I recently turned 53 and feel so blessed to be alive. I had triple bypass surgery in May of 2010.There was such a history of cancer in my family so I mainly was checked out for cancer related issues. But I was taken by surprise when I began to have issues with my heart. My heart issues began in 2003 and between that time and 2005 I had stent placements several times. Felt fine for a few years and began to have chest pains went to ER and to my surprise after doctors went in to attempt another stent, was told that I would have to be scheduled for the following week for triple bypass. It was delayed due to the fact I was taking Plavix. My bypass was successful and I will not lie, it was the most painful experience ever. I went to cardic rehab for 6 weeks and did well. But I experienced and still sometimes feel a soreness in my chest walls that are at times very uncomfortable. I used to ask other bypass patients about how long before I would feel normal, almost all said it would take about a year. Wow! How true that was. I was feeling so guilty because I know I did this to myself with smoking since the age of 16, and not eating as healthy as I should. I allowed problems and stress to excuse my bad habits. I do eat better now, exercise, and stopped smoking. The urge is still there for the cigarettes and I fight that addiction on a daily basis. But I feel good. The only problem is, since the surgery I now have gout and arthritis so bad might not have a thing to do with the bypass but my oldest brother who had same surgery the year before, recently told me he now has gout. A good nights sleep is rare for me lately. But still with the complaints also comes gratitude that I am still here by the grace of God. My husband has been so wonderful, we had only been married for 13 months when this happened, but he was right there and took such great care of me that I know I had found the perfect mate to spend the rest of my life with.