Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Serious as a Heart Attack

I loved "Vision On" and "Take Hart" as a kid. Apparently it was suggested to Tony Hart that the programme be called "Hart Attack" and he vetoed it, saying it sounded too aggressive, also it was  insensitive and heart attacks were no laughing matter. Take Hart ran from 1977 to 1983 and was replaced by "Hart Beat" from 1984 to 1993. By 1990 though sensibilities had relaxed, Tony wasn't in it and didn't have a say and a new programme called "Art Attack" began on CBBC.

In 1990, I was a bit old to watch Art Attack, but I'm absolutely sure I wouldn't have been even slightly offended by the title. After last Thursday however, I'm leaning more towards old Tony's way of thinking. Tony knew what he was talking about. It's no laughing matter. I'm 46 and I had a heart attack.

46. Reasonably, that's about 50 years too young to have a heart attack. As anyone who has seen me recently will know, I am in my absolute physical prime. I've been used as a reference model for superheroes (OK, it was Armstrong, the fat one from Archer and Armstrong), but still, I'm relatively fit, I don't smoke, I don't drink much, I try to go for walks in the fresh air. Just goes to show what a silent killer high blood pressure and heart issues can be. I don't feel ill now, apart from the occasional heart attack, I've never felt better, but the medical experts beg to differ, so I'm paying attention. I have a morbid and totally irrational fear of needles, but happily, having constant injections, cannulas and blood tests is slowly curing me of this. I still squirm like an 8 year old girl, but this is an improvement on screaming, hitting the nurse and then fainting.

I'm still in hospital, awaiting an angiogram and possibly an angioplasty and maybe a stent. The staff here are exceptional, doing a great job with good humour, obviously I'm saying this in case any of them read this so I will get preferential treatment, but nonetheless, it's true. They have a wonderful, sometimes dark and surreal, sense of humour, which I guess comes with the job, especially Marian, who has a promising future as a stand up comic. I'm on a ward with four beds, two of which have so far had Paul and Andy in, whose conversation has kept to hanging onto my sanity. It's a weird experience though, having people do everything for me, there's no mental stimulation of any sort, and nothing to do for hours, it's very much like being back in the Civil Service.

Most of my work is on hold, so apologies to all the people waiting for me to do things (although I do have a laptop and wifi in hospital I'm supposed to be resting) but hopefully I will be back on my feet and normal service will be resumed very shortly.

Here's some good basic advice though - take your meds, listen to your doctor, look after yourselves.


  1. My needle / blood strategy is to have headphones on, listen to something funny (you might try TMBG's) and screw my eyes tight shut.

  2. Sounds like an excellent plan. Although TMBG's excellent tunes might get my heart rate too high......