However, the surgery was successful and here I am a year later as "healthy as a horse".
In a report by Lifewire heart bypass patients often experience post-surgery significant changes including
- Fear: Being afraid of what lies ahead, especially concerning your health
- Anxiety: Sleeplessness, feelings of nervousness, tension
- Depression: Sadness, low energy
- Loneliness: Feeling no one understands what you're going through
- Anger: Losing your temper, negative feelings for those around you
(To be clear heart bypass is a different procedure than a valve replacement but they both involve the trauma (and risk) of open heart surgery where the patient is put on heart-lung machine and the heart is stopped so I'm assuming this is applicable to my situation).
The report goes on to say that
"patients who felt fine until they discovered they needed a heart bypass, the shock of suddenly dealing with health problems can be overwhelming."
"Medication such as beta blockers -- often prescribed for heart patients -- can cause depression, and researchers are investigating whether anesthesia may be a culprit as well."
"Some people also feel their memory is not as good after the surgery."
The main focus of the article is to recognize these effects quickly and take action to restore emotional "strength".
It may be of value to go back and look at this process of "sudden loss of (perceived) health" and coming to grips with the new reality.
I did touch on this in one of my pre-surgery posts "Beginnings and Endings" - Part 3" especially whether the Kubler-Rosss stages of grief model would apply. (this model is described by the acronym DABDA; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance)
However at this point I'm more focussed on whether there is any long term change whether "negative" or positive"
I am particularly interested in examining changes in spiritual attitudes.
I have started some research in this area which I will share as it unfolds.
What makes the difference between "Damascus road changes" (cf. Acts 9) and other reactions (no change or a "turning way from God).
In my case I don't think there has been any dramatic change but there has been some change - some I would see as "good" and some that's "not so good".
Perhaps musing on the "why or why not" of change can be helpful. We'll see