|St. Jude model 27VAVGJ-515 artificial aortic valve|
I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical substitute ten days ago, and a section of my ascending aorta replaced with a human substitute. As you can see I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks, and mostly that's because I just don't have anything to say about the experience. I had no epiphanies. I underwent no life-altering transformations in my philosophy. Even in my most bizarre post-surgery dreams I experienced nothing at all spiritual or metaphysical about the fact that I had been technically dead on a table only hours before. All it amounts to, really, is that I feel like i had taken my car to the mechanic, they had replaced an essential part, and I went and picked it up.
The one way in which I surprised even myself is that only hours before the surgery I had an overwhelming conviction that if i should die on the operating table that my body should be donated to science. I've never felt that way. I've never even signed the donor card on my driver's license, but something inside informed me it was the right thing to do for me to make sure my body was used for scientific research should it fail me.
The valve looks a little bit like this. The only unusual experience I had was night three I felt like I had another man's dream. This person was perhaps ten years older than me, and had grown up wanting to be in a German goth/heavy metal band akin to Bauhaus/Rammstein/Kraftwerk. He had formed a few local bands in the late 70's and early 80's, but it never took off the way he wanted. He wanted his family to know he was fine where he was and he loved them very much. I would normally choose to discount such an experience as narcotic-induced hallucinations, and I doubt anyone from this man's family will ever see this, but to not relate such a thing seems almost an act of incredible ingratitude and cruelty to me.
Today the kids are going to a movie with their grandpa, and I am going to eat sushi with Jenny. Don't believe this experience has softened me up one bit, or that I won't be back blogging about ignorance, injustice, and evil wherever I see it soon.