My Heart Surgery Scar Seven Months After Surgery

Seven months after surgery to replace a heart valve and part of my ascending aorta, I take this selfie. Why? Mostly because I am here and I can. But also because I’ve been in the gym six months now, starting with one pound weights, which was literally the most they would let me use. In cardiac rehab I was the youngest person there. I saw older people really struggling, but giving it their all, and I knew why. They had people they loved, and they didn’t want to leave them. rehab from heart surgery can be a grueling process, and I can feel for anyone going through it right now. I have a cocktail of medications that can make me nauseous, dizzy, or exhausted at a moment’s notice, but mostly I just feel grateful to be here, and to have this opportunity to feel my body, especially my heart, responding to the vigors of exercise. I’m busy. In fact, I’ve never been busier. I may be here for a long time to come. I sure hope so.

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The poet (and gardner) Thomas L. Vaultonburg seven months after heart surgery. 

  

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