Angioplasty — one year later

My angioplasty took place Aug. 13, 2012, so I have now lived for one year with a stent holding open one of my major arteries.

To keep that artery open, I have completely changed my eating routines as well as going on a regimen of medicines that had me taking five and a half pills a day. The result has been a 25-pound weight loss and a positive checkup last week that resulted in me being taken off one of my medications.

Me at the farmers' market with a fig tree I bought.
Me at the farmers’ market with a fig tree I bought.

To say all this had been easy, or a great opportunity to try new foods, would be absurd. Indeed, I stopped talking to one long-time friend who suggested that last year on a blog we once did together. Unfortunately, he had no clue why I could no longer meet him at some of our old eating haunts to watch him eat dishes I could no longer consume.

As a better, longer-term friend who also went through an angioplasty before I did predicted to me, there wasn’t a day in this last year when I didn’t have some ache or pain, real or imagined, that caused to worry I might be having the heart attack I dodged last year. Hardly fun times.

I have tried to live this past year to the very fullest, writing a one-act play I had been talking about writing for years; working with my wife to produce two performance of the play, and subsequently to write the second act as well.

I agreed to a long-wished-for trip to Italy to find my family roots with a group of cousins and my wife even though every day leading up to and during that trip, I was sure the trip itself would kill me.

I even agreed to go to a family reunion on my wife’s side at Disneyworld roughly four months after my surgery, when just walking was still a shaky experience for me. I lost four pounds in four days on that jaunt because of the lack of healthy food options at Disney or Universal Studios.

But I survived, I survived it all and I’m doing well. My doctors are thrilled and I’m thankful.

Last weekend, my wife and I went to our suburb’s farmers’ market and I remembered walking around the same market not long after my surgery in 2012. That day, I felt so shaky that I convinced my wife to let me wander alone a bit (she was frightened about leaving me). I convinced her to leave, not because I was feeling fine, but because I was sure I was about to pass out or worse, and I didn’t want her seeing that.

I didn’t pass out, as woozy as I was from the higher doses of medication I was on then.

I have used this year to build this website to help any and all of you dealing with your own massive changes in diets and health.

I know how tough it is, but you can change how you eat to survive, to survive for the people around you, and to enjoy the non-food portion of life yourself. With my help, hopefully, you also can enjoy some parts of your new food life.

Keep reading and keep trying.


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