With the exception of a few moments of incredible clarity, the past few weeks have been a blur. We’ve been gearing up for surgery and are moving forward. Surgery has come and gone and we are alive. We’re just not quite ready to come out and fully play. Soon, however, very soon. I’m sure we are healing. The cat, maybe not so much. Apparently, she’s experienced trauma. They are very senstive beings.
I’m going to write about my experience because it makes sense to pass on info to anyone who might need it. Education is a good thing. Over the years, as I’ve read blogs on illness and healing, I’ve noticed that by and large people tend to want to paint an extremely bright picture of their illness/situation and leave out the grit that many of us experience. Everyone wants to be a hero. There are blogs that are completely opposite in voice and much too graphic and negative for anyone’s wellbeing. I will try to strike a balance. How will you know if your experience is reasonable if everyone lies to you? Given health care in America, and given the American diet – which is so obviously killing us all – I’m going to express some opinions on a few things. They are my opinions based on personal experience and being a witness of sorts in the care of loved ones and friends. If you follow the blog, you’ll see the story of my experience unfold and it will bring along with it a few other stories that are intertwined. If you are someone struggling with an illness, I hope to have a word or two that will make you smile (really, how many times can you accidentally dip the bottom edge of your hospital gown in the “pee” cup…) and give you some hope. Once I’m out walking again, I’ll be taking more photographs of the local area and resume being awed by nature. Currently, I am being awed by simply being alive and not looking quite as shabby as I’d expected. On the other hand, there are things I didn’t know, and people I am so blessed to have met, and angels everywhere.
What is/was my illness/medical “thing”?
Bicuspid Aortic Valve, a congenital heart defect. I’ve known about this since before I knew what boys were, that’s how long it’s been (long, long time…). It’s always loomed overhead that the day of valve replacement would come. I wanted medical technology to catch up (and it has). I wanted to never have to go through this. I’m not someone who was a candidate for newer, less invasive methods of replacement. Many factors are considered, your age, the stenotic “value” (Stenosis = narrowing. My valve was thick and dangerously closed) of the valve, your overall health, etc. There are many considerations. Do you want, and should you have, a mechanical valve or a Porcine valve (pig) or Bovine valve (cow)? Who makes that decision? Risks? Options? I’ve been over the details for several years. I am in my sixties. My genetic make up is awful, more like a cesspool than a gene pool. I’ve kept a fairly healthy diet in excess of twenty years. While not athletic (the poorly functioning valve always played a heavy role in my ability to exercise), I’d become accustomed to power walking 3 miles each day. For me, 3 miles was someone else’s marathon. One day, I just couldn’t do it anymore, and this new journey began…
Also, I am a staunch believer in energy work and holistics. I’ve had people tell me to do more Reiki (I am a Reiki Master), or other bodywork, or change my diet, and on and on. My beliefs and everyone else’s have come to battle on this one. That is why I’m writing about it. Life is often a crapshoot. Maybe what matters is what you do with the crapshoot instead of placing blame. I hope you will come along for the ride. It won’t be that long and you might learn something.
By the way, yes. I had open heart surgery. I did not have bypass. I did not have coronary blockage. Yay!
Take better care of yourself than you think you should. Trust me on this one.
More to come…