Having a heart attack is a very serious thing. It has claimed many lives over the years.
Surviving a heart attack can make a human seriously rethink their life decisions.
This is what happened to Jim Lehrer in his book A Bus of My Own.
On December 11, 1983 Jim Lehrer had a heart attack. He described it as a semi truck driving back and forth on his chest.
When it was over he rethought his whole life. He hadn’t thought of the risks he had with his life style, since he had a family history of heart attacks. So with his unhealthy eating and smoking these risks were that much more dangerous.
When something like this happens people often say their life flashes before their eyes. Jim Lehrer said this didn’t happen for him; he said his future flashed before his eyes. How much insurance did he have? How would his family live without him?
Then he started thinking about what he would do if he had five years left to live. This is what led him to healthy eating. Instead of ” pimply faced 15 year old” eating habits; he started eating foods that would help his hearts health.
One of the things that greatly changed was his writing. With all the action of his job with the Lehrer/McNeil Show. His writing got pushed way back on the back burner. When he wrote his list this got pushed back to the front where it belonged. This is what he always wanted to do.
But: he couldn’t write for some reason. Then his wife suggested writing plays. He didn’t very far with that. The one play that did get made got shot down by a bad review.
But he didn’t let this stop him. He went on to write 19 novels. This isn’t something normal newscasters do.
Another good thing that came out of his heat attack was the is the documentary. He thought it was a good idea and pitched it to the studio, they liked it.
They were getting ready and everything was ready to go. But then he got cold feet because he didn’t want to be known as the heart attack guy. But then he got a late night call. It was from somebody he barely knew. He started asking him questions about his heart attack. It turns out he had just had a heart attack.
That’s what made Lehrer realize all the good that the documentary could do. He, the man on the phone, could have asking the doctor all these questions. He was trained to answer them. But it helps a lot to talk to someone who has gone through what you are going through. Lehrer has said that this, the documentary, was his greatest work the one he was most proud of.
This all goes to show that even the worst things. Even a heart attack can help other people including yourself. And can be changed for the better