it’s been almost a year now since i had my open-heart surgery. my surgery was successful. i am able to do more things now. i didnt know i had a problem with my heart.
the previous year to my surgery i had to take breaks while planting corn. after every 4 rows i would get short of breath. it was like that when i had to throw wood into the basement too. i thought i was just getting old.
the doctor sent me to a heart specialist for a stress test. the heart guy suggested a ct scan instead. thats when they discovered blockage. otherwise i never would have known that. it was possible that i eventually woulda had a heart attack.
the heart guy suggested surgery. i went to see the heart surgeon on a friday. she said i could have surgery done in a week or two, if i needed to get things in order. she was only available on tuesdays and thursdays. i said how bout on tuesday. she asked if i was sure. i said yeah. i figured the earlier i got it done, the earlier i would be recovered.
i was lucky there was a break in covid cases. there was room in the hospital. i went in and they put me under and did a double bypass surgery. i dont remember a thing until i woke up in ICU. i stayed there for awhile. i had to have help to just sit up. i had to walk several times a day. i was healing fast. the doctors told me i was further along than most that underwent the same procedure.
eventually they sent me home. i still couldnt get up from bed by myself, mary had to help me. i continued walking. before i went to surgery i planted things in my box gardens. i didnt think i would be able to after surgery. i got to tend to those crops. my sons planted my corn field for me. for the first time in years i wasnt able to help.
after i got stronger i went to cardiac rehab for 3 months. the nurses had me working out 3 times a week. i walked on the treadmill, rode a stationary bicycle, used a machine that worked my arms and i had to lift dumbbells. they kept pushing me until i got stronger.
besides the exercise the nurses had teaching sessions with me. i had to have surgery because of a number of factors. part of it was genetics–my mother and father both had heart problems. and i was a former smoker. my cholesterol was high too. all these things added up.
the amazing thing was before my surgery my heart was creating new veins to compensate for the blockage. i guess my body was doing what it could to survive.
a year later i feel like a new man. i no longer get short of breath. i will be able to plant my garden this year. i am lucky to be alive. i may not be rich but i got a good life. for that i am grateful.