Defective heart girl solutions

ImageToday marks 549 days or 18 months or 1.5 years since my surgery. To my brain that sounds simultaneously like a lot of time and no time at all. To my body though, it feels a lifetime ago.

I pretty much abandoned this blog once I started integrating back into the real world. Partially because I didn’t feel there was enough going on to write about and partially because my energy levels were dragging and I wasn’t sure how to turn that into a pithy post. It’s funny how the body can show all the outward physical signs of being fully healed and yet still be quite a wreck on the inside. Such was the case with me for most of 2013. In May, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get my energy back. And then suddenly without warning, August rolled around and I forgot I had ever struggled with an energy deficit. It was almost as if passing the one year mark was akin to passing “GO” and getting to collect $200 dollars and then some.

The past six months appear to have put me on an ever upward trajectory that I can’t quite explain. My interpretation is that being forced to put your physical and mental health above all else for an entire year is like getting to hit a reset button on your life that you weren’t even aware needed pressing. Having the “luxury” of prioritizing my health allowed my body to heal from so much more than just surgery. I’m sure many of you are aware that I lean towards the Type A personality (gasp!) so it should come as no surprise that I take on too much, strive for perfection, and am mercilessly hard on myself. Needless to say, that takes a toll on a person. A toll you don’t even realize you’re paying until someone hands you a big fat refund.

All this is to say that I feel better now than I have in many, many, many years. I would hazard a guess that I feel more like a young 30-something now than I did when I actually was a young 30-something. So please forgive me if I also start acting like a young 30-something again as I can’t help it. It feels too damn good. And I’m going to do whatever I can to hold onto this good feeling.




  1. Carolyn Craven

    Your blogs helped me so much when I went in for my aortic root stem and valve replacement (human donor) in April 2013! I passed your site to family and friends who wanted to understand this journey. It is wonderful to know that the energy did come back for you! Whoo-hoo! Did you deal with short term memory loss? PVCs? Thank you for all the support you gave me…you will never know how much it meant to me!

    • Thank you SO MUCH, Carolyn! I’m glad it was helpful. It was really the only way I knew how to deal with it all. I definitely had short term memory loss and I also kept mixing up my months, days of the week, numbers etc. My neuroscientist friend said the latter were all “learned sequences” and that if I just repeated the sequence every time I caught myself messing up, it would get better and he was right! Strangely I had PVC’s the most the month before surgery which I think was stress related.

      Good luck with your continued recovery!

  2. Ruth

    I’ve been following your blog since the beginning and I’m so glad you’ve gotten your energy back. Just keep going from strength and strength and live every day!!

  3. I’m so glad to hear your doing much better, I found that after my surgery there was a moment like a rocket boost, get out there any enjoy it!

  4. ellen hunt

    My dear Summer,

    I never doubted that there was a silver lining in your cloud. And I am so happy it finally appeared. Bravo to you. And bravo to your Mum who raised a daughter with grit and determination and courage.

    Lots of hugs and every wish for 2014!


  5. This makes me very. very happy. 🙂

  6. I love this post and love that you are feeling so good! It was great to see you last week – I’ll let you know as soon as we figure out a weekend to come to NY!

  7. Pingback: Defective heart girl solutions | Anthony's Heart Valve Replacement Saga

  8. Pingback: Knowing when to stop | Tenure, She Wrote

  9. Victoria

    I’m 8 weeks out from a aortic valve replacement… and thank you so much for writing this… it helps to know that other women out there have gone through this and are bouncing back!!! It’s slow going but you have given me encouragement. Thank you!!

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