I glanced at the last blog entry.
I smiled as I read: more tomorrow.
And there was “more tomorrow.” There was more “tomorrow” in yesterday than I’ve had in a very long time. And so… I mull over my closing statement: “more tomorrow.” I mull it over and consider: what a difference an hour makes.
I had finished up on the computer… my husband and sons came in from a long day… it was late, they were tired and they were ready to hit the sack, so to speak. My husband came in and talked to me for a bit, had some fruit and was getting ready for bed. Sore and tired.
It was chilly in our home and so the warm down comforter and the soft quilt felt so good as I snuggled into bed. I was watching my precious husband from my pillow… still sore and tired. He was so sore and tired that he felt he couldn’t lie down and had thought he might stay up a bit. What would happen in the next moments I was totally unprepared to experience.
My husband was so chilled he looked for slippers… so sore he was unable for a moment to stand up straight. I could barely hear him as he asked me: what does it feel like to have a heart attack?
What?!?! Are you kidding me?
Uhhh…. it feels like pain in your arms. pain in your chest. heavy pain. it feels like an elephant is on your chest and you cannot breath. It feels like nothing you’ve experienced before, I guess. I guess it feels like you feel right now.
I’m no longer snuggling in my warm bed – our warm bed. Grabbing my bathrobe I hurry into our kitchen where my husband is breathlessly talking to someone on the phone… instantly he asks me to call 911.
That call to 911 set in motion the series of events that would begin with EMT’s coming to our home, assessing my husband’s situation and telling him they wanted him to go for a ride to the ER. I will never forget his painful experience that night. I speedily threw on my dress, my tights and shoes… I pinned up my hair… attempting to be mindful that I might wear that dress and whatever else I put on for an unknown length of time in an unknown situation. I tried to remember all I would need — and, no time to be scared or timid, three minutes later I was in the van driving very quickly and very cautiously to the hospital.
O, what a difference an hour makes.
Once in the ER, it was confirmed that my dear husband had had a heart attack. The words: myocardial infarct sank down in my ears. His blood pressure was sky high and he was already receiving medications that improve his condition tremendously. Hours later he was admitted to the coronary care wing. I had gone home to sleep for an hour, to check on the sleeping children and to get a few things. I returned to the hospital and a bit later where Wes was scheduled for surgery – first they would do an Angiogram to assess the condition of his heart, veins and arteries. This test revealed a number of blockages… a couple were very severe. I would later learn that the angiogram was followed by angioplasty to insert 2 stents in two 95% blocked arteries. The surgeon asked if I had any other questions. I think I mumbled a couple of questions that seemed important at the time, but aren’t all that important now. The surgeon assured me the damage was very minimal but that the arteries were seriously blocked and the stents would restore health.
Later, when another surgeon came out to ask me if I had any other questions, I really couldn’t think of one — or any — except: is my husband going to be alright? It seemed all I could think of was the previous couple of hours I had spent in that heart surgery waiting room. I realized that I had joined another club that day. A club I was surprised had come to me so soon – so early on in the game. I was surprised that I was already joining a group of women who had in common that their husband’s had had heart attacks. Another unenviable club membership. But in a very peculiar way, I was comforted by the fact that each one of the 5 women in that waiting room was a wife… perhaps a mother, a grandmother, a sister or an aunt. I looked around the room many different times that morning and considered that each one had likely faced an uncertain time, maybe a painful time that brought them to that place… that they, too, were asking: is he going to be alright? I wonder, even now, how those women are doing… I’m wondering how the family is doing that gathered in the CCU waiting room. I’m wondering whose story ended that night and what they’re doing now.
Each had a story to tell, each had a life they had been piecing together like a patchwork quilt. And it all begin because they, too, knew: what a difference an hour makes. I have been adding some new things to my quilt this week… squares and stitches I will never forget for they have completely changed my outlook… for I am now a member of the club: women whose husbands have had a heart attack.
Our children also joined a club… kids whose daddy’s had heart attacks.
maybe more on that tomorrow.