Last week my father-in-law, a good man, had a heart attack. A mild heart attack, but nonetheless, a heart attack and had to go to the ER. This prompted a discussion about perspective.

While there, the doctors did all the tests and confirmed that yes, he did have a heart attack because of significant blood vessel blockage. After running more tests, it came back that he had 90-95% blockage in ALL of his heart’s major blood vessels and would need quintuple bypass surgery.

Their exact words, “This is about as bad as it can get.”

It was so bad they didn’t want to wait and said he was getting it done ASAP.

He went in Wednesday evening, and on Friday morning, they operated.

7-hour surgery.

Now I didn’t know much about bypass surgery, but through this process, I learned a bit more about it and what stood out to me was that it is major invasive surgery, but this surgery also has a 98% recovery rate.

I chatted with my wife about this.

Now I thought my wife would be a mess with her father going under the knife, but she was very rational about the entire situation.

While others were worried, we were optimistic.

“I’m glad this happened when it did; otherwise, the damage could have been worse.”
“Imagine how much better he’s going to feel.”
“His heart is basically getting a tune-up.”
“This surgery has such a high recovery rate, which is better than so many others.”

Yes, we realized the gravity of the situation; we were not ignorant of that, but how we chose to respond set the mood for us.

Were we worried? In the beginning, yes, sure, but once we stepped back, stepped away, and thought about this, our perspective changed.

It went from the fearfulness of all the WHAT IF’S that could happen to all the possibilities and gratitude of the situation.

Instead of having a heart attack, we looked at it as what would have happened to him if it wasn’t mild? He may not be here.

Instead of us worrying about bypass surgery, we heard a 98% recovery rate.

Instead of feeling bad for his pain of recovery, we are excited to see how much better he’s going to feel.

We are not blissfully ignorant of the situation but instead optimistic.

This isn’t just me but my wife, who loves her dad dearly, who thinks this way.

 


Perspective is everything.

Instead of focusing on the negative, FIND the positive. I’ll admit that the positive still may not be that great in certain situations, BUT it’s better than the doom and gloom of negativity.

Acknowledge the situation for what it is but then find a positive spin.

You didn’t lose weight this month? Well, did you gain any? No? Great!
You only lost 3lbs this month? Well, if you keep this up, what will happen in 10 months? 30 Freaking pounds, that’s what!

You get my point.

I saw a post on FB the other day that illustrates this…

“My 5-year-old lost her new bracelet, and my 7-year-old says, “That’s ok. Someone else will find it, and you’ll make their whole day.”

Seriously guys, that the attitude we all need.

As of my father in law, just got to go home seven days later and is walking around already. 🙂

 

In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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