Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
No Google Adds here.

Monday, 1 February 2010

One week on...

First thing I want to do is thank everyone for all their good wishes, and thoughts. All the messages left here, and the e-mails too. I really can’t thank each and everyone enough. It really has meant so much to me.

It’s one week on from when I came out of hospital. One week on, to have sat at home and done a lot of thinking. And one week to have hopefully made some progress.

On the progress side of things, one of the biggest things for me has been giving up smoking. Something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but there’s nothing like a hefty kick up the arse to get you in the right direction. I won’t say it’s been easy, and it is only a week, but I’m getting there.

A complete change in diet is a personal tough one. I love fry-ups! Butter, strong cheddar cheese, coffee; an endless list of the ‘wrong’ foods. In moderation, perhaps ok; but I’ve never had much moderation in my life.
All change now though. De-caffe coffee, when I get round to buying some. In the mean time I’ve cut down a lot on the coffee intake. Healthy spread, on brown bread, no cheese; and fruit!

Fruit is something I walked past in the supermarket, to get to the cream cake stall.
Apples, pears, plums, grapes; I’ve always liked fruit, but it’s never been a big part of my life. It is now.
I’ve an appointment next week with a dietician, to point me in the right direction. I told the doctor, as much as I like salad, I crave something a little more filling.
‘Not a problem’, she said. ‘There are lots of things you can still eat’.

I can’t wait! I doubt fresh cream cakes are on the list though.

I’ve still got a slight pain across my chest, but I put that down to where I fell when I passed out. A massive bruise at the top of my leg, where the stents were inserted via the artery, and I get out of breathe just talking on the phone sometimes. I guess in time that will all get better.

Follow up appointments over the next couple of weeks at the cardiology department, (first one tomorrow), and pills to take for the rest of what life I have left. Apparently I did a considerable amount of damage to the heart when I had the attack.

So work. Ah, yes. The work I do, or did, is very heavy manual work in a warehouse. No one has said yet just how long I shall be off work. I had a visit from our personnel department the second day I was at home. Welfare visit, they call it. Being bloody nosey more like it. I’ve been a shop steward long enough to know how their minds work; and when in conversation it was mentioned, ‘you could be off a while then?’ it’s time to start thinking about future career prospects.

But, a new month begins. A new way of life, a new start in a way. A bit like a mystery tour.

Exciting, but a little scary too.


  1. I haven't been to your blog for a couple of week and my god I guess I missed the previous shocking post.

    Thank God you are fine, take care Keith. My best wishes are always with you, here's wishing you a quick recovery...Thomas

  2. Hi Keith,
    Like I said, yes, you're life is gonna changed, but this is maybe something that you can take as a new challenge.. Just like when you try to approach a bird species you do not know that well.... This things that happened to you is big, and you do have to be careful. I know it is easier to say than to do... But I'm really worried about you!
    As for a new career, if you have too, just become a professional photographer, you are so good at it! I hope everything is gonna be fine for you now... This is my primary wish for this year...

  3. Hi Keith, I just keep thinking about my husband and how scared he was 10 years ago when he went through the same, and my heart goes out to you. He had a lot of heart damage too...part of his heart died, but the exercise regime they put him on made the rest of his heart so much stronger. We're thinking about you...

  4. I just found your last post this morning and beg forgiveness that I was busy with seemingly silly things and missed all of your trama..OMG hon...so deeply glad you are ok.
    I would bet you if you google healthy heart diets you might find some wonderful alternatives to what you have been craving. I have drastically changed my diet of late too...heart issues abound in my family also..so am being ever watchful as I turn 50 this year.
    Again so very glad you are ok and happy blogaversary! Hugs to you, Sarah

  5. Poor old Keith! I do feel for you. Fry ups, cream cakes, strong cheeses...ahh, they are all on my desert island food list... but in reality... rare treats, well the cheese is not quite so rare :) Having always been fairly slim I found, when I was on extensive courses of corticosteroids, how horribly easy it was to put on weight so have tried to eat reasonably healthily for some years now. You will find it does become a way of life after a while.

    I adore coffee and only drink decaff, if you use ground coffee you will find there is quite a variety to experiment with (I like a rich taste) and there are some decent 'instants' also.

    I do hope your various appointments go well and that you continue to improve, don't ever go back to those cigarettes, it's just not worth it!

    Don't worry about work, your priority is to get well, work can be sorted out later, easy for me to say I know but things do have a habit of falling into place.

    Very good luck for tomorrow and I am continuing to think of you and am sending you another big warm hug :)

  6. Change is always a bit difficult at first but then as we adjust it's not so bad and then it usually turns into "why did I wait so long?" Hope you get stronger with everyday. A~

  7. Yeah, I think cream cakes are definitely not on the new list Keith.
    I have been a vegetarian for about 15 years, I never eat red meat before that from way back only poultry and fish and that wasn't difficult to give up. Its not so difficult as it sounds and you soon get use to a different eating habit. Anyway hope it all goes well and you make good progress from now on. Welfare visit, yeah right. Sussing you out more like. I know you wouldn't have wanted all this to happen, but I do think things happen for a reason that isn't always apparent there and then. A new career path could be the answer, this Government keeps waffling on about retraining people even middle aged people looking for a new job. Perhaps theres something you could have a crack at.
    All the best. Roy

  8. Keep taking the tablets and take it easy. Don't give up the photography.

  9. Bloody hell, just read your last post, glad you are on the mend, least if you cant get out you can still travel virtually. Keep well and best wishes. Mike.

  10. Thomas thank you for your good wishes. Slowly on the mend now, hopefully.

    Chris, thank you very much. I think a few challenges lay ahead, and some rest. I’ll get there. :)

    Kelly, thank you. Appreciate it.

    Sarah, thank you. I’ve had a look on the net for various diets; a lot of information out there. Thanks again; and big hugs back to you :)

    Thanks Jan. Fry ups and cream cakes; that’s what I’ll miss the most lol
    Good idea about the decaff ground coffee, I’ll have to look into that. I’ll keep my coffee machine now ;)
    Thanks again. :)

    Andrea, thank you. I’m sure you’re right about the change becoming easier.
    Thank you.

    Cheers Roy. I reckon a new career could be there, somewhere. Not such a bad idea. Have to get my thinking cap on.

    Sam and Lisa, thank you. I won’t give up the photography; I can’t wait to get back out lol

    Thanks for the best wishes Mike. The blogs are a great way to travel at the moment.
    Thanks :)

  11. Glad to hear you're feeling a little better and wish you well on your new start :-)


  12. Hi Keith, I hope that the "doctors" have got you in their sights. Losing some of those things, which I am bound to say, the alchohol and other things are not necessary. So we are with you on every day, so write it down, email and blog it.

  13. Hello Keith glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better and that they are going to sort you out a healthy diet I like you only like the things that are bad for you so I know where you are coming from, It is great that you are keeping in touch as we all wish you a speedy recovery so you can get out and enjoy your wildlife, thank you for your kind comments on my blog.
    All the best Keith H

  14. Hi Keith...just got some time to visit the blog...first off so happy to know you have done well your first week!! Bravo to that. As for the changes...I still suggest the patch to help with the smoking get your DR. to prescribe it!! VERY helpful to me when I quit 12 yrs ago. So Im speaking from the perspective of BEEN there, not an easy job but very doable!! Embrace the change of diet..I became a vegetarian a few yrs back...it was also hard but very doable..I do eat some fish, and dairy products, I buy free range eggs and such...Im sure the dietician will give you all sorts of great ideas--get involved in cooking your own food, fresh food--As they say SHOP the Permiter and not the isles!! You'll find whole foods there...your grains, veggies, and fruits, fresh meats, and dairy around the permiter of the store!! GET a cookbook--an apron, a pot holder and go to work!! We are all behind your life style, and wish you great success!! As for the job, get some help from an occupational thearpist, you should be able to take the time you need to recover...maybe they can arrange light duty when you return until you are up to speed again!!

  15. Ack.. so sorry to hear about your health woes. I'm glad that you were able to get the care you need and hope you'll be feeling tip top in in time.

  16. Paul, thank you for your good wishes.

    Cheers Bob. Good advice there. I’ve been writing quite a lot down; something to look back on later.

    Keith, thank you. Hopefully soon be able to go out for a short time. A mate has offered to take me in his car, and keep an eye on me. :)

    Dixxe, thank you for your words of encouragement. The new way of cooking will be quite a challenge for me, but I’ll get there. :)

    Hilary thanks for your comment and wishes. Appreciate it.

  17. Well done managing your first non smoking week. It's not just getting the body used to the lack of nicotine but what to do physically when you want to reach for a ciggy or pipe.

    If your local medical centre is as good as the one here they will make sure you get the help and advice you need.

    Time does drag when you are not well enough to be active but I am sure you will take things in your stride.

  18. Good luck to you, dear Keith! Both to your future career and you new lifestyle!

  19. Keith, as you know I missed all your shocking drama. Glad all seems to be going in the right direction.
    Early days yet but it could turn out for the best. I along with many others really enjoy your writing and your photographs. Make them available to a wider audience and who knows? Again all the very best.

  20. Well done Keith and thank you for keeping us up to date..... You're doing so well already and you have such a positive outlook - I know it's not going to be easy to have to change so much but with your determination and plain common sense I know you will get there.

    And fruit? Well we're going to be enjoying the soft fruit season before too long - so something to look forward to?

    I'm sure the dietician will introduce you to a range of new meals that you can enjoy and will be equally as filling :D

    (oh - and just keep thinking about a new lens... ;) )

    All best as always and a big hug...

  21. Thanks John. The no smoking is going easier than I thought so far, and there is plenty of help round if you need it. Certainly got plenty of time on my hands at the moment, so just taking things easy.

    Thanks Marius. Got a couple of things I’m thinking about. I’m sure things will work out in the end.

    Cheers Adrian. You may be right; could be just the thing to set me on a different career path.

    Thanks Tricia. The hospital appointment went well yesterday, after all the prodding, poking, and wiring up to various machines. The general opinion was; ‘making good progress’. Bit like my old school reports lol

  22. Glad to hear you are making progress Keith. Take things easy one step at a time and stay out of the pressure zone.

  23. Thanks Trevor. Gradually getting there :)

  24. Just read your previous post Keith and I'm still stunned mate. I made a comment there too.
    You'd have thought that lugging that big lens of yours around on foot was excercise enough eh ! I have the same lens and it ain't exactly light.
    Thinking of you pal , and I hope your recovery is quick and the birds come to your garden.

  25. So glad to see that all went well with the appointment Keith, I kept thinking about you and wondering how it was going.

    Looking to the future, I still think you could find a career involving your beautiful photographs. Card companies, magazines etc, I'm sure there is an answer there somewhere, you have such talent!

  26. Cheers Nick. Yea, quite a weighty lens when out for a while isn't it lol
    Getting plenty of birds in the garden; just need some decent light now, although today wasn't too bad.

    Thanks Jan. I'm having a few pictures printed at the moment. Thought about greetings cards, but a tough market to get into, but worth a try. Pet portraits? Hmmmm.
    I'm sure I'll think of something.

  27. just to tell you I've been by. I have been trying to remember there is a saying - necessity is the mother of invention - we humans hate change until we have no option then we invent.... I am sure when they said take it easy they do not mean sit in a chair all day and weep - a walk around the park IS taking it easy. and diet does not mean giving up everything, just moderate it. no smoking is a good thing though - no halvsies on that - just quit.

  28. Ginger, I think you are spot on there. Moderation in everything; but the smoking has finished :)

  29. Good for you Keith! Hope the pain eases soon!

  30. Giving up smoking and a healthy kind of diet can bring up your live to an new "quality", You only need a little bit time. I wish you all the best, Luzia.