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.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Noises downstairs

Basements are notorious for scary things: darkness, monsters, spiders, piled up dirty laundry, the boogie-man, water rushing through the pipes, whining furnace, kids causing mischief, etc. None of that applies to my house (right now anyway). My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson live in our basement. They have brought new life to this house. My talented daughter-in-law has decorated their space down there so cute. But what I love most, are the noises I hear from down below. I can hear my grandson running from one end of the house to the other, giggling. He's not playing alone though, because his giggles are followed by the sounds of his parents chasing him, tickling him, playing with him. I hear his mommy playing the piano while he plays at her feet. I hear singing. I wake up in the mornings to hear the cheerful chatter of my grandson in his crib. (His room is below mine.) I hear the soft, gentle voice of his mommy when he cries. I NEVER hear a harsh word or raised voices. I hear nothing but gentleness and love. I think this little boy is a lucky guy because of his wonderful parents. There is no darkness in our basement. It is a roomful of sunshine.