Hit the Knee and Other Sage Advice

A Cheeky Account of my Heart Bypass Surgery

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
99 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2014
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Author Biography

I am a life long resident of Concord, (Hueytown), Alabama and have lived on the same street for most of my 61 years. Even now I live only 3 miles away from my childhood home, which I still own. I attended Concord Elementary School, Pittman Jr High and Hueytown High School. There was only one major obstacle keeping me from college, and that was high school. I did, however, get a brief stint in at the University of Alabama.
My career has mostly been in sales at various meat companies; Lumberjack, Zeigler, Richards, Southeastern and also at Southern Nameplate. I presently work for a small computer company in Hueytown where I am in Customer Service, utilizing my PR (and BS) skills.
Together, Nikki and I have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. And we hope that last number keeps on growing! They are the spice of life. If I'd known how much fun grandkids are, I'd have skipped right over the kids and gone straight to having grandkids.
I must credit Nell Salamone, my high school English teacher, for teaching me that writing in itself is a cathartic and enjoyable pastime, even if no one ever reads a word of what you write.

For more than forty years I have dabbled in poetry and a few short narratives for my own enjoyment. I shared these with very few people. I never envisioned myself as, or endeavored to be, a writer. I did not see myself in the same light as the authors whose works I have had the pleasure to read.

Just as I have backed into most of the jobs that I have held over the years, you might say that I backed into writing this book. It was not inspiration that drove me, it was boredom. As I recovered from heart bypass surgery my activities were limited to walking and lifting things that weighed less than five pounds. To entertain myself I envisioned writing a book and mentally began forming the phrasing of the stories that I would relate. I thought that they were funny enough to share, so I began typing.

My wife, Nikki, and a few of my friends and family that read what I wrote made some comments that let me know that they gained some insight about my experience that they would have otherwise missed. I considered that, aside from the humor, my story may be good preparation for people facing the same surgery as well as for their families.

Nikki gets all of the credit for seeing it all the way through to the printed copy. From choosing the title and photos to finding a great publisher, proof reading, and promoting, she is the one that made it happen. I hope you enjoy it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Hit the Knee and Other Sage Advice is a humorous look at a serious subject. Dennis Gwin has suffered a few heart problems in his life and has had stents fitted on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, his problem becomes too serious for stents and he requires a quadruple heart bypass. This is his account of what happened - the lead up to the surgery and how he coped afterwards. Dennis takes us through everything - his feelings before and after the surgery, the nurses and the doctors who looked after him, and his family, who provided the much needed support for his recovery. This is a very frank account of one man's fight against heart disease and how he overcame his own personal Mount Everest.

Although the subject matter is serious, Hit the Knee and Other Sage Advice is a wonderfully funny look at how you should (or, in some cases, should not) deal with heart surgery. Dennis Gwin has been very frank about his surgery, his feelings, about everything really. In many ways, his story is a lesson to all of us on how to deal with what life throws at us, on how to deal with pain and, perhaps more importantly, on how to listen to what your body is telling you and not ignore the signs of what could be something very serious. I take my hat off to Mr Gwin for sharing his story with us and would love to read more from him - although I certainly wouldn't wish him any ill to provide the material for another book!