The first thing I need to do is to thank all you good people for your thoughts and well wishes during my period of discomfort. I realise that having a heart attack and a triple bypass has little or nothing to do with stomas and, for this reason, I have been a little reluctant to be posting on here recently. Unfortunately, my body has been under great pressure and mind has been so filled with my own problems that I have not felt like addressing those of other people, lest I come across as seeming less than caring.<br><br>
When I had my stoma operation, it was the writing of rhyming verse which helped me to clarify my thinking and distracted me from the negativity that can accompany chronic illness and the after-effects of surgery. Thus, having suffered a heart attack, I decided that I would try to document my experiences and feelings in a similar format, with a view to distracting my thoughts away from the negativity surrounding such depressing circumstances.<br><br>
Some of you have expressed an interest in my rhymes and I was racking my brain to think of a way that I could share these new ones with you without overwhelming the MAO site with posts that were not to do with stomas.A blog seemed the most appropriate way of doing this, as it allows me to post lots of rhyming verses in the same blog so that those who are not interested in rhymes or heart attacks can opt out by simply skipping to someone else's posts. <br><br>
I have almost finished my latest book covering this subject, so I will use this oportuntiy to post a couple of rhymes at a time to share with you my rhyming diary covering the past couple of months of 'heartfelt' struggle. <br><br>
Unfortunately, the formatting on the blog does not appear to allow for me to copy the rhymes in a way which makes them easy to read, so I will need to find another way.<br><br>
That other way appears to be to post the rhymes in the original post, rather than trying to post them as comments. So it looks as if the whole selection will gradually accumulate in revisions of this section of the blog rather than in subsequent posts.<br><br>
Best wishes<br><br>
to you all<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />DEDICATION.<br><br>
<br />TO<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>
<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK:<br />ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.<br><br>
There&rsquo;s many people I would thank<br />for helping me devise and bank<br />the rhyming lines within this book <br />so other folks might take a look.<br><br>
Without staff at the NHS<br />I would have been in a right mess. <br />When they were needed they were there<br />giving their loving, tender care.<br><br>
I&rsquo;d like to mention all those folk<br />who helped me with this heavy yolk<br />of great responsibility<br />during this catastrophe.<br><br>
Doctors, nurses and the rest<br />all gave to me their very best <br />professional and ongoing care <br />but most important they were &lsquo;there&rsquo;.<br><br>
I&rsquo;d like to mention other staff<br />who do their work on our behalf<br />yet often don&rsquo;t get recognition <br />because they don&rsquo;t hold high position.<br><br>
But nonetheless, they do their bit <br />in making sure we&rsquo;re well and fit<br />by doing jobs that other&rsquo;s don&rsquo;t<br />and cleaning up where other&rsquo;s won&rsquo;t.<br><br>
Then there is the Heart Foundation<br />who, within each publication<br />elucidate and educate <br />us victims of this tragic fate.<br><br>
I&rsquo;m sure there&rsquo;s people who I&rsquo;ve missed<br />from what should be a great long list.<br />But I will hope that they will know<br />my gratitude will always show.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />INTRODUCTION.<br><br>
Here&rsquo;s welcome to my modest book<br />in which I take a little look <br />at many things as I looked back <br />upon my massive heart attack.<br><br>
Then there&rsquo;s my deliberation<br />on my bypass operation <br />which had come as such a shock<br />it gave my confidence a knock.<br><br>
I want to say right from the start<br />this book&rsquo;s not just about my heart, <br />but what I felt from day to day<br />about my struggles on the way.<br><br>
So, I will stress the angst and pain <br />and then repeat myself again<br />because the pain that does occur<br />drifts in and out but will recur.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ll comment on the people who<br />worked together as a crew<br />to pool their skills and knowledge too<br />making sure that I pulled through.<br><br>
My rhymes are somewhat sequential<br />highlighting the existential<br />to make some sort of storyline<br />from this experience of mine.<br><br>
There won&rsquo;t be many poets who <br />would document what I&rsquo;ve been through <br />describing what seemed to be true<br />ascribing to an overview.<br><br>
These types of verses can be placed <br />in context and are not a waste.<br />For they have helped me concentrate<br />so that my mind did not stagnate.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>
<br /> <br><br>
That first attack shook me a bit<br />&lsquo;cos I had always been so fit.<br />None of the symptoms seemed to fit<br />so I could not make sense of it.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve been a healthy sort of bloke<br />who does not drink, nor do I smoke.<br />My diet is exemplary<br />so why would this happen to me?<br><br>
I used to play, and I would run<br />and I&rsquo;d climb mountains just for fun.<br />Participating in all sports<br />and rarely feeling out of sorts.<br><br>
Of course, there&rsquo;s been some accidents<br />but they&rsquo;ve been mainly incidents<br />where I&rsquo;ve misjudged a circumstance <br />and paid the price of happenstance.<br><br>
My many scars I cannot hide<br />from falling down the mountainside.<br />To all the dangerous things I did <br />whilst acting like a little kid.<br><br>
But all of that was just a game<br />so it was never quite the same <br />as having something sprung on you <br />with no warning, out of the blue.<br><br>
When I succumbed to searing pain <br />a little something in my brain <br />was telling me that it would pass <br />like life&rsquo;s other &lsquo;pains in the arse&rsquo;.<br><br>
But very soon, in retrospect<br />I thought I ought to get it checked. <br />I didn&rsquo;t want to make a fuss<br />so dumped the car and jumped the bus.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK ;<br />A&amp;E<br><br>
I just know it&rsquo;s hard to park <br />so the bus was not a lark.<br />And, as for ambulances, they<br />take forever, so they say.<br><br>
My last visit to A &amp; E<br />proved to be too much for me. <br />Five hours wait and I went home <br />to heal myself and moan alone.<br><br>
But this time round, I have to say<br />I went prepared to stay all day.<br />So, I resolved to sit it out <br />to find out what this pain&rsquo;s about.<br><br>
To my surprise, there was no queue<br />and so, they quickly got me through<br />to be examined by a nurse <br />before my pain got any worse.<br><br>
The first doctor could not resist <br />referring to a specialist.<br />Eventually they diagnosed<br />three of my arteries were closed.<br><br>
I took a look at their big screen<br />trying to see what could be seen.<br />But I don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s right or wrong<br />or what a heart&rsquo;s like when it&rsquo;s strong.<br><br>
As the blocks were at a junction <br />normal stents were not an option.<br />I felt better when once rested<br />and a bypass was suggested.<br><br>
But now I have to wait and see<br />what this op will do for me.<br />My hope is, if the gamble pays, <br />I&rsquo;ll amble back to my old ways.<br><br>

B. Withers 2019<br><br>

The Acute Cardiac Unit. <br />I MUST GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT&rsquo;S DUE<br />TO FOLKS WHO REALLY CARE FOR YOU.<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK :<br />THE ACU (Acute Cardiac Unit).<br><br>
Although I&rsquo;m ill, I want to say<br />a word or two about my stay.<br />It may not be the best of rhymes <br />as my mind drifts in troubled times.<br><br>
But I would like to make it known<br />that I&rsquo;ve enjoyed the care you&rsquo;ve shown.<br />So, take this as a compliment<br />as that&rsquo;s the sentiment that&rsquo;s meant.<br><br>
You&rsquo;ve all shown kindliness and care<br />and whilst I know that&rsquo;s why you&rsquo;re there,<br />you&rsquo;ve gone beyond what was expected <br />and for that, you are respected.<br><br>
There is no money that can buy<br />the kind of care that you apply.<br />And so, I wish to thank you all<br />for my short stay has been a &lsquo;ball&rsquo;.<br><br>

B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br />HOW AM I ?<br><br>
I can&rsquo;t describe it as much fun<br />having a triple bypass done.<br />So, when folks ask me &lsquo;How am I?&rsquo;<br />I&rsquo;m less than truthful in reply.<br><br>
This is a question I perceived <br />to have been asked, but not received.<br />For do they really want to know?<br />or should I let my feelings show?<br><br>
There&rsquo;s one response which springs to mind <br />which somehow seems a tad unkind.<br />Yet&rsquo; sums up what is in my head<br />that I feel I&rsquo;d be better dead.<br><br>
But what impression would this give,<br />to choose to die before I live?<br />What cynical, ungrateful git<br />would contemplate this kind of shit?<br><br>
And so, I go for latitude<br />and offer back a platitude.<br />I smile and shrug and I say nowt,<br />&lsquo;cos that&rsquo;s not what this thing&rsquo;s about.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve hardly had a moment&rsquo;s rest;<br />They&rsquo;ve opened up my ribs and chest;<br />Exchanged three arterial junctions, <br />messing up my kidney functions.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve got wires, leads and drains<br />creating excruciating pains.<br />So, when they ask me &lsquo;Does it hurt&rsquo;<br />this seems a question I should skirt.<br><br>
Whate&rsquo;er they say, will not have changed<br />all the things they&rsquo;ve rearranged.<br />So once again I show respect<br />and answer &lsquo;It&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;d expect&rsquo;.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br /> Bureaucracy.<br><br>
Yet when the questioning was done, <br />they write stuff down and then they&rsquo;re gone.<br />As if all this was not for me<br />but for some great bureaucracy.<br><br>
I don&rsquo;t think they are sadistic<br />but I feel like a statistic.<br />A number on somebody&rsquo;s list <br />makes me feel I don&rsquo;t exist.<br><br>
What was care a minute ago<br />is not there, so does not show.<br />And as their focus shifts away<br />what care was there has gone astray.<br><br>
They don&rsquo;t notice what they&rsquo;ve done <br />because it&rsquo;s done to everyone.<br />This is the bureaucratic side<br />which people take within their stride.<br><br>
Although it&rsquo;s only a small thing<br />when you are ill, it has a sting.<br />Because it seems to take their care <br />and place it somewhere over there.<br><br>
Few people ever point this out <br />for they know what this game&rsquo;s about.<br />Bureaucracy will have its way<br />because that&rsquo;s what dictates the pay.<br><br>
I played this game, and played it well<br />so nobody but me could tell<br />the machinations in my mind<br />as they tried hard to be so kind.<br><br>
I wrote these words when I was ill<br />and probably would write them still.<br />But who knows what words I would write?<br />when end of tunnel&rsquo;s light&rsquo;s in sight.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />Ba-boom<br><br>
Ba-boom, Ba-boom, Ba-boom, Ba-boom.<br />Tympanic rhythms fill my room.<br />Making my whole body shake<br />and giving me a huge headache.<br><br>
An unnerving situation <br />much deserving explanation.<br />That this pulsating of my heart<br />has now gone way beyond the chart.<br><br>
There&rsquo;s someone pounding out a beat <br />which must be sounding down the street.<br />To this thrum I have succumb<br />and I&rsquo;ve become a big bass drum.<br><br>
Does it not know that I&rsquo;m in pain,<br />which each ba-boom brings back again?<br />Does this force, have no pity<br />or recourse to empathy?<br><br>
For I&rsquo;ve been knocking on death&rsquo;s door<br />but now it seems death&rsquo;s wanting more.<br />It&rsquo;s banging loud, like dynamite<br />and won&rsquo;t give up without a fight.<br><br>
There&rsquo;s no place to run for cover,<br />this sensation&rsquo;s taken over. <br />Either I resist this force <br />or I let death just take its course.<br><br>
There is no way that I will die<br />and have them say, I did not try.<br />So, though I&rsquo;m ill and very weak <br />I will not turn the other cheek.<br><br>
I will simply bide my time <br />&lsquo;till I break from this paradigm.<br />They tell me that this won&rsquo;t last long <br />let&rsquo;s hope to hell that they&rsquo;re not wrong.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br /> SCARS.<br><br>
I look in the mirror and there they are <br />many small, and one massive scar.<br />Cut from bellybutton to chin<br />Ugh! What a state they&rsquo;ve left me in.<br><br>
A zombie from an autopsy<br />stands right there in front of me<br />and yet, somehow, I did survive <br />because I feel I&rsquo;m still alive.<br><br>
Bad bruising covers all my chest<br />and pain from that gives me no rest.<br />But I have had bruising before<br />so I&rsquo;m not worried on that score.<br><br>
The scars and bruising will soon heal <br />but that&rsquo;s not so for how I &lsquo;feel&rsquo;.<br />For feelings are a different part <br />to scars you see on chest and heart.<br><br>
My problem with this heart attack<br />is just how far it&rsquo;s knocked me back?<br />It hit me like a thunderbolt<br />and gave my psyche quite a jolt.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s something I can do without <br />like chronic illnesses and gout.<br />For as I&rsquo;ve aged, I kept my verve.<br />and that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;d like to preserve.<br><br>
So, as of now, I contemplate<br />the state that I have come to hate.<br />A life without some quality <br />I fear would be no good for me.<br><br>
All of my scars, I hope will heal,<br />in which case, this is no big deal.<br />I&rsquo;ll just resume my life again<br />free from illness and from pain.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK : <br />The GP system.<br><br>
The system says that patients must<br />develop confidence and trust.<br />But I&rsquo;m afraid this can be hard <br />when this system pays no regard.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve just come home from surgery<br />where everyone took care of me<br />and catered to my every need<br />so, they could know they would succeed.<br><br>
My triple bypass now complete <br />I was more stable on my feet<br />and with reduction of syndrome <br />it became time to send me home.<br><br>
The system says that I should make <br />a doctor&rsquo;s appointment and should take<br />all of my vital paperwork <br />to help the healing process work.<br><br>
Although still fuzzy in my head<br />I did take note of what they said<br />and rang my GP surgery<br />so they could then take care of me. <br /> <br />I&rsquo;ve never used my GP much<br />as I&rsquo;d no need for them as such.<br />But now it was a different case <br />where I&rsquo;m supposed to touch their base.<br><br>
Within ten days the system said<br />but now I think they were misled.<br />The lady on reception speaks<br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no appointments for four weeks.&rdquo;<br><br>
I explain my predicament<br />yet she remains most adamant.<br />But in the end, she says I may<br />ring in one week, at break of day.<br><br>
How can a system be so bad? <br />that discharged patients are forbade<br />from essential medicare<br />because there are no doctors there.<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK :<br />GP appointment.<br><br>
It may seem like a simple thing<br />to let the phone line ring and ring, <br />but it shows some disrespect<br />to make the caller disconnect.<br><br>
How many rings d&rsquo;you think is fair <br />to keep a caller hanging there?<br />Or do you think &lsquo;they&rsquo; are to blame<br />in this surreptitious game?<br><br>
You tell me when it&rsquo;s best to call<br />but then you say the same to all.<br />So, I&rsquo;m in a competition<br />with an active opposition.<br><br>
And this, you claim, is not your fault<br />which means that I should not revolt<br />or show you some discourtesy<br />which goes against your policy.<br><br>
You might justify the fact<br />that you don&rsquo;t have to do or act<br />if the caller&rsquo;s gone away <br />to try to ring another day.<br><br>
We know phones get overloaded<br />making relationships corroded,<br />but whose responsibility<br />is the consequentiality?<br><br>
How do I cope with frustration<br />and bring this thing to a cessation,<br />not make this drama exponential <br />but get the outcome that&rsquo;s essential?<br><br>
The doctors seem to all agree <br />their aftercare is right for me.<br />So, if the system doesn&rsquo;t work<br />expect that I might go berserk<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />Avoiding stress.<br><br>
When we are ill, our stress is high <br />so is it any wonder why <br />I question things that make it worse <br />through my words in rhyming verse?<br><br>
Having been a healthy chap<br />a heart attack was quite a zap.<br />But everyone I&rsquo;ve met so far, <br />in their own right has been a star.<br><br>
They have helped me to adjust<br />building confidence and trust,<br />guiding me through this strange process,<br />diminishing potential stress.<br><br>
All was progressing well until<br />I came across a bitter pill.<br />Instead of dealing with nice folk<br />the system spoiled it at a stroke.<br><br>
The system says, that whilst unwell<br />it&rsquo;s me that should reception tell<br />that I require an appointment <br />raising stress and disappointment.<br><br>
They have got my information<br />and they know my limitations.<br />Why can the system, from inception<br />not bypass GP&rsquo;s reception?<br><br>
It&rsquo;s surely not beyond their skill<br />to help us when we&rsquo;re really ill<br />and set up systems so that we<br />are relatively worry-free.<br><br>
I should not have to jump these hoops<br />in the time my heart recoups.<br />The system should sort these things out<br />so I have nowt to stress about.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />Simple solutions.<br><br>
Bypass surgery made me feel<br />so lightheaded and surreal.<br />Plus, all the discomfort and pain<br />made it hard to think again.<br><br>
In my body and mind malaise<br />most of my thinking&rsquo;s just a haze.<br />There is no way that I could see<br />to all the med&rsquo;s given to me.<br><br>
In hospital they sorted this<br />with no regard for self-service.<br />But on discharge, there was a snag<br />with my med&rsquo;s in a massive bag.<br><br>
Their list was an ironic twist<br />needing the skills of a pharmacist.<br />There was no way I could pretend<br />I had a chance to comprehend.<br><br>
Far too complex for me to know,<br />I just gave up from the word go.<br />And, if it wasn&rsquo;t for my wife<br />this might have been the end of life.<br><br>
Our family helped to sort the med&rsquo;s<br />and overcome initial dreads. <br />Tiding us through those early days<br />by showing us prescriptive ways.<br><br>
But now the med&rsquo;cine&rsquo;s running out, <br />something else to worry about.<br />Angry, confused and frustrated<br />makes me kind of agitated.<br><br>
Fortunately, the cardiac nurse <br />offered help before I got worse.<br />It&rsquo;s just as well there&rsquo;s people who<br />are there and know just what to do.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br />JND.<br><br>
Just Noticeable Difference<br />is the JND reference.<br />So, in this little rhyme of mine<br />I&rsquo;ll trace the changes over time.<br><br>
First of all it must be said <br />a heart attack can make you dead.<br />So, given this as a baseline<br />a heart that pumps is doing fine.<br><br>
During and after surgery<br />monitoring&rsquo;s not up to me. <br />Vital signs are closely watched<br />making sure that nothing&rsquo;s botched.<br><br>
There is no doubt, I don&rsquo;t feel good<br />and there&rsquo;s no reason that I should. <br />But if the JND&rsquo;s are there<br />it makes the medic&rsquo;s team aware.<br><br>
They check the heart in every way<br />so it will pump another day.<br />JND&rsquo;s can be predicted<br />and on charts they are depicted.<br><br>
They check my haematology<br />adjusting pharmacology.<br />Blood pressure&rsquo;s checked day and night <br />and temperature must be just right.<br><br>
The kidneys took a nasty jolt. <br />Apparently, that&rsquo;s not their fault.<br />They say it takes some time to mend<br />but will not bring life to an end.<br><br>
Reassurances abound,<br />informing me of what they have found.<br />With each day, the heart grows stronger <br />until their care&rsquo;s needed no longer.<br><br>
They say I&rsquo;m fit, but I don&rsquo;t know<br />I feel like shit, but it&rsquo;s time to go.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK : <br />JND&rsquo;s at home<br><br>
Despite the medic&rsquo;s assessment<br />on my improved predicament.<br />I get home and wonder why<br />I feel like I&rsquo;m about to die.<br><br>
There is no change that I can see<br />that makes a difference inside me.<br />Piercing pain is fulgurating, (like lightning)<br />discomfort&rsquo;s excruciating.<br><br>
I do not melodramatise<br />but can&rsquo;t lie down and can&rsquo;t arise.<br />Yet frequently I want to pee <br />but feel the pain is stopping me.<br><br>
I cannot sleep for all the pain <br />and wake up time and time again.<br />Three days and nights and it&rsquo;s still there<br />with no changes that I&rsquo;m aware.<br><br>
On day four my pain&rsquo;s diminished,<br />although clearly, it&rsquo;s not finished.<br />My discomfort&rsquo;s just as high<br />but this small change I won&rsquo;t decry.<br><br>
In the next few days I find<br />fresh JND&rsquo;s have sprung to mind.<br />I can walk a little more <br />than any of the days before.<br><br>
I can roll right out of bed<br />without wanting to be dead. <br />My pee now ends up where it should<br />and showering is feeling good.<br><br>
Now I&rsquo;ve noticed things have changed<br />my whole persona&rsquo;s rearranged.<br />I&rsquo;ve dropped the negativity<br />adopting positivity.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

A BUSY BEE.<br />I LIKE TO BE A BUSY BEE<br />BUT WHILST I&rsquo;M ILL IT&rsquo;S HARD TO BE.<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br /> Keeping busy.<br><br>
Eleventh day post surgery<br />and I take stock inside of me.<br />The scars will heal, the heart will mend<br />what else will send me round the bend?<br><br>
It is, as it has always been<br />before the advent of morphine.<br />This surgery has one last sting,<br />which, for me is disturbing.<br><br>
They don&rsquo;t tell you how to cope<br />with the sudden loss of hope<br />and overwhelming purposeless<br />creating new unpleasantness.<br><br>
I know, I should not do too much<br />in the physical sense as such.<br />But I&rsquo;ve resigned myself to that<br />with perhaps one caveat.<br><br>
I cannot simply do nothing<br />for I&rsquo;m compelled to do something.<br />Sod the conventionality<br />this is my personality.<br><br>
Even though I&rsquo;m very ill<br />it&rsquo;s hard for me to just sit still <br />and waste away my valued time<br />especially now I&rsquo;m past my prime.<br><br>
I look around for things to do<br />which physically won&rsquo;t be taboo,<br />yet help to occupy my mind<br />and leave frustration far behind.<br><br>
In days gone by I&rsquo;ve written rhyme<br />to help to use this sort of time.<br />So, once again I choose this route<br />as a more positive pursuit.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK :<br />My own script.<br><br>
So many drugs have been prescribed <br />all cardiac&rsquo;ly circumscribed.<br />Each one addressing all those things<br />which a triple bypass brings.<br><br>
Drugs designed to keep me alive<br />thus, making sure that I survive. <br />Of course, it&rsquo;s all essential stuff<br />but for me it&rsquo;s not enough.<br><br>
I have made my own prescription<br />designed to fit my own description<br />of my mind linked to my heart, <br />different to the cardiac part.<br><br>
For this, I&rsquo;m no apologist<br />as I am a psychologist.<br />I&rsquo;ve looked after hearts and souls<br />by giving people the controls.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve helped folk control emotion<br />when their lives were in commotion.<br />And now it&rsquo;s time to use my skill<br />to help me while I&rsquo;m really ill.<br><br>
We don&rsquo;t need loads of drugs for this,<br />sometimes it&rsquo;s just a hug or kiss,<br />or a friend to hold our hand,<br />or someone to understand.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s good to have some strong support <br />as some might get from a cohort,<br />or someone else within your house<br />like a kind and loving spouse.<br><br>
But if these things do not exist<br />you might try a psychologist,<br />whose job it is to help you to <br />take control and then pull through.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />SOCSAPINE.<br><br>
When seeking ways to move ahead<br />this is what I&rsquo;ve always said.<br />We need a four-part strategy<br />to help avoid a tragedy.<br><br>
Always to yourself be true<br />and don&rsquo;t&rsquo; let people bully you.<br />Do only what&rsquo;s self-authorised<br />and make sure you&rsquo;re Self-Organised SO<br><br>
Abundant use of Common-Sense CS<br />is the place where I&rsquo;d commence.<br />This provides a firm foundation <br />for controlling our frustration.<br><br>
These first two concepts make us free<br />from bullying and tyranny.<br />But then, we need to get a life, <br />free from trouble, free from strife.<br><br>
Staying Active and taking part AP<br />is good for both the soul and heart.<br />Because, if we Participate <br />we may not deteriorate.<br><br>
Activities we indulge In I<br />need not lead to our ruin.<br />Just straightforward, Normal stuff N<br />might well suffice and be enough.<br><br>
This everyday Experience E<br />is not an inconvenience.<br />It helps to build our confidence <br />and stimulates our cognizance.<br><br>
These four concepts I describe <br />are also precepts I prescribe<br />to help us all to look ahead<br />and get a better life instead.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>
SOCSAPINE: Self-Organised Common Sense, <br />Alongside Participation In Normal Experiences.<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK :<br />Exercise.<br><br>
It should not come as a surprise<br />that I would want to exercise<br />as I have always been quite fit <br />and not a one who&rsquo;s known to quit.<br><br>
But after surgery it seems<br />that exercise is just in dreams.<br />Pain and discomfort is so strong <br />that exercises don&rsquo;t last long.<br><br>
Then there is the constant fear<br />that what one does might break or sheer<br />the work they&rsquo;ve done around my heart <br />then something gives or pulls apart.<br><br>
So, for a week I tend to rest<br />because I think it&rsquo;s for the best.<br />I do get up and walk a bit <br />but that&rsquo;s about the end of it.<br><br>
Yet after seven days of this<br />the one thing that I really miss <br />from the time of my heart attack<br />is getting my old mojo back.<br><br>
Doing nothing I have found <br />makes my arthritis pound and pound.<br />And it will make my joints all seize <br />which only exercise will ease.<br><br>
And it&rsquo;s the same around my chest<br />which seizes up with all the rest.<br />Then my breathing is restricted<br />because my chest is now constricted.<br><br>
What I need now, is to devise <br />some simple risk-free exercise,<br />which will loosen up my chest<br />but do no damage to the rest.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />CORONARY HEART DISEASE (CHD)<br />Increased risks.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve scrutinised the risks as listed<br />just as my heart and head insisted.<br />And I&rsquo;ve eliminated all<br />those risks that might have caused this call.<br><br>
All, that is, apart from two <br />which are the ones I&rsquo;ll now look through.<br />One, it seems, is air pollution <br />to which, so far, there&rsquo;s no solution.<br><br>
A problem with polluted air<br />is it can come from anywhere.<br />In our houses, on the street, <br />from planes and trains and folks we meet.<br><br>
Then there&rsquo;s the dreaded diesel fumes<br />and pollen with the flower&rsquo;s blooms. <br />Trees and fungus spread their spores <br />until we can&rsquo;t go out of doors.<br><br>
All these things, like it or not<br />are likely to make our blood clot.<br />In our vein&rsquo;s pollution nestles<br />blocking normal blood-flow vessels.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s much the same with calcium<br />destroying equilibrium, <br />clogging coronary arteries<br />and leading us to mortuaries.<br><br>
Yet the risks from both these factors <br />seem to come from other actors<br />which mostly aren&rsquo;t in our control<br />so should it simply take its toll?<br><br>
I think a long-term solution<br />would be to remove pollution. <br />So, we may even see one day <br />those who pollute are made to pay.<br><br>

B. Withers 2019<br><br>

<br />LOOKS &amp; LABELS.<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK : labels.<br />(Community Rehabilitation Cardiac Specialist Nurse.)<br><br>
This title may be descriptive<br />but it&rsquo;s overly substantive.<br />Few will ever take it in<br />so as a label it can&rsquo;t win.<br><br>
It stinks of a bureaucracy <br />obsessed with meritocracy.<br />So, that&rsquo;s off-putting from the start<br />without relevance to my heart.<br><br>
I feel perhaps it would profit<br />if people tried to shorten it.<br />Maybe rehab or cardiac nurse<br />would lift the lengthy label curse.<br><br>
But let us not judge books by covers.<br />Leave that crap to all them others.<br />I will observe her in her role <br />and appraise her as a whole.<br><br>
The things I will be looking for <br />are little things she could ignore<br />in favour of the comp&rsquo;ny line<br />rather than any needs of mine.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s not sufficient to do stuff<br />that barely counts as just enough.<br />I tend to look for all those things<br />which point to where their caring springs.<br><br>
Most nurses that I&rsquo;ve met before<br />put themselves out to do much more<br />and this is what I&rsquo;m looking for <br />when she comes knocking at my door.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK: <br />The Cardiac Nurse.<br><br>
Even before this lady came <br />she seemed right on top of her game.<br />For she had read what had been wrote<br />and acted on the doctor&rsquo;s note.<br><br>
She telephoned my wife post-haste<br />as if there was no time to waste,<br />sorting out the time that she <br />could make sure she would visit me.<br><br>
Not only that, she offered to <br />contact our surgery anew<br />and sort the problems we had had<br />which had made us feel so bad.<br><br>
I cannot emphasise enough<br />our gratitude for all this stuff<br />that placed responsibility<br />back in the place where it should be.<br><br>
All the worry and the strife <br />had, up &lsquo;till then, been on my wife,<br />who really hadn&rsquo;t got the clout<br />to get these problems sorted out.<br><br>
And there was I, still very ill<br />So this seemed like a bitter pill<br />for I do not want to depend <br />on others whilst I&rsquo;m on the mend.<br><br>
This nurse appeared upon the scene<br />to right some wrongs, largely unseen <br />by those who sit the other side<br />of this, the medical divide.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s just as well that she was there <br />to pick up pieces and to care. <br />Resolving our anxiety<br />with patience and sobriety.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

MY HEART ATTACK :<br />HOW AM I ? &ndash; REVISITED.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s two weeks since I was bypassed<br />and I don&rsquo;t feel so bad at last.<br />So, if you ask me how I am<br />quite frankly, I don&rsquo;t give a damn.<br><br>
Now that I am on the mend<br />this type of question won&rsquo;t offend,<br />for I can answer with some pride<br />that things are better here inside.<br><br>
Obviously, I&rsquo;m still not right <br />but I can see the end in sight.<br />This has been very effective<br />in altering my own perspective.<br><br>
Now my mind and soul&rsquo;s intact<br />so, I will not overreact.<br />The question asked, now seems to me <br />reflective of some empathy.<br><br>
Whereas before, I could not think<br />with my emotions on the brink<br />and nothing much was making sense<br />sarcasm was my recompense.<br><br>
But now I think it rather sweet<br />when friends and people who I meet<br />can ask me how I am again<br />without the angst and all that pain.<br><br>
I feel a little guilty now <br />that in my thoughts I did allow<br />my mind to fill with self-pity<br />at that time I felt so shitty.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s just as well I held my tongue <br />and to some decorum clung.<br />Or I&rsquo;d need to remember who<br />I&rsquo;d now need to say sorry to.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br /> Blood samples.<br><br>
I&rsquo; m told I need to give some blood. <br />Just a little, not a flood.<br />Because the samples indicate<br />how much they should medicate.<br /> <br />They also show some other things <br />to do with risks surgery brings.<br />So, these samples are important<br />to inform a future judgement.<br><br>
I&rsquo;m bothered not by needle prick<br />as I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s heroic<br />to offer up some blood of mine <br />when, after all, I&rsquo;m doing fine.<br><br>
What concerned me so much more <br />was on a very different score.<br />The thought of travelling somewhere <br />just to get this sort of care.<br><br>
The weather&rsquo;s nearly freezing now<br />and really, I do not know how <br />I could safely get about <br />to get these samples sorted out.<br><br>
And once again my surgery<br />could not do these things there for me. <br />And, even if they could, it would <br />likely, not do me any good.<br><br>
Someone suggested I&rsquo;d be seen<br />at hospital, but I&rsquo;m not keen<br />for the simple reason that<br />it&rsquo;s not a germ-free habitat.<br><br>
But in the end, I did not roam <br />for a kind nurse came to my home <br />and gathered up those bloods from me<br />quite quickly and efficiently.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />My own GP.<br><br>
My own doctor came round today<br />much to my relief I&rsquo;d say<br />as he knows what it&rsquo;s all about<br />and he can always sort things out.<br><br>
This visit from my own GP<br />was just to make some checks on me<br />as part of my ongoing care <br />after the shock of this nightmare.<br><br>
As part of this medical review<br />he checked my pulse and pressure too<br />as well as temperature and scar<br />to ascertain how well they are.<br><br>
I think as far as he could tell<br />everything was healing well.<br />This in itself was no big thing<br />but still, it is quite comforting.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve always liked our little chat<br />but this was so much more than that.<br />We somehow know when he&rsquo;s involved<br />any past problems get resolved.<br><br>
We talked about the system which<br />had caused a pointless, needless glitch,<br />and how this could be overcome <br />so future patients don&rsquo;t succumb.<br><br>
The emotion and the mental side<br />is never something I would hide.<br />And he&rsquo;s a man I can talk to<br />about my very personal view.<br><br>
We discussed life&rsquo;s quality<br />and how I don&rsquo;t want quantity.<br />For if my life was not worthwhile<br />my wish would be to leave in style.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK:<br /> Affecting others.<br><br>
The biggest risk with an attack<br />is if I die and don&rsquo;t come back.<br />And whilst this may not bother me <br />it might not set some others free.<br><br>
The one who dies is not affected<br />by their death so unexpected. <br />They have simply left the scene<br />where once before they would have been.<br><br>
But what about when our life ends<br />and poses problems for our friends,<br />our family and others too<br />who when in life got close to you?<br><br>
They may be left with loss and grief<br />and a sense of disbelief<br />that someone who had seemed so strong <br />could no longer life prolong.<br><br>
All those loved ones we leave behind<br />might find it hard within their mind<br />to come to terms with their own loss<br />though you, now dead, don&rsquo;t give a toss.<br><br>
I spare a thought for all of those <br />who will still have their worldly woes<br />yet find the time to mourn a friend<br />whose life came to a sudden end.<br><br>
For I&rsquo;ve been there myself before<br />and would not want that any more<br />it only adds to all life&rsquo;s pain <br />creating loss and little gain.<br><br>
So, this time round, when on the verge<br />of my own death, I fight the urge<br />to end it all for my own sake<br />as there are other&rsquo;s lives at stake.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br /> One day back.<br><br>
I must ponder one day back<br />from when I had my heart attack.<br />For this day has some relevance<br />beyond it&rsquo;s own significance.<br><br>
My wife&rsquo;s brother died that day<br />which brings some more things into play.<br />Like realising we all must<br />be the ones who bite the dust.<br><br>
Reminders of mortality<br />and our own finality<br />can make us hypersensitive<br />to thoughts which might be negative.<br><br>
And then we tend to ponder long<br />on all those things that could go wrong.<br />Then when a heart attack occurs<br />anxiety within us stirs.<br><br>
It is his funeral today<br />but I&rsquo;ve been told to stay away<br />because I am not well enough <br />to cope with all that outside stuff.<br><br>
My logic tells me to agree<br />going would not be good for me <br />and yet I feel I should take part<br />despite the strain upon my heart.<br><br>
But then I think my wife is right <br />that I should keep my aim in sight<br />to convalesce as best I can <br />by sticking to the doctor&rsquo;s plan.<br><br>
I do not think my wife wants to<br />have to arrange to bury two.<br />So I will do as I am told<br />and hope it pays so I grow old.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br />&amp; Stoma.<br><br>
It is now two weeks past my op<br />so now I feel it&rsquo;s time to stop.<br />To reminisce and contemplate<br />other things that can frustrate.<br><br>
The heart attack and my bypass<br />trumps the problems with my arse<br />and the stoma that I nurse<br />to stop the problems getting worse.<br /> <br />And yet, those problems have not gone.<br />but still exist and carry on <br />alongside bypass surgeries<br />and all my other injuries.<br><br>
So I have had to muddle through <br />with multiple conditions too<br />which have impinged upon my plight<br />not helping me to feel aright.<br><br>
My stoma tends to do its bit <br />by helping me to manage shit<br />which now will exit from my tum<br />instead of my not working bum.<br /> <br />But nonetheless the bags I wear<br />will still demand my constant care<br />and if I let that caring slide <br />the faeces will build up inside.<br><br>
Then even more problems will peak<br />because my bags will start to leak<br />which makes me feel my life&rsquo;s a mess<br />adding to the constant stress.<br><br>
It is not easy for us folk <br />who know that we have on our yolk<br />more than one thing we must do <br />just to help us to pull through.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br />&amp; CPAP.<br><br>
It would not have occurred to me<br />to know how hard that it might be<br />just to take a shallow breath<br />in order to avoid my death.<br><br>
But when they open up your chest <br />your other organs like the rest <br />are put under enormous strain<br />and therefore suffer with much pain.<br><br>
I did not really understand <br />the pain levels when lungs expand<br />but I suppose, in retrospect<br />it should be something I&rsquo;d expect.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s hard enough during the day<br />when I can shallow breathe away<br />and therefore minimise the pain<br />until I have to breathe again.<br><br>
But it&rsquo;s a different thing at night <br />when I can&rsquo;t sleep without a fight <br />for apnoea can be so mean<br />if I don&rsquo;t use an air machine.<br><br>
The air pumps at a different rate <br />to when I&rsquo;m in my waking state <br />which means I&rsquo;m not in full control<br />of movements in my bronchiole<br><br>
My lungs expand more than I&rsquo;d wish<br />raising pain levels and anguish <br />to the point that I don&rsquo;t try<br />because I feel I&rsquo;d rather die.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s just as well that over time<br />a shift will lift this paradigm<br />and I begin to breathe again<br />without that bloody awful pain.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br />Sex.<br><br>
With many concepts I have toyed <br />but this is one I have enjoyed<br />because with sex I can confide <br />I feel there is a funny side.<br><br>
There is a myth involved with sex <br />which makes it seem much more complex<br />because they think that if you try<br />a heart attack may make you die.<br><br>
But this is proved to be a lie<br />as there are many reasons why<br />the act of sex will do no harm <br />so there is no need for alarm.<br><br>
I&rsquo;ve read the leaflets carefully <br />and it&rsquo;s as clear as it can be <br />we can indulge repeatedly<br />if we approach it sensibly.<br><br>
See sex as an activity<br />and not just a depravity. <br />So, put aside anxiety<br />and discard all propriety.<br><br>
What all the literature has said<br />is sex is not something to dread.<br />Don&rsquo;t let a little heart attack <br />get in the way or hold you back.<br><br>
If you&rsquo;re in a relationship<br />don&rsquo;t have sexual censorship<br />and don&rsquo;t hold urges in reserve<br />but have the sex that you deserve.<br><br>
When I am feeling well again <br />and free from angst and chronic pain<br />I should resume a sexual life<br />if I could just persuade the wife.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>
<br /> <br /> <br><br>
<br />MY HEART ATTACK : <br /> Sick notes.<br><br>
Now here&rsquo;s some more bureaucracy<br />to raise its head and bother me.<br />I thought from this I would be free<br />whilst working for an agency.<br><br>
Their paper trail is everywhere<br />even in illness they don&rsquo;t care.<br />It&rsquo;s always been the same I fear<br />they intervene and interfere.<br><br>
My mind&rsquo;s befuddled, I&rsquo;m not well<br />and I am puzzled, can&rsquo;t you tell?<br />So, why would I be able to<br />obtain this paperwork for you?<br /> <br />Insisting on a sick note when<br />I just don&rsquo;t have the acumen <br />tortures me beyond belief<br />and certainly brings no relief.<br><br>
This must is a system&rsquo;s thing<br />wherein their wisdom lies a sting<br />to force poor folk to still comply<br />even if they&rsquo;re about to die.<br><br>
Could notes not be in retrospect<br />or have these people no respect<br />for when a person cannot do<br />all these things they want us to.<br><br>
I don&rsquo;t care about the money<br />at this time, it is not funny.<br />What you ask&rsquo;s an imposition<br />for someone in my position.<br><br>
I think that you will have to wait <br />and if my sick note is too late<br />then that&rsquo;s too bad for you me-thinks<br />because I think your system stinks.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>

<br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />doing nothing.<br><br>
I&rsquo;d no idea how exhausting <br />it could be to do nothing.<br />But then I&rsquo;ve no experience <br />of this sort of ambience.<br><br>
To sit and lay around all day<br />and watch my life just drift away<br />is not something that I would choose<br />as something precious I would lose.<br><br>
For me, the human life&rsquo;s so short<br />you would not find me getting caught <br />not using every bit of it <br />or wasting any little bit.<br><br>
The one thing that I&rsquo;d really hate <br />would be for me to vegetate.<br />So, doing nothing&rsquo;s not an option<br />or a lifestyle of adoption.<br><br>
Surgery, temporarily<br />sucked all my verve right out of me<br />and there I was lying supine<br />without the normal strength of mine.<br><br>
Laying there all weak and ashen<br />I resented with passion<br />because that&rsquo;s not how I would be<br />in times when my life&rsquo;s left to me.<br><br>
To vegetate I&rsquo;ve always said <br />would be a state so close to dead<br />that I&rsquo;d prefer to cross that line <br />rather than to sit and whine.<br /> <br />Yet, this present situation<br />may be down to medication.<br />When effects of that diminish<br />there are things I need to finish.<br><br>
B. Withers 2019<br><br>

B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>
<br /> <br><br>
<br /> <br />MY HEART ATTACK :<br />Motivation.<br><br>
My body is now on the mend <br />to the point where I can spend<br />some time for me to now devise<br />a programme for some exercise.<br><br>
My body scars are healing fast<br />which helps me think that now at last <br />I&rsquo;ve put the worst of it behind<br />so other things can spring to mind.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s good to feel the pressure lift<br />with an attitudinal shift <br />away from negativity<br />towards some positivity.<br><br>
But I have noticed now and then<br />there&rsquo;s been a number of times when <br />I am lacking concentration<br />and a little motivation.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s when I&rsquo;m sitting on a chair<br />and I want to get up from there.<br />Whilst on the edge, I hesitate<br />almost as if I meditate.<br><br>
It&rsquo;s not as if I can&rsquo;t arise <br />but more like I am mesmerised.<br />Not knowing what I should do now<br />to achieve what I know how.<br><br>
This feeling is disconcerting <br />and I think it is subverting <br />all the efforts I have made<br />to overcome this escapade.<br><br>
Most of the time I find the force<br />to bring my mind back on a course<br />which leads me to self-activate<br />and therefore to self-motivate.<br><br>
<br /> B. Withers 2019<br><br>
B. WITHERS 2019<br><br>
<br /> <br><br>
<br />MY HEART ATTACK:<br />The dreaded sneeze.<br><br>
There is no way I can sign off<br />without a mention of the cough<br />or the sudden, violent sneeze<br />which makes my body and mind freeze.<br><br>
The pain we have from surgery<br />comes piercing through our injury<br />reminding us that if we cough<br />we will be feeling much worse off.<br><br>
So, there is an intense fear<br />proceeding when a sneeze is near.<br />A realising of one&rsquo;s fate<br />when once that sneeze will activate.<br /> <br />That moment when the sneeze has won<br />you can be sure that you are done.<br />A killer blow right to the breast<br />where they have opened up your chest.<br><br>
The pain is indescribable <br />as it is unmistakable.<br />It&rsquo;s like a bomb exploded there<br />and now great pain you have to bare.<br><br>
One&rsquo;s logic has another part<br />to question damage to one&rsquo;s heart.<br />One can&rsquo;t imagine such a blow<br />would not somehow some damage show.<br><br>
Yet after this effrontery<br />there comes some small recovery.<br />It&rsquo;s then the brain has realised<br />your chest has just been traumatised.<br><br>


Great intro to your book! Very much looking forward to your insights and poetic comments on your experience.
Your mind will never stagnate, Bill!


Happy to see your posts again and read your poems, Bill. Continue to get well.

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Bill, so glad to see you writing again! Great intro! Will definitely look forward to more. It is not just about stomas here but about relationships and friendships that develop because we are ostomates! All other health issues matter as well!


Thank you everyone for your kind comments and good wishes at this time of disconcerting physical and mental malaise.
The last thing I would have contemplated for myself was a heart attack as I did not appear to fit any or the normal criteria for this condition: I don't smoke, don't drink, I'm vegetarian and have an ideal diet to avoid fatty deposits etc. We don't have much processed food and virtually no sugar; I'm usually fit and active and for the most part I do not overdo the strenuous stuff and I certainly don't stress about worldly worries. So what could possibly lead to having a heart attack? WEll! To try to get a rational explanation for my own fate I re-read the latest literature surrounding heart attacks and found that one of the main causes is 'AIR POLUTION. - I did not know that and most of my life I have lived on a busy main road with plenty of exhaust emissions. This revelation has got me thinking that, no matter how careful we are at a personal level to stay healthy, there will always be those who are careless about polluting our planet in whatever ways they think fit in order to make a profit of some sort. I have always done my own little bit to help conserve and enhance the environment in which we live, but I'm sorry to report that we seem to be fighting a losing battle on that front in so many different ways. However, I have been heartened to hear this week that young people have gone on strike from school in protest at what is being done to destroy the planet. Perhaps there is hope that the younger generation might be able to achieve what we oldies have failed to do.
Best wishes
How to Manage Emotions with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister


Loved your poems... There's a lot we can all relate to. I especially related to the bit of crankiness you displayed when dealing with "the medical system". We've all been there and I actually thought you showed a lot of restraint! LOL Your body may be battered and bruised from your experience, but your mind, spirit, and sense of humor are totally intact! Welcome back.

Hello weirdnewlife. Thank you so much for your kind comments on the heart attack rhymes and I'm really pleased that you enjoyed them. Sometimes, keeping a diary can help with the process of healing in ways that are not always explained by the physical healing process. As with the coming to terms with a stoma, there are so many social, emotional and psychological elements to deal with alongside the physical and the effects of drugs. Now I feel as if I am on the mend, I can look back and place it all in a rhyming framework which, hopefully will help me to look and move forward to a more positive future.
Best wishes

Hey Bill, it's good to see you here! I hope you are on the mend and will soon be back to the Bill we always love! You answered a question I had. I couldn't remember if it was you or Bain that was vegetarian. Now I know! You once told me about what you have and don't have in your salads. I can eat it now, with New Maxine but we just have Caesar salad right now. What other raw vegetables do you have with your salads? I've been afraid to eat tomatoes or cucumbers because I am afraid of getting blocked. New Maxine has let me know that carrots are not our friend, even cooked. She pitches a fit every time. Well, you and the family are in my prayers. Keep getting better!

Hello Freedancer. Thanks for your post and your well wishes. I'm hoping that nothing else will go wrong and that the road to recovery will now be smooth.
As for the ingredients in our salads, there has been nothing off limits that were not that way before the stoma. I have always had problems with cucumbers, onions, and radishes, which repeat on me for days after I've eaten them but most other vegetables don't cause problems. I slice and dice tomatoes and make sure I chew carrots well or grate them, rather than slice as that makes sure they are small enough not to cause any blockage problems. I am also partial to raw cauliflower but I have to acknowledge that it tends to create excessive wind. everything else can be added to our salads including olives, cheese, peppers, nuts, potatoes, greens such as watercress, spinach, pea shoots etc, In fact, almost anything that takes our fancy. My main problems arise when I eat processed foods, which often contain preservatives so we are very cautious about buying produce(including salad stuff) which may have been doctored in some way. Where possible, I grow my own and try to avoid supermarket pre-packaged convenience foods as whenever these have been laboratory tested, they have tended to be high in toxic bacteria such as salmonella and other nasties. Unfortunately, much of the food produced,is for profit rather than nutrition or health, so we cannot trust that the food in the shops is either fresh or good for us. I'm a firm believer in trying stuff one at a time and gradually so that I can have a good idea as to what effect each item is having. I also try different ways of serving it such as grating or even liquidising. as this can sometimes eliminate the blockage-type problems. I hope you will be able to find and eat all the ingredients you like in future.
Best wishes Bill

Thanks, Bill!


Welcome back. I didn't respond earlier as I was on a wild boar shoot. In the stands on the hunt, if a call of nature or a change of equipment beckons, you have to do it behind a bush and if one of those heavyweights charges then you are in trouble. I was hit on the leg by one when I was 19, it splintered the bone and still hurts on some days. I remember reading about an Englishman who was always on the go. He advised people not to complain but be thankful they are still alive thanks to the skill of the doctors these days. He said he had changed the bag many times behind the bushes. The only real problem he had was on a Chinese ship in China when he had the most terrible runs. The Chinese doctor had never seen a stoma but said he will give an Eastern remedy and a European one. The Eastern one did the trick. I had a friend in London who could reduce any happening to a song sung in a Calypso beat. So here goes: Welcome to Bill Withers Calypso:
Our Mr. Withers, he's a learned man
Writes lovely poems when he can
His poetry does justice to doctors and nurses
But sickness and pain it thoroughly curses
Mr. Withers and his ticker now in good health
Joy and happiness be now his new wealth.
Best wishes and thanks for sharing the poems.

Hello Bowsprit. Thank you for your reply to this post as I realise that, like so many other things in life, rhyming verse does not appeal to everyone. I've always loved Calypso, which seemed to be the forerunner of rap. Thank you for your rendition and message in this form.
Best wishes
Bill, long time no talkie. I want to tell you that I know how you feel. I mean I really do know how you feel. I had my bowel surgery in February 2016. On August 28, 2016 I had a heart attack. I also did not have the normal symptoms All I had was jaw pain And basically nothing else, I mean nothing else that I don't already have daily as I deal with chronic pain Aside from the ball issues and the heart attack. With a bit of a history of TMJ and facial pain I thought oh it's really acting up today. So I took some Advil which would normally help it. But it didn't help the pain at all and that was my first clue. I attribute the next bit of information to God. I had that feeling that they talk about that sometimes people get when they're having a heart attack. That feeling of impending doom, that something isn't right. I despise calling ambulances and having my neighbours see at Cetera, but this day I felt God was telling me call that ambulance girl. So I did. Unlike you I did not have great service I laid in the hallway for two hours while I found an old junky was whining about going back out after he had been revived. And they ignored me because I only had Jaw painI didn't even get anything for pain. Bama technician came along and gave me an EKG, this was after two hours of laying there, I saw the look on her face and then she repeated the EKG. I've have a test before it's never been repeated right after the first one. Things changed very very quickly and I was rushed in for the gold standard treatment for heart attack. I really did not understand that that is what was going on with me. I had had a 100% blockage in a smaller blood vessel And I think God that it was a smaller blood vessel because within 24 hours I was in for An angiogram and received four heart stents. The procedure itself was rather difficult because they could not get the needle in my hand and had to go through my groin, the same Groin where I had a femoral hernia. Life has not been good to me the last two years not medically OK now it's three years. Then came the barrage of medications and all the side effects with that but most of all the utter terror I'm going back home alone. But I did it, my mother came for a few days but she is elderly. I went to cardiac rehab everybody there seem to have a wife or a husband to help out. I had none of that and I was afraid for a very long time. The mental stress Of my situation has probably contributed to worse Disease. As to the reasons you may have had the heart attack Bill I would suggest that you get genetically tested. In my case genetics played a much bigger role than I anticipated And as you have described sometimes it doesn't matter what you do but genetics are just stronger and people die anyway. The one thing cardiologist do not deal with is the stress and the mental health issues that come such as the press and anxiety etc. after a significant event like a heart attack. They had your pills most of them are either put on weight, make you like a zombie or just plain give you painful effects. All this to say to you that I get it, more than I would like to. I still live it every day. I made many changes regarding toxic people and toxic situations in my life immediately after my heart attack I would say within a few months. So there are relationships I formerly can tolerate that I cannot anymore and I see no reason to. Anyways it isn't Over til it's over. I don't think I've told anybody about this heart attack in detail, I believe I mentioned it in passing and the forum here and not one person commented., So although I am very sorry you had a heart attack I am glad I have found somebody that will understand the things we go through. I often wonder since my heart attack for six months after my bowel surgery, if it was just too much for my body. Anyways I did have a bad habit but I quit that they had my heart attack. I also had a ton of stress for the preceding number of years in which my father had died of dementia, so although I am very sorry you had a heart attack I am glad I have found somebody that will understand the things we go through. I often wonder since my heart attack for six months after my bowel surgery, if it was just too much for my body. Anyways I did have a bad habit but I quit that day of my heart attack. I also had a ton of stress for the preceding number of years and with my father had died, My dog who was my best friend I had to put down and I have a very nasty sister who has tried to push me out of my own family with her money and her evil ways. She has not succeeded but she tries to make my life a living hell. She did not say a word when I had my heart attack not to me anyways but it was Her who gossip to all my cousins about my heart attack. I've had to put up with a lot and I'm not just saying that or physically and mentally like you said. I have a few things that keep me going about online bill what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And my face I will always have my faith. End it goes without saying my family minus the sister LOL. I would love to buy your book when it's done please feel free to private message me again I would like to connect on this level about the heart attack since there doesn't seem to be a lot of online support groups for that let alone in my town

Bill, I cannot figure out how to edit and correct the above post and my phone is obviously having mental problems today. The record function is ridiculous and apparently likes to repeat paragraphs as well. So I hope you can get the gist of what I was saying because I'm really too tired to change it all up if I even could figure it out.

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