how to prevent another and what was to blame for the previous,i just with they would tunnel their thoughts and ideas into dealing with now, the now me, the scared me,the me that finds simple thoughts so difficult now.

    Hi Amanda, welcome to the blog, I am glad you found me. If you are looking for someone that can relate to and understand your thoughts and feelings, you certainly have come to the right place. Everything you have said I can echo right back to you and say been there done that and am still struggling with it.
    Let’s face it getting on with life is the best thing for both of us. Now, that is easy to say but not nearly so easy to do.
    I imagine you are being bombarded with well intended advice from doctors, family and friends. All well intentioned and likely very good advice. It got to the point where I was getting annoyed at hearing all the: “you should be……” or the one that really got to me was: “if I was in your position I would be…….”. I thought you don’t know what you would be doing if you were in my position, no one does until they are actually there, and it sucks. I know that, I am there.
    I hope you don’t mind I am going to email you directly. We have a lot in common and much we can share to possibly try to help each other through this time.
    I invite you, no, I ask you please to keep coming back to the blog. Here you will find a loving community that will provide you with a lot of love and support.
    I will do my best to get that email out to you today or tomorrow for sure.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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