What the hell is a Myocardial Infarction?

This is an easy one. A Myocardial Infarction is a HEART ATTACK. I mean I guess it sounds better than ATTACK. It was also a totally new term to me. I had ever heard of a Myocardial Infarction before.

So, a Myocardial Infarction is a hear attack. A “MI” (that is what us survivors call’em) happens when your heart (a muscle) is not getting the blood it needs to perform it’s job. Just like any other working part of your body, the heart needs blood, and the oxygen that blood carries in order to keep working.

Why isn’t it getting the blood? Because you had one too many cheeseburgers.

Or you are under a lot of stress. Or you are genetically disposed to have high cholesterol. Whatever it is, the result is the same. The cholesterol left fatty deposits in the arteries that take blood to your heart muscle, and eventually those deposits got do big they caused a blockage. When the blockage is so bad that very little or no blood is getting through, you get an Myocardial Infarction.

Most people have some cholesterol buildup. It’s natural. Some people go through their entire life with blockage that is enough to impact their physical well being, and they never know it. They just fell exhausted and chalk it up to life wearing them down.

I was amazed…stunned…about how much better I felt mere hours after my heart attack. Physically. I will cover my mental state in future posts. But I felt so much better. I had build living with this blockage that it had impacted my quality of life. MANY PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHY THEY FEEL BAD!

What I was doing wrong?

Frankly, I ate like shit and didn’t care. I loved steak, bacon, cheeseburgers, and friend chicken. And I loved wings. And I didn’t exercise. So all that saturated fat I was eating was building up, and I wasn’t balancing it with healthy foods and exercise. Like any muscle, if you don’t work it out, it can get “flabby” or weak. If you don’t have a strong heart, it makes pumping through all the blockage tough. Add to that I was drinking lots of beer and smoking cigars. The beer is more fat, and while the cigars didn’t cause the MI, they didn’t help it. The nicotine raised my blood pressure. Not good. I was a ticking time bomb, now that I think about it.

What happened to me?

I may have mentioned that I had a MI or, heart attack. During a heart attack, time is muscle. Because I didn’t recognize the symptoms, my heart was dying for over 72 hours. So, I ended up with minor heart damage.

What I am doing now?

I have heart disease. No getting around that. So my arteries are clogged. Still. No getting around that. I have two stents. I got a second chance. So I need to take it seriously.

  1. I go to the gym six days a week. At minimum, I get 30 minutes of exercise each day. That is more than 180 minutes a week.
  2. I have given up the cow. No more red meat. No more dairy. I have also given up on pork. I do have some grilled chicken and some fish. But most of my diet is vegetables.
  3. No more cigars.
  4. Cut waaaay back on my alcohol consumption and the types of beer I drank. Crap like Michelin Ultra is my reality now, but it beats the alternative.
  5. Cut out sugar treats except on rare occasions.

Cardiologists agree that resistance and strength training are great for heart health. Increased muscle mass makes it easier for your body to burn calories which helps maintain a healthy weight. And a healthy weight means that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard.