Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ER experience

We had a scare last week. My husband woke up in the middle of the night with an exploding pain in his chest. During the next several hours he had constant pain in his neck, and occasional pains in his chest. He did not wake me up because I had not been sleeping well for weeks, but that particular night I was finally sleeping and he didn't want to interrupt my much needed sleep (foolish man). He headed to work (still without waking me) but then found himself turning into the parking lot of our Dr.'s office (smart man). Of course they sent him directly to the ER. Again, he still hadn't called me (foolish).

During his drive there (he drove himself...ALONE...foolish again) he started getting scared, wondering if he'd even make it. He checked himself into the ER at Payson hospital where he received excellent care for the duration of his stay there that day/night.

He called me (finally) and I was completely calm on the phone. I even took time to shower and grab some things before heading out. I worried about my commitments at work, having heavy responsibilities during tax season, and commitments with my church job. But my place was with my husband, so I just had to "bail out" of everything else.

After joining my husband at the hospital, I sat with him all through the day, watching him go through test after test, and then waiting for the results. I remained calm. I even read a little while he dozed. It was almost a relaxing experience to have permission to just sit. Then results from one test came back abnormal, which caused the cardiologist to schedule a cath test, inserting a catheter through the groin to the heart. My husband was wisked away without much notice. He had received a phone call and was ending the call, handing me the phone, and then he was gone. That's when my calmness disappeared. I felt my hands start shaking, and tears forming, worry building, restless legs that had to move, dread, fear, you name it. I have been through some difficult experiences before, which have taught me that things don't always turn out "OK". I hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye, or say "I Love You".

Luckily my waiting time was much shorter than I expected. My husband's heart and arteries are perfectly fine, totally clear. What a relief. I was SO happy to see my husband again. (Although I admit to briefly thinking of the unfairness of it all that he eats hot dogs and hamburgers and pizza all the time, and does NOT exercise, and his heart and arteries are in perfect condition.) While the problem is not his heart, there IS a problem somewhere, and we'll have to follow up on that with our regular Dr.

While he was sleeping off his anesthesia, I pondered what had happened and the range of emotions I had felt. I thought of all the things in life that keep me busy, occupying my time and my thoughts. And yet I realized what is most precious and important to me; my husband and family. This is not a new revelation. I have had many experiences that have pointed me back to my family. What bothers me, is why I can't seem to let other things go. I keep telling myself that I've learned my lesson and that I need a better balance in my life; that I need to keep my priorities straight (family first), and I'll do it for a day, maybe two, and then I let the other things take over again. Then I feel guilty, like I'm a bad wife or mother because I can't seem to put them first as often as I should. Why do I feel such a drive to do well at work and at my church responsibilities, and whatever else I'm asked to do? Am I being a good example to my family or will it be something they, and I, regret? I don't know.

I DO know this. I...LOVE...MY...HUSBAND! That's a truth that can never be questioned.


  1. Oh, I am so glad everything is okay! I didn't realize I was holding my breath while reading this. Love you both.

  2. Listen, my good friend... you need to take it easy on yourself. Your family is nuts about you, and you do a phenomenal job of serving everyone. When I was in school for these past two years I felt like a total slouch with my family, but it was temporary. And in the end, I like to think I showed a good example of perseverance and hard work. Kids don't only learn from us when we are doting on them. They will have memories forever of those few years you gave your heart to your calling also. You are da bomb!

  3. I am so glad everything is okay. Best of luck with future tests.

    Moments like that are so scary.

    Thank you for sharing your story.