A Second Chance

December 31, 2010

There comes a time in your life, at least there does for some people (like me), when it doesn't really matter how old you are. I know what you're thinking... that I'm just an overgrown 14 year-old anyway. It's true, but I say it doesn't matter how many years you've lived on this crazy little marble we call a planet... what really matters is how long since you got a second chance, your second wind, since you found out what living was really about. And whether or not you realize what that means and do something about it.

For me, the first round of that second chance came on December 30, 2007. I remember that I had a latte for breakfast. I would have picked that tasty treat up at Circle K, probably while I was buying the Sunday paper. I remember that I had 2 bowls of Captain Crunch (I loveses the Captain!!) for breakfast, and haven't had it since. I remember reading the comics, and suddenly feeling wrong. I didn't feel bad, not sick, not unwell. I felt wrong. And I didn't realize that I felt that way until today. But that's the best explanation.

That would be the morning I had a heart attack. A nearly complete blockage in one artery, and partial blockage in another. I remember that morning so very clearly, everything up to and including the actual operation.

Most of my chronological life (so far) was lived before that day. And yet a majority of the moments that I remember with great clarity have happened since that day. If that doesn't count as a second birthday, I don't know what would. Of course, it could also count at long term memory loss. 🙂

As I've spent the past few hours/days/weeks trying to figure out how to talk to you about it here today. I think there are several things to which one might relate. I imagine it similar to surviving a disaster or childbirth, or being in love... something traumatic like that.

It's similar in that you have to had been through it to know what it's like. I'm sure you have things like that in your own life, where people might say "oh that's so sad" or "I never knew". But sometimes you will meet someone who can truly empathize, someone who will just say "well hell". (dee swore!) There you have it. 🙂

so... that being said. It is also very personal. At least it is for me. (so what do I do? I put it on the interwebs.) I don't know that I will ever be able to fully explain what happens in your head when you have the heart attack, (here's what happens in your heart) but I will tell you that if your life really does flash before your eyes, it isn't your past that you see, it's the future. It's the lost potential... the things you won't ever be able to do and all the things you will miss out on. And you think "Is this really how I'm going to die? cuz this is a stupid way to die".

It's estimated that 95% of cardiac arrest victims never make it to the hospital. (and 65% of all statistics are made up!) That makes me truly lucky. And blessed. And meant for more.

I survived. And it was thanks to the mad skilz of a lot of people, especially one Dr Robert (excellent first name) Bear. I know it was just another day, another procedure in a day filled with procedures for him. But he saved my life. He saw a heart that was broken, that could not carry on... and he fixed it. He saved me!

One person was able to go into my heart and save my life. Give me a second chance. And (now that the test results are back, I know) restore me to my full self. To my full potential. To give me that chance to become the person I was destined to be and to travel the path I was meant to travel.

With my third second-birthday passing, and a new year coming, I am so very wrapped up in the events of this past year. It's been an awesome year, full of changes and growth and firsts (and seconds, I like seconds too!). You have played such a major part in me becoming me, the new Dee, the person I was destined to be, and to travel the path I was meant to travel.

As with the actual myocardial infarction itself, I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully explain what a difference you have made in my life; what having you here with me on this journey means to me. Dr. Bear saved me... fixed my heart. Gave me that chance. Made me believe that I was meant for so much more.

And then so did you.

Happy Second Birthday to Me.  Happy New Year to You.  And may the next year bring Us everything we wish for!

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