Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My nightmare, two years ago

I very nearly lost my dear Superman, two years ago today.

This was part of a note I sent after that happened.

At 7 am, he woke me. He was ash gray and hurt all over, couldn't really speak to me. We called 911, they were here in about 2 minutes. They took us both by ambulance to a hospital a little further away because they had a CATHlab. Amazing but true: people don't get out of the way of ambulances. We got to the hospital, they were asking me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer like his SSN, his family's health history. Finally, I told them we haven't been married a year yet, I just didn't know. They got him through ER quickly and into that lab for a stent. At 9, just two hours later, I got to see him when they finished with him, he was no longer in pain, had good color and wanted to go home, in contrast to earlier he was VERY talkative and joking with everybody, almost wouldn't shut up!

His stay in the hospital was painful for all of us. Our little rat-terrier, Maggie, has had it tough, at one point I put the phone on speaker and let dad talk to her. That was almost cruel, she perked up but then she ran back and forth from the garage where the car is parked to the back patio door where his truck is parked for almost 20 minutes. I kept the office closed Monday, but I got up pretty early Tuesday to see him before coming back to open the office. Felt like I was running frantically to get back up there in the evening, early again Wednesday. On my way home that morning, he called to say they were sending him home.

He has been full of energy since he's been home. Not too many restrictions since his procedure did not include anything invasive. Our chiropractor came by today, his visit with him was about the longest he was in one place all day today.

Now, the uphill struggle: We need to apply for financial assistance to pay for all of this (we don't have medical insurance), not really sure who will help with what. Also need to find out if his stent will prevent him from flying, he goes to visit his daughter Monday for his grandson's birthday.

A lot of this seems overwhelming to me. The shock of almost having lost him when we'd only been together for so short a time hasn't completely worn off. Occasionally, it comes back to me and starts the tears again. This whole thing wasn't nearly so serious as some heart attack stories we've heard. Or some other stories for that matter. How in the world did they keep it together as well as they did when their loved ones first got sick? I was there with my mom when my step-dad had his by-pass surgery and with my good friend years ago when her husband had his. I was the one keeping everything together and organized in those situations but this time nearly broke me and that surprised me too.

So, I try to focus on the good news parts and the pieces of joy. I try to keep him from being frustrated with anything and keep him calm. I thought I was getting lots of hugs and kisses all day long before but now I can say it's almost constant, we are both so happy he's home. Yesterday, I was as happy as I can ever remember being, it was all I could do not to run outside in the sunshine and dance in the parking lot!

Remembering that day and thinking about all that's happened since, or what wouldn't have happened like getting to meet his grandkids and his daughter, meeting his friends, or adopting the second dog, or even remaining at this facility ~ none of those things may have happened if I had lost him. Losing him so soon after we were married, just two months short of our first anniversary, would have been a tragedy. I remember that they let me talk to him for a moment before he left the ER and headed to surgery and all I could think to tell him was not to leave me already. . . .

We still don't have medical insurance and we are still paying on those bills. Life has not been easy since then but it would have been unbearable if he hadn't been here to march through with me. I try not to think about that, but every day I do. Especially when we get stressed, or things are discouraging, I worry for his heart.

If you had a Superman in your life, I'm sure you would too.

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