3 September of 2015 I got married to a wonderful lady. I admit, I have been married before, so this shouldn’t be any different.
Yet, this was different. My now wife and I had been dating for five years. Our dating consisted of being together roughly two
months over the course of the year.
With me being in America and Karen being in England this was the best we could do. I would visit her in England for a month
during the Christmas season and she would visit America in May. It is said that many long distance relationships don’t work out.
We weren’t going to be a statistic. We worked hard to keep our relationship fresh and new.
We sent each other an e-mail everyday and we skyped every night. With a six hour time difference we had just a short time
where we could be together. I would be just coming home from my job and she would be getting ready for bed. It was enough to
keep us together and before we knew it we were back together again.
When 2014 came around we began making plans to marry. By September of that year we thought our plans would have to wait
because I had open heart surgery. It was the scariest time of my life. I can still remember those days like it was yesterday.
The ride to the hospital from a friend whom I worked with. It was 5 o’clock in the morning and I have no idea what our
conversation was about. After he dropped me off, I was tempted to just runaway and forget about all of it, but I entered that
building and within two hours I was being operated on.
I would have an aneurysm on my aorta enclosed in a mesh. I would have a mechanical aortic valve installed and a hole in my
heart fixed. Ten days later I had a second operation. I had internal bleeding, it was discovered that I had a couple dozen polyps
in my colon. Two feet of my colon were removed. Two weeks after that I was back in the hospital for a third operation because
fluid had built up around my heart. Two litres worth of fluid was removed.
In all, I had three operations within two months and spent a total of three weeks in the hospital. The last procedure made me
realize that if I wasn’t careful, I could spend the rest of my life in a hospital. After my release on a Friday, I saw the cardiologist
on the following Monday and he gave me a release to go back to work.
Within a week of the last hospital stay I was back to work and within a month I was on a plane flying from Nebraska to England.
That time with my heart made me see how easy it is to become a victim. I won’t be that. I don’t want pity or sympathy. I just want
to be treated like any other human being – not as a person who survived heart surgery.
I do believe that my life within a 12 Step framework has taught me how to handle very stressful situations in a productive and
spiritual way. And for that I’ll be forever grateful…
by being with Him