"...My first reaction....was: disbelief, denial, anger...."

Benjamin – Thank you for the web site and your book Barefoot in November. My sister Claire came across your web site last week and ordered your book for me which I received yesterday.  
I stayed up last evening to read your account of your surgery and post-op recovery.

Amazing how similar our stories are and the feelings I am experiencing of late. Just a few weeks ago, during my annual physical, an abnormality was noted by my primary care physician during a routine EKG test. His office set-up an appointment with a cardiologist here in Kansas City.  Sure enough, they discovered an aneurysm in the ascending aorta.  The ironic part of this is that the only reason I showed up for the cardiologist appointment? -- I felt an obligation to  for my family doctor who made the appointment for me. Otherwise, procrastination would have taken over and I would have gotten to it whenever. Which on my end, would have been – never.

How in the world could this be happening? It was surreal to think that without any pre-existing symptoms, I would have to have open heart surgery. I am 58 years old, fit, eat well, not-smoker. I have run numerous marathons, triathlons, etc… Workout on regular basis and have recently dropped body fat to 10%. Feeling great. This is a joke right?  Not so much.

My first reaction, similar to yours as noted in your book, was: disbelief, denial, anger.  Following a very informative & insightful consultation with Dr. Gregory Muehlebach, University of Kansas Hospital in KC, I am becoming more accepting of reality. Fact is, I have this condition and am taking action to rectify it in the near future. We have set surgery date for Wednesday May 7, 2014. I am very grateful that several folks referred me to Dr. Muehlebach. He’s top shelf.

I’m struggling with the emotional side of things including the time away from the office plus having to go to the bench for several weeks/months. Good news is, I’ll have several of my children coming into Kansas City for the surgery and recovery period, along with my siblings. Plus, the folks at work are very supportive and we’ll have a few weeks to get organized prior to surgery date in early May.

Very much appreciate you making the effort to create, and keep this web site active. It has been a terrific source of information, inspiration, and knowledge. Most importantly, it has allowed me to realize that I am not alone in this situation and many guys like me have gone through this situation and are alive today because they opted for surgery versus waiting.

I may not be ready to do 26.2 miles post-op on my one year anniversary. May settle for a 10K as a goal this October and consider that a major victory.

Rich Mcardle
Kansas City


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