Creating Resilient Cultures   in Healthcare

Living With an Open Heart (Surgery)

Today my dear friend Molly had open heart surgery.  She is only 56 years young  and after a routine physical revealed an abnormality,  she was told she would need one heart valve  replaced and another one repaired. 

WOW.  I still can’t quite believe it.  This gives a whole new meaning to living with an open heart, a phrase we hear so often. But what does it really mean?  Molly embodied what I think living with an open heart is before she even had her surgery.

Acceptance.  When she got her diagnosis, as shocking as it was, Molly never asked, “Why is this happening to me?”  She accepted it and moved forward appropriately with the necessary planning  and procedures.

Vulnerability.   As anyone would be, Molly had alot of anxiety before her surgery.   She was very open about her feelings and took the necessary steps to take care of her anxiety and herself with yoga, meditation, exericse, painting, and even medication when necesary.

Trust.  Up to the day of her surgery, Molly asked all her burning questions, did her due diligence with research, and got her affairs in order.  But most  importantly,  she trusted.   She focused on all of  the reasons why everything was gonna be allright and played the Bob Marley song frequently, even on the way to her surgery! 

Practice.  When Molly came  out of surgery, she was on a ventilar with a breathing tube down her throat, multiple lines, chest tubes, and catheters in her body.  She laid there very still, appearing quite calm and relaxed.  After the breathing tube was removed, I asked her how she did it and she mouthed, “meditation” with a smile. 

WOW.   I am happy to report Molly is  doing exceptionally well and has already been sitting up in a chair!   She is  my dear friend and my hero not only for her courage, but also for  helping me remember  there is nothing more powerful than a woman living with an open heart.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Noonan on July 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I am so glad Molly came through this, Diane, with such shining colors. Thanks for sharing the steps you observed her taking; I will remember them should I go through anything “physical” like this . . . esp. going “in” accompanied by Bob Marley! 🙂 (Love it!)

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