Follow by Email

Google+ Badge

Google+ Followers

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Surgery postscript: Getting better all the time

By Ted Slowik

Yesterday I had heart surgery, and today I went back to work. Amazing, isn't it?

I had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted in an outpatient procedure that had me home after a few hours recovery in the hospital. My wife Jo was there through it all, caring for me as lovingly as she has done for 24 years but especially since my near-fatal heart attack Feb. 17.

Now that it's been more than three months since the big event and my heart is still weak, the experts say I'll likely always be a higher risk of having another one. So at this point insurance covers the cost of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which is nice to have handy in case I ever need it. It sure beats the inconvenience of wearing an external defibrillator!

I'll continue doing my best to manage the risks of heart disease by avoiding tobacco and unhealthy foods and by exercising and taking meds for that bad cholesterol that runs in my bloodline. You don't bounce back from heart surgery and go to work the next day unless you're some strong badass that's for sure.

I just want my kids Hannah and Noah to know how sorry I am for what I put them through that night my heart stopped for six minutes and a priest had to pull them aside in a grieving room and start preparing them for the worst. I promise to take better care of myself.

And to all my family and friends who have expressed support, thank you. Your kindness means the world to me. I promise to look for ways I can give back.

I realize that as much as I thought I had figured out life since our brother Jim's passing five years ago, I still need to think of others more. I've felt so much love and concern despite the hurt I've caused, and I'm truly grateful for the chance to repay with kindness in return.