There are a lot of reasons I suppose. But let me cover the basics here
- Genetics –
- My Father died at the age of 47 due to heart related issues
- His Father died at the age of 53 also due to heart related issues
- His Father died at the age of 47 due to heart related issues… I see a trend forming…
- Smoking –
- I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 14
- I had been vaping for nearly 2 years at the time of the heart attack
- Stress –
- I had a job that was killing me. I cannot blame them for all of it. I never learned how to say “No” or that my plate was too full. When I finally did, they really failed to assist me as well.
- Diet/Exercise –
- I am not overweight. But I am lazy when it comes to working out
- I only really ate once a day. Unfortunately, what I was eating was less than ideal for heart health.
Some of these are very controllable, some are not. You cannot control genetics, you can only make sure you are aware of the risk factors in your life and work to fight them.
Stress is a part of life. How you choose to deal with it (or not, in my case) will help determine the impact it has on your health.
There are entire sections at the local book store regarding diet and exercise and the impact they have on health. I am not even going to try to quantify it all in a simple blog.
Smoking, this one I will talk a lot about because I am passionate about it. I was drawn into the whole “Joe Camel” thing at a young age. I was religious about only buying Camel cigarettes. I collected “Camel Cash” and “Joe Camel” items. They accomplished their mission in roping me in as a youth. Would I have started smoking for any other reason? There is a very good chance of it. Regardless, I was very brand loyal. I would only smoke Camel Filters for the better part of 15 years. This is when I started making my own cigarettes. I used natural tobacco mixed with a bit of pipe tobacco. For the first 2 weeks of smoking my own cigarettes, I wanted a Camel in the worst way. It just goes to prove how much crap they put in name brand cigarettes to keep you addicted.
After about a year of smoking my own cigarettes, I was able to quit with the assistance of Wellbutrin. That lasted almost a year before I had a single moment of weakness and bummed a Camel off of a customer during a casual conversation. That one Camel undid the past year of my life. I was back in full force with my Camels. After a while, I went back to making my own. This went on for several years again until one day, I tried to quit again. I failed almost immediately and turned to vaping.
How Vaping tried to kill me. Well, it’s simple really. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels/arteries. It makes no difference the method of delivery. Chew, cigarettes, cigars, vaping, patches, makes no difference. Vaping is convenient. It does not stink, it disappears into the environment easily, and can be hidden from others very easily. I found myself in my office at work sneaking it. Then, I found myself doing it more and more. I was basically chain-smoking on a vaporizer. I never even gave my vessels a chance to relax before I was sucking on the vaporizer again. Add that to everything else I was doing to myself and you can see how I fast tracked myself to having a heart attack before my 40th birthday.
Take from this what you will. It was not intended to become an anti-smoking or anti-vaping rant, but the facts are the facts. I am proud to say that I am still nicotine free and the very thought of having it scares the hell out of me. I think this time is forever!