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.
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All the way back in 1965, when I was born on the first day of the new year, a life time of heart related medical dramas were sprinkled into my life script, unbeknownst to me. Those dramas and traumas would become the journeys and adventures I would and WILL face and offer me the chance to suck it up and live life or dig a hole and drawl in.
In March 1971 at the ripe old age of six (6), I underwent open heart surgery to correct two congenital defects: (1) a pulmonary stenosis and (2) a ventricular septal defect. The docs waited until 1971 because the procedures to correct these congenital defects was not developed until 1970.
I remember the surgery, hospital stay and some of the procedures that I endured as a kid. I remember my parents visiting me in the hospital. I remember my post surgical recovery. Half daized and overlooking the City of Chicago all aglow as it was night and I clung to “Prince Froggy”, a homemade stuffed animal I was given by the nursing staff.
For years, I lived a ‘normal‘ life. Don’t like that word ‘normal.’ All I know is that ‘normal‘ is the setting on a dryer. Yet, I played football, ran track, participated in school plays, flirted with girls and rejected and built a group of friends as I made my way through the mayhem of Catholic school (grammar and high school) and college. Albeit in college I pretty much forgot about my heart history and challenges and I lived life hard both in the US and overseas in Italy at the Loyola University Rome Center.
When I was 25 and decided that it was time to once again pay attention to my heart history and narrative, a cardiologist casually informed me that when I was “in my fifties” I would need to have the defects once again ‘looked at‘ and maybe even replaced. When I digested that piece of info, I was a bit taken aback yet thought, “my fifties? Shit! That’s double my current life span.” So I filed it and didn’t give it a hole hell of a lot of thought.
Well, I am almost 58 and the clock is striking twelve.
After a series of quality of life downturns and a rigorously lived life that has been slowed due to ‘symptoms‘ of right-side heart failure, it is time to open the hood and make some corrections and repairs to my ticker.
On January 31, 2023 I will undergo my second open heart surgery. Oh, boy.
I plan on blogging my thoughts between now and then and during my recovery via my blog. May even do podcasts and some videos. We will see.
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My Open Heart Surgery