Ivan Hernandez - My First Week of Dating After Surgery
I won’t slow down. Science should speed up. @ivebeenivan
Weekends while friends were out and I was bored at home single and in recovery from heart surgery, I entertained myself chatting on some dating sites. It was a really great way to avoid FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and feel social without having to invest much energy. Two months had gone by and it was time to finally follow up with some scheduled dates.
The planning was intense. Since I would expend most my energy by late afternoon, I aimed for morning or afternoon dates. Some thought this was weird since they worked regular jobs. Another recommended a weekend beach day (which I avoided since a shirtless Frankenstein wouldn’t have been very sexy). After some negotiating, I was able to schedule three in a week.
The first one was with someone who had been checking in on me via social. I had posted some AHA fundraising efforts before surgery, so the continued gesture to meet felt comforting. Daytime. Coffee (decaf for me, of course). Few minutes. All good.
The morning of my second date, I woke up feeling better than usual and made it a very productive day (maybe too much so). This one had thought my daytime request was weird, so I succumbed to a dinner. I arrived at the restaurant early to settle in and relax. Minutes before my date arrived…palpitations. The restaurant was full of people and I was sitting in a corner looking around wondering if I should meditate in public or call 911. I pictured my date pulling up and seeing me being rolled off on a stretcher. I took some deep breaths, my heart rate returned to near normal and my date arrived just in time. I felt it was necessary to drop the “I had heart surgery” bomb for my safety and as a disclaimer to any awkwardness. Conversation flowed and we ended dinner early for my sake.
On the morning of my last date, I woke up feeling dizzy and lightheaded and had to postpone. To avoid making it personal, I disclosed my heart surgery and recommended a daytime raincheck. It worked out and we met over the weekend for lunch. No palpitations. Whew.
I’m not a nervous guy and dating doesn’t scare me. After heart surgery, however, when you’re so in tune with your body and can actually (always) feel your pulse, I learned those insignificant anticipations you experience multiple times a day are actually amplified. Thankfully, those palpitations during my second date turned out to be normal. As for the date? I was interested and today we joke about those palpitations probably being a good thing.