Hello! I’m Richard and I’m Not Dying!

That’s a weird title I know. Let me explain. For the last year and a half, about once a week, I thought I was going to die. I had this recurring chest pain that made me think I was having a heart attack. I dealt with the pain for about three months and then suffered a panic attack on a trip and thought I was done for. The friend (Thanks Tony) I was with took me to the emergency room in Louisiana and had me checked out. When we checked in my blood pressure was through the roof. They ran the tests and confirmed I in fact was NOT having a heart attack. They said it was acidreflux issue and gave me some meds (Thanks to Dairy Queen Chicken Strips and gravy for that). They doctored me up and sent me on my way.

But the panic attacks continued from that point forward. Each time the chest pain started I just knew, “This is it. I’m done for. Life is over.” And I had really convinced myself (The Mind Is Powerful) that life wasn’t worth living because I could go at any moment. Why bother, right?

I checked out on a lot of things in life. It is tough to look back on.

I went to the doctor. He checked me out. Sent me to a cardiologist. All clear there. Talked about medicating my anxiety and depression (Did I mention that depression had set in?). I filled the prescription but never took the pills. The side effects seemed to severe to my wife and I. Back to the doctor several more times. The chest pain was still there.

The anxiety lessened over time. I didn’t die from the chest pain for over a year and the cardiologist said I was good. So that helped…a little.  Early morning walks helped too.

Still I couldn’t shake the pain. I finally convinced my doc to send me to a gastroenterologist. We finally found the problem. I have a condition called EE that is a hardening and thickening of the esophagus caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods. The doc said the lining of my esophagus had turned plastic. What? PVC man! The condition can be treated with a steroid medication and a food elimination diet.

So that is what I am doing. Sipping steroids and eliminating everything that is good from my diet. No dairy, nuts, eggs, fish, soy,  or bread. So now I am a meat eating vegetarian. I hope this helps. This is punishment for eating a bowl of ice cream every night of my life.

If you have read this far thanks for sticking with me.  As you might have guessed I’m still here and kicking. I’m not dead…yet. I know that death comes to us all but what a relief to know that the chest pain I have dealt with for over a year is not going to be the immediate cause of my demise.

Even today, I was diagnosed yesterday, the pain in my chest is less intense. Crazy I know! But I fully believe that has to do with the power of the mind. You see for a over a year I told myself that I was done for so why even try. I had defeated myself in my mind.

So, today I have made the decision to tell myself and my family a different story. Life is worth living and it is worth living well.

What story are you telling yourself? Is it driving you forward or holding you back?

Now to just get past this mid-life crisis I am in the middle of. Anybody wanna go for a ride in my red convertible?

If you are struggling with issues of the mind tell yourself a different story. Find a friend to talk to. Have them hold you accountable to a new life story.

You can do it. I know you can.

I believe it was Andy Dufrense that said,”Get busy livin or get busy dyin.”

I am ready to get busy livin!!

God Bless!


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