Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

OK, here’s a story for you.

Once upon a time, several days ago, Susie went to Washington—not to filibuster congress, but to visit her dad before an operation.

This operations was a biggie, on the biggest organ in his body.  No, not his skin, you literalist.  His heart, he’s got a big heart, figuratively.

And in this case, actually, which was the problem.  Now I’m not a doctor, and what I know about this operation Susie got from her mom who got it from a cardiacathist or whatever, so I might not have all the details right.

But apparently, in Phil, one of his thingies that sticks out of the heart, that the blood goes into and out of, it had a big bulge in it (embolysm) and this is a bad condition to be in.  Lucikly, he got it detected by chance in September, before it popped (ruptured), but popping is often the way a person finds out they have such as a problem as he had. And that usually means it’s discovered post mortem. :(

Well, the doctors decided a good thing to do was to duct tape it up (wrap it in a stent during open heart surgery). So they scheduled him for an operation after Christmas. Which was three months wait, a long time to wait when you are told your heart is all busted.

So Susie was worried about this operation, which has a really good survival rate and Phil has a really good body that he’s been treating well, so things were looking positive, but really, you want your odds for an operation to be nothing less than fan-frickin-tastic.  So it was a nervous-making time for everyone.

Before the surgery, all the children came back to Washington to be supportive and, you know, just be there… the way family does.  This was a huge deal for Susie, who hasn’t been with her whole family together in several years.  And the reunion was a big deal, and I know it made Phil’s heart swell—in the good way, not in the bad way.

And….... the surgery happened, and he made it thru. In fact, he was up and walking around even sooner than I was after my surgery but that’s because they left his knee alone. It’s not because I’m lazy and really like my couch.

But they also had him with NO heartbeat for quite a while on the table—deliberately. As part of the procedure, they stop the heart completely for, no fooling, 30 minutes or more.  The body is kept very cool, and this is all normal, but I still think this is more amazing than jetpacks or even the iPhone—this is man conquering death and astounding me. Truly we live in an age of wonders that we take for granted, even as we marvel.

Susie is in Washington for the next week or two, being supportive and hanging out and it’s all going to be extremely good now, and of all the happy endings I’ve written, this is one of my favorites.

The End

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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