Heart attack. A little forced time out. Still awaiting further tests. Prayers appreciated! Here are just a few things that I believe I've learned from my recent heart attack. While I feel great (best I've felt in about ten years), I guess it's time I stop and reflect about what's just happened to me.

Two weeks ago, I could have told you I was in perfect health and didn't take any medications. The fact is, you "are what you eat." I've been consuming greasy fast-food for probably close to 37 years now (since I left home in my early 20's), and it finally caught up with me. Watch your diet. Exercise. Payday is coming, and if you don't do these things now, the day may come when you'll wish you had.

Don't presume upon anything. I always thought I'd be around to watch my two wonderful grandsons grow up to be middle-aged men, with families of their own. I see now that's something I should hope for, but not take for granted. Life is short, and death is sure. The question is just "how soon" your exit will take place. Live every day as if it were your last. Don't think "one day I'll do this with those I love." You may not have tomorrow. Plan it and do it now, while you still have the chance.

Listen to your body. I could have easily ignored the minor discomfort I had with my heart attack. There wasn't really any pain. It was just minor discomfort and very mild pressure. I almost ignored it and didn't go to the hospital. My father died that way. In fact, I didn't believe I was having a heart attack, but since my father died with mild chest pains a few years back, not going to the doctor or hospital, I decided to err on the side of caution. I'm glad I did. Quick intervention probably saved my life. I've learned recently that in about 25% of the cases of heart attack in America that there are no symptoms whatsoever. In 25% of the cases, the person just has a heart attack and dies with no forewarning, not ever realizing that he/she has a heart issue.

I would strongly urge anyone with an interest in eating healthy to watch the video "Forks Over Knives." It's an excellent resource, and it has proven to be inspirational to me in my quest to take care of myself properly in whatever days I have left. (No, I don't work for them, and I'm not a salesman. I'm just saying that this video has been very inspirational to me)

The good news is that I have no permanent heart damage, but I don't want a "repeat performance" of this event in a few years. In the future, I want to see my surgeon in his office (consulting with me about my health), rather than in the operating room of the hospital, trying to deal with the aftermath of the neglect of my health.

Oh, yes. One final thing. I've learned it's much better in terms of health (and cost) to deal with heart disease before it ever becomes an issue. Not suffering from any congenital heart issues, I'm sure had I simply "eaten right" and exercised that I'd be in perfect health today.

I've been given a second chance. I don't want to botch this second opportunity I've been granted. Hopefully, you'll be seeing posts again from me soon, and if you see any photos of me in the mix, you should see a skinnier, healthier, and happier Greg. (God willing, that is. I'm not taking tomorrow for granted anymore.)