One thing about having a chronic condition, and in my case, more than one, is that you need to accept that your life, in one way or another, will change forever.

I remember the day before I had my defibrillator implanted I knew that there would be so much I would never be able to do again. Some of it was true, and my life did change drastically, and I have since learned to accept it. But I never truly did say goodbye to my old self, and I think that is where a lot of people with chronic conditions get hung up. They constantly mourn for their old life, wishing they could still have that part of them self that will never return.

For my 50th birthday, my wife and I spent a week in Sedona, Arizona. The place is so spiritually powerful it can not be described. While there, we found a Buddhist Supta and at there I decided to let my old self go, forever.

It was a simple gesture. While my wife was at another spot, without any premeditation on my part, I picked up a beautiful red Sedona rock and told myself that it represented my old life, the me before the heart failure, before the pulmonary hypertension, the me of old. I thanked that stone for the wonderful life that I had and that now it was time to let it go. It was gone. It was over. And into the red desert sand I buried that rock, the old me, with respect and with gratitude.

When I dug the small hole to bury the rock that represented the old me, another small rock came to the surface and to that rock I expressed that it represented the new me, the me that will now, with positivity and hope, look forward to a new life, one that I will live every day with gratitude and joy. That new rock I placed on a small mound to always be in the sun, absorbing the sun’s positive energy, giving life to my new life, in a way that I could and would accept that I am different, but would not be held back. Although I have a few chronic conditions, I will continue to strive on, and live the rest of my life with energy, joy, love, gratitude and hope.

That gesture of letting go of the old me was very releasing of many things, and even if you can’t get to Sedona, I highly recommend that you go to a park, a beach, a quiet place in your backyard and bury our old self and accept the new you. Stop living in the past and hoping for the old you to come back. Look forward, accept that you have changed and look forward to facing life’s new challenges. Learn to live with the new you. Love it. Embrace it. Live.


Written by Basil Rene

I maintain two separate blogs. One is where I discuss my life with sarcoidosis and the other is, where as the name implies, I talk about food.


  1. Thank You so much for this entry it has helped me so much. I had am really stuck with the transition of after defibrillator implant and this really gave me a eye opener…THANK YOU


    1. You are welcome. Life after a defibrillator implant is a huge change. Your life alters considerably, especially if you were active prior to the implant. I know when I had mine implanted, I lived in fear for months that I would set it off and was virtually afraid to do anything strenuous. It is difficult to let go of all that you were able to do prior, but once you accept that there is a new life, and you find ways to live with your inability to do certain things, you learn to do things in a new way, and after a while, the defibrillator becomes a part of you that you no longer think about. Best of luck to you.


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