So you interested in what fueled all of this? It is not a short story I am sorry to say and not exactly a happy one at that but here it is.
It was the fall of 2011 and I had just made a big change in my life by moving from Tempe, Arizona, to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Life had been crazy for me living in Arizona since 1999 when I moved to Green Valley in an attempt to salvage what was pretty much an already failed marriage. I had previously quit my well-paying job as a Journeyman Electrician working in Northern New Mexico, packed up everything including the kids, and moved into a one (1) bedroom apartment my wife had rented for her alone and became “Mr. Mom”. Things were far from peaches and cream and things didn’t really last long in Green Valley when she lost her job. I went back to work, taking to the other of my professions as a software engineer in Tempe where I proceeded to work myself to death for the next six (6) years or so. Divorce followed along with a nervous breakdown, lots of drinking ensued; yeah it was just plain insanity. I was trying to raise my kids, was back in the dating scene, and didn’t take any down time. Over the course of 10 years in Arizona, I pretty much managed to destroy myself through no fault but my own. Ok, not entirely my fault but I take responsibility for my own actions even if I was not really aware of what was happening in my life.
So, wouldn’t you know it… 4 months or so after moving to Florida I land up in the emergency room with MAJOR heart failure. It runs on the bloodline of both of my families, and I turned up the pace to what became the single biggest failure in my life. There I was, 2000 miles away from my family, lying on a cold cardiac surgery table awaiting what was to be a heart transplant surgery. Yup, my entire world came to a screeching halt at that very moment. I was only saved by the fact that I listened to a friend who told me, “no dying!”. I had convinced myself I just had the flu but really I knew for some time that I was possibly having heart issues. But plain stubbornness kept me from getting help, and the fact that I had no health insurance and couldn’t afford to seek help.
I learned that the heart issues had started years before during the divorce and nervous breakdown when half of my heart stopped functioning. The self-destructive lifestyle the pursued didn’t help either I am sure. Unfortunately, things got so far out of hand that the amount of damage done to my heart is beyond repair. Which brings me to now, six (6) years and several surgeries later (heart stents, pacemaker/defibrillator implant, etc) I am still alive.
A few months ago I finally got a real grip on my diet when I realized I could do something about the way I felt. After the biggest diet transformation in my life shortly after the hospitalization (no more salt!), I was still struggling with kicking the real killer in our food which is carbohydrates. (I am writing in parallel with this article about healthy eating on the road.) I was lethargic, struggling still with water retention, and my heart health was still decreasing. That is when a good friend told me about a book title “The Addictocarb Diet: Avoid the 9 Highly Addictive Carbs While Eating Anything Else You Want” which is where it all culminated in my highly overactive how to keep myself healthy enough to enjoy life!
And FINALLY, that is what leads us to the now! What is the now? It is time for me to love myself that way God created me to do so. The sedimentary life I have been leading since 2011 is a major problem, and I am going to do something about it! I have been inspired to see the country, experience life to the fullest. Starting by heading back West to spend time with my family, and my new grandchildren. My family is spread out all over New Mexico and into Texas, so visiting is not an easy, or cheap, endeavor. (I traveled well over 2000 miles the last time I drove around visiting my family in a rental car I picked up in Albuquerque.