I had just finished a season of triathlon racing and felt great. My life, family, and career were in a state of bliss.
Or so I thought.
At times the universe intervenes and knocks you to the ground – hard. Hopes and dreams crash. Emotions tank and the world order feels disrupted. That doesn’t have to signal defeat though, but with proper perspective can be viewed as a second chance to rise and meet the challenge.
Life as a physician delivers a unique view of humanity. Several friends had recently suffered unanticipated heart attacks or other serious accidents. A deep sense of mortality began to weigh heavy on my mind. With the fourth decade of a life well at hand, I needed some reassurance that I was not going to find myself pushing dirt myself.
The Quantified Self movement is replete with data-driven fanatics capitalizing on emerging science. It has never been easier for a person to order their labs and other tests. When my physician scoffed at my concerns due to being a triathlete, I took matters into my own hands and ordered a coronary calcium CT scan of my heart.
Anyone concerned about heart problems must consider having a CT scan of their heart. This quick imaging (X-ray) test can detect calcium in the arteries supplying the heart. Think of it as a painless and non-invasive way to determine the risk of having a heart attack.
My preliminary results were perfect with a score of zero. I felt a renewed lease on life despite a history of smoking cigars and eating like a perpetual college student.
A few weeks later, I noticed a letter from the hospital peeking out from a pile of the usual postal spam. Tempted to file it away for later, an unseen force compelled me to tear it open.
“Your cardiac score is zero and risk is minimal; however, a large thoracic aortic aneurysm is noted and prompt medical attention advised.”
Short. Bitter. To The Point. My life just pivoted forever.
After several months and numerous cardiologist visits, I found myself staring at the OR ceiling as they prepared to crack my chest. My scalp itched from the electrodes wired to my head. The plan was to quickly cool my body until all brain activity ceased and then to stop my heart. Life had just irreversibly changed.
When the universe demands a different direction, you are forced to comply and redefine your life. Decisions are made quickly and future planning critical to protecting the lives of loved ones.
With a lot of hard work and research, my wife and I created a plan, prepared mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Her wisdom, love, and patience were essential to my survival on all levels. Embracing our love, we were ready for what loomed ahead. Knowing that 800,000 will suffer a cardiac event that lands them in a similar situation each year in the US alone gave me pause. As I began the process of recovery from open heart surgery, I knew there was a better way to help others forced into a similar situation. I wanted to share an honest look from an open heart patient’s perspective flavored with a physician’s insight. I knew this would be helpful and provide a mechanism to best prepare others for this event.
With knowledge comes comfort and power. This was the driving force behind creating the Healing Heart project. With the help of my wife, family, and friends, we created a comprehensive resource for anyone facing open heart surgery.
This project is an up-front account of a physician turned patient and the experience at a world-renowned medical institution. The Healing Heart Project shares candid video segments of the entire journey.
The course walks through the preparation phase, in-hospital period and shares critical tactics for recovering promptly at home. Each section has checklists to ensure nothing is left to chance. The information is concise and easy to apply, yet written without any expectation of medical knowledge.
The final section is a chronicle of videos sharing the common events every open heart patient will face. I’ll warn you that some of the footage is raw and uncomfortable for the medically squeamish, but it is an unavoidable fact of heart surgery.
Knowledge is power and a tool that provides comfort and reassurance. I trust you will find value in this project and hope that you will share it with those facing open-heart surgery.
Join for FREE: https://www.udemy.com/healing-the-heart/
And of course, the Healing Heart project is free to all.
You can either accept life’s defining moments and a new set of limitations or rage against the dying light.
I chose the later.