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.