Monday, April 4

WHY I'VE BEEN SILENT

Ten days ago my husband, The Sage, had a major heart attack.

We were in my hometown in northwest Florida for a family wedding. One minute he was laughing as he dressed, then he asked our youngest daughter to find him some aspirin. Five minutes later he told me he had severe chest pain and a numb arm, and thought I better take him to the hospital. My mother's home is two miles from one of the finest cardiac units in the country, and within five minutes we were in the emergency room, where doctors confirmed that he was in the throes of a heart attack.

While I was admitting him, I was asked if he had a living will. "I'M his living will," I answered. Which reminded me of the Schiavo case (the main topic of conversation in the cardiac ICU -- 80% pro-Schindlers, I'd say). Ironically, on the trip to Florida the family discussed the case and The Sage made a point of telling our children what he wanted -- "I don't want you kids to argue with your mother after I'm not able to make the decisions any longer," he said.

The Sage is six feet tall, weighs around 165 pounds, is very physically active (an ex-FSU swimmer who takes pride in his body) and got a clean bill of health at his annual physical nine months ago. His cholesterol levels are normal. Yet he had 100% blockage in the right cardiac artery and enormous blockage in three other arteries in the left chamber of the heart. We were told that if he had not made it to the hospital within 30 minutes he would have died. Genetics determines how cholesterol is stored in the body and in his case, it all seems to have settled in his arteries. Clearly, a routine physical exam is not sufficient to spot such a problem. Please take note of your family history and seek a deeper understanding of your risk factors.

We are back home now in Dallas after eight days in Florida and eight stents inserted into his arteries. and he is doing well. He has been transferred to the care of one of the most well-regarded cardiologists in the city and has a detailed, robust after-cardio care plan. I have cleared out the refrigerator and pantry of all the foods he cannot have and restocked with those items he can eat. We'll be sitting on him for the next month as he recuperates at home.

I'm totally out of touch with the news as I have been overwhelmed with the need to learn about cardiac artery disease and its treatments, non-fat non-cholesterol diets and menus, and a renewed prayer life. I have so much to be grateful for: that we were so close to the hospital, that he didn't delay in recognizing his symptoms and reporting them, that because of the wedding all our five children (plus two grandchildren, a son- and daughter-in-law and boyfriend) were with us during the entire ordeal, that my large extended family was present for support, that the love of my life is ALIVE and still with me to argue about what I fix him for dinner or how much I'm fussing over him.

2 Comments:

Blogger PSoTD said...

Motherlode,

Best of luck and best of attitudes as your husband recovers.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

Thanks. You're starting to seem like one of my dearest friends.

God bless.

11:42 PM  

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