A Merry Heart- Part One

My wife’s Uncle had a heart attack last month. He woke up one weekday morning feeling pain in his arm/ shoulder. He thought he had slept in an awkward position. He soon realized it might be more than that. Not wanting to take a chance on waiting for an ambulance, he drove himself to the hospital. He had the heart attack while the doctors were examining him. Had he been anywhere else he probably would have died….. The doctors found that his “Widow Maker” artery was 99.9% blocked. Thankfully, he survived and is working his way through recovery. In fact, he was back at home within a few days after surgery.
Uncle Ronnie is in his early 60’s and never had any signs of any problems. By all appearances he was in good health. But you never know, huh?

Uncle Ronnie’s brother Mike (my father in law) was prompted by this event (and an insistent wife) to go get checked out. He had heard that heart disease is hereditary. He is older than Uncle Ronnie so he figured it might be a good idea to get some tests done. I don’t know all the details about the testing that he went through but one thing that happened sticks in my mind: he scored zero on a test that the doctors told him he wouldn’t score zero on. You see, zero was the best score possible. Nationwide, very few people had ever scored that low. Well, once the test came back that’s exactly what he had…. zero. The test was to determine plaque build-up in the arteries. There was none. The doctors said he is in excellent shape for a man his age.

Long story short…… My father in law is probably going to outlive all of us. I agree with the doctors. I’ve known my f-i-l for over 20 years…. He is in the best shape of pretty much anyone I know in their 60’s. And the testing they did on him confirmed it. So how does he do it? Does he exercise regularly? Well, maybe some. He plays racquetball but I wouldn’t say regularly. Does he eat “right?” Not really. He eats just about anything he wants (although lately I’ve noticed he’s eating smaller portions). He even drinks Cokes (and has for years).

What is it then? We already know he has some hereditary conditions to be concerned about….. No escaping that. Here’s what I think it is: He always seems to be happy. No matter what the situation is he seems to always look at the bright side of things. I’ve hardly ever seen him down. My f-i-l is pastor of our church and has seen some heartache over the years…. People that he loves and the situations they have had to go through. He tragically lost a very good friend back in 1993. Through it all he has remained steady.  And this isn’t just my opinion. Many others have commented on his continually upbeat attitude.

There is a scripture in Proverbs (17:22) that says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” In other words, having a positive outlook can better your health.  My f-i-l is a perfect example of this. He is not a worrier and he seems to always be in a good mood. It has shown through his health. The tests have proved it.

So the lesson in all of this? Don’t worry…..be happy (I couldn’t resist). Maybe you, too, can pass those tests!

How does the ROM fit in with all of this? That’s coming in the next post.

To Good Health