Recovery and New Realizations

May 29, 2024

May has been a month of profound realization and continued progress on my recovery journey. I am happy to report that my recovery is continuing well. One of the most joyous milestones was being cleared to lift 25 pounds. To celebrate this, I had a heartwarming moment with my 10-month-old granddaughter, Sabrina, capturing the essence of this achievement being able to pick her up, in this cherished photo below. This small yet significant victory symbolizes the strides I’ve made since my surgery.

However, the recovery process has not been without its challenges. Simple tasks that I once took for granted, such as pulling a garden hose, now feel shockingly difficult and disappointing. These moments serve as a stark reminder of the physical limitations I am still navigating, despite the overall progress.

Aches and pains, along with erratic blood pressure, have been challenges I haven’t known what to do with. Searching for aortic dissection support groups led me to join a Facebook group of close to 6,000 people. This group has been incredibly helpful. Hearing so many stories about emergency surgeries after dissections occur gives me yet another reason to be eternally grateful for how my situation unfolded. This group provides comfort in knowing that others experience what I have been going through. Being able to support and be supported by others is a wonderful thing.

The day I was allowed to drive marked a significant step in reclaiming some normalcy. Debra and I embarked on a trip to Cleveland, driven by a mix of necessity and the need for reassurance. The local cardiac healthcare had been a source of anxiety, and I sought the expertise and solace of caregivers familiar with my genetic condition. Ironically, a 14-hour round trip to Cleveland for a CT scan provided a faster solution than the ER visit recommended by the Echo technician and representative who followed up with me the following day.

The trip to Cleveland was sobering and brought unexpected news. I had hoped for the peace of mind of a surgical path to address what I believed was happening, but instead, I faced the reality of living with a new normal due to the complications of the dissection. This shift has profoundly impacted my mindset and state of mind. Reminding me, yet again, what I do and do not have control over.

In this new reality, I find myself appreciating the vibrancy of life more deeply. Colors seem brighter, and the beauty of trees and flowers has become even more striking. But beyond the aesthetic appreciation, this experience has underscored the preciousness of each human interaction. Relationships, much like the trees and flowers, appear brighter and more beautiful. Unlike the fleeting beauty of nature, relationships can be nurtured and deepened, leaving an indelible impression on the soul.

This journey has taught me the value of presence and care in every interaction. Each moment with loved ones and those I am here to serve in my business, is an opportunity to deepen our connections and enrich our lives. As I continue to navigate this path of recovery, I am grateful for the lessons learned and the beautiful moments shared with those around me.

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. Your support and understanding mean the world as I continue to embrace this new chapter, with all its challenges and its profound, unexpected gifts.

Christian Grieco


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