[Over the weekend, i had a heart attack and went to the hospital. I’ve been a strict vegetarian since 1973, and this sudden heart thing — with arterial blockage and all — certainly came as a big shock; this is especially since, lately, i’ve been eating mostly just whole, organic foods… and i was no longer eating eggs, while the cheese that i ate, twice a week, was “no-fat cheese,” with just a little organic regular cheese sprinkled on top (additionally). I’ve been exercising daily, for years, on an indoor Schwinn bike. Heart disease runs in my family and, apparently, heredity plays a way bigger role in this than i had suspected. I didn’t get any stents; i had 40% to 50% blockage (in a curved area that is an undesirable site to place stents in); additionally, i had 100% blockage in a much smaller but significant artery. So they are treating me with medication. One of the medications that they are giving me is Lipitor, to help reduce LDL cholesterol, but my LDL levels are already low. I am back home and am doing well so far. I will not likely be making comments to my blogs (like i did in the past) for a while, and i probably will not be visiting other blogs as much, like i did in the past. The upcoming posts that i had made and had prescheduled (such as this one, below) will continue for a little while; after that, i will likely just post once or twice a week at the most. Thank you for your consideration and support! Tom]
A few years back, around this time of year, i was taking a little nap on the living room floor while Marla, my wonderful wife, was watching television. I was wearing shorts, and when i woke up and looked toward my legs, i saw a really huge spider suddenly run from my leg area. Since i’ve been a nature-lover all of my life, constantly examining and appreciating insects, spiders, frogs, snakes, and stuff on an ongoing basis, i did not panic. I caught the very large spider and put it in a glass jar. I did take photos of it back then. It was a Fishing Spider. Fishing Spiders tend to live around water, and we live right on a river. This spider was so very huge; i wondered how on earth it could have gotten into our modern, well-sealed house, but it did! This one looked like a tarantula; Fishing Spiders can get to be over 3 inches (8 cm) across. Anyway, i released the spider safely into our backyard by the river.
Later that evening, i noticed that on one of my legs, i had two sizable fang marks. No doubt, they were from the huge spider. I kid you not — and Marla can verify this — i had those fang mark scars on my leg for 3 to 4 months. I did not have any swelling or noticeable side-effects (except for a little craving to eat insects now and then)…tee-hee. So, this large spider probably ingested some of my blood (and blood DNA). Fishing Spiders can inject venom, but it is not dangerous to humans unless you are allergic to it.
So, the story ends… NOT! Just a little while ago, Marla spotted a big Fishing Spider on the front outside wall of our home. I took pictures of it, thinking that it would be perfect for Halloween. It had a big egg-case that it was protecting. I did not disturb it or harm it, of course, since it could be an offspring from the aforementioned spider that bit me. Epidemiological studies suggest that DNA ingested by animals can directly influence future generations and future evolutionary trends for that animal. These spiders could be carrying around my DNA.
Come home to papa! Thanks for showing me the egg-case of the little babies you have made! I feel so proud! 🙂
(I’ll post another photo of this beauty on Wednesday.)
Very Halloween-ish spider 🙂 you are family with him now lol
And get well! 📖🕺🕺
Best wishes to you! Thank you for sharing the beautiful encounter with the spider 😊
Tom, I am very sorry to hear about your health issues. I will miss your frequent posts, but not the spider photos. Get well soon!
I’m sorry about your heart attack and applaud your desire to take care of yourself! I’ll still be looking forward to your amazing posts. This one is as delightful as usual. Thank you!
I’m glad you are able to get treatment for the heart issues. It’s wicked how our genes can derail our best efforts to stay healthy.
Blogging connects people, some more than others. The content we share can enhance the connections, and one such sight is yours. We have never met, but I feel I know you well. Continue to take care of yourself, and hopefully, life will watch over you and your family.
OMG Tom, pleeeeeeze take good care of yourself. It seems like you’ve already been doing the right things, but in spite of it all, we never know when the unexpected could pop up and just shock the living crap out of us! 😦 We are praying for you. Just hit your pause button but continue to be well my friend! Cheers! 🙂
So many people will truck on, stuck in a desire to continue as normally as possible. I love that you have made the choice to rest and take care of yourself. Relax with the spiders. There is a kind of beauty there lost to many in fear.
Been through much the same thing Tom.
It will have as much affect on your mind for the first year as it did on your heart. It gets better after that.
Remember, much of medical science is still one step away from bloodletting and conjuring. Don’t be fooled by their mechanical responses to treating symptoms and sometimes not the disease. Be your own healthcare advocate, and you can boil down through the witchcraft and Big Pharma pushes and find real health for yourself. These things are not as simple, cause-and-effect, as any would like to believe. As you say, you ate vegetarian for years and were otherwise health conscious, how could this be? Nature is not scripted.
If anything like my own CAD, after a little adjustment to accommodate for limitations, you may be back to your old self before you know it. Presently I live happily and have weaned myself from the automatically-dispensed hyper-engineered pharma, and live drug free.
Best of luck to you, and regards to your wife as well.
Thanks, Paz. I figured it would take a good number of months to get over the shock. I am not appreciative of Big Pharma at all. Up above, when i said that heredity plays a bigger role in this than i suspected… i didn’t mean to imply that i was just being a good vegetarian and eating and exercising right. I was taking a good number of natural, holistic supplements to prevent heart disease. I was taking Vitamin K2, Nattokinase, Serrapeptase, CoQ10, organic vitamins, fish oil, antioxidants, and natural anti-inflammatory supplements. I was eating, daily, a lot of Omega 3 foods like Chia and Flax. Maybe this stuff kept me from dying completely, but now i am going to be taking Lipitor and doing what my cardiologist recommends. I will not give up on the natural stuff though. Keep prudent and healthy.
Sorry to hear of your problems Tom. Being a sufferer of angina for over 10 years, and having had 2 angiograms, I can empathise a little. I wish you well and hope that they manage to get you back to full strength soon, and without any major interventions.
Yes, she is a stunner!
I sew lots and some afternoons, a tarantula-like all black spider strolls across the wall right next to me. So elegant! I tell him to go get those brown recluses! I also have hereditary heart issues, I wish the best for you.
Do take care of yourself. I look forward to those times you are able to post.
We just never know what all’s stirring within our bodies … sounds like your attack is a signal of change … wishing you recovery and adaptation with haste … and patience with the haste rate …
Your spider is gorgeous – looking forward to further photos.
Sorry to hear about your heart attack. We have the life we’ve been given and it is up to us to take care of it, as you have done. I’ve eaten healthy foods and exercised regularly like you and, still, I got multiple cancers. For me it has been important to get over “the life isn’t fair” syndrome. I am thankful for each day. Peace to you and your wife.
I’m not normally a fan of spiders, but that is a beautiful capture of this specimen. 🙂 So sorry to hear that you suffered from blockages, Tom. Glad that it was mild and you are still with us!! DNA is a tricky bugger and unfortunately, we can’t change what we are given. My understanding is there are different shapes and composition of cholesterol as it presents in the body that can lead to higher rates of blockages. They look like they have small corkscrews that predispose them to buildup due to their ability to “attach” easier. A possibility in your case? I wish you a speedy recovery and a much longer life! ❤
Good story, Tom! Get well soon – I’m sure you will, with the healthy and kindly life you’re leading.
I’m sorry to hear about your heart attack, Tom. Take good care of yourself and be well! I love the spider story and photograph! 🙋
I loved this comment “Epidemiological studies suggest that DNA ingested by animals can directly influence future generations and future evolutionary trends for that animal. These spiders could be carrying around my DNA.” !!!!
And that picture is simply stupendous.
I am distressed to hear about your heart attack Tom. Glad to know that you are doing better.
I too have been diagnosed with a heart abnormality – uncertain as to where to go with this – had a horrendous experience with a cardiologist – shockingly, also emphysema – and like you I have always eaten with care and exercise regularly – I think what we are seeing is some hidden pollutants of all kinds that are rampant everywhere. For example, no matter what you eat it still is grown in polluted soil and air… this may just be the beginning.
My thoughts are with you.
Tom, I’m so sorry to hear of your heart attack and I wish you a fast recovery and a smooth road of maintenance ahead. You for sure need to proceed at your own pace and only do what flows easily and pleasantly. I enjoyed that spider story! And the picture is fantastic! Our decor is suddenly very seasonal as we do not disturb spiders in out-of-the-way places around the house.
A bit of a shocker for one that has tried to lead a healthy life. As an individual, you can’t do much more than eat right and exercise and its a bummer when it still goes wrong with you. I wish you a speedy recovery and will be thinking of you. Hope also that your wife is fully recovered. Will miss your blogs and the spider pictures which are great…
All the best to you, Tom.
Tom, I’ll be thinking good thoughts for your recovery. Peace and healthy vibes to you my friend.
thinking of you. take care.
I’m glad you are home now and doing a little bit better!!
Take care of yourself and we’ll be thinking about you and hoping you’re feeling better. Hugs from Harper and I!🙂
I was breathless with anticipation about this spider that you promised Tom, and it sure didn’t disappoint. I even shipped this post over to a fellow blogger, who, like you, adores spiders. Laurie rescues them out of the shower so they don’t go down the drain. But what shocked me more than this big spider which you have captured in all its glory, is the tale about your heart attack. Of all the people I know, you are the least likely to have a heart attack – you have always struck me as a poster child for healthy eating. It is a wake-up call for me as heart disease runs in my family and this is why I gave up red meat. Please take care of yourself – rest up while Winter blankets the ground where those little critters thrive, which you so lovingly capture with your lens.
Since heart disease also runs in your family, go to a
good cardiologist (not your regular doctor) and give strong consideration to getting on a statin.
OK, Tom – I will take your words to heart … I did have the treadmill test done years ago, on my 40th birthday, and I was perfectly fine … then, but that was 23 years ago. My mother and grandmother had irregular heartbeats, especially my grandmother who had a nip of sherry every night to help her sleep because of the “fluttering” in her chest. I don’t experience that but I am going to take better care of myself with more exercise – I won’t be walking as much as normal due to the weather and need to get moving more – too much sitting at the computer worries me – it’s been worse since blogging picked up in 2017. Heal up and take care of yourself, okay?
Three years ago, i passed my treadmill test with flying colors. The following year, i did the same. They said that since i did so well, i could come in at two-year intervals (instead of one)… and i was due to go in again around this time… when my sudden heart condition happened. Be sure to read or watch videos on what foods to eat — or avoid — to have better cholesterol. Such eating (for me) didn’t stop things from happening but may have saved my life.
Take care Tom!
Wish you a healthy recovery, however that spider made me say “Oh My!”
Sorry to hear about your health issues. You treated that spider better than I would have! I wouldn’t have killed it, but I would have removed it from the vicinity of my house for sure!
Of course I don’t like that you’ve experienced a heart attack, but I very much like your matter-of-fact approach to it, despite the shock of it all. As you rightly note, heredity plays a role, and it’s not always possible to predict what’s lurking in our genes. The good news is that there are ways to recover from such events — just as you recovered from that fabulous spider’s bite. There will be a few scars for a while, but scars don’t kill.
I know you’ll take care of yourself, and we’ll look forward to ‘seeing’ you as you’re able.
Sending tons of positive thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery and better health. All the best and looking forward to “seeing” you when you are feeling up to it. Your health comes first! x
thanks for sharing your story, get well soon spidey.
I’m so sorry to hear about your heart condition and its consequences. I understand only too well. But truly, I could have lived a lifetime without seeing that spider. I’ve been bitten by a smaller one and the swelling also lasted for months. My daughter is highly allergic to spider bites. Wishing you recovered good health and all the rest you need.
Look after yourself Tom. There’s only one of you x
So very sorry to hear about your heart attack, Tom. Thoughts and prayers to you. I had a heart attack 2015 on the first anniversary of my mom’s passing and it scared the heck out of my husband and I. The cath lab showed no blockages, nothing. Mine was labeled stress related. Even though my cholesterol levels were fine, they still put me on Lipitor and a baby aspirin daily. No problems since, but I’ve worked on trying to stay away from stress, hence my live of birds and nature photography, my best ‘medicine’! Keep your health regimen going as you have and tell your ticker you’re not done with it yet!!!