Archives for posts with tag: Bypass


I chose this Picasso painting to show you how the first week feels. You know that you are there, but you are surrounded and overwhelmed by so many things.

The colour is the uniform of the staff who surround you and tend to you constantly and it is also the pain which you associate with them. The construct is the confusion, unreality of the situation and fear. There are nights when I hear this man shouting for help, darkness and his family leaving him brings about insecurities that in any normal circumstance he would never allow to come to the fore. Another wants to go and feed her cat, then we have a lucid conversation about her grandchildren. So the I is hidden, lost changed but can be seen in the shapes and flashes of non-blues across the painting.

I found this painting as the closest image of how I feel, and the importance of holding on to the non- conformity that is me, at the heart of this process.

One week after my operation I wrote a post to family and friends which basically said that I had completed the first stage of the challenge and would be going home to the next 12 weeks to recovery. I had already understood that this would not be a linear journey and there were going to be bumps and reverses, I was not to know exactly how many. There is a song I have always found evokes the fragility of life and the instance it can change from sorrow to joy.
Transmutation and evolution, slow change and cataclysm .

The film is Kal Ho Na Ho
Kal Ho Naa Ho (Eng Sub) [Full Song] (HQ) With Lyrics … – YouTube
► 5:23► 5:23
15 Jul 2011 – Uploaded by thebollysongs3

In these weeks I was brought face to face with the consequences of heart disease, I lost a beloved aunt to a heart attack and a special friend to complications after heart valve surgery.

My surgeon also told me that the operation had gone well, but there had been complications, as I had vasculitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels and that as a result he could not guarantee how long this would add to my life. What! Excuse me! F***! Disbelief I am going through all this for what?

Here is a hard truth, knowledge no matter how bad is just that knowledge! It can save you, destroy you or transform you or you can just store it. It is only through application does knowledge become more than trivia! The fact that King George III died on the toilet is trivia, it was useful in a pub quiz!The fact that I had another illness was not going to change my life and goals, but it helped me to understand my allergies, symptoms and reactions.

I go home, have a great meal and a hot cup of tea, I walked around the supermarket and scared people with my scar. The sun is shining, I am alive. Normality here I come! The hospital had given me a bag full of medicine including candesartan, frusemide and bisoprolol – an ACE inhibitor, diuretic and beta blocker. Knowledge, remember it’s your body, know what you are getting and taking, it was so hot and I had no swelling so I did not take the frusemide and unusually I take the bisoprolol at night, it suits me better that way. Within a day I went from being wellish to exhausted, new pains and the symptoms of severe angina on day two I called the ward and went back, my blood pressure was very low.

I was back in a safe place and my brain could now function, Sherlock Anita stepped up, what had happened, what were the variables? The ONLY significant change was the candesartan and vasculitis – I react strongly to things, well my vessels do. I am a mathematician by training, So I created a table and recorded the time, reactions, sensations when I did the door to door walk in the ward. In the morning after the drug I was, breathless, dizzy and had chest pain, it took me nearly ten minutes to complete the walk and thirty minutes to recover. By night time it was much easier and I was down to four minutes, first thing next morning before taking the drug I had background symptoms only and I was down to three minutes. I was able to use the data table to convince the doctors and stop taking the drugs. I probably threw the baby out with the bath water, but I always accept the consequences of my decisions, so two days later I went home.

Back on the road again!

This is one of my favourite quick meals:
Spicy egg white Omlette

Chop a spring onion, half a chilli, half a tomato or what ever you have I have used capsicums, onions (red or white), mushrooms, spinach,

Separate two eggs, ( keep yolks put in fridge) whip up the egg whites, some people like a soufflé Omlette, I just whip gently, add small amount of salt, pepper and coriander. Use a nonstick heavy frying pan, add a very small amount of oil sauté vegetables for a minute, now add egg whites and stir until egg is setting. Now turn out carefully onto plate, either traditional or frittata.
I eat with salad (avocado, spinach tomato), granary toast or beans.


On July 8th 2013 I had my bypass, they call it an elective, but it’s like having a shot gun to your heart playing Russian roulette when you elect to sign. This is the story of that event:

Natasha will tell me that I should not capitalise this or that but really it does not matter as this is my account of this latest period in my life! I am not spiritual or alternative, maybe if I had been, I would be in a different place. There are those that BELIEVE! I would quite like a massage but really Reiki, power healing, crystals ok a nice chunk of diamond or ruby may make me feel better for a few hours but chanting, bell ringing no no that was a radio programme I was listening to campology, sorry campanology.

I have now accepted this has to happen but my wish now is to get there without another mishap or mis sharpen heart attack! My life will then be in the hands of Leonadis Hadjinikolaou, you have to be able to say the name of the man who will do something that you hope you will never do – hold my heart in his hands.

I will now collect another set of scars to go with the others including the one on my neck! I feel and look OLD, but I know it will be better after this. On Thursday I am getting my hair dyed, and threading done, after talking to Ritu I my also get a full body wax! Doctors / nurses do not stitch and staple across hairy parts, please! It hurts a lot!

Today, I got approved for one of those never never credit cards, except this is 15 months, I have put the kitchen on that. This is a new experience and better than the deal offered by many, it’s sensible and strange option for someone who generally pays of her cards at the end of each month and saves before she buys, except property! Have to wait for the card to come to order tiles, hob and hood, the last of the big things.

11 days to go woke up early as I forgot to switch off the alarm. Heard Nishant coughing must give him fruit today and blackmail him to stop smoking for the final time! So many jobs to do today and an afternoon at the university looking at learning materials.

I am trying to pretend it is not happening, but it will, and if I can keep busy it may pass me by. Someone said you will be alright it’s a routine operation. A routine is the way I Mark papers, bake brownies, clean, get ready. It is not having your ribs opened by saws being used to make kitchen. It is not routine to stop your heart and lungs, while you are alive! I could rant but I won’t .

The definition of routine is – A sequence of actions regularly followed.
Regularly meet people who wear glasses, have diabetes, had Lasix surgery, failed Maths, up to now I only knew five people who had had open heart surgery, but apart from one they were OLDER, in fact during my time in hospital most people were in their seventies and eighties. Only two people were younger and both had childhood cardiac disease. This is not routine.

I decided to cook and put food in the freezer an idea doomed to failure when your kitchen is being destroyed and rebuilt. However I did make my no added sugar and very very low fat fruit cake.

Vin’s Fruit cake

600 ml hot strong brewed tea ( I prefer black tea, but you can use tea of your choice)
500g mixed fruit ( I buy the cheapest)
200g dates, figs, apricots, cranberries ( luxury fruits – your choice) chopped finely
2 heaped teaspoon Mixed spice / cinnamon
Rind of lemon or orange or both (your choice)

In a large bowl mix all ingredients and leave to marinate / soak. I have been known to leave for a couple of days.

2 cups whole meal flour ( or half & half)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup seed mix flax, sesame, sunflower, walnuts (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs ( I have used just egg whites – 3)

Sift and add all ingredients to the fruit. Mix so you cannot see dry ingredients, it should be soft and floppy of spoon, but not a runny batter. If it’s too dry and stiff add fruit juice or smoothie mix. I put it into two lined and greased loaf tins, bake at 160C for about a hour. Test using a skewer, but as iced fruit cake should give of that wonderful smell of spiced cake when ready. I like mine moist but you may prefer it as crumblier cake.

Healthy, fabulous, sin free treat

Healthy, fabulous, sin free treat

I add booze for Xmas cake version and use more luxury fruits.
I add in a grated apple, soFt pear sometimes.

It is your cake make it your way.

Women Heart Disease & Food conversation.