Dear Readers and Other Heartthrobs,
As I write this, it’s November 11th, the 25th Anniversary of my successful open-heart surgery! It was a six-hour, critical operation that repaired a too-long-undiagnosed congenital birth abnormality called “atrial septal defect.” You might know this as “a hole in the heart.” Basically, all those years, my heart had no wall (septum) between the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart), so I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. This left my skin tone blue-gray, not rosy, and I always needed a nap after the least exertion. The defect suddenly presented itself in 1994 and almost took me out–as the mother of a then thirteen-year-old.
Following the surgery, I spent a year getting fully back on track. Once home from the hospital, it took me a week before I could walk across the room without help. I practiced going a little farther every day before collapsing into a chair until by the end of two months, I was walking over a mile without chest pains, shortness of breath, or total body sweats. Eight months later, I finally learned how to swim in the same pool where I attempted lessons as a child. Yay! I never could learn as a kid because I got too tired and would be ordered out of the pool since I was “wasting” the instructor’s and other students’ time! Wow. True, but still . . . wow.
My news isn’t exactly reading-and-writing related this time. . . . But wait! On the other hand, without that surgery, I wouldn’t be here now, and there would be no Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries. Plus I have a granddaughter I never would have had the pleasure of knowing and watching grow up strong and healthy. Life is beautiful, indeed.
So get a clue, Readers. Here’s to the doctors that keep us healthy and kicking! And here’s to taking good care of our hearts. Be thankful for each full breath you can take. And may the beat go on.