It seems only last week I was writing a piece on the 3rd anniversary of my “minor” cardiac incident and referring to Paul Swindell’s doorstop post. And now, I am at the fourth anniversary, slightly older, slightly thinner, slightly greyer, and, possibly, slightly wiser.
I am not sure that another year has given me any more insight into surviving cardiac-arrest or dealing with the aftermath. I view my life now as pretty much back to normal interspersed with the odd hospital visit and check-up (not arrest related but definitely cardiac related).
It wasn’t always so, the first year post-resuscitation was a struggle psychologically, as I think, it is, pretty much for everyone. So if I were to offer any advice I would say that things can improve and recovery can be made, although this comes from the perspective of someone who didn’t really suffer very much because of his arrest and I do appreciate that, for some people, some families, the “recovery” can be slow or non-existent.
I have questioned, over and over, what happened to me and why and how I survived and I can only rationalise it as the result of randomness: the chain of random events that lead to my arrest, the chain of random events that lead to me surviving. My faith in a god or supernatural being has not been shaken or diminished, as I never had any faith in the first place, nor do I now. So I feel intellectually satisfied that my world-view has remained intact. I have a sanguine and very comforting view of my life: I didn’t exist for the first 14 billion years of the universe, and, pretty soon, I won’t exist again (although I almost “ducked out” early) so I feel a joy, every day, of simply being here and being alive. And, if there is anyone to praise for being alive, it is not some non-existent deity, it is those people who worked so hard in July 2016 to ensure that I remained here.
I had a brush with Corona in March, not something I would recommend as I did face the irony of actually considering the fact that, although I may have dodged the bullet of cardiac-arrest, I was going to succumb to Covid-19!
My life has definitely changed from pre-arrest, in fact, I do actually feel as if the “old David” died and a “new David” replaced him, even though this appears to be contradictory. My life has changed direction slightly, I am marginally more “famous” than before as my arrest was captured on CCTV (looking very fat in a pair of swimming trunks) which has proved useful for training and raising awareness (of cardiac-arrest and CPR, not obesity), I have given talks about my experience and I have become an ambulance service Community First Responder (CFR) and have paid back the compliment of surviving by helping to resuscitate more than one person in cardiac-arrest. I also feel I have made a contribution to society by serving people as a CFR during the current pandemic (via several layers of PPE).
Beyond this, I am not sure I can offer any great insight or sage-words, especially during this rather weird time of Corona semi-lockdown.
So, in cricket parlance….I’m four, not out.