Doug felt extremely short of breath and weak after simply making his bed. He checked his blood pressure and heart rate. His vitals were crazy. We were in the emergency room at St Luke’s in less than an hour.
This blog is about what I learned as yet another day skidded off the rails. It was Saturday and we’d planned a day of normal errands. A real treat for us. The afternoon was reserved for the Chief’s game at my brother’s house.
Heart issues buy you a ticket in the fast lane at the ER. They took us back to an unusually large, remarkably pleasant room with a private bathroom and recliner as well as several comfortable chairs. Soon Doug was hooked up for an EKG – no shaving necessary since two days before he spent the day in the hospital for a cardioversion which was supposed to shock his heart into normal rhythm. The monitor showed him flipping in and out of normal sinus rhythm with high heart rates – up to 140. They inserted an IV, probably his 500th in the past three years even though they never had to use it.
The recent problems with his heart came a few weeks after our Christmas miracle. On December 24, Doug visited his cardiologist. Everything looked great, meds were discontinued with a prediction of low chances that problems would recur. We couldn’t stop grinning. We moved past it to focus on a cure for his excruciating foot pain, and surgery to remove squamous cell cancer spots from his cheek. Hope dared us to dream of a new med allowing him to taper off prednisone.
Sitting in that room waiting to find out what came next, and dreading another hospital stay, I passed into a mental void that allowed me to be so numb that I surrendered some last shreds of something I can’t find a word for. I’ve been fighting the notion we need to thank God for all things. I couldn’t authentically thank Him for things like the myriad problems that endlessly bombard us with Doug’s health issues. Suddenly it seemed silly not to obey.
My second epiphany came as we waited for Doug to be moved to a regular hospital room for observation. He was discouraged and ready to go home since his heart seemed to settle down on its own. I realized I had a purpose. What greater worth can any life serve than to support a loved one, a child of God struggling through what life has dumped on him.
I’m not comfortable with these two new insights yet, and they don’t make me smile, but I’ve experienced a shift that may keep me calmer and saner. For that I’m grateful. I won’t be disappointed if Doug is healed and we can resume a healthy active life of easily recognizable blessings, but that mystery is out of my hands. In the meantime, I’ll look for the blessings in our current path and know that some of them will be well disguised.