Thursday, February 16, 2017

Another Re-Birthday: Almost a Teen-Ager

Twelve years old today -- is it possible? Almost a teen-ager! My, how fast the years have passed since my re-birthday.

Hold the cake and ice cream -- just being able to be awakened by the dawgs and to see the cardinals and chickadees enjoying their treat on the feeder out back by the cedar trees is present enough.

So many blessings have come my way since I reported to the Heart Center at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia at a frosty 6 a.m. on this day 12 years ago. The years have brought the challenges of aging to overcome for my Dear Wife and I, but they have brought much joy. We are grateful.

Two days earlier, on St. Valentine's Day, I had been at Inova with sweet nurses gently preparing me for open-heart surgery. What a shock it had been months earlier to learn in a routine cardiologist's visit with Dr. Siri that the long-time leaking from my aortic valve was now so severe it had caused my aortic root to enlarge so much that both now needed replacing. (Wait -- they can do that?)

How surreal it was to walk into the hospital that morning knowing the procedure that would be performed after my chest had been cracked open. I have many memories, perhaps the most vivid being half-awake in the ICU and hearing the nurses talk about my oxygen intake being "alarmingly low." Thank God they were there for me. Nurses are angels.

What will I do on my re-birthday? Well, this morning, after my dawgwalk, get my butt kicked at a senior exercise class I started the first of February. My fitness instructor is a certified personal trainer for seniors, and I love it when she tells the whole class,"Bob, I love your modification of this exercise!" And modification is indeed something I have to do, not because of my heart but instead my bionic knee, which is coming up on its fourth birthday.

Then this afternoon I will do some work on the computer -- one of my blessings is to be able still to write op-ed articles about timely issues. And tonight I will do a short talk radio gig by phone with a Salt Lake City station.

If some re-birthday cake comes my way, I will look for icing on it -- but in truth my life already has plenty of sweet icing.

                                                      © Robert G. Holland  2017

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