On September 13th, 2008 at around 1am I was having a very uncomfortable dream. The dream had something to do with the Wraith and me having a severe pressure on my chest.
In case, you never heard of the Wraith, they are fictional and supposedly evil aliens on the T.V. show Stargate Atlantis. The weird thing is that they suck the life out of you with their hands and they do it by putting their hands on your heart. I was just watching that show before going to bed.
In this dream I was feeling severe pressure on my heart and it was gradually getting worse. So I decided to wake myself up since that would end this painful dream. But when I woke up I realized I wasn’t just dreaming. The pain continued.
I really was having this pain and pressure on my chest. I was very concerned and all sorts of thoughts raced through my head. The first of which was that I was very likely having a heart attack.
How could this be? Here I am eating a low fat and raw food diet, I take excellent care of my health, I’m in incredible shape, feel like I’m 20 years old and yet it seemed like I might be having a heart attack.
As the minutes passed and the pain didn’t go away I really started thinking this could be a heart attack. I thought back to my grandmother’s sister who died just before her wedding at around 20 years old. She had some kind of congenital heart condition and was very weak most of her life.
My grandmother was always worried that her children and or her grandchildren may have inherited a weak heart as well. So that was the main explanation I gave myself. I visualized something just breaking loose in my chest which caused this pain. I thought I might be having massive internal bleeding.
The thing is, there was no way in Hell I was going to go to the hospital for this. I was either going to die that night or get better somehow. But I just didn’t want any medical intervention especially with the thought that they might open me up and operate on my heart.
I preferred death over that option. The interesting thing was that I was not worried about death at all.
At least I’ve proven to myself that I don’t fear death in any way. What I was most concerned with was what will all of my newsletter subscribers and customers think if I died of a heart attack?
That might really scare them off staying on a raw food diet and especially the version of the diet that I recommend the Optimal Raw Food Diet. That was just a terrible thing in my mind.
But the fact of the matter is that even while eating a total raw food diet for over 7 years it still hasn’t given me perfect or pristine health. Some of my health deficiencies were things I was born with or developed during childhood.
For instance, going raw has not straightened out my scoliosis in the upper back area. It also has not improved my eyesight. Still need glasses for distance. I still have fallen arches, etc.
This due most likely to the cooked foods my parents and their parents ate. All I can do is give myself the best chance for health but it won’t completely negate many years of my own cooked food eating damage nor the damage I inherited at birth from less than a pure parentage.
From what I’ve learned about the raw food and cooked food experiments with cats that Pottenger did is that it would take several generations of people (maybe 5 generations) for humans to reach a pristine state of health while eating 100% raw in each generation. For that is exactly what happened to the cats.
So what am I trying to say?
I could very well drop dead of a heart attack at a young age and it could have nothing at all to do with the way I’m eating raw now. For instance, I might have lived an extra 5 or 10 or 20 years because of the health promoting lifestyle I’ve lived and greatly benefited from due to the Raw Food Diet.
But due to genetic weaknesses and or environmental toxins my body finally succumbed to disease.
I could come from a weak genetic heritage in the first place. Heck my mother died at 39 years of age from a brain tumor. (Well she would have never died had she been eating raw. But she was a believer in mainstream medicine and let them mame and kill her with the toxic radiation therapy and surgeries on her brain.)
Ok then, let me get back to my story.
I started to get really concerned that this would be my last night on this earthly plane. So I decided to call my father in Oregon who was likely still awake. I needed to tell someone what was going on and I knew he wouldn’t pressure me to go to a hospital.
When I called him I could barely get more than one or two words out at a time. So it took a minute or two before I could even communicate to him what my problem was. The pain and discomfort at that point was great. I’m sure that concerned my father because I never spoke like that over the telephone before.
In fact, I felt this was worse in terms of pain than what I believed people going through a heart attack experience. I was also thinking it could be something else besides a heart attack, but I wasn’t sure what it could be.
So I’m talking with my father slowly and making in pain sounds every time I tried to breath. It was very painful to take a breath. I was only able to take shallow breaths at maybe 30% of full capacity. That was really annoying.
Let me tell you something, man did I realize how valuable it was for me to be able to breathe deeply. It’s something I take for granted since going raw. But one of the incredible benefits of having gone 100% raw for me is the ability to breathe much deeper than I ever could while eating cooked food.
It’s one of the ways a Raw Food Diet provides me with a natural high. When you can easily get a deep breath, deep into your lungs it just feels amazing. It really does give me a natural high.
After a while I managed to speak a little better and in more complete sentences. I had to get used to the pain first. This was the longest lasting painful experience I ever had in my life. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was about a 9 in terms of pain.
So we were trying to figure out what was going on with me. Eventually I started telling my father information as if I were going to die. I was sort of telling him my last will and testament over the telephone. Getting him prepared in case I should die and telling him were my valuables were.
He kept on saying I’m not going to die, but I could hear it in his voice that he was very concerned. He also couldn’t believe that I could possibly be having a heart attack. He knows what I eat and has seen me up close and in action when we climb mountains together.
A heart attack is the last thing he thought I’d be having. He even thought I might be under psychic attack. But I believe I could sense if something like that was happening to me. So I dismissed that possibility.
As I spoke to my father the pain grew worse. I was moaning in pain every second or so. I got up to walk. Then I got a drink. All the while my father was on the line and I had him on speaker phone.
It seemed like I was on the phone with him for an hour or more like this. Mostly not talking to him just screaming out in pain. There were long stretches where he was just there quietly listening to me. I tried to lie down on my bed for a while as well.
He prayed for me. Then when it got even worse, he was saying multiple prayers for me. Then I decided to see if I could figure out what was happening to me by entering my symptoms online.
I went through about 5 screens of questions and when the final results came in there were 201 possible options of what was wrong with me. As I started reading the top matches I realized that most of them weren’t even directly related to the heart or a heart attack. Though some certainly were.
One thing was for certain, it was impossible for me to fall asleep the way I was. But after being on the phone for a long time with my dad, I started to notice that the pain was gradually lowering in intensity.
So we decided that I’d call him back in a half hour and report. I went to watch T.V. But it I couldn’t get into my normal comfortable position on the couch. I had to just sit there and not lie down as that was very painful.
He actually called me as I got up from the couch to call him back. I was feeling much better and he was reassured. But I wasn’t quite ready to fall asleep.
So I went back to watching Chevy Chase in his Las Vegas vacation movie. Anything to get my attention off of my problem and pain. Later I watched a funny Seinfeld episode. But I also didn’t want too laugh hard because that was painful.
Then I started easing in to laying down sideways on the couch. I started to feel myself around my heart with my fingers. Eventually I got around to feeling my rib cage and I felt a sharp pain when touching a very small area. It felt like I had a pulled muscle.
Once I felt that I was pretty sure I wasn’t suffering from a heart attack but a pulled muscle or maybe even a cracked rib.
But how could that happen to me while I was sleeping? My father did a search on Google for "waking up with chest pain between ribs" and told me I should do the same.
So I did that and went to the first site that came up. It described what happened to me exactly. This is something that people with scoliosis in the upper part of the back are susceptible to.
Sometimes they just pull a muscle while sleeping. And when you pull a muscle which is right near your heart it will affect your lungs as well. I suspect things got swollen and painful and the act of breathing was aggravating the whole situation.
Of an interesting note, my father asked me to check my pulse while I was talking to him. I was shocked to find out it was only 54. That’s about my resting heart rate.
That also gave me some confidence earlier on that the problem wasn’t with my heart.
A couple of days ago I spoke with a friend of mine on the phone and he said he had this same exact experience as a child. He related to all of the symptoms I told him I experienced.
Just realize that because you feel constriction in your chest by your heart does not mean you are definitely having a heart attack. There are many other possibilities as I found out.
So I emailed my father a couple more times during the night and reassured him that I was pretty sure I had pulled a muscle in my rib cage near my heart.
I finally was feeling good enough to fall asleep about 6am in the morning. Slept until about noon. I woke up feeling much better. I noticed very little pain.
So I figured it would be ok to exercise. Boy did that turn out to be a mistake. All I did was a very light jog for about 9 minutes and just walking after that.
I didn’t feel any worsening of my symptoms. That however happened around dinner time a couple of hours later and boy was I uncomfortable in my chest. Again I could not breathe deeply at all and it was quite painful.
Though nothing like the night before. From that moment on I became a bit disconcerted. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to exercise for quite a long time.
Unfortunately, the pain did not ease up. It was constant for many hours but again much later in the evening the pain eased up enough so that I could fall asleep. These first two or three nights I could only sleep on my back. Turning on my side (either side actually) like I prefer, was just too painful.
Because of the experience of the pain coming back much worse than it was all throughout the day I decided to put a temporary hold on exercising.
The next day all I did was take a long walk. The pain did not worsen that night. However the pain on the second day was actually much worse than on the first morning after this all happened. That short jogging session of the previous day really set me back in my healing.
I had more pain every day for the next 4 days than I did that first morning. But the good news was that as so long as I didn’t exercise the pain was getting gradually better (really slow in my mind) each day.
I waited for a week and cautiously tried exercising again. This time I didn’t get worse in the evening. Now I can take a really deep breath and barely feel any discomfort. Though there’s still a tiny bit of the injury left.
I’m so glad I can exercise again. I was chomping at the bit to go and exercise. For me not to exercise was a punishment. I realize that some of my readers might not be all that fond of exerting themselves.
But you can truly get to the point where you love exercising so much that you wouldn’t think of going more than a day or two without exercising. When you’ve got this mindset, building your ideal body just goes on autopilot.
You set your exercise goals and just do them. You don’t have to force yourself. In my case, I had to force myself NOT to exercise.
So because of this painful experience and my exhuberance for my healing I’m going to be annoucing something special in a day or two. Stay tuned.
That is my tale of woe. The 41-Year-Old Teenager has been humbled. Pain tends to do that.
But at this point I’m feeling fantastic again and back to my old exercise routine.
See you outside at the park,
The 41-Year-Old Teenager