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My mother and the parents of two of my closest friends, all had triple bypass surgery last year. Luckily, modern surgery could put them back together. However, we can’t let this become the norm. How we take care of ourselves on a daily basis will determine the quality of our health, our well-being and our lives.


When I started running out of energy, I pushed myself harder. When I started gaining weight, I dieted. But when my
stomach swelled up like a basketball and stayed that way, I knew something was wrong. I had a tumor on my ovary. I’m
not sure anything short of a crisis would have really slowed me down. I hope you’re more sensible and responsive to your needs than I was.

How often it seems to take some jolt to wake us up and say, “It’s time to make a change.” My surgery did just that. After five hours with my body cut open, I took a serious look at myself and how I was living my life.

The operation really affected my self-esteem. My thoughts about myself and my entire perspective on life were turned
upside down. I thought I was strong. I never expected my body to fail me. As a strong-willed person, I thought I could
fix or make anything happen that I set my mind to. I was wrong, and unfortunately found out the hard way.

I tried many alternatives to surgery. I felt such a sense of powerlessness that it made me quite humble. Finally, after much soul-searching, I succumbed to “go under the knife” and had the surgery I so desperately needed. The whole experience helped me realize that I was a human being made of flesh and blood, doing the best job I could. I also learned to take help when I truly needed it. My pride had initially gotten in the way, but the risk of losing everything I had worked so hard for opened my eyes and heart to what had to be done.

As we learn to ask for help from friends and family, we can begin to feel different about ourselves and about our worth as human beings.

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