I was lifting something at the fitness center when all of a sudden I had a very strange feeling. I can’t exactly describe it, but I knew that I had to get to the hospital. I literally ran out, jumped in my car and drove to the hospital. By the time I reached the ER my left arm was numb. It frightened me, but not as much. I remember thinking that if I loose my left arm, I would still have my right. I have always been one to say “ Take what comes”. I don’t remember much once I got to the ER other than that everybody started moving around very fast. I woke up only 5-6 days later. I remember the doctor telling my wife to call my children to get to the hospital quickly, as the odds didn’t seem good at all. I had an aortic dissection. They operated and saved my life. I had 2 surgeries after, to repair everything. One of those surgeries had gotten cancelled at 2 am the night before due to an emergency. At first I felt aggravation, but my second thought was that I’m alive today because somebody else got put off. Never again did I have a bad feeling about that. I realized how fortunate I was to be alive. I appreciate life more since then. I realized that the only way to keep on going, is by being active. I’m 80 years old right now. I don’t sit around and wait for death. I make a list of things to do and do them. I do a lot of physical things around the house, feed the birds, take care of my garden, work out 3-6 times a week and continue to do the things I love. My PCP has made me talk to other older patients of his, who after an illness decide that now they have got to go home and sit. I tell them that life can go on and you can still enjoy your life. There is nothing that says that you have to stop doing what you like, you just may have to change some things around it and be more careful.