First, Dear Reader, a few housekeeping items. One, this is a picture of me TEN years ago (tomorrow) and I am not in the hospital and I’m not going through this right now. Two, I know I’ve been away, but as I mentioned in the Useless Podcast (you did listen to that episode, right?), I’ve been extra busy and not been able to experience a lot of things to really talk about that would have been clever, funny, or interesting.
I have told this story for the last eight years and I’m going to do it again.
Today, Dear Reader is my 10th birthday. My 10th second birthday that is. Ten years ago today, I was shorn of every hair on my body that wasn’t on my head. Every single hair, from my chest, to my back, my armpits, my legs, there all the way down to the hairs on my toes. Why you ask? Well, because I was a mere hour or so from being wheeled into an operating room to have my chest sawed open, my shoulders pulled back toward each other, my ribcage separated and my body basically put on a machine while my heart was disconnected. There were a couple of holes in my abdomen for drainage tubes. Then, a vein was removed from my leg slightly to the left of my right knee cap and snipped about halfway down my shin. That was used to create a bypass of three arteries, therefore constituting a triple bypass.
A CABG (pronounced cabbage), which means Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting.
They put a wire or two around my sternum to help it heal, did internal stitches on me that dissolved on their own, and wheeled me on to recovery where I spent a whole day asleep, basically. My lungs were still collapsed and weren’t inflating so I had to stay on a respirator with tubes in my stomach, down my throat, and on a lot of sedatives. My mother tried to be funny and tell me that I really do have a heart, to which, I motioned for the nurse to bring me a pen and paper. I wrote, “leave the comedy to me.” Everyone told The BCPF that I was going to look bad and be in a bad mood and all that stuff when I finally woke up. They prepared my son to see me like that. To everyone’s surprise, I was not bloated and didn’t look bad, considering the circumstances. And, I was in a good mood, again, all things considered.
This picture, which I use every year was taken 24 hours after my surgery. All I wanted to do was post a selfie showing that I was still alive. That was immediately after being wheeled into my room.
Special thanks to The BCPF for always watching over me. It gets annoying at times but truly without her constant vigil over me, I’d probably not be here today, new heart or not. I love you, baby!
Until next time, same blog channel…
“Being alive. After heart surgery, you dig that part. Breath, family, and friends are just amazing. Just to have a second shot is pretty great!” – Robin Williams