It is beyond amazing how much can change in one year. This past Friday, May 27th, I celebrated my first anniversary of my 2nd Open heart Surgery. Only this time, it was a full Mitral Valve replacement(MVR). Also known as Wilbur’s 1st birthday!!!!
Thinking about the few days leading up to it including the drive to the hospital will always be a memory for me. Not a good one, but not a horrible one either. A memory that has taught me a lot about the journey of life and how to savor the good moments.
No doubt, thinking about this time last year has me flooded me with all sorts of different emotions. I couldn’t sleep the night before my surgery anniversary date and woke up super early that morning. I loved it though because I was able to sit on my family’s outside deck at our beach house drinking a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise and reflecting on my time a year ago.
These important anniversary dates make you think about every single person who made that day a success whether physically or emotionally. My absolutely amazing and God sent Cardiothroacic Surgeon and all the people physically involved in your surgery(from what you remember. Sometimes I am super thankful for the drugs that make you not remember some things Ha Ha ). My parents, my siblings and my special cousin(more like a sister)! And of course all the people who prayed for me and was there for my family. Like, I’ve said before and will always say, thank you is never enough!
One thing I have learned when having a life long medical condition is that you have to process the trauma and fear that comes with all the testing, procedures, surgeries and recovery. It’s a process and its a healthy one, especially when trying to get your life back on track.
These pictures really remind me how far I’ve come since my 2 month recovery process. From not being able to move your upper body to sleeping on your side(Oh it’s like Heaven that first time ) to driving again can be truly a rough time when your in the midst of it all. Reflecting back on it through pictures helps me know it’s all gets better over time, especially when you most likely have more Open Heart Surgeries in your future.
Being dependent physically and financially on so many people, especially your family always brings some guilt. I know my family would never think I never cared or wasn’t thankful for how much they did(and still do) for me. It most definitely is so important to treat yourself and celebrate these anniversaries, but for me personally, it’s just as if not more important to do something special for the people who were there praying for me during the surgery, stood by bed day and night in the hospital and then of course at home when needing 24/7 care. My parents!! They deserve to be showered with so much love to the point where there is no more left. I wouldn’t be able to get the care I need without them. There selflessness is something I can’t even describe. I love getting my Mom some beautiful flowers because she just always brought such positive feelings during a rough time. I got my Dad his favorite bottle of wine because that man works harder than ever to help me in a time that brings a lot of stress psychically and financially. And then the best part is just sitting with them both on our outdoor patio furniture enjoying each other’s company. I always savor those moments because you never know when they can be taken away.
Sometimes I wonder why me? Why did I get stuck with such a horrible life long disease that brings a lot of unknowns and fears? Why do my parents have to still help one of their adult children(even though they always will, the guilt is there as it comes with age)? And then I am reminded that my blessings are right in front of me. More than I deserve.
These were taken a day or two after I came home so excuse the lack of sleep/excruciating pain/drugged up look 🙂
This past weekend, I got to celebrate this special anniversary(Wilbur’s 1st Birthday) with my people. That in itself brought more tears of happiness and joy.
I have so much gratitude(even though this life is HARD) as I was able to get pass the one mark with Wilbur!!!!
Here is to many many many more surgery anniversaries, Wilbur!!!!!!!