Faith

I was training to run the Boston Marathon. Running through the winter isn’t easy here in Rhode Island, but it was going well. Until it wasn’t.

I was at work at URI and I had a strange episode. I had never experienced anything like it. I thought I might have had low blood pressure, but decided to have it looked into since it was so strange. At the local emergency room they did a CAT scan and said I was lucky. They alerted my husband and daughter and rushed me up to Rhode Island Hospital.

I didn’t just have an aneurysm. I had two.

I met Dr. Ryan McTaggart—an aneurysm expert—who said we had time to start platelet therapy to make sure I was ready for surgery. Three weeks later they implanted the first nickel titanium pipeline in my brain to direct the blood away from the aneurysms.

I can’t say enough about the surgeons and the team up there at the Comprehensive Stroke Center. The operation went well and the recovery actually wasn’t too bad. I had some minor headaches, but really the worst part was the anxiety—the fear that there might be another unpleasant surprise any moment. I joined a support group and now I’m the one helping people facing the same condition.

My second surgery was actually scheduled for Marathon Monday.  Not how I had planned to spend that day, but I was grateful to be there.

Within six months I was able to start running a bit. It was slow going, but I kept progressing week by week. Well, guess who recently got clearance to run in this year’s Boston Marathon? I may not set any speed records, but I assure you I will cross that finish line with immense gratitude for the care that I received.

All this has changed my perspective. I’ve stopped sweating the small stuff. We love game night, going out to dinner, walking the dog together. Amazingly, my teen-aged daughter actually enjoys spending time with us—doing yoga, watching movies.

Ordinary is good. Ordinary is beautiful.

—Faith, South Kingstown RI