This Would Be The Day That I Died

It’s exactly one year since I had a massive heart attack and double cardiac arrest (and no, I’m not originally from Gallifrey), which was triggered by food poisoning from some badly-stored sushi. Everything in my life (other than finances…oh well) has gotten better since then; even my outlook on life, but especially my health, since I finally got the message and have been exercising and taking far better care of myself.

But nobody will ever be able to convince me that there’s nothing inherently special about  the anniversaries of certain dates. Whether it’s the universe reminding you, or your subconscious playing tricks on you, things really happen.

For instance, yesterday morning my wife pulled some ground beef out of the refrigerator and mixed it with rice for a quick lunch before going to work. Last night, she came home and informed me that she had been barfing half the day at work due to food poisoning from the ground beef, which we then realized had been sitting there for at least two or three weeks. She hadn’t remembered what day it was on the Cosmic Calendar, but I quickly realized that she had probably saved my life by eating it herself.

And then I couldn’t fall asleep last night, in spite of being mentally tired and hitting the vape as usual as few times. I sniffed the contents of my trusty MFLB and it still seemed fresh. But it clearly wasn’t working, so I dumped it into my little AVB container and filled it with some random stuff I found in a container.

Three o’clock in the morning and you really want to get to sleep as soon as possible, so I hit it four or five times to make sure it would work. But, you know, medical patients like me should be a bit more careful than that with their medicine, even if it is late and they’re tired. Because I almost instantly started feeling way too high, a bit nauseous, cold and clammy, and generally the kind of feelings that lead up to a heart attack.

Then I flashed on the idea that this was Karma’s way of telling me that I had only been given another year, exactly, to live, and if I hadn’t finished what I had in mind, too bad because this was all there was and I blew it.

That’s the kind of thinking that can kill you, or at least kill me, because I have a bit too much of a mind-body connection at times like this. But long years of experience saved me again: I went into our bedroom and informed my wife I was freaking out, and she was able to help calm me down and reassure me that my skin was actually not overly cold, warm, clammy, or anything. I ran the stopwatch app on my phone, which showed I was having precisely a 3-to-1 time distortion. My pulse was normal…but my mind was warped by ingesting too much sativa too fast, just like I warn all the saplings about.

And, as usual, after about 15 minutes, the worst of it had passed. I was still way too high and agitated to attempt sleep, so I watched a movie and then konked out until my alarm rang, but I did have some wacky dreams, THC or no THC!

So if you’ve read to the end of this little story today, thank you. You’ve hopefully learned a few things. And as part of my celebration for being alive, today I’m announcing the publication of my first book on medical marijuana. AdvENTures With Cannabis Edibles is based on the kind of stories I’ve written about here on Beyond Chronic and includes many handy recipes as well. And, just today, I’m making it available free for the Kindle, which means you can not only read it on your Kindle, but also on your iPad, iPhone, Android phone, Mac, PC, or any other device that has a Kindle app available to it.

Enjoy the book, and enjoy life as if any day could be your last…because you never know.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


Great story, been there, done that… not the heart attack, but similar… gives a whole new perspective on life and priorities, hey?

Cheers, stay well,


Hey Old Hippie 🙂 I love your blog!

I’m commenting because i have had a similar experience with my MFLB and what i think is a strong sativa. I vaped a LOT yesterday in a short amount of time (I’m talking 20+ hits with my powerex 2700s in 10-13 minutes) and then had to climb a bunch of stairs to get back to my room. By the time I got to the top of the stairs I was seeing stars and I had a ton of anxiety, and for the hour that followed all I could think about was how hard my heart was beating and how scared I was of having a heart attack. I tried to psych myself out of it, but it never worked. Eventually I fell asleep but it wasn’t easy. I tried vaping just a little bit earlier and it still made me a little anxious but not nearly as much as last night, so I was able to enjoy it a little easier.

Would vaping at a higher temperature to get more CBD help me?

It was a very scary experience, especially because I’m still a relatively new cannabis enthusiast and I don’t exactly have the best cardiac health to begin with.

Hmm…OK, let me see if I can put all this together:

  • Newish user, so I’m going to guess low tolerance.
  • Too high / Too fast (20 hits in 12 minutes!)
  • Sativa! Cha-cha! Too high of a THC:CBD ratio
  • Climbing stairs with low state of aerobic health –> temporary lack of oxygen / seeing stars

Yes, that sounds like a good recipe for the beginning of a bad time. “Seeing stars” is the step before tunnel vision, which is the step before feeling faint / blacking out / vasovagal episode. Now, I’m obviously not a doctor, and certainly not omniscient or nuttin’, but I’m going to take a guess that the stargazing was mostly due to the stair-climbing and partly due to the heavy breathing that preceded it, and hopefully is just a temporary response to all that load in a short amount of time (since I don’t know what your actual cardiac health level is, so please be careful). I’m relieved that you’ve vaping and not smoking, though.

Anyway, then the anxiety was due to your feeling legitimately worried because you had just stressed yourself, and was made worse by the fact that you were too high on a sativa, which makes your mind race and think of all possibilities, and often the worst ones. If you hadn’t been high, you probably would have just said to yourself, “I should do more exercise and slow the hell down on these stairs” and that would have been it. In short, I don’t think the weed hurt your heart, just messed with your mind.

I’d recommend you not going so fast with any strain, and if you could switch to an indica you’d feel calmer. There’s much more difference between an indica and a sativa than just the basic ratio, but yes, if you want to try letting the MFLB run for another 5 to 10 seconds before inhaling, you might get more CBD out of what you have and that could definitely help. Thanks for the kind words, stay safe, and nugs and hugs!

Leave a Reply