My Heart Attack Story – Sheldon Payne

My Heart Attack Story – Sheldon Payne

August 16, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


– Hey everyone, so this
story’s a little different than a typical story that
I would tell everyone. My name is Sheldon Payne, and this is my heart attack story. So like most people my age, I thought I was a healthy person. I exercised, I ate what I thought was pretty good. In reality, it wasn’t really pretty good. But on July 4th, today, July 4th, 2017, I had a heart attack. I had finished playing hockey with a group that I play with every summer, and during the game I felt fine, but then after the game, I
started to get a pain in my chest and I got a pain in my arm, and yes, a typical thought would be for most people that I
was having a heart attack, but at the age of 39, it’s not something that I
attributed to having for myself and I chalked it up to arthritis. I was just thinking it
was just maybe something that would go away, but
as the night progressed and as the pain continued to be intense, I decided at 1:30 in the morning to take myself to the hospital. I got admitted to emergency, and very quickly they were able to assess that I was having a heart attack. So here I was at age 39, father of two girls, two young girls, at ages three and four at the time, and a lot goes through your mind. To be honest, for the first few days, weeks, months, your mind can go in a dark place. Being the dad of two young girls, very quickly I had thoughts where, you know, would I see them go to school? Would I see them finish school? Would I see them go to
university, get a job, get married, become a grandfather? Right, so anyone who
knows me and watches me, they all understand or they’ll notice that I document my kids a lot, and I do that because I
wanted to make sure that at their young age, that
they would actually know who I was and not forget me, because that was a big concern
of mine over the last year, and it still is, so I’m gonna
continue to document my kids, it’s just what I do. But you also have a lot of other thoughts. I’d think about my wife and
I’d think about my family, and I’d think about my business, and I’d think about the
things that I wanted to do and thought I had time to do, and I couldn’t potentially do. And even here to give
this video a year later is something that I, to be honest, didn’t even think was something that would even potentially happen in, again, in the early months,
days, months, weeks. But what I did know is that
I had to make a change. I had to make a change in my lifestyle if I wanted to be around for my family. So here’s what I had to do. One of the very first
things that I’ve done is I had to change my diet. So I went to see a dietician. She was super helpful. She was able to put me on a path to kinda get me back to eating correctly. Some of the bad habits that I had prior, that I now know and I
want to share with you, is that I would skip meals. I would skip breakfast,
sometimes I would skip lunch, not eat all day, but then
I would have a big supper and that would be it. So that was one thing that I changed. And now I have a good
breakfast in the morning, I have a snack probably around 10, and then I make sure that I get lunch, even if it’s not a big lunch, I make sure that I get lunch, another snack in the afternoon, a good meal in the evening, and then I’ll have another
small snack later at night. And that really, really helps a lot. In addition to that, one of
the things that I did a lot, as well as an entrepreneur,
business-owner, just someone who’s busy in general, and I’m sure any of you watching this, I’m sure probably do the same, is that I consume a lot of coffee. But not only did I
consume a lot of coffee, but it’s what I put in my coffee. So you know, my coffee would typically be, in some cases, two cream, two sugar, in other cases, three
cream and three sugar, which after doing the math and understanding what
sugar does to your body, I was consuming a lot of sugar
over the course of a year, so I went to black. So now I just purely drink black coffee. Other things that I kind
of had to make changes of is that I had to enroll
in a cardiac rehab program to kind of get me back into
becoming the physical person that I was earlier in my life, and so I was able to join
the cardiac rehab program. I had a great physiotherapist, who kind of helped me know
what I could and could not do, set up exercises and programs
that I would have to do, and I did that. I made sure that in the
evenings, I went for walks. And then over time, after a few months, those walks turned into runs. And now I’m running on a regular basis. But one of the great things
is that in December of 2017, one of the things that had happened is that when I had had my heart attack, I was told that I would
never play hockey again. And for anyone who knows me, again, knows how difficult that was to swallow, as hockey is something
that I’ve been doing as long as I can remember. It’s an area where it’s
given me so much in my life, I’ve met so many people,
built so many relationships. And it was also a place that I could go, and whenever I’m playing the game, whatever stress or whatever’s
happening in my life, it’s a place where hockey would be and I could actually just go and that’s just when you go away for the duration of the
game, and I would just be in what I would call the zone of the rink. And whatever’s happening on
the ice and in that game, that was fantastic. So that was gonna be taken away from me. And then in December,
as I mentioned earlier, I went to my cardiac rehab appointment, and I was given the news that
I could play hockey again. And I was just ecstatic, on one degree, but there’s
another part of me that was not, and that’s because of
this major life event, and the life event happening at hockey, I didn’t know how to approach
it, so I took my time. I gradually got myself back into it, and by the end of the year, I was almost back to
what I was doing before. But what it allowed me to do,
from a hockey perspective, is it allowed me to play in a tournament, a weekend tournament called
the Hockey Heroes Weekend. And if you’re not aware, it’s a weekend where the Heart and Stroke
Foundation gets former NHL alumni to come in for the weekend, and they match you up
and you do fundraising. And I was aware of the event in the past, but I’ve never participated. But this year, obviously it
had a special place for me, and they asked me to speak, which I did. And also what it has done was allowed me to bring one of my lifetime passions back to something that I wanted to do, but in addition to that, it also allowed me to create awareness and tell my story to people, as well. I found that to be super important. And I got to raise money to
fight this ugly disease as well that takes so many lives, and is something that
I wanna continue to do to kind of pass on my story and to fundraise when the
opportunity presents itself. So in addition to those things, as a business owner, I own
a digital marketing agency, I also had to rethink about
the way that I run my business. As an entrepreneur, I would typically keep a lot of tasks that from the day-to-day perspective of working in my business, and I would do those tasks and work certain hours and whatnot, and I would do those tasks
and take all those tasks on, and not share them with my team. But by going through this
process, this life-changing event, then my team had to take
on these responsibilities, and they did a fantastic job, which allowed me to understand some of the responsibilities
they could take on, and for myself, to rethink how I was
gonna approach business. So what I’ve been doing is that I’ve been passing on some
responsibilities to my team, really making sure that
the people who we work with as clients understand how the values that we have within our
company, and with that, I try to create a business that is unlike most
typical agency businesses, where we typically try
not to work long hours. We work smarter hours, so we put in a lot of
energy and work smarter, as opposed to having to work longer hours. I try to make sure that my team has a
great work-life balance, they have unlimited vacation. Typically, they don’t
work evenings or weekends. And that’s something that I
wanna instill in my company, as the company continues to grow. And I’ve taken that on, because it’s given me more opportunity to spend time with my family,
and to see my kids grow up, which is super important to me. But now here we are at a year later. I’m one year today from
having my heart attack, and currently, my health
is in a good place, mentally, I’m in a good place, and the thoughts of not being around for a year or two years, now I keep pushing those horizons back, and I can see myself in
five years, in 10 years, in 20 years, and 50 years, down the road, hopefully that’s the
place where I wanna be. So if you are continuing to watch this at about 11 minutes in, this is a story that I
wanna share with you, if you’re watching, and if you’re an entrepreneur
or a very busy person, and you’re looking to
change your lifestyle, if there’s anything that I can do to help, please reach out and connect with me. But a couple things that I
would love for you to do, things that I wish I had done,
and now I’m passing onto you, number one, check your family history. I was a little bit aware in terms of some of the family history, that there was on each side of my family with my grandparents, but I was not aware of some
of the other family history, so please check with your family history to see if you have any issues, because genetics is something
you cannot run away from, in some cases. Another thing that I waited too long to do was that I was probably not getting myself having a check-up on a regular basis, and understanding what my
cholesterol levels were and what was happening
with where those were and what I could do to
make the adjustments. And then number three, I wasn’t really taking care of myself. And so if you feel that you’re
super busy, you’re tired, you’re working long
hours, make time for you. That’s what I can say is you
need to make time for you, because if you’re not healthy, how can you help someone else? So please take time to go for a walk, evenings, stay inside, do something. Get up, walk around, talk to your team, spend time with your family. Alright, but you need
to make time for you, cause nobody else will. You need to make sure
that you do it for you, for your family. And that’s it. This is a story where I
could be rambling for some, maybe not for others, and if this is a message
that gets across to you, again, please reach out, please feel free to share it around, because what I’m hoping to
do is to inspire other people to take action, and not have to go through
what I went through over the last year and in future years. So if I can help one
person, hopefully this video and what else I share
in my stories and stuff will be helpful. But that’s it. Just to recap, I’m one year
in of having my heart attack. Everything is (knocks on wood)
going well, knock on wood. And if you watch this and you feel like you’re
looking for a lifestyle change, please reach out or share
this with someone else. So that’s it for me. Have a good night and a good day everyone.