Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some thoughts...

I have learned about heart attacks, obviously. That it kills people is widely known. We all know that. People who are overweight and exercise little are susceptible to heart disease. We know that too. What we may not know is – people who get plenty of exercise, who are out climbing often, who ski and snowboard, also die from heart attacks.

 After falling unconscious onto my kitchen floor, I woke with 5 stents in two of my coronary arteries that feed blood to my heart. This was a potential fatal, life threatening condition. You've all heard about a star athlete who is on the field and drops dead of a heart attack, or some climber you have heard of .....is BOOM, gone.

This is what the experts say about Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), "..a swift and unexpected death caused by a heart condition, which may or may not be obvious. SCD varies in its range of definition. Usually, though, it applies to a situation where the person, who was thought to be free of heart disease, suddenly dies. The reference goes on to say, "the first symptom of the disease is sudden death."

 Interviews with family of the victims usually reveal some angina (chest discomfort or tightness), or heart irregularity, and/or shortness of breath, and worsening of the symptoms over a few days or a few hours before sudden collapse and death in 75% of these people. That was me, heart irregularity. Some of these symptoms may even be self-diagnosed by the victims as indigestion, fatigue, muscle pains, or depression. Self-denial (of symptoms) (also me) makes this condition treacherous. Anyone with any of these symptoms should consult their physicians without delay." This can and does happen to anyone.

But it will cost money to go get checked out you whine……… Not  nearly as much as my total bill of + $150,000…. and I was one of the lucky few who survived. Let me repeat myself. One of the lucky few who survived.

How lucky was I? Imagine if this had happened when my wife was not home. Or that I was asleep in my bed. Hiking on the mountain. I could have been anywhere -  where help was not available as fast. And it has to be fast. 15 to 20 minutes? Too long. 1 to 3 minutes is about all you have. That is a very small window. That is where I was fortunate. They got to me very fast. I was lucky.

 Now that I am back to normal (yeah I know, I will never be normal again), I will leave these thoughts with you, and shut up about it already. Think about what I said here and see if it might apply to you, or someone you love. If it does, then do something about it. Now.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A little uphill with the hounds.

Climbed it today, March 11, 2012


Very Nice!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Update - Ripping it up!

This last week was by far the best snowboarding of the year. By far. I had my best day ever on the hill (or any hill for that matter) last Thursday night. The parking lot near empty, no more than twenty cars. It was snowing. Hard.

The kind of snow that I have dreams about. Not a bit of wind. Millions and millions of flakes falling straight down. It was magical, for lack of a better word, . It snowed like that all night. I actually stopped and laid down on the slope, face up, and just watched the flakes falling. So awesome.

I found myself boarding like I have never boarded before, and I thought I knew how to snowboard. Boy was I was wrong.

It is hard to explain. My new board? Sure, a big reason no doubt. Rocker.... but there was more to it than that. Music? Yes, I was rocking out, perfect time and place to listen to some good tunes. What was I listening to? Seether's Rise Above This, Take Me To The River - Talking Heads, Some ACDC - Shoot to Thrill....those sort of tunes

My boots were looser than normal, I only tied them up half way. I had clear goggles. That helped.

Living life like there may be no tomorrow? Yes.

It was one run after another like I have never experienced. I was finding myself in the air, over and over. Popping every little cut. My skin was tingling, and I could not stop smiling, other than to shout to myself. WOW!!, Shit!!, Holy Shit!!. Things like that. Usually runs, that have been chopped up, give me a bit of trouble. Not so that night. Tore them bitches up. Found pockets of untouched pow. More Holy Shits. Time seemed to stand still. I had died and gone to heaven.

DSCN9990Who would have thought that 6 weeks after a massive (doctor's words) heart attack, that I would be experiencing this? Not me. While in the hospital, I thought my days of carving down snow covered slopes were over. I was devastated. Heartbroken. How wrong I was. Looks like the best is yet to come......

< --Dean Lords .... with me below...


Dave Bramwell 
DSCN0120 KC - I like it like that!