Barbara H. McNeely

Author, Coach & Publisher

The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make

What choices have you made today?

  • What you’ll eat for breakfast?
  • Where you’ll go for lunch?
  • What you’ll do this weekend?
  • Where you’ll vacation this summer?
  • If you’ll go to work tomorrow?

We make choices all the time. Some are easy, some are harder. Some we don’t even think of as choices. Like that last one above. It really is a choice you make each day to go to work. You may say you have to go to work, but is that your only option? It may be far and away a better choice than anything else, but it’s still a choice. Going to work changed for me the day I began to understand that it was a choice.

Yet few of those choices are considered life-or-death. Some may be and we don’t even know it. The decision to text while driving is a choice many make; one that has been known to result in death. Even though the texter isn’t consciously choosing death. I choose life, so I choose not to text while driving. That also keeps me more aware so that I can hopefully avoid those around me who have decided to text while driving.

Rare, though, are the choices we make that we know at the outset are life or death choices. I’ve had to make one of those choices in recent weeks. And the choice was easy. As I said before, I choose life.

The decision I had to make? To undergo surgery to have my aortic valve replaced. It seems I have something called Aortic Stenosis. That valve just isn’t working right, there appears to be calcium buildup, and the opening is about one-fourth of its normal size. Left untreated, it will eventually result in heart failure. So that decision is easy.

There are a lot of other decisions to make related to this surgery. Such as whether I want a tissue valve or a mechanical valve. Somehow, at this point, all the other choices become easy.

Living with the thought of impending surgery is another matter. I’ve tried to read up on the surgical procedure, but quite honestly it’s a bit scary. Just the words “open heart surgery” are scary to me. But I have an excellent surgeon and the date is set for this coming Friday – May 22, 2015. Recovery is long, but as my husband often says “It does beat the alternative!” I’ll post occasional updates here, as I am able.

So tell me, what difficult choices have you had to make?

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Hi, I’m Barbara McNeely, author and publisher in San Antonio, Texas. I coach authors who have a personal story they want to share in a book. And I consult and guide authors through the process of self-publishing their books.
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  1. Neta Zitnik

    It seems like yesterday but actually over two years ago. Mom Ruby in the last stages of Alzheimer’s was still on too many medications for her current point in life. Tales/horror stories of how extremely difficult it was for her to swallow even crushed medications in yogurt or juice was the reason for talking to the Dr. about alternatives. There were none… My sister and I were the legal decision makers for Mom’s health care and decided to stop all medications. I guesstimate that her major stroke happened within a couple of months. Ten days of making her as comfortable as humanly possible she took her last breath. Did we make the right decision? We think so. She got to dancing with Dad in heaven and recognized everyone!

    I’ll be thinking and praying for you and Dick too! You’ll be better than new! Keep us posted on your recovery!

  2. barbara

    Thanks, Neta. You had a tough decision there, but I know it was the right one. I had similar decisions in caring for my father after he broke his hip.

  3. Anonymous

    i recently had to make a major decision in sept. to have a hysterectomy with ovaries taken out in sept 2014. i had been a 10 year sufferer of odd symptoms of migraines, nerve pain, fatigue, confusion, cognition problems, etc. and after the surgery while on estrogen….my symptoms got worse. My right side facial twitching was returning and the symptoms became scary enough to seek MRI’s and EEG’s. Come to find out, around 8 years ago, i had a pretty sizable A-typical stroke that affected various functions of my body – it now explains this odd symptom list I’ve been dealing with. Had i known all this BEFORE , I don’t know that i would have yanked out my ovaries and sent myself into a drastically radical surgical menopause of night and day from 0-100 mph on the lack of estrogen (talk about brain fog…..prior stroke plus pulling away estrogen!). but i am learning all things happen for a reason and I’m learning to be kinder to myself and take things more in stride. Just to be kinder to myself and not so uptight and in a rush all the time . If i had a choice to do it over again, I would leave an ovary in (at least one!)

  4. Thinking of you, Barbara, and wishing you a successful, easy day tomorrow and a speedy recovery that yields a sense of vitality! <3 <3 <3

  5. barbara

    Thanks, Pam!

  6. Jackie Robb

    Sending prayers to you Barbara. That The Lord will guide the surgeons hand to be successful that the nurses and hospital staff will serve you well. Praying for your husbands strength. Let me know how I can help in the coming weeks.

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