Dolly's Blog

What a clown!

Dolly Baruch

Dolly Baruch
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
April 23
The Matriarch
Just been writing forever and I always thought I was a better writer than I am but no matter, I write. Never thought I could paint but I love it so I do. Dancing and writing and painting fill me up. Some people think my kids are the most interesting part of me, and pretty much so did I until my late sixties. Now, I'M the most interesting part. I crack myself up! And I don't care so much whether I'm a great writer or artist or dancer or not, just so I do what I need to do - which is keep on writing and painting and dancing and living. To life! is my motto.


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JANUARY 7, 2011 2:53PM

Exactly One Year Ago

Rate: 18 Flag

Two weeks after my heart attack 

 This is me about a month after my heart attack. Everything is gray! To see me in silver, look at my profile pictures. (And I'm about 40 pounds lighter in that shot).


Exactly one year ago, I had a massive heart attack. I am lucky to be alive. More than a third of people who had the kind of heart attack I had die before they even make it to the hospital, that is, if they are fortunate to have someone around who can call an ambulance to take them there.

 In that year, I've lost 50 pounds, changed my eating habits entirely, started exercising at least five hours a week, and learned more about the truth of who I am than I ever allowed myself to in the past. 

 The heart attack gave me a new life. It's still a struggle some days, when I come across some fragrant food that I used to love or when I just don't want to get up and get dressed and go to the gym or when going to work (thank God I still have a job) seems like it's just too hard.  But everyday I'm alive is a bonus.

 The heart attack gave me a new lease on life and I try to live every day to the fullest I can. I have plans for the future, lots of them. I'm doing things now I was going to put off until I retired. It seems as though most people thought I would not be able to change. But I could and I have. 

 I have a new and deep awareness of how precious my life is to me.  Because I didn't always know that. Sometimes, I still don't but I'm a stubborn one (Taurus, after all) and I get up and do what I need to anyway. Eat right. Exercise. Go to work. Keep my commitments. Try to make new friends and keep the old (most difficult of all, I think). Stay out of my children's arguments (they're all knuckleheads, every one of them).

 2011 will be the year of the hare - and I hope to measure up to my talents and ambitions.

"Persons born in the Year of the Hare are talented and ambitious. They are popular with anybody and good entertainers which often makes them the centre of attention. Even though they are liked they are rather pessimistic, insecure and are afraid of changes. They almost never lose their temper and are very good-natured. In the business world however they are smart and make the right decisions according to instinct. Nevertheless they are no gamblers. Hares are known for their sense of art and for that reason often have beautiful homes."

 So far, so good.

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heart attack, anniversay

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Oh, my. Congratulations! I love what you have done w for yourself. Truly inspiring.
Congrats. Those of us who survive deadly illnesses realize how lucky we are. Keep on keeping on!!
Wow, my first EP (wow!)
" Stay out of my children's arguments (they're all knuckleheads, every one of them). "

OK, that gave me a big laugh!

What an incredible story. You are living proof that anyone can change. I'm so glad you're still with us!
Congratulations! You are indeed lucky, and I'm glad that you have recovered unscathed.
Thanks all for reading. Taken day by day, the changes are miniscule, but looking back over the year - oh my. If I can find a picture taken the day after I returned home from the hospital, I'll post it - I can hardly believe the changes - I looked SO sick and gray and if you saw me then, you'd be surprised that I look so chipper these days.

Also, this was kind of a throwaway post - and I got an EP. Wow again.
Glad you are here to tell the tale...
I love your Bio! What an inspiring post!
"It seems as though most people thought I would not be able to change. But I could and I have." Yes!!!
What an inspiring post. Im glad you are chipper!! Love life.
The honesty and determination with which you faced your illness is always inspiring to me. Here's to the Year of the Hare!
Congratulations! My own heart attack anniversary is coming up at the end of March (it'll be two years for me). It does give one a new perspective, doesn't it? Granted, I'm a bit younger than you--I was 40 when I had mine. It still boggles me how many women don't get that heart disease is our #1 killer (most think their biggest health threat is breast cancer).

Right there with you on the Taurus stubbornness, too. :)

Congratulations again on your one-year anniversary, and here's to many more.
Thanks for sharing an inspiring story (and congrats on the EP!). Heart attacks and other coronary events can have a profound tendency to change us, usually for the better (though how those around us react is another story). It took me a year to recover from a coronary artery spasm, dissection, MI and emergency bypass surgery. At the end of that year I was in the best condition, physically and emotionally, of my life. It happens! I will next month mark 17 years without any real problems from what happened. May you go three times that long!
Welcome to the club that no one wants to join! In a country where one out of 4 women right now either has or will have heart disease, you are in good company. We are further characterized as having worse medical outcomes than men with heart attacks, because medical care is worse for women. Really. We have MORE heart attacks than men. Five times more women have heart disease than have breast cancer. The statistics go on. You might consider joining me in the national, and only, patient-centered organization for women with heart disease, WomenHeart. We provide training, advocacy and support to women with heart disease and their friends and family, with the aim to prevent, better treat, and advocate for women with this devastating disease. We advocate for more heart disease research about women, and we have an extensive outreach program involving 500 Mayo-clinic trained WomenHeart Champions who commit themselves to the work with a vigor unexpected from people with heart disease.
Look us up at
And again, welcome to the club!
Melissa Frykman-Thieme, WomenHeart Champion, RN BSN, CMP
What should you do if you think you are having a heart attack?

Don’t try to drive yourself. While you wait for the ambulance to come, chew one regular tablet of aspirin. Don't take the aspirin if you're allergic to aspirin.
My father was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer, was given less than 1 year, changed his lifestyle radically, and lived 10 years longer, healthy and became a grandparent before he died... congratulations.
Pilates Generation
congratulations on your new lease on life. It's amazing how a difficult situation can bring so much good. I know what you mean about those delicious foods.

At the same time I'm always shaking my head when I see a commercial on tv about some OTC product that you can take to reduce heart burn so you can eat anything you want. Then everyone's always complaining about our nation being overweight. What a crazy society we live in.

Keep up the good work.
Thank you all for commenting. Your own stories are so inspirational. I'm trying to figure out how to post a before and after picture. Went from gray to happy and joyful.
Yay for Knucklehead status! That means I have more to learn, and more ways to start appreciating life.Check out my Japan Haikus. I love you!!