Won’t Back Down

I’ve recently learned that a friend has to have another heart surgery. This is going to be number 4, and it will be open heart surgery, too. She’s known for a while that she might have to have surgery, she could, it’s a possibility, perhaps someday. Now “someday” is here, and I am sure the news has to be a shock. And since she is married with children, there’s a lot more at stake this time.

This isn’t going to be measured in hours, heart surgery is a marathon – the actual operation is just the starting line. Recovery is where the rubber hits the road. You learn very quickly not to cover your mouth when you sneeze after surgery. Yes, that is impolite, and in this Fall of the Flu it could even be dangerous. But that first sneeze is going to feel like a sledgehammer blow to the chest. Rather than trying to slow it down (and making it hurt that much worse) you learn very quickly just to get out of the way!

You fight a heart defect day by day – days turn into weeks, and by taking care of yourself and having a little luck, an uneventful, fairly healthy month goes by. But right after surgery, when the pain medication hasn’t quite kicked in yet and you can barely breathe, much less move, you fight it minute by minute, hour by hour. And you keep your eyes on the prize and see it through, because you are a just a little bit tougher than anything that gets thrown at you. That’s how you win.

The date has already been selected; the surgeon is one of the best available. Her family is supportive and like a true Heart Warrior, she’s mentally preparing herself for the challenge.

She’s not going to back down.

“You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”Won’t Back Down; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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One Response to “Won’t Back Down”

  1. Lauren Says:

    My prayers are with this Heart Warrior!!! May she keep up the good fight!!! We are all here to support her!!! I can’t imagine having to emotional prep for something like this, but it’s for a better future!!! She is in my thoughts and I’m sending her warm **Heart Hugs**!!

    Steve, that was wonderfully written and so true. We have to fight day by day and hour by hour, but I know I will NEVER back down. I will “someday” have another heart surgery, well it’s a “possiblity” anyways. I’m just trying to live my life in the here in now and not think about it.

    I continue to keep you in my prayers, Steve!! Sending you warm **Heart Hugs**!!

    ~Lauren (22yr. old CHD Survivor… Tricuspid Atresia aka HRHS)
    Blog: http://www.laurensheart.blogspot.com

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