In January of 2017 I was 48 years old and in the best shape of my life or so I thought. Just saying the words doesn’t make people realize the extent of the situation. What I had happen in 2017 was not a heart attack or anything like that, what I had was an aortic dissection and a stroke. For which they only repaired the parts that were immediately killing me. The rest of it is still torn and I still have an aneurysm around my aortic valve. So yes I cannot do many of the things I used too and do a lot of things a little slower and may be more forgetful nowadays. It has been a journey to say the least. I was hit with the blinding realization that everything can change in a heartbeat. I cannot count how many specialists, cardiologist, surgeons and even counselors and psychologist as when I say it was life changing I mean everything changed. No longer allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds, only allowed to do physical activity as long as heart rate doesn’t go above 120 and now on permanent disability that we had to fight for and took 2 1/2 years to get. In the meantime my family lost our home and moved in with relatives. My wife and I stayed in their 1986 Winnebago in their driveway while the kids had rooms in the house. I have seen the best in people and have also seen the condescending looks as my wife would lift cases of water and bags of dog food at the store. It’s been a long and it is still not over physically as my family and I try to push the damage that remains inside of my body out of our minds and live and love with everything we have. My wife and I have since been able to purchase our forever home and I keep taking all the medications that doctors prescribe and following their orders. Also I have learned to focus on what matters. I’m still here to watch my children grow up and still here to hold and love my wife. Is it different now? Yeah it’s different but you have to play the hand you’re dealt as best as you can and try to let go of things you have no control over.