A day you will never forget.

For me it may have been different to how a lot of people are diagnosed. Mostly persons diagnosed with heart problems, are over 50, and have had indications of problems. Generally, loss of fitness, tired spells, lack of energy, tingling limbs, tight chest and even minor heart attacks.

For me, very fit and 31 yrs old it came as a complete shock. I had realized my fitness level had dropped off . When I really exerted myself I felt as if I dint have oxygen in my lungs, and I would also start coughing and clearing my throat. This went on for about a week and a half. One Friday, thought I better just go and sort it out. I thought I had a lung infection or something. I was doing a lot of lifesaving training, surfski paddling and big wave surfing at the time. I was really fit.

When I was told I had a massive heart murmur, and I needed to go and get it checked immediately, it was like a steel stake, being driven through my heart! It came as such a surprise, it was almost surreal. I could hardly fathom the complexity of the situation. They couldn’t tell me exactly what the problem was either, which made it worse. All they knew was that there was a BIG problem with my heart.

What ever the case, being told that you require Open Heart Surgery, does not rate highly on any ones list of dreams. The ‘heart’ has a romantic mysticism about it. And just the thought of it being operated on is enough to turn stomachs, let alone heads. The mind is what is affected most, the moment you are diagnosed. Your heart may be the problem, but your head may cause you more pain and suffering.

Its how you face the problem that will ultimately count. Not only what the surgeons do, but also what you think and do, both pre and post op.

1. Get a second opinion

2. Research, and find the best surgeon and hospital that you or your medical aid can afford.

3. Have a support system, use it ( family and friends) and make arrangements for your recovery post surgery.

4. Be positive, be healthy.

The Power Of Positive Thought

I had a ‘hearty Party’ the night before I went to hospital. I invited all my friends, just for fun! I videoed all the pre op prepping. The injection in my butt, the Human Blood being delivered, me being wheeled to theater, being loaded onto the op table. Then I had the surgeon video a bit of the op. I couldn’t wait to see the footage. Its awesome!

I went in so positive! Even though ICU for me was a mare, and I had complications and was very sick. I knew with out a shadow of a doubt that I was gonna be fine. No, I knew that I was gonna be great!

I know there are people who are older and weaker when they are operated on. I appreciate this. My father had 2 bypasses. (one was a triple) I met many other patients while in hospital, and saw first hand how they reacted and recovered. It’s never easy. You think the worst. Your mind plays games, twists and turns and keeps you awake all night. Don’t let it. Look at this as a fresh start to life, a second chance!

No matter your situation. When you are diagnosed, you have to know that this is a means and opportunity to  improving your life. 50 years ago you may not have had this option. Take it and make the best of this second chance. Say to yourself ‘you only live TWICE!”