Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's this all about?

I am lucky.

No. I am blessed.

That's what this blog will really be about.
How God has blessed me through what many consider some pretty crappy medical issues.

Maybe you have these same kinds of issues. Or have a friend or loved one who does.

When I was 22 I had a stroke. Well they called it a mini-stroke. But it felt major to me.

And yes, it sucks to have a stroke at any age, but at 22, having just graduated college,  it felt like my life was over.

In fact, that stroke saved my life.  It exposed the fact that my aortic valve was malformed due to a birth defect. It was bicuspid - it was made of 2 flaps of skin instead of 3 like a normal valve.

I recovered from the stroke quickly-in about a week. Then began years of echocardiograms to monitor the health of the valve.

Fast forward 8 years later. I was 30, living in Philadelphia, working at an Internet startup during the "bubble", writing and performing music on the weekends, riding my bike through the crazy Philly traffic, and getting ready to marry my best friend.

I was busy. 

So busy that I was hoping to skip my next regularly scheduled cardiologist appointments.  My wife (then fiancé) nagged me to keep the appointment. And nagged.  And nagged.  So I kept the appointment. And I am glad I did.

I'll never forget that appointment. 

Doc N: "How often are you blacking out?"
Me: "I'm not. I feel fine. Why do you ask that?"
Doc N: "Because your valve is stenotic- it's hard and no longer flapping. You should be passing put regularly. You need open-heart surgery for a valve transplant."

Six weeks later, I had that surgery.

Ten years later I had a second.
But I'll save that for another post.

So that's what this blog will be about.
About how God allowed me to not only experience but to grow from these challenges.

I hope this blog helps other young adults (and those of us who are not as young) who share this strange and sometimes scary journey of heart issues. 

I hope you'll share this blog with others who might benefit from knowing that there's a better day ahead and that there are lessons to be learned from these experiences.

And to know that they are not alone.

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