Well, I’m back…after a brief visit into the unknown. You might say it was an “In the Body” experience, rather than an “Out of Body” experience.
Those of you who accessed my blog thru my website, know that exercise has been my life for the last 25 years. Regardless of that fact, I…Nancy Swayzee…Miss Healthy, just had open heart surgery!
How? you ask…How could that be? She does all the right things, exercises 5 days a week, eats healthy, reads every label…
Well, for one thing, I’ve got bad genetics to deal with; heart disease runs in my family, cancer doesn’t. Like most of us over 60, cholesterol wasn’t even a known factor in health until maybe the late 70’s, so when I began cooking in the late 50’s…just like everyone else, I used Crisco, loved salami & mortadella sandwiches, adored the creamiest Jack cheese I could find, ate the skin off the turkey, etc., etc.
So, the two arteries that were completely blocked were over 30 yrs. old. It seems all my exercise (I started running in the late 60’s) kept my heart running all these years. What finally got me?… You guessed it, STRESS. If you read my last blog, you know I’ve had some issues to deal with, in addition, my husband has prostate cancer, the difficult economics of our daily life are increasing like everyone else, I self-published two books at once, was still filming exercise classes…as Emeril loves to say “BAM”, the cosmic mallet struck!
“Stop what you are doing to yourself. You’re living the same speeded out life you’re telling everyone not to do.”
One of the books, Moment by Moment…an Ageless Process” (just like this blog) is about noticing…experiencing life – in the moment. Well dear friends, that is what I’ve been forced to do…practice what I’ve been preaching. So although my cardiologist says I’m healing like a 30 yr. old, instead of a 72 yr. old – I’ve had to slow down, stop teaching for a while and continue to listen to my body.
Luckily, because I DO that, I prevented a heart attack that would have killed me, by driving myself to Emergency when I felt the elephant sit on my chest. It was “noticing” what I was feeling that told me to take action. While I’m healing and gaining back my strength, I’m concentrating on my writing. I have decided this is where my focus should be. I’m going to share a poem I just wrote last week, about this experience, and a statement my daughter overheard the heart surgeon say…but before I do, I’m going to ask you to go to Amazon.com or B&N.com, look up my two new books. Hopefully you will be inspired to buy them.
There is a door I’m not ready to open,
a scene I’m not ready to view.
Through gossamer panels, I see moving shapes
They appear to be gowned, moving silently.
I notice they are carrying something
moving oh so carefully.
One of them passes their possession to another…
and I see the small, steady movement of the object
as they are passing it.
I feel drawn…I can’t explain it, but I know
it is something precious to me.
Unable to stop myself,I press my face against the curtains.
I can only see the object vaguely,
but it is red, dripping, pulsing and appears to be
very delicate. It is a small, fragile heart.
I gasp, pressing my hand to my chest,
It feels strange. I look down…
There is a large, gaping hole in my chest.
The last thing I remember, I heard one of them say,
“She has the heart of a child.”