I’m Not Bulletproof

On the anniversary of Bobby’s heart attack, he shares his story.

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On Thursday, September 1st of last year (2022), I had decided to work at the office for a couple of hours.  I was texting with my husband and we were joking around as I was packing up.  Then, he said, I don’t feel right.  Get HOME.  I immediately got in the car and started driving the 17 miles home.  At a stop light in town, I got a text that said, “Call 911?”  I said Sure.  I had no idea what was wrong.

I got on the highway that led to the house and drove about 85 miles and hour to the house.  The ambulance beat me by about 2-3 minutes.  As I walked in, I saw him hooked up to an EKG machine.  I now know how quickly they take readings.  I didn’t at the time.  The paramedic said, “we have to go now”.

We didn’t know what was happening at the time but later found out that not only that he had had a heart attack but how close we were to losing each other.

I also had no idea of how this event would impact him emotionally, nearly pushing him to his breaking point, how it would permanently damage his heart, or how it would impact us as a couple, nearly tearing us apart.

It was when we went to IACP in October that we would learn that the statistics show that cops have their first heart attack at 57 due to the heart being impacted by the continual years of cortisol dumps.  He was 56.  Just a statistic.

I shared in January that he had a health situation.  He knew that he wanted to share his story.  It’s just taken a while for both us to be at a place to do that.

Now, on the anniversary of the heart attack, we want you to know the story and I interview him to share the impact and confrontation with an old engrained belief of his, that he was bulletproof.

(2:45): On September 1, 2022, Bobby suffered a widow maker heart.

(4:00): Bobby shares his story of his heart attack

(9:14): An AED was used twice, ultimately saving Bobby’s life.

(12:13): Bobby discussed how he fought his way out of the darkness by fighting to come back to Cyndi.

(14:52): Understanding that Bobby had a 100% blockage of the LAD and that most people do not survive that type of heart attack

(15:58): Cyndi was in a complete state of gratitude and Bobby was in a state of trauma.

(18:27): Once released and at home, the trauma that was experienced was hard to understand because there was no physical injury and everything seemed “normal.”

(18:58): The first few days at home were spent in a state of shock.

(19:23): Understanding that Bobby isn’t bulletproof anymore.  “So here I am, retired and at home, and 18 months after I retire, I almost die.”

(20:51- 23:08): Not being bulletproof made Bobby question his worth, value, and marriage.

(23:10): Cyndi talks about her rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts during the aftermath of the heart attack.

(26:45- 32:36): Bobby started therapy to help understand the impact the heart attack was having on him as well as Cyndi.

 (35:10): Bobby discusses how his heart attack “opened the gate” and allowed the trauma from the career to be addressed.

(35:41): Cyndi discusses her transition back to therapy to deal with her experiences after the heart attack.

(37:14- 38:12): As a couple, you have a decision if you’re going to let trauma scars continue to fester and grow, or to find solutions for healing.

(39:51- 40:58): If you are struggling with not being bulletproof, believe in yourself. Don’t let it define you.

(41:56): As an officer you can’t keep your spouse safe if you can’t take care of your body physically. Once the armor comes off, you aren’t bulletproof.

I wanted to close with a couple of thoughts.

1.        It’s important for you to take care of your body physically.  My husband always wanted to keep me safe but it was only after the heart attack that he realized that he realized all those times that I would nag him to quit smoke, exercise, or to eat healthy was about him staying around longer.  Remember he thought he was bulletproof.  He wasn’t going to keep me safe on the other side.

2.       We also realized that while we had wills, there were things that if he died, I would not have known.  If I go, he would be lost on password to pay the bills.  We are just now working on putting information that we each have in one place.  I’m still taking “lessons” on how to open the big gun safe we have.  I get all those turns correct!

3.       It goes without saying in our life that regardless of how irritated you might be with each other.  Remember the words you say, may be the last ones they hear.  BUT also remember that if you are letting your spouse know how important they are to you, it doesn’t really matter those last words.  That is something we did right.  Regardless of the last words, we both knew we love each other.

As Bobby said, if you are struggling.  Stop.  Reach out to someone, even me, and I will help connect you with someone that can help you move through what you need to move through.  You can heal.  Do it for the ones you love but do it for you.

I appreciate y’all allowing us share this.  It helps us heal.  We aren’t perfect.  You don’t have to be either.  Just keep trying to keep it Code4.

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I’m Not Bulletproof

On the anniversary of Bobby’s heart attack, he shares his story.

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