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How to Survive a Heart Attack - Part 3: My Smokey Heart

By Hendrik Baird, 09.06.14 | Comments

A Smoker's Story

I smoked my first cigarette soon after my mother passed away in 1977.  A friend had suggested it to me. I was very vulnerable at the time, having just lost my mom after the birth of my baby sister. I was 14 years old. My father soon found out that I smoked before cycling to school and he almost beat the living daylights out of me.

Dad was very firm that as long as I stay under his roof, I do things according to his rules. If I wanted to smoke after I left home, it had nothing to do with him. I promised to not smoke again.

Until I moved out of the house, of course. Which is exactly how it happened. I distinctly remember smoking the first serious cigarette as I started university. Subconsciously my dad had given me permission to smoke and so I became a smoker.

A very fashionable smoker, at the time. We all smoked. Smokers were few and far between. We were serious smokers who did not mind to pay R 3.50 for a packet of Camels (so expensive at the time!)

And of course it became a habit, became a part of who I was. I was a smoker. I smoked. I did not think about it. I just smoked. I felt very uncomfortable when I did not have cigarettes. I would buy cigarettes before I would buy food. I would drive kilometers  just to go buy a packet of cigarettes.

And I tried to stop. Of course I tried. Many times I tried to stop. Using willpower, medication, patches, gum.

And then I stopped. For three years. It was wonderful. I felt so much better, my health improving, feeling so much better. And guess what?

I found myself in a stressed moment and decided to use a cigarette to feel better. It made me feel worse,  it tasted vile, but before I knew it I was back on the pack-a-day habit. This happened a few times.

And then I made a decision. I would stop smoking for my 40th birthday.

That was eleven years ago and I have not smoked a single cigarette since. I am a non-smoker.

Not according to my cardiologist, though. He took one look at the sonar image of my heart and said: "So Mr. Baird, I see you are a smoker..."

Twenty years of smoking had taken its toll on my heart.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa. It harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, bladder and digestive organs.

Smoking and your heart

The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. These chemicals can also damage the function of your heart and both the structure and function of blood vessels. This increases the risk for atherosclerosis, a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits blood flow to your organs, reducing oxygen flow.

Coronary heart disease occurs if plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. In my case the Lest Anterior Descending Artery (LAD) was completely blocked, while the Right Coronary Artery (RCA) was partially blocked. Any amount of smoking, even light or occasional smoking, damages the heart and blood vessels.

Of course the best way to reduce your risk of a heart attack is to never start smoking. Just avoid it altogether, whether it be firsthand or second hand tobacco smoke. Stay away from the smokers and the smoking sections. Ask your friends and family to not smoke in your car or your home.

And if you are currently a smoker, you seriously need to consider the benefits of stopping smoking. By stopping you will almost immediately start reducing the risk to your heart and your body will start repairing the damage already done. Your body is a wonderful self-repairing organism that will help reverse heart and blood vessel damage.

And to stop smoking can be very easy, much easier than you thought it could possibly be. The secret is to do two things: 1. Replace the bad habit with new, healthy habits, and 2. Use hypnosis to change the habit at its source, namely in the subconscious mind. The sooner you stop smoking, the better.

I survived my heart attack. I had a double bypass and the blocked arteries are no longer depriving me of vital oxygen. My heart thumps comfortably and my blood pressure is under control. I was lucky. Perhaps I could have avoided this whole ordeal by never starting to smoke in the first place. Thank goodness I stopped when I did. Had I continued, I could have been stone, cold dead at this point.

Smoking cigarettes is death for sure. To survive a heart attack, just say no to tobacco! Avoid just one!



About The Author:
Hendrik Baird is an actor, magician, author and consulting hypnotist.
More info: Hypnosis Works!