I was driving to work this morning and I looked to my right and saw this sign hanging in the person’s window. I started to think, what does this really mean? What type of handicap does that person have? Are we as Aortic Dissection survivors carrying around and invisible sign with us that is hovering over our head? It really made me think that the word “handicap” can have so many different meanings and levels. To me, I am not handicapped, just a survivor. A survivor that is just thankful for each and everyday. When I see a handicapped person, I generally feel very sad for them. I am able to walk, job, play tennis, read, listen to music and granted, some people might think I am handicapped because I might be walking around with a  “time-bomb” in my aorta-I choose not to see it that way. I am here for a reason, I am going to live my life each day that GOD grants me and I am not going to complain about one single thing. I got the second chance.  It’s interesting, I found this other picture on the Emory website and actually made a contact with a surgeon there early on when I started my website.  It’s really pretty scarey, this is kind of how it works, you are in the ER room and the surgeons are trying to figure out if you are going to actually get that second chance? Or… is it out of their hands and it turned out to be your time to go. Did you get to tell everyone how much you loved them? What’s also amazing to me and now seeing things from the “other side” of life, I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for everything.  I hope others don’t get caught up living behind their “handicap” shield and can break free as an aortic dissection survivor with all the vigor that life has to offer them-now that they can see the light!

Best!

Brian