For the last week, all my family has thought about is hearts.
My husband lost 20 lbs this year by controlling his diet, and we took to taking daily walks during quarantine to continue the trend, boost our lung health, and stave off any ‘rona respiratory issues. By minute 10, he often felt a chest tightness, would stop for a few seconds, and then continue on the walk. By minute 20, he would need to return home, and off I would jog for another 30.
Hearts are important. I urged him to see his primary (which was no easy task in full corona mode in early April), who referred him to a cardiologist, who suggested a catheter procedure to check for any blockages. This could have been done the next day in our “old normal.” But not now. First, he had to go through a drive-through COVID testing spot, have an 8″ swab shoved through his nostril into his brain, then go into a mandatory 7 day quarantine, meaning yet another missed week of work.
Eight days later, off we went (masked up with handy bottle of Purell at our side) into the hospital. Doc said they’d check the blood flow, throw in some stents if necessary, and send him home that afternoon. But that wasn’t how it went down. They found three blockages, and within 24 hours, my husband would be recovering from a triple bypass surgery–and still several years away from age 50. It all happened so quickly–so many tests and terms and rotating nurses and blood and stitches and pills, fevers and chills, difficulty breathing, nausea, and pain the likes of which I’d never witnessed in him. I was so grateful for the skill of all those folks in keeping him alive.
But now he’s home, and we have a “new new normal” of life on the recliner, surrounded by the myriad items one needs at the ready, in order to prevent both pneumonia and blood clots as a “cabbage” patient (coronary artery bypass graft or CABG, pronounced “cabbage“). And I am the exhausted servant of mon petit chou.
2020 has been unpredictable and anxiety-producing and we’re not even halfway done yet. But God has hand His hand on us, and we will march right through this, just as we all have during these decades of life we spend here. Another day, another blessing.
My husband had unexpected triple bypass surgery on Friday, and today he had healed up enough to ambulate throughout the cardiac unit. He has progressed well after his coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), and this acronym is why the nurses call them their “cabbage patients.” Here’s hoping you never have to be one.
It’s a darn good thing I know how to cook, since I’ve had to cook 98% of our meals over these past nine weeks. My first thoughts in the morning are, “Take Bayer aspirin, give dog his pill, make coffee, thaw meat.” Meal prep is, as Willie Nelson sang, always on my mind. Manana in Texas means bars, yes, BARS, will open. Restaurants have already been plugging away at 25%, at least those that have not yet folded. A handful of iconic Austin restaurants operating for over 30 years each, have died a COVID death. Tomorrow, restaurants can allow 50% occupancy. And no, they will not shove blow-up sex dolls in booths to establish social distancing like a certain establishment in South Carolina did…
Austin is known for keeping it weird, but that’s hella weird. Crazy weird. And yet, when I think of the flaky dim bulb brains of many hostesses I’ve known, it’s probably helpful, so they wouldn’t seat those tables. Nice touch with the bowls and forks.
I love vintage National Geographics. They didn’t mince words in describing these “shanty-boat folk” in May of 1932, which, though in the Depression, was STILL probably a better May than ours, as they weren’t consumed by thoughts of invisible germs killing them. Shanty-boat folk don’t care about no germs. SBF don’t care about paying property taxes, since their “crude craft of clapboards and tin” drifted along the Ohio River and down the Mississippi as they saw fit, stealing food from cornfields and berry patches, or snatching an unfortunate stray chicken. These water gypsies had been “the bane of steamboat skippers,” who tried to maneuver around them in days of yore, and continued to incite derision as the decades passed.
For more information on shanty boat people and cool images like this even-more-mobile mobile home, check out: https://peoplesriverhistory.us/project/history/.
Oft is the time I’ve enjoyed a Whitman’s Sampler; Walgreen’s always has them in supply. But what of this metal box of Loveliness? Isn’t that a fruit of the spirit? No, I forget myself. Loveliness is full of surprise centers. Forrest Gump’s mother was well-acquainted with these. I received neither last Sunday. But at least I’m not stuck on a frontier with my frock stuck in a cactus.
While Knuckles McGee appears to be subjecting her partner to pain, they’re actually just bopping to some 50s jive. What really gets my attention is the ducktail hairdo, in all its greasy glory. You don’t see that one much these days. Looks like a lot of work!