Just over two weeks ago, on April 7, my chest was cut open and blocked arteries were bypassed by sections of veins cut from and taken from my legs. The day before, I experienced pains so severe that I thought this might be it, this might be the end.
Today, I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Stone, the heart surgeon who quite simply saved my life. Nearly all of the incisions, the several cuts to my legs and the deep channel down the middle of my chest, have either healed or are well on their way to completely healing. He told me that other than lifting or pulling or pushing ten pounds or more, all restrictions are lifted.
I still have some pain and tightness from the incision in my chest, but even that’s improved to the point that I’ve scrapped all the prescription pain pills in favor of the occasional Moltrin. I still have ten weeks of cardiac rehab (I go three mornings a week, and am in the middle of my second week) to complete, so I am by no means a finished product just yet.
Still, it boggles my mind how far I’ve come in these fifteen days since I was sliced open. It’s taken a team of nurses and doctors, led by Dr. Stone, as well as the kindness and support and aid of friends and family. I owe these people everything, and intend to start the payback by taking the rest of my recovery as seriously as possible. I have no choice -it’s going to take a mighty strong heart to express the love and gratitude that these remarkable people have all earned.
Today is Earth Day, and my normal impulse is to rail against the selfish and thoughtless harm that humans, in their greed and self-absorption, have enacted on this amazing planet. But while those sentiments may be true, this year I’m also aware that I have benefited from the incredible capacity for kindness and caring and love that is the best of human nature, and I’m reminded that we’re all in this thing together. I am convinced more than ever that we can and we will fix this planet, and that we can overcome our petty differences and do what is right for each other.
Whatever I can do to help – well, sign me up.