One Small Step

Tomorrow sees my long-awaited post cardiac arrest health assessment. This a pre-requisite so cardio rehab staff can formulate a bespoke rehab plan for me to utilise at my local gym.

This fitness strategy being drawn up to strengthen my heart muscle after it sustained moderate damage during the life-threatening incident. A plan that, although not mandatory, is an available and clearly sensible approach to follow. Hopefully, in association with my stents, a strategy that’ll reduces the risk of encountering further heart scares.

I’ve no real idea what moderate damage to the heart muscle actually indicates. I’m just hoping on concluding the assessment my rehab assessor doesn’t shake his/her head, akin to a car mechanic looking under a bonnet, before uttering fatalistically “Oooof….. That doesn’t look very good, Mr Strachan!

I’m hoping this assessment leads to the creation of an altogether more optimistic health strategy. An exercise itinerary to follow that has been drawn up for me by individuals accomplished in the field of cardio rehabilitation. Not the advice of the trolley man at a nearby Tescos supermarket who ‘helpfully’ advocating I mitigate against further heart issues by “Avoid lugging anvils around and you’ll be reet!”

Despite me having good and bad days energy wise, during what can only be described as my sloth-like recovery, I’m sure I’ll make a full recovery as long as I embrace a healthy diet (which I have), exercise regularly (which I sort of do) and avoid an eejit like Father Dougal McGuire (see video clip below).

In the previous paragraph I wrote my heart rehab can only be described as sloth-like. Obviously, what I transcribed was merely an expression, after all there are many other ways to describe the latency of my recovery. For instance, as alternatives to using sloth-like I could’ve utilised one of the following locutions :-

Snail-like, tortoise-like, very sloth-like, highly sloth-like, incredibly sloth-like, very snail-like, highly snail-like, incredibly snail-like, very tortoise-like, highly tor……. Ok, Ok, you get it!!…… No need to shout!!

I think what I’m attempting to relay, in an unnecessary long-winded manner, is that my recovery seems to be making incredibly small steps – Which, as they don’t have legs, I suppose rules out the snail analogies.

Lots of very bright folk have sought to get me to manage my rehab expectations more reasonably. Pointing out I should set myself achievable goals, not rely on gauging my progress with the subjective measurements that I currently use, which contribute to my frustration.

These kindly individuals attempt to raise my spirits with well-meaning observations like “Just be patient, Gary…. Rome wasn’t built by Robin Day!”, “It’s better to be slow, than repent in haste!” and “The burden of proof is with the prosecution!”…….. Actually, coming to think of it, they weren’t very bright folk!!…. They were chuffing idiots!!

Seriously, though, people have been very supportive, providing me with a wealth of useful advocacies aimed at underpinning my health battle. Recommendations and advice I know to be correct and worthy of following. However it isn’t always easy to be patient during recovery, or indeed respond calmly towards stressful situations.

Ultimately, though, I’ve got to try remain calm and collected, otherwise my existential odyssey may come to an abrupt end. A situation that’ll mean I’d  have defecated on the sterling work of cardiologists, nurses, friends and family who’ve invested so much time in my well-being since January’s cardiac arrest.


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