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Reflections of a Stolen Year

It’s been 365 mornings since my quadruple bypass surgery.

The surgery itself wasn’t a surprise – that train had been coming down the tracks for almost 20 years. But, never knowing exactly when that train will arrive at the station – there is always the raw shock and realization of the event itself. I was fortunate in any number of ways. The confidence of my doctor and the medical team at Mercy was both astounding and infectious. If a good part of healing is mental, these folks set me on the best path even as the procedure was merely being discussed. I was fortunate to have my quas as a ‘young’ man and that seemed to allow my body to draw on the reserves it needed to heal. I was fortunate to have the unyielding support of my wife, family, friends, and the CBC team and customers. I was fortunate that our society’s medical technology has progressed to a point where the wildly invasive surgery I experienced is relatively commonplace. I’m fortunate that the surgery also apparently allows for (hopefully) numerous additional productive years in one’s life in a way that was not possible 30 years ago.
Effects? I have come to realize that doctors are not miracle workers – notwithstanding their great results in my case. I can’t quite determine if my apparently lesser energy level is due to the surgery or to the encroachment of middle age. Likewise, my periodic and infamous crankiness was NOT fixed by this particular surgery. There are some lasting impacts of the surgery – evidently having been officially dead has some longer-term effects. One is Pumphead (look it up), which is an odd and fuzzy-headed spaciness that appears from time to time. Not a good drug to be on. Drugs? I take a pile of pills and supplements daily that looks like a little kid’s Halloween candy bag. Not sure about each of these items, but for the moment, I need to trust the doctors who got me here. There are also some psychological impacts of the surgery where you slide up and down what I’ll call a manic/depressive scale. For more info, check with my wife and winery staff. Be prepared for a rant… 😉 As you probably know, I self-treat a lot with liberal doses of sarcasm.

In the 365 days since my surgery, lots of life has happened. All of the familiar and human emotions from celebration to mourning to exhaustion to disgust to love and appreciation to frustration are all badges that I continue to wear.

I hope to continue to wear and experience all the badges that modern humanity allows for as long as my body and the Good Lord will allow.

Stay tuned for another update! I’ll check in after I have a chance to enjoy the next 365 days.

Thanks for reading!

– Mike Owen