In 2016 my uncle Mark died.
Mark Erwood was my Dad’s brother. He was my Dad’s younger brother by about 3-years and in 2016 he had a heart attack and died.
His death was a shock to the whole family. He wasn’t ill. He wasn’t, as far as I know, taking any medication. But on the morning of the 12th January 2016 whilst he was getting ready for work he had a fatal heart attack and died instantly. He was only in his late 50s.
We all rallied around, did the funeral and got to see family that I’d not seen since I was a kid. In fact, his death meant that I got to reform a relationship cousins that I honestly thought I’d never see again, it was quite the unexpected silver lining to the whole thing.
My uncle Mark wasn’t the first to have a heart attack in my family though. My Mum’s brother, my uncle Allan, had a major coronary back when I was a nipper. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but in my head I was about 8 or 9. My age is irrelevant, what’s important is knowing that uncle Allan was still working. He wasn’t an old guy. Possibly 50-years-old (+ or - 5-years).
He should’ve died too. But he was lucky. He was giving a talk and happened to be sat on stage next to one of the top heart specialists in the country when his attack started. She spotted what was going on before he knew what was going on and managed to save his life. It was still touch and go. They had to re-start his heart twice, but they did it.
Two uncles with heart problems is kind of worrying, but it doesn’t stop there.
My grandfather (I called him Jim) also had a heart attack. It was only a small one and he survived it, but it was still a hospital job. He died when I was 19 of cancer. My nan (I called her Nan) also had a heart attack. She survived the first, but wasn’t so lucky on the second. I was about 18 when she died. I miss them both every day.
So, that’s four members of my family that I know of that have had a heart attack. And only 50% of those survived it.
I’m a lot like both of my uncles, Jim and my Nan.
I eat the same fatty foods as they did. I love pastry, cheese, bacon, cake, biscuits and beer. I love to spread thick amounts of butter on toast. I love black pudding. I love big juicy burgers. I love chips and crisps. I’m not a salad person. I’ll eat veg, but only really if it accompanies a 16 oz. rare steak.
My other problem is I drive all over the country for shows. And it is the most boring thing ever, so I keep myself occupied by eating fast food whilst I’m driving. And of course the food is accompanied by a bucket of sweet, fizzy soda.
My current lifestyle has resulted in me weighing over 17 stone, and at only 5 foot 10 inches that means I’m clinically obese. And that means I’m heading in the same direction as my uncles and grandparents.
If I don’t do something about my lifestyle I’m going to be dead by 50. And I’d really like to put a few more miles on the clock before I check out. I’m currently 36, so that would give me only 14-years.
Nope. It’s time I made a drastic change, which is what this blog is for. This is my way of keeping track of those changes. And if I can inspire someone else to join me on this journey then even better. That said, I should point out that I am a jester. I’m not a medical professional. I don’t have any training as a nutritionist. I’m a jester. A carny. A hippy juggler who makes a living throwing stuff in the air and trying to catch it again. I’m the kind of person who thought it’d be a good idea to try to balance 7 burning brushes on my chin at the same time (it wasn’t a good idea by-the-way). I juggle knives, axes and chainsaws. I hang from cranes by my feet in a straitjacket with the ropes on fire. I get locked in boxes of water and try to get out. That’s the kind of person I am. So please, what ever comes up in the future. What ever “advice” I give, keep in mind I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.
Even if I’m relaying information from someone who does know what they’re talking about, it doesn’t mean that it’s right. It’s still information that’s been filtered through me, a professional jester. A fool.
Right. Lets do this.