Archive for May 2009

If You’ve had a heart attack . . .

May 23, 2009

I don’t know how many people might find this useful, but you probably know someone who can use this information – or will.

This is advice is NOT to replace any info from your doctor or medical professional. I do have to add that my heart attack was classified as “mild” and I have NO experience with any other kind. Also, I have been out of the hospital for about 6 weeks, so I’m still learning. But, here are a few things I’ve learned so far.

  1. Your life will change. What you can do for the short term is not what you will be able to do long term. Your diet will probably change that should be long term, very long term. Your activity level will change. That is probably short term, you can get active again, but it will take a while. If you were not active before, that will probably change if you will do it.
  2. Listen to your doctor – but also talk to your doctor. Ask questions and write them down so you don’t forget them during those whirlwind visits.
  3. If your doctor won’t answer your questions – find a new one. This goes for your family physician to your cardiologist and anyone else you might see.
  4. Do rehab. I read recently those who participate in rehab decrease chances of dying from a heart attack by 20-25%. Maybe those machines kill you – I’m just kidding! I didn’t plan to complete rehab. I was just going to go and get some ideas and stop. I’m thinking that probably isn’t a good idea now.
  5. Get plenty of rest. The tiredness does go away after a while, but if it doesn’t, it could be a side effect of some of your medicines. I guess they all have side effects and they affect different folks in different ways. But, if you’re not sure, ask your doctor.
  6. Involve your friends and family. They want to help and you should let them do whatever you need help doing. Depression is a potential side effect of a heart attack. I guess it could be a side effect of some medicines or combinations of meds, but it doesn’t have to be a “natural” side effect. If it is, your friends and family can possibly see it before you do.

I hope this helps someone. I was totally unprepared for my heart attack. But I’ve had a great support group including my family, my church family, my friends at work, my doctors and other medical folks and now beginning in rehab. Most of all, I thank God for His care during all of this, and I look forward to everyday He sees fit to let me stay here.



Christianity Today’s Study Series “Faith and Pop Culture”

May 19, 2009

Christianity Today’s Study Series “Faith and Pop Culture,” is a small group study which examines various forms of art, from TV to literature to cinema from a Christian perspective. As the authors point out, there has historically been a love/hate relationship between the church and the arts.

From Steinbeck to steroids, the eight sessions cover not only the traditional arts such as cinema and literature, but also address sports and television. The study also explores the role of “family friendly” movies, violence and the specific role of Christians in the entertainment industry. The eighth session is a challenging consideration of what it takes to fulfill the modern desire for entertainment.

The outline of each session is designed to facilitate a small group study, with step-by-step instructions from breaking the ice to getting focused on the topic, to rolling up your sleeves and digging in to what the Bible has to say about each topic. Each session ends with a challenge and a personal action plan for how to apply or further consider the subject in the coming days.

This study would be suitable for youth or adults and, I think, would be especially useful for family devotions either in the home or small group setting. It challenges the student to be careful of what we watch and the impact of our choice of entertainment on our thinking and our witness. I think this is an especially timely study considering the events surrounding the recent death of Michael Jackson, Steve McNair and Farah Fawcett.

“Faith and Pop Culture” is a well designed and useful study guide for small group study.

(I will be posting a few of these book reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program J

With all their Heart

May 17, 2009

I participated in the “Run for the Warriors” at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina yesterday. Of course, I had to walk, not run, due to my heart.

I was a little put out about that, because I wanted to run and I especially to run at Camp Lejeune. That’s where I developed a love for running as a Marine back in the early 80’s.

While I did not get to run, I was blessed to be able to walk. And I will run again, Lord willing, one day soon. My affliction is temporary. But there were those among us yesterday whose afflictions are not temporary. Many of the “wounded warriors” were there. Some in wheelchairs, some with canes, some with other physical impairments due to wounds received in battle. These guys were awesome. Some rode handbikes, some seemed to be doing good to walk. But, their spirits were undaunted.

Many of these guys fight to be able to show they are still physically fit to serve – some even going back into combat. But, they will face challenges for the rest of their life. Please keep these men and women, and their families, in your prayers. Help them when you can. Organizations such as Hope for the Warriors are doing an awesome job of looking out for these folks. They don’t want sympathy, they are warriors. And, in this fallen world of tyrants, dictators, despots and other enemies of freedom, we need warriors.

God bless them all, and Semper Fi.




Another Step on the Road to Recovery!

May 14, 2009

As you know, there was a slight interruption in my plans to begin running in 5k’s, 10k’s, etc. J

Eileen and I had signed up to run in this weekend’s Race for the Warriors which helps raise money for the troops wounded in battle.

Well, I certainly won’t be running it, but I plan to walk the 5k. Eileen is going to run it, so I won’t be there this time to get a photo of her crossing the finish line, but I know she will do so in fine fashion.

I took the stress test earlier this week and see the cardiologist Monday. Rehab begins on Tuesday.

If you, or someone you know, is in the recovery process from a heart attack (that’s the only thing I can address from experience) please encourage them to improve and do what they can. I know sometimes it is our tendency to try to protect our loved ones, and NEVER do anything against the advice or instruction of your medical professionals, but do all you can to be an encourager.

I thank God, I’m surrounded by people who love me here at home, at church and at work both from my students and colleagues.

I’ll keep you posted and plan to do a post for recovering (PT) addicts J

Trail Running Safety Tips

May 4, 2009

One of the folks I follow on Twitter is a young lady by the name of Jessica Linnell. She has a blog you can find here –

She recently posted a Top Ten Safety Tips list for hiking. You can find it here

It is very good. It inspired me to modify it slightly and post it as a “Top Ten” list for trail running. The only trouble was, all I could come up with were five. So, I’m open to a little help here if we need to get to 10 J

You see, I had just finished a trail run with some friends when I had my heart attack. The previous Friday, I had run that trail by myself. Fortunately, I had practiced these tips (a couple for the first time that day). And thankfully, I didn’t need them. But any of us could need them on any given day.

1. Make sure someone knows where you are and when you should get back.

2. Know your trails, or run with someone who does.

3. Carry some type of identification (I have a RoadID )

4. Know what seasonal conditions in the area (Is it hunting season? What wildlife might you encounter? What plants should you avoid?)

5. Check the weather forecast before you hit the trail, especially if hiking in the mountains. (The weather can change pretty drastically – quickly).


Thanks Jessica!