It’s been four months since I stepped off an A380 in Frankfurt feeling bad. Four months since I took an ambulance ride to the hospital. Four months since the cardiac intervention that almost certainly saved my life.
The first month was the hardest. No doubt about it. Physically, I needed to rest and heal. Emotionally, I had to come to grips with what happened. I disconnected from work. I researched how what happened, could have happened. I slept a lot. I gently started walking and trying to build up some endurance, but not too quickly.
The second month was all about rehab. Five days a week of various workouts and seminars about how to live. The first few days kicked my ass, but I steadily got stronger. By the time I was done with the official program, I was feeling better than I had in a long time. My doctors were pleased as well with my progress. Katerina was too.
Speaking of doctors, every time I met with a new doctor, I’m greeted with the equivalent of a surprised ”Why are you here?” Not regarding why I was there for a particular appointment—the stack of paperwork I carry around with my recent history explains that—but why I ended up in a position to need to see them in the first place. I’m still no closer to really knowing the answer, despite reading a lot of research on the matter.
Months three and four have been all about starting to work again, building up the time spent at work bit by bit. The big goal was to not backslide too much on the healthy gym habits I had established. Some weeks I did better than others. The weeks where I got to the gym five days in a row felt great. The week where I only managed one day at the gym felt pretty crappy. That underlined to me that the gym is no longer an option. I have to work out to feel ok physically and emotionally.
Through it all, I remain stupendously grateful that I’m still around.