Tuesday, October 7, 2014

State of the Attack

Some of my doctor friends asked me about depression. One of the side effects of heart disease or low blood pressure is depression.

I have none of that, but I do get angry a whole lot more. Just, extremely pissed off. I feel like I'm 23 again, with a whole bunch of anger, and fear.

I sneaked a look at my MRI results and while my attending physician will discuss what the numbers mean to me, I found out already how much of my heart is dead. This part will never regenerate, but there is hope to strengthen other parts of the heart to compensate for the muscle tissue I lost.

Been reading up on the condition and what I can do to help ease collaterals along. Collaterals is a medical term referring to smaller vessels branching off the main arteries on the heart - the RCA, LAD and LCX (that's right coronary artery, left anterior descending artery and left circumflex artery - the circumflex portion of the left coronary artery).

I was, for a time, walking around with two blocked arteries and one of them had a 90% blockage. The only reason it could accumulate that much is because for a time, the load of that artery was perhaps shared by collaterals, and I had quite a bit.

According to my cardiac rehab doctor, collaterals are created when we exercise, so all those exercise sessions I did probably saved my life by creating the collaterals. All that cardiovascular exercise - so that's why it's called cardiovascular.

The idea behind strengthening other parts of my heart work in the same way. My heart is now weak, though I do not feel any different unless I exert myself - there is a slight tightness of the chest that goes away after I force myself through the activity.

I began my exercise regime, post-discharge from the hospital, sporadically. I went up the stairs five floors up after the first week, 8 floors up the second week and 11 floors on the third week.

The doctors told me to stop because it is too much, according to their expert view. I don't feel as if it's too much, but I'll listen to my doctors for now.

After I decided to forego my stair-climbing, I opted for walks. I started a couple of weeks ago with short walks within the compounds of my apartment. Then, I went outside and walked for half an hour. Today, I walked for 40 minutes non stop, on various types of inclinations (I live beside a cemetery with many small and big hills).

A lot of the research I've done on food, I wrote in Bahasa Malaysia here because I found a distinct lack of info and literature in BM. There is a wealth of it in English, but almost none in BM, so, I've been recording and translating what I've found.

A note - almost ALL Malay and Indonesian cuisine are unhealthy. Either high in salt, fat or just fucking dumb. Chinese cuisine is also high in sodium, for example General Tso's Chicken, fat - all types of great tasting crab dishes - or just spiked in MSG. I forego all MSG and all soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc.

Now, Indian cuisine - I don't trust it. Chapatti might SEEM like a good alternative, but some cook it with ghee - extremely high in saturated fat. Same goes with dhal - how the fuck do I know what they put in there? Indian cuisine also treats vegetables as if they need to torture it or add stuff to make it unhealthy.

The only cook I can trust is myself. I have been cooking almost 90% of my meals since I've been discharged from the hospital to ensure I know EXACTLY what the fuck I'm putting into my body.

I have lost 11kg since my cardiac event on Aug 29. Watching what I eat, I hope to lose 30kg eventually, within a year. I have the perfect motivation - I eat kuih and I die. This is also one of those numbers I can work on.

I'm so fucking bored sometimes, without a goal I can work on. Putting a 30kg goal on losing weight and going for a 12-months deadline works for me. I also know the percentage of my heart capacity, so I can work on that, as well as my cholesterol level, liver functions, BP, etc. These numbers keep me sane.

Smoking is another issue. The first few weeks without cigarettes, I was right as rain. Now, I'm feeling the effects of withdrawal, which has contributed to my anger. I'm just really pissed off most of the time.

It's like, I understand now that there is not much time left, and people who dilly-dally or just be stupid for no reason just pisses me off because they're wasting my time and my life.

Meditation has helped. Eckhart Tolle's teachings keep me balanced and centered. I still don't trust people and I see no reason why I should do otherwise. People always try to manipulate or fool you. They lie, they cheat, they steal. They pretend. I don't like people.

Two days from now, I'm seeing my attending physician. He's a cardiologist. I hope to gain more info on my condition and see what else I can do. I have some numbers and I want to do better at them.