So Roxy & Ringo have a play area next to my studio where I can keep an eye on them. There are two old chairs that I allow them to lounge on; they compete over the green one (their fav). I heard some fighting and growling but was engrossed in my work…later I saw how they settled it themselves
During the first week of December I found it difficult to hike with Roxy & Ringo. I became concerned. We’d been in the habit of walking most days for about an hour, sometimes two. I began to notice deep pain in my chest, sometimes feeling nauseous and needing to find a place to sit down. Our long hikes became short ten minute strolls to the end of the road and back. Then rest.
Such a drastic change scared me into phoning my doctor. Prior cardio stress tests showed nothing, so the more invasive angiogram was performed, revealing a blockage that required bypass surgery. Ultimately it was discovered that the mid-left anterior descending artery of my heart was, over time, being squeezed closed by the muscles around it. It was totally blocked. An oddity.
I have a scar down the middle of my chest, but I am alive. And with therapy, will soon return to hiking with my doggies this spring. Part of my therapy involved battling the depression, which commonly follows surgery. What worked for me was dabbling with watercolors in my studio. This exercise reminded me that I’m not just a victim of heart disease, and moved my focus onto other things in my life.
One of the first pieces I worked on was a small painting called Growing Hearts, which I made into a “thank you” note to my surgeon and his staff for saving my life.
“Paint like a fiend when the idea possesses you.”
from page 166 in Robert Henri’s famous handbook:
Roxy stole Ringo’s tennis ball, but not for long… (distracted from my work)
Porch pooch at his post so the rest of us can relax and enjoy this holiday weekend.
In remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for ours. 🇺🇸