Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eight Week Update

Eight weeks ago today I underwent major open heart surgery to fix a problem I was born with. For more than 30 years I had been aware that I needed to have this surgery. Last October, it was clear that I needed it, and I began a two-month journey to the operating room. 

Along the way, doctors had told me that it would take about eight weeks to recover. In the first days after surgery, it was hard to believe that.

But my doctors were right. Thanks to attentive care from my wife, Sarah, my daughter, Elizabeth, my son, Ted, many friends and neighbors, and countless Kaiser staff, my recovery ran ahead of schedule. 

I feel very good now, quite a lot better than I felt in the months leading up to the surgery. I can walk farther and faster. I sleep well. I enjoy playing my ukulele. I’ve signed up as a Whale Watch docent on Bodega Head. Soon I’ll be back to teardrop trailering with Sarah, canoeing, kayaking, traveling, volunteering as a ukulele instructor in local schools, and bike riding.

Best of all, I’m happy. I feel extremely fortunate and very grateful to live in a time when medical science works its modern miracles. 

In the days, weeks and months ahead I plan to resume more strenuous activities—longer hikes, bike rides, and paddling excursions for instance—all things I once enjoyed but had gradually given up.

I’m happier, too, because I am okay after facing one of my scariest fears (my father died soon after the same surgery). The world seems bigger, safer, and kinder somehow.

An experience like this enhances one’s awareness of the beauty, brevity and preciousness of life.


Anonymous said...

So happy to hear you are doing well!!

Nannet(Lexi's grandma)

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear you are healing well! Will watch for you on the trails! Take care... Tarca family ��

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks all. I am feeling better every day.

Anonymous said...

Dan... I was leaving bootcamp at community church this morn and thought I saw you going in..I'd have stopped n said hi but had driven past when realized it was you! If it was you...love the beard! You looked great n it made my day to see you..even from a distance. If it wasn't you...you have a twin! Thought I even saw a ukulele in hand! 😀 Debbie Tarca

Dan Gurney said...

If it was about 10:00 it WAS me. On my way to one of my uke groups. I didn't see you, or I'd have said hello! Yep, for now I have grown a beard....


Alden Smith said...

Hi Dan, Somehow I haven't been able to comment on your blog - I think it was because everytime I searched I came to an invitation only page? Anyway here you are here!

I can identify with your journey. In February 2013 I had a heart attack at school and nearly died. I was flown by emergency helicopter to Auckland hospital and 2 stents put in my heart arteries. In June 2013 I had a quad-ruple heart bypass operation. It's been a long journey - life changing - But I am ok - retired now after 40 years teaching - meditating and generally enjoying life.
Now that I have found your blog again I will be back - Kind Regards - Alden Smith

Kate said...

Me too! I'm back as well.
I am so glad to catch up with this really good news.
All the best for your continued improvement.