What Saves The Heart - A Valentines Day Special
Great Natural Remedies:
- Arnica Montanna (as prescribed by a qualified and highly trained Homeopathist)
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate (80% or above)
- Watermelon (in the morning time before anything else.)
- Regular Cardio exercise (20 minutes or longer 5x per week).
- Love & Laughter
Author's Note: Just a heads up, the following post is a tad long. You could consider it a very small chapter from a book (only 2 and a half pages of big type) if that helps.
There are many more ways to help the heart. You can eat oranges (but not overdo ‘em since they still have sugar, and too much sugar isn’t helpful for heart patients.) The good news is I’ve been eating very healthy this past week and there’s an improvement in my BP somewhat. I’ve also gotten to the gym twice for sustained cardio exercise which is twice more than I’ve been at the gym in over a month, but also not enough to prevent heart disease according to this guy—thank goodness my job requires me to be on the move constantly! I’m also good at just getting up and moving as often as possible, and again my job requires me to walk around a lot (I easily hit over 10k steps per day, sometimes almost 14k steps per day every day of the week!)
What happens to people in the workforce is this: even when we have the time to go to the gym, we just don’t. Work was stressful, we’re tired, we didn’t get a good night’s sleep, we have a headache, we forgot our gym clothes (ok, if you forget your gym clothes you get a pass, and if you’re headache is really bad, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard, but otherwise…yeah, get in there) we’d rather go home and watch television.
The excuses are endless. What do you think Saint Valentine would say about excuses? Good point, since we don’t have much information on this particular saint, who knows what he might have said? Maybe he would have excused you to go out and have a cheeseburger. Regardless of such vagaries, I love what Saint Valentine stands for: love.
I’ve noticed that, despite a raised BP, the more I laugh and the more I love each day, the better I feel. I know it’s not only keeping me alive, but it’s making the lives of those who surround me (coworkers and family alike) feel better too.
I met my future wife for the first time in Denver Colorado. I had no idea who she was. I knew she was cute and sweet and intense just by the way she entered the room I was giving healing sessions in. She was curious to see if I could help her for her own reasons. I tried having a conversation with her on that first meeting, but she was very quiet and didn’t talk too much about why she was there. She also only had 15 minutes instead of the full 30 she paid for because she had a plane to catch.
At the time I had no idea what she was going to mean to me, but the session left an impact on both of us—it was her response on the table that cemented it in our minds. At that time she only asked to be able to live fully in her heart. I said that was easy (I was sincere in my response, if a bit naive).
One more time she paid me a visit, this time when I was giving healing sessions out in Santa Fe, NM. According to her, she wanted to see if what I did was “cold fusion” or if I was really gifted. After that second session, she knew I could be her teacher. So she asked to apprentice with me and eventually she had me come out to her studio in PA where I would end up teaching several workshops and helping a lot of people with healing sessions. Michelle watched everything I did and learned all she could. I would send lessons to her once a week, custom made, via email, as I did with a few of the people that wanted to be my students at that time. She was one of the few that really took everything to heart and still practices the same techniques I showed her to this day. Regardless of the fact that my now wife was always a powerful healer, even before I met her, and had helped many hundreds of people, she had the humility and the compassion to ask me for help in healing others when she was much more deeply connected to powerful healing than I ever could have imagined.
I remember realizing that, though she had asked to be my student, it was really I who learned the most from her and still do. To say I’m in total awe of this powerhouse of a woman is a feeble grasp at the truth behind words. She gives me incredible props for something she was always more talented at, always models the way to uphold my integrity, and never fails to cheer me on when the chips are feeling down. How do we meet such people? We align ourselves truly and fully with love. I’m truly blessed. And I guess you’re now just a tad sickened by all the Valentines Day love-lettering about my wife. After all these years I guess it’s too difficult to resist spelling out what an amazing and precious being she is to me. Okay, I’ll spare you from more (though I could go on) gushing.
Our relationship started out as friendship for over a year. We were together as a couple for over 5 years before we finally got married. Before we were married, and not long since we started dating, I had my heart attacks and died. She was there. At this time I was in Santa Fe, NM again teaching meditation and doing private healing sessions. I had driven out there from Houston where I resided. In case you’re wondering, yes, it’s a very long drive—almost 600 miles one way! Michelle was in PA, and we met frequently on Skype or talked on the phone. When I began developing symptoms of what we thought was altitude sickness I took baths, drank down chlorophyl pills, took aspirin, and was recommended the aforementioned Arnica Montana at a high dose, (which, unbeknownst to me was also a heart remedy), and the only thing that made me calm down and feel better. I was in fact having a severe myocardial infarction during that time, for a period of 3 days, not knowing it.
Finally, on the 3rd day I decided I’d had enough and would drive back to Houston to get away from the altitude. Or so I thought. During my time in Santa Fe I even met with a holistic MD who gave me a B shot infusion. Vitamin B (and all the B-vitamins, really) is extremely good for the heart! Getting the infusion made me feel amazing. For only a short time, then I’d relapse into shortened breath, and a stabbing pain in the center of my thoracic spine ( upper back)—I just thought I needed a chiropractic adjustment, and I’d feel better, but my back simply wouldn’t crack. Wanna know the craziest thing I did? I had the woman, who’s guest home I stayed in, stand on my back to try and crack it…while having a heart attack I didn’t know I was having! I know, crazy right? I should have died or my heart should have exploded in my chest right then. Perhaps there’s something to this mysterious ‘Grace’ stuff we keep hearing all about. Later on my doctors explained to me that a fluid sack had built itself around my heart and lungs protecting me from the heart attack, which is similar to Pulmonary Edema, but in my case was just a bit different, because it was something built over a short period of time versus a large period of time. How bizarre does that sound, right?
On the drive home Michelle called and from my symptoms she could tell I was having a heart attack. She told me to get off at the next exit and get to the emergency room. I finally agreed (under severely labored breath), having driven 336 miles from Santa Fe to Amarillo, Texas!
Before I set out on this journey some part of me recognized that I was dying. The thought that I’d been dying and would die young had weighed heavily on my mind for several months prior to this event. It would come to me from out of the blue. This odd phenomena has clued me in that when the time comes again, I will know it. The difference is, this time, I will be fine with it. Because the truth is, there is nothing to fear in death. Like the old saying goes, “don’t take life too seriously—nobody gets out alive.” I concur.
When I got to the hospital they did emergency surgery on me. After tests, the doctors concluded that I had 100% occlusions (remember this was 6 years ago) in several of my major arteries. They unclogged my arteries as best they could, but many more arteries had high occlusion rates at 60 and 70% which they left alone. Oops, I skipped a crucial part. The part where they make things worse before they make them better. This is one of those moments you look back on and laugh, I promise.
Before they did the surgeries they needed me to empty out my bladder. Of course they wouldn’t let me go into a men’s room and all the men and women doctors were just kind of milling about, waiting for me to go in front of them. Sure, no big deal. I'll just unzip right here shall I and... Uh...folks, this isn't the off-Broadway Special "Urinetown", is it? Can a guy get an ounce of privacy here? Sure I'm dying, and I need to go, but...uh, how about no audiences? I asked them to leave the room. To add insult to injury I felt the crunch of time. They needed me to go now or they were going to catheterize me. That’s where they shove a not so subtle tube down the wrong end of a very sensitive anatomy spot…I’d rather not talk about this, but…it_gets_better_folks! Finally there's a little relief. You know, not to sidetrack here much, but in some of my fictional writing I've been accused of writing scenes about the bathroom too much. Until just now I never realized why. Thanks blog! Okay, back to what happened in this story...
When the surgery was over and I’d come back around again I said I needed to go, ASAP-P, you know, but because I really waited so long, I was incapable. Here's the moment in the movie of my life where I behold a very thick looking tube with downright horror. No WAY is that thing going inside my...oh goodness. Ouch! Now, the two nurses were pretty and barely out of their 20’s—seriously, did they have to look like high school cheerleaders? Despite the pain of having something the size of a garden hose be shoved through something the width and depth of a small needle syringe, there was blessed relief in the bladder. The next morning I was in the worst pain of my entire life! A_RAGING_U_T_I (urinary tract infection). Oops, we're sorry--teehee, said the pretty nurses. Seriously? Anyway I do laugh about it now because I was the one person on that wing of the hospital who could be heard...through that whole wing of the hospital.
A day later my beloved was by my side. I felt bad for her poor ear drums! She could hear me moaning at the top of my lungs and reminded me to breathe, even just a little. Thank God for her. To say that this didn’t challenge our relationship would be a lie—not the moaning of course, but the situation, although.… It nearly tore us apart, and for the life of me I can only attribute the fact that we are still together with a miracle of the Great Heart by which we are all held. When I finally convinced the doctors to let me go, and they agreed it was safe, I left the hospital and went to the hotel right across the street. After a brief trip down the road to the local Walmart where I could get some fresh t-shirts and my medications, we finally got back to the hotel room. I took a shower and when I got out I was feeling really weird in my chest. Oh and one additional thing I forgot to mention, before I left my friend’s guest house in Santa Fe, I squashed my glasses when getting in bed, so as a bonus I was walking around blind. People must have thought I had strange problems at WalMart with all the squinting and acting like I was practically blind.
Well, I was practically blind, but whatever. Anyway, in the hotel room after the shower as I said, something else was really wrong and I told Michelle to call 911. I was rushed right back across the street to the hospital AGAIN. This time I was in VTAC with sustained BP at and over 200. They shocked my heart many times, but could not get my heart back into a normal sinus rhythm- by the way. Yep, it sucked. It sucked major lemons. I got to ride the lightning, and though I was semi-unconscious I’ll tell you I remember the jolts of electricity all through my body, especially in my eyes and teeth. My teeth! How the hell do you feel electricity in your teeth? You’d die faster and probably more painlessly in the electric chair (don’t quote me on that though). Now I know it sounds like I was awake this entire time, but at some point they put my body in a coma and I was no longer part of the experience.
The great thing about going through such extraordinary trauma is not actually having to be present for it. I know, that sounds awfully Woody Allen of me, but it’s true—I just wasn’t there after the whole electric tooth debacle (wow, that’d make a great name for a rock band, right?) They did many more gruesome things to me I’m sure, but I was busy chillin’ somewhere in the ‘afterlife’ asking about coming back here and visiting some of the friends I’d made around this big wide world in my subtle body. Yeah, it sounds cool, but I’d rather do some astral travels in meditation rather than from a hospital room in a town I’ve never been in before, but that’s just now how the chips fell this time around. Here is where, in 9 cases out of 10, I tell people I won't be talking about the afterlife or my experiences of it any further. People still try to ask me but I will not speak of it further. I've given everything I have on the subject, and what's left out is left out. Since I can't be certain I wasn't hallucinating, and since science doesn't recognize another world, and since we all find out in the end for ourselves what's real, why bother speaking about it? If you want to read a great book on the subject, I recommend Eben Alexander the 3rd's book: Proof of Heaven. Please keep in mind this is not an endorsement of his book, but I thought I'd make it easier for you to get if you're interested. I'm not about to say I have any authority or better understanding of death. I had my experiences, but everyone will have their own whenever they do.
During the time I was intubated and in a drug-induced coma (the kind many rock stars have no interest in, I’m sure) my beloved started doing Source Healing Energy on me (which is similar, although not the same as Reiki) on my feet. When she did so (I was intubated and unconscious) my BP dropped significantly, and the doctors and even the nurses had witnessed this phenomenon and were rightly surprised. The doctors said they had no idea what she was doing, but whatever it was to keep doing it. Of course, Michelle is no machine, and she could only do so much for so long before she was exhausted physically from worry, stress, and not sleeping well due to my compounded condition. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with me or why I was back in even more severe circumstances than when they’d left me. It wasn’t until three days later, with friends all over the Country working hard to collect funds to helicopter me back to Houston for even more advanced protocols, that a cardiac electrician from another city close by was called in and saved my life. Unbeknownst to everyone, I had electrical misfires on the backside of my heart. He had to ablate (burn) close to 50% of my heart pathways to keep me from dying permanently.
At one point while I was still intubated and mostly unconscious I came to. I asked for a pen and paper with the best and clumsiest sign language I could muster under the circumstances. I wrote down in droopy, loopy handwriting, “Only Grace is Everything” which I heard was later made into a T-Shirt somewhere out in California. That’s probably the best writing I’ve ever done—with tubes shoved down my throat after a traumatic event! Just kidding. Anyway, the Chaplain was so impressed with me and my recovery that he researched my website and me online (which we haven’t gotten to yet, but that’s what other posts are for) that some of the doctors asked if I’d stay and make an ashram where everyone could gather and…and what? God only knows what they had in mind. I politely declined of course. Amarillo isn’t the sort of place I had intentions of staying. Now that I saw my relationship with Michelle was going to survive (an inner knowing kind of thing, there was still plenty of room for doubt, because all things are essentially groundless) I had other ideas about where I wanted to end up living.
I know this entry is long enough—we should call it “The Never Ending Eeentry!” Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I still feel so full in my heart to this very day that so many people prayed for and supported me during that crucial and scary chapter of my life. It helped me with medical expenses and moving across the country to live near my beloved.
I like to think that this event in my life cracked my heart open even wider, and opened my mind and eyes to ever greater possibilities of what life has to offer. The fact that you’re reading this now gives it an extra special shine. I hope that other people with heart issues are half as lucky as I was. I think this is the special gift of Valentines Day. We get to appreciate the miracles, large and small, in our life, and the one’s we get to share it with. May we all open to supreme joy and the causes of supreme joy, may we all know it and invite it into our lives.
In truth, everyone saved my heart. I hope to return the favor.
Happy Love Day!