Yes, I am very happy to have survived. And next Tuesday I have an appointment with the nurse practitioner and will find out about cardiac rehab. Evidently you don't start to exercise other than walking for two weeks after an MI. However, I continue to question because I do not want a repeat performance! I have to also say that I think it is possible that Dr.s McD and Esselstyn might be a bit more optimistic about the plant based diet than might be warranted. I hope not.
I am very sorry for the emotional turmoil you are experiencing. No one can fully understand what you are going through right now. Although I cannot give you any words that will go very far to help with the situation, I would like to relate an anecdote that I sometimes consider when I think of how I would proceed if the day ever came that my many years of cigarette smoking and weekend drinking binges were to overtake the health benefits I enjoy from this way of life. I have a proactive dentist. The number of crowns he's installed cause the SF Occupy movement to consider my head part of the 1%. A few years before I began eating this way he sent me to an oral surgeon for a slice and dice of my gums. I was sitting in the chair as he was threading a half mile of suture material through my gums, and I thought to myself, "I guess this is what life is going to be like from now on; from one procedure to the next,..." I was nearing the age at which my father had his first diagnosed heart attack, the one that led to his death two years later. At the time my GP would constantly ask me if I had any chest pains, and he did it with such enthusiasm that I cannot help but believe that he received some kind of referral fee from the vascular surgeons. I was vegetarian and believed that I tried to reasonably follow the precepts that I believed Pritikin advocated, although, of course, not to the level that is prescribed here or in Dr Esselstyn's program. When my sister died about a month after her quadruple bypass, I knew that I had to do something. That was about 3 years ago, and I know my diet is light years ahead of what it had been for the decades before. In the late 80's I began marathoning, and I lost quite a bit of weight, eventually growing into a pattern of dropping 40 or 50 pounds when the training season began and gaining them again after the marathon season. The same GP who seemed so interested in seeing that I get a preventative bypass once remarked to me that, "Perhaps all that running may have saved your life, but no matter how far you run you can't outrun your genes." I've often considered that remark, and I believe it to be true. But we do not need to become an accomplice to that murder, and we can take every possible step to prevent it. Will we be successful? Of course not. Nobody gets out alive. But, if you take me, for example, one of my main reasons for adopting this way of life was to, perhaps, some day run another marathon. My slow decay had me at the point that I could barely run a mile without stopping to catch my breath. I am now about a year older than my father was when he died. I left the house at 5:30 this morning, and ran 7 and a half miles to the gym(OK, well, waddled 7 and a half ...). And if that's not the great shining carrot at the end of the stick that keeps us continuing on this treadmill, at least it's enough inspiration to restore some hope.
I'm sorry that there is nothing I can do or say to assure you that you will be spared those horrors that must have run through your mind when you were diagnosed with the MI, but it is the volatility of life that makes it so precious. And if that is not reason enough to try to experience every possible moment of it in the best health that we can, then I don't know what is.