On July 10th the entire world changed.
That morning began harmless enough. Both my husband and I hurredly got ready for work. I had an early meeting I was prepping for and he was hoping to get out the door before six to avoid traffic. We kissed, said the requisite goodbyes and were on our way.
That is, until he showed up again 20 minutes later complaining that the pain in his back had returned. “I’m going to see a doctor today,” he informed me.
My husband never sees a doctor (because MEN) so I was surprised at his announcement. Still, off I went to work
I checked in with him later and he informed me that his doctor diagnosed his pains as a muscle pull and gave him a prescription. He told me that he’d decided to work from home for the rest of the afternoon because it made more sense than driving an hour and fifteen minutes to his office for a few short hours.
Good call, I assured him. (I personally thought he could use a little time working from home. The commute was awful.)
At 3:30 that afternoon I received a call that would mark the beginning of what I can only describe as an 11 day nightmare for our family.
“Mom! Dad needs to talk to you. He doesn’t feel good.” My son handed the phone to my husband who gasped out that he wasn’t feeling well, was having chest pressure and needed me to meet him at the hospital. Yes, the man who almost never went to the doctor was now insisting on going to the hospital.
I knew it wasn’t good.
I made it to the emergency room in record time.
That evening, after hours of tests, we learned that Michael had experienced a small heart attack and would have to be kept overnight for observation.
We were flabbergasted, to say the least, but happy that he had such a mild event and was doing well. Except for the hospital gown and IV fluids, he was no different then he had been any other day of our lives together.
And then the other foot dropped.
There are no words to describe the utter heartbreak we experienced when the doctors discovered the dramatic cause of his episode. Blockages in four places of his heart. (100% blockage, 99% blockage, 95% blockage (anyerism) and the final 50% blockage.)
He needed triple bypass surgery.
My young, healthy, clean-eating, active, soccer coach of a husband needed TRIPLE BYPASS SURGERY.
He was devastated.
WE were devastated.
Our kids were beside themselves.
He was transported to another hospital for the procedure. We were stunned, saddened, grateful, anxiety-ridden and all of those emotions one feels when being faced with open heart surgery.
The doctors told us how lucky we were to have caught his condition before it was too late. (Too-late being doctor code for fatal.)
Surgery went “perfectly” but recovery was bumpy and filled with rapid response teams and other horrors one hopes to never experience or think about ever again.
Eleven days in the hospital heart surgery ward is enough time to give you a damn good perspective on life. It teaches to treasure the little victories, to value every second, to deeply contemplate the people you chose to spend your time with and the things you chose to associate yourself with. It teaches you to love more fiercely and to have more compassion for your fellow man.
I’ve been jokingly referring to this episode as our “lifemageddon.”
And it was.
Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, in our lives has changed or will change.Immediately and permananently.
Our lifestyle, our diet, our commitments, our stress levels, our attitude, our daily routine – OUR EVERYTHING.
And we’re okay with that. My husband is alive and well and on the road to recovery.
Our little family might be a bit battered and bruised but we’re back on track.
And we’re TOGETHER.