Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Some Stuff Ya Do Alone

Welcome to my Heart 2 Heart Series featuring existential reflections of the narratives of my heart stories and those of my children and how these stories impact me, my wife, family & friends. Glad you have joined me on this introspective journey.

Follow the blog for updates on this series.

Family at a 2022 Cubs Game

At some point during My Open Heart Surgery Saga, it already having started, I will be alone.

I will kiss and wave goodbye to my wife, children, parents, siblings and friends.

I will strain to look at them for as long as I can as I also view the fluorescent lights on the ceiling of the hospital OR prep rooms stream by like lane lines on the pavement of the highway of life.

I will hear “good lucks” and “you will be fine” and “you will come through this like a champ” echo as I am taken to surgery.

I will wheel me into an operating room.

I will be with talented and brilliant people preparing to do their job….AGAIN. For them, it is another Tuesday. Another open heart surgery. And that’s good.

I will be alone.

It’s now, just me and about me and my ability to tolerate something designed to improve the medical and psychological quality of my life all while taking a great nap.

Come to think of it, there will be many times before the OR that I will be alone. Like now as I write.

Considering the gravity of what is happening and will happen, all of the potential outcomes of this surgery and need for surgery, settling on one outcome and focusing intently on that scenario, being alone helps you engage in and complete two vital tasks: choose and focus.

Managing crises and “those moments in life” all come down to choice and focus. And choice and focus are determined and decerned when we are ‘alone.’

Once we chose the outcomes, the narrative, the scenes that we want in the storyboard of our life saga all that is left is focusing on those scenes and making sure THOSE are the scenes that get produced and edited into the movie of our life.

So for me, the choice scenes include enjoying the time leading up to that alone moment when I make my grand entrance into the operating room. I have written and storyboarded the next month and a half or so with scenes during which I will laugh, pray, cry, break bread with family and friends, travel, become overwhelmed and go on a myriad of cognitive roller coaster rides to explore the mind and soul. I will also heal past wounds and losses.

I have asked my primary support “people” to be in town a few days before the scheduled surgery. The week and days leading up to the surgery will be the toughest time for me. The anticipation will be immense. My mood will float to fear of the what ifs and toward happy to be getting physically stronger and then turn toward terror of my wife having to cope with yet another heart related loss and so on.

To combat and enjoy the fluctuating thoughts and corresponding emotions I have chosen scenes and am focusing on ensure that me and my people sit by my the fire place in my home, sipping coffee or Screwball Whiskey and chatting, watching television, playing a game with my family and close inner circle is the scene I want. Definitely not being alone. Ordering from a favorite local restaurant and breaking bread together. I rehearse these scenes and they break my loneliness when it occurs and also foster faith and hope.


Counselor, Satirist, Podcaster, Author, Professor, Speaker, Father and Husband

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