I pondered the idea for "Growing Hearts" while recovering from open-heart bypass surgery. I painted it in February (2018) American Heart Month.*
Small (5" x 7") watercolor painting on 140 lb. Strathmore paper, mounted on white conservation board with torn paper edges exposed. Protected under white conservation mat and enclosed in a crystal clear bag. Ready to slide into an 11" x 14" standard-size frame.
Original painting by Barbara Grant
My story: During the first week of December I found it difficult to hike with Roxy & Ringo. I became concerned. We’d been in the habit of walking most days for about an hour, sometimes two. I began to notice deep pain in my chest, sometimes feeling nauseous and needing to find a place to sit down. Our long hikes became short ten minute strolls to the end of the road and back. Then rest.
Such a drastic change scared me into phoning my doctor. Prior cardio stress tests showed nothing, so the more invasive angiogram was performed, revealing a blockage that required bypass surgery. Ultimately it was discovered that the mid-left anterior descending artery of my heart was, over time, being squeezed closed by the muscles around it. It was totally blocked. An oddity.
I have a scar down the middle of my chest, but I am alive. And with therapy, will soon return to hiking with my doggies this spring.
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