Day 1366: Did you even have heart surgery?

Yesterday, the doctors and nurses at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota kept asking me variants of today’s blog title:

Did you even have heart surgery?

I’m surprised they had to ask, because we’ve been planning this valve-replacement surgery for me since last May, and you would think the amazing staff at such an esteemed institution would know whether a patient actually had a scheduled  procedure, as I did on Wednesday.

Maybe they were asking whether I had really had heart surgery because:

  • my surgeon, Dr. Joseph Dearani, decided to discharge me considerably sooner than expected, last night,
  • my boyfriend Michael and I are flying back to our hometown of Boston today,
  • my very unusual heart was pumping even better than anybody had even dreamed it could, so soon after the trauma of open heart surgery, and/or
  • I look so friggin’ good.

I will answer the question in today’s title as follows:

Did you even have heart surgery?

Yes! And I am so grateful. 

Do these look like photos taken by somebody who had major heart surgery less than a week ago?





img_5467








This person who had heart surgery and her caring caregiver, Michael, will be flying over the territories shown in that last photo. If we hit any air turbulence, I’m sure I’ll know I had heart surgery, even if nobody else can tell.

Did you even read this blog post today? Please let me know, in a comment below.

Categories: adult congenital heart, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 90 Comments

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90 thoughts on “Day 1366: Did you even have heart surgery?

  1. That’s great! I hope the recovery continues this good!

  2. This post made me smile, for you, your quick recovery, your early discharge, your positive attitude. It’s no accident, Ann…any of it. Happy for you. Stay blessed. 💘

  3. I thought the reason they kept asking is that your heart is bigger than most people’s

  4. amy eden

    bravo! So happy to hear how good you feel and how great you look!

  5. Linda

    So glad that your sister Ellen was able to go with you and listen to all the medical info for the consultation to Mayo. It took courage to choose to do the surgery, and you were courageous to go forward to have the surgery:)

    Your coloring looks so much improved-it is quite a positive contrast. Amazing-I am so glad that you are being discharged early. All that loving support from Michael being right there at the Mayo Hospital probably hastened your discharge. Yay Michael!

    My wishes and prayers that I am sending to you are that every day you are home recovering brings you more healing, and wellbeing. :Love, luck, laughter-always, Linda

  6. speedy recovery for you. safe travels.

  7. Eleanor

    Less than a week ago!!!
    Nice to hear that you were taken care of so well at Mayo but nicer to hear you are on your way back home where you will heal even faster.

  8. Did you even have suergery? Nice to see you smile like a Buddha!

  9. Debbie Terman

    This is fantastic beyond words. Have a safe flight.

  10. Super! Amazing. Excellent. The dictionary is inadequate to express my gratitude that you are healing so rapidly and won’t it be great to get in your own bed and have your own pillow so soon? Michael must be beaming as he witnesses this miracle-YOU!

  11. Gene Phillips

    You don’t look friggin’ good; you look friggin’ amazing!

  12. Oh MY gosh!! I have goosebumps! Ann, you pulled a miracle! You look absolutely amazing and I had to keep on looking at the picture of you to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. How can I possibly express in mere words how happy I am for you! Michael’s and your son’s smiles must be the reason why it is a bright bright sunny day here today when the forecast was rain. And of course there is your smile that lights up this post!!! Congratulations, Ann!! I am just thrilled for you!!! High five, way to go! There is nothing compared to good health! Nothing!! (((HUGS))) Amy ❤ ❤ ❤

  13. It’s always good to ask questions and “Did you even have heart surgery?” may be one of the most reassuring things a doctor can ask. It’s also reassuring to have familiar things around you.

    • I’ve got my soap and my washcloths, too, Chris, all very important as my scars heal. Thanks for bringing in the very ducky Little Richard. I’m awfully fond of your comments.

  14. So happy you are flying home today — but… no music? That’s a first for sure!

  15. Rob F

    Recovery time was substantially longer 40 years ago when my father had OHS. I have a feeling in the not-too-distant future, heart surgery will be either an overnight or same-day procedure. Best wishes for the finest years ever!

  16. I am singing with happiness that you have had such a quality of life recovery that you are on your way home!!!! Can’t wait to see you but also totally respect your time to get situated and comfortable and rest from travel or whatever you choose todo- love you and congratulations and love to Michael ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  17. Congratulations!

  18. Marcia Dubreuil

    Oh my god, Ann, going home!!!! And you do look beautiful, I have to say. Especially your hair.

  19. I am so happy for you Michael and Aaron. I hope you have an easy trip home, followed by rest, celebration and good food. Dr Salem will be happy to see you so well.

    • As usual, Maureen, you are kind and correct. Dr. Salem seemed very happy to see me and his expression seemed to be saying, “Did you even have heart surgery?”

  20. You record-breaking, very cute rascal, Ann! So glad you’ll be winging home with Michael and boy will the cats be glad to see you! May the healing continue uneventfully. ❤ ❤

  21. All the ducks are in a row and, yes you look awesome! Michael also passes muster. Now continue your mundane recovery and don’t be surprised if you feel a little becalmed now and then. Rest and nourish and feel better soon.

  22. Kathy T

    You rock!

  23. Wow. To think you had heart surgery less than a week ago and are up and … well, not running, maybe, but, holy smokes, walking around in airports (by now). Keep on healing!

  24. Oh I definitely read it. And I’m so happy for you. I’ll wave as you fly over Michigan toward home. Keep an eye out for me.

  25. Great news, Ann. Safe flight and welcome home.
    When I was a teen and had to have corrective surgery for polio I, too, looked forward to release dates. Once I got out early. Another time a week beyond. The sweet and bitter tastes of life. When there is balance between the two, there is joy.
    -Alan

  26. Be safe and be well…and those ducks will see you home to your safe spot. Blessings and keep smiling. Golden Brodie sends you golden hugs.

  27. vanbytheriver gets it right: a positive attitude is a great healer! Congratulations on a quick turnaround on the surgery=to=discharge trip! You look great! Hope you feel as good as you look! Now, get back to Boston.

  28. Son incredibly happy for your amazing turnout:) You look stunning and bright!

  29. Congrats! Have a safe flight home.

  30. I keep coming back for your look of pure joy

  31. WOW!!! You are so amazing and resilient Ann. I hope it was an easy trip back home. 💕
    You look so happy and healthy. Did you even have heart surgery or was this just a dream …

    • The trip would have been easier if we weren’t sitting next to somebody who REFUSED to stop using her phone to call and to text way after the flight attendants had told us to stop doing that, even when Michael kept asking nicely and even explained to her that I had just had heart surgery and that she was making me nervous. Nevertheless, we stayed cool and made it home, happier and healthier.

  32. Well I am not the only one to say how happy she is that it all went so well and that you are out of hospital and headed home as there is no place like home and you will recover even more once you are home, you do look bloody good though

  33. Congratulations, Ann! I’m delighted by your rapid recovery!

  34. “I look so friggin’ good.” – that sums it up!!! Happy to see this line.

  35. WOW you rock my friend!! How wonderful and may it continue!! ❤

  36. Wishing you all the very best for a continued great recovery.
    Take care x

  37. Fantastic news – really pleased to hear you have come through this so well that you can go home early.

  38. Here’s hoping you continue to make such excellent progress.

  39. Awesome!

  40. I did read !! I did ! I did! And I can understand why you are being asked if you just had heart surgery. You look like a healthy heart Ann!!!!

  41. Magic. When are you having it?

  42. The good news is you’ll feel better and better as the days go by. Wishing you the very best.

  43. Of course I read It! You know me, tho…better late than Never! And now I can say that I know someone who’s had heart surgery!

  44. Pingback: Day 2317: Signs of spring | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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