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.