It’s been exactly two years since my heart was torn open and then stitched back together again—and I’m still here.
No, I haven’t been posting much lately because, yes, life has gotten a bit more complicated, a bit more colorful, since the last time I wrote for this blog. So many things have changed in so short a time—I have a new job, new medications, and new ideas about my place in the world and where I’m going next. Continue reading
This week I’ve been having a little trouble with staying motivated to do — well, just about anything, really. I go through these cycles now and again of full-steam productivity followed by existential angst and wondering if the work I did made any difference, a cycle I’ve always thought of as motivational inertia. A productive person tends to stay productive until an equal and opposite force (i.e. doubt, depression, exhaustion, etc.) stops them, at which point some effort is required to get back to being productive again.
Whenever I find myself stuck like that, one of the things I like to do is look up motivational quotes. Continue reading
If today is a good day, it is because one year ago today was a hard day. If it wasn’t for that day, I might not have been able to stick around to see, and touch, and feel, and taste today and all its glorious possibilities. Was it worth it? Continue reading
Historically, November has not been kind to me. Two beloved pets have passed away during this particular month, one actually on Thanksgiving night. In November 2013 my dad suffered a stroke just before the holiday (and a big moving day). The same time last year, I was in medical limbo, miserably symptomatic without the benefit of an explanation. (My valve diagnosis didn’t come until December.) And, a year ago today, I lost a friend and mentor to brain cancer — the same cancer which he had been diagnosed with just before Thanksgiving 2006.
Eventually I decided that all I really wanted for Christmas was to skip straight from October to December. Continue reading
When you’re sick, say, with a cold or the flu, you can’t wait till it’s over. From the moment you realize you’ve caught something, you look forward to the day it’s gone, over, finis. The first day you awaken without symptoms is the dawn after a long and restless night, the peaceful quiet after a thunderstorm. You are officially well and you know it, and the absoluteness of that simple truth comes as quite the relief.
Unfortunately, not all diseases or conditions are so mercifully uncomplicated as a 24-hour bug that comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Continue reading
What is AVR surgery?
Aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery is exactly what the name says it is: a surgical procedure in which a faulty aortic valve is replaced with a new one.
Bicuspid aortic valve disease, or BAVD, is a rare congenital heart defect found in only about 2% of the population, affecting men twice as often as women.