This is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I thought long and hard about doing this. How I should do it when I should do it. Should this really be the very first blog post I make on my new website for one of my businesses? Is this something I want to share so publicly? Having my 46th birthday over the weekend, really put everything into perspective.
So here we are.
Eighteen days ago, at the request of my family doctor, I went to a local clinic to have an ECG, stress test and ultrasound done to check out my heart. My doctor told me that although my recent blood work from an annual physical was excellent, my family history caused her to ask me to get these tests done.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse or anything close to being a medical expert, anything you read in the following is information given to me by professionals.
After the three tests were done, I sat with the cardiologist who dropped the bomb on me. According to the tests, I have an aortic root dilation of 45mm. I was not sure what that meant at first, as I stated before, I am not the expert in the room. Another term for it is an aortic aneurysm. Basically, my aorta where it is connected to the heart is larger than it should be, for whatever reason. I also have something called borderline left ventricular hydropathy. This means the wall of my left ventricle has thickened. Needless to say, this was not good news. I was in shock, yet I wasn’t shocked. I was scared. Scared for myself, scared for my family. Scared for anyone who has ever gone through anything like this.
I was told to make an appointment for six months from now, to do the same tests and compare results. The cardiologist made some dietary recommendations, some physical as well. Nothing he said surprised me. I had heard all of this before. Back when I was very young, my father had a massive heart attack, they call it “the widowmaker”. Through dramatic lifestyle changes, and against all odds (literally), my father is still here today, 35+ years later. Based on that, I believe that this is manageable. However, this also changes EVERYTHING.
When you see your own mortality in front of you, you realize how little time you have.
You also realize how much time you have.
You realize you have all the time.
Your priorities shift.
You see the world differently. You smell, you taste, you hear things differently.
You realize why you are here.
The very first words you see when you come to this website are “YOUR CHILD’S LEGACY IS YOUR LEGACY”
There is no mistake as to why those words are there. They are there because not only do I believe those words, but I live those words.
My three children are three of the four reasons why I wake up every morning and why I do what I do. The fourth reason is all of that, but she is also why I am able to go to bed every night knowing we have done everything we can to ensure our children’s legacies. My wife is my rock and has bent over backward for me, supported me in trying times, more than I can count. I do not deserve her love for some of what I have done in my life; and yet she continues to be by my side and for that, I will be eternally thankful.
If you know me personally, you may have noticed a change. I plan on living the stereotypical way people do when they hear news like this. I am 46 years into a life I have no desire to have ended prematurely. I am going to do things. I am going to do great things. I am going to write a book. I am going to continue pushing the need for school curriculum to change. Our kids are not learning what they need to for future success. If my children’s legacy truly is my legacy, then I have no choice but to continue the fight to have them be as successful as humanly possible.
Whether it be a professional dancer…
a genius and future master builder…
or an Olympic gymnast.
While along the way, having the best family a man can have.