Matters of the Heart…
My heart seems to be a common thread of things in my life these days, both for the good and the bad. The best is obviously my relationship with Ruth and how things are advancing there. Since my brother’s wedding we’ve spent a substantial amount of time together (well, I guess before it as well) and have really come to a place of real happiness and comfort together. And we’ve had a couple of dates, even! Our relationship started somewhat interestingly and I’m real glad we kept at it to reach this place. In my whole life, no one’s ever affected me the way she does (and I’ve had some long term relationships), and it’s nice. She’s the first woman who I’ve ever felt this…(i dunno, optimism for the future, I guess?) with, and it’s real sweet. Sometimes it seems like a short time for this to develop, but then, one can’t really put a schedule on these things. I’m not one to stand back and question my feelings, so I just let the wave carry me.
Last weekend I took her out to Shijo Japanese restaurant, one of my favorites in Vancouver. The meal was awesome, the service was exceptional, and the whole evening was a great experience. Ruth had never been, so it was a new one for her as well. I must say that even tho I’ve been there a few times, I’ve never had their sushi. Their grilled beef Robata is to die for (although for some reason I had Chicken this time), though, and I LOVE the bacon wrapped asparagus. We had Beef Tataki Carpaccio for a tapas as well. This weekend we both also had fish, a salmon on greens for Ruth and a Black cod (cooked) for me. Ahh it was like butter! If you like Japanese food, I recommend you try Shijo out sometime. They also serve brown rice, and I think they’re the only Japanese restaurant in Vancouver doing so now (I could be wrong). Shijo is not inexpensive, but it’s also not a super expensive high end dining experience either. For the two of us with Sake for her and desserts it was around a hundred bucks, including tax and 20% tip. And apart from the bacon, it’s mostly healthy I would think.
So that’s the good. The not so good…well… For a little while (basically just before we went to Calgary for the bro’s wedding) I’d been getting an ache deep in my shoulders whenever I had much exertion. I pretty much wrote it off to the flu. A few weeks ago I was walking to my car after work, and as I got close the ache hit my left shoulder hard. As I continued walking my chest started to hurt and my breathing became laboured. I got a bit light headed, and the chest hurt more and more. It was like a band being tightened around my chest. Being a little bit overweight (ok maybe a bit more than a little…but not obese), almost 40, a smoker and a lover of high fat/low value foods, naturally my first thought went to the ol’ George Jefferson place: “It’s the big one, ‘Ouisie…it’s the big one”. (Uhhh…if you don’t catch the reference you’re just plain too young…).
I got to my car and sat down and it all went away. I drove home, and it weighed on me a bit, but I decided not to take any immediate action. A couple days later, after stewing for a bit and experiencing the same thing to a lesser extent a few times, and getting in trouble for not calling 911 when it first happened I went to the doctor. Basically he berated me for not taking immediate action and set me up for a bunch of tests, including ECG and a blood test that tests for hormones generated by a heart attack.
I went back for the follow up last week after that, and the good news is I definitely did not have a heart attack. The dr. did however prescribe me nitroglycerin spray (generally used for Angina) and tell me that if I have that again, stop what i’m doing and spray under the tongue. If it doesn’t go away in 5 minutes, spray again. Wait another 5 minutes, and if it still doesn’t go away, call 911 immediately. Yikes! I haven’t had to spray yet, so that’s a good thing. But man…not pleasant happy days!
Anyways, at this point it has not been fully determined if it’s my heart or something else, so I have one more test to do next week. My cholesterol was pretty high, but I kinda figured it might be as my diet’s been a little weak of late. I’ll do this excercise stress test next week and hopefully find out that this is all just related to the flu I had before my Calgary trip…maybe just a little lung infection or something. Hopefully.
So, after this little scare I decided it’s time to get my body looked after. I’ve quit smoking (again…sigh) and altered my diet somewhat. I went out last weekend and bought a juicer, and have been enjoying various veggie concoctions since. I gotta say that if you’re not used to high veggie intake and then you start it, your body does some interesting things 😛 The juicer (so far at least) is possibly the best investment I’ve made in a long time. I’m a chronic vegetable avoider, so it’s nice to have an easy way to get some.
I also bought a fuzzy logic rice cooker. Now, I’ve never had a real problem cooking rice (I’m one of those people who can even cook brown rice on the stove, which, when added to my disdain of cooking, is a bit odd to some people). But, what I wanted this cooker for is a few different things. First off, I wanted to be able to throw some brown rice in in the evening to have a nice lunch I can take to work. Add the vegetable steamer part and I can add some asparagus or broccoli or something to it quite easily. Secondly, the steamer itself…it’s useful. And thirdly, most importantly, it has a timer and can cook oatmeal. I’m a bad breakfast person and generally won’t make it. With this thing I can throw it in at night, set the timer, and wake up to a nice healthy hot breakfast. Which will add to my healthy eating bit.
I don’t plan on completely changing my diet or eating habits, or doing crazy things like becoming a vegetarian or something. I just need to be a bit more cognizant of what shit i’m putting into my body, and try and remember to get all the proper stuff inside it. Once we determine what’s causing this pain and light-headedness when i exert myself, I’m hoping to get a fitness regime started. I was a gym rat once, back in the day… maybe I can get back to that place.
Ahhh…anyways…interesting times indeed.