THE THIRD R
Most of us are familiar with R & R, Rest and Relaxation. That has been my preferred mode for the past five days and will continue for the next 2-3 days following the implant of a new, a third, mitral valve clip. For the uninitiated, that’s a cardiology procedure to stem the regurgitation, a heart valve condition in which the flaps of the mitral valve do not close properly, causing a backward flow of blood back to the heart. This time around, the previous two clips having been inserted in 2018, this new one that came on the market in September, 2022, is called Pascal Ace. I wondered why “Pascal” sent an inquiry to Edwards Life Sciences and they responded with a detailed explanation of how that name came to be attached to their device. There’s an explanation at the end of this post for anyone interested.
Regardless of all the technical and medical stuff, as I emerged from surgery and started down this road once again, I engaged fully in the mode of Rest and Relax. While in that state of mind, body and spirit, I realized that there is an important third R which is Recovery. Whether treatment for heart disease, cancer, substance abuse, depression or any other major disease, Recovery is the goal. It is often a difficult and challenging road, made easier, after treatment, by a regimen of professional follow-up and self-care. I adopted the mantra, “I recovered before and I will recover again.” That follows the axiom “it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get up that counts.”
Recovery is an ongoing process not necessarily an end point. Those who have been or who are recovering understand this better than those who have not traveled this route At some point in time, the majority of us will have this experience, some sooner, some later. My suggestion is when you meet up with this experience, find the best help available and get on with it because it’s still true that early detection, early treatment is most effective. Highly skilled practitioners are welcome resources in any case.
Another example of a third R is when I was head of a school, we created our own three R’s, quite apart from reading, writing and arithmetic. The original three R’s referred to basic skills taught in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic. (usually said as “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic”). The phrase appears to have been coined at the beginning of the 19th century.
Our three R’s were Respect, Responsibility and Restraint. Most people were familiar with the first two as expected behaviors for students and adults but few incorporated restraint as an expectation. It was based on think before you speak or act, or as I said “make sure your mind is engaged before starting your mouth.” When you consider carefully before making a choice, you have a much better chance of a good consequence. I found it interesting that the majority of students thought that consequence was always negative and undesirable, like punishment for a bad choice. I tried to explain that consequence is synonymous with result. Good choice, good consequence. Bad choice, bad consequence. My hunch is that the misunderstanding came from parents who said, “you will suffer the consequences.”
As I emerge one more time into a better state of being and celebrating, I am enormously grateful to be here, to be able to share these thoughts, experiences and consequences and to send hope to each of you for good health and good choices ahead.
Change your thinking, change your choice, change the result.
Here is a brief description of PASCAL’s naming origins that the PASCAL Marketing Department kindly provided to me:
“PASCAL is an acronym for its most differentiating product features and a nod to the surgeon who invented the surgical procedure predicate:
PA for Paddles which help secure the implant to the mitral valve leaflets
S for Spacer which helps block the regurgitant jet
C for Clasps which help secure the leaflets to the implant paddles
AL for Prof. Alfieri (Ottavio Alfieri is the surgeon who invented the surgical procedure which is a predicate to the interventional procedure)
The name also is a strong reference to Blaise Pascal who was a prominent scientist/futurist as you had noted during our conversation yesterday.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to us again and thank you for contacting us.”