Some people say LIFE is what happens when you make other plans. Some people say God has a weird sense of humor. Some people just shrug and say “sh** happens.” Whatever the case, it happened to us and that’s why I haven’t been here for the past couple of months.
On November 11, 2012, my health food nut-herbalist-wilderness expert-martial arts loving-fire breathing (no, I’m not kidding) husband had a heart attack. After I managed to get that to somehow fit into my head (“He eats fresh foods!” “He’s physically active!” “He’s in better shape than I am!”) I got stuck on “He’s only thirty-nine!”
Thirty nine. I mean…really? The past year or so he’d had higher blood pressure (not enough to be on medication). He has a family history of heart issues but he himself didn’t have a history of cardiac issues (that we knew of…more on that later). We figured eventually…someday….when he was older (sixty? Seventy?) he’d have trouble of some sort…but now? No. Now we are young (ish), we have a three year old we’ve only been together five years…we’re just starting out, really. Now?
He was transferred to a hospital in Georgia because our local hospital doesn’t have cardiologists. (This isn’t unheard of. Our local clinic doesn’t even have doctors.) Abigail and I stood in the parking lot of our hospital and waved to the ambulance as it was whisking Matt off into the unknown. Abby cried. I only wanted to.
When I caught up to him at the big hospital he was stable and didn’t look at all better. He was a strange shade of pale grey that just shouldn’t be seen on human flesh. There was no sign of his sarcastic personality or gleam in his eyes that let me know he was about to make a joke about something that was going on. He had no expression on his face at all. But he was stable. We’d take what we could get.
The next day he had an angiogram/angioplasty, angio-something. They blew his artery up with a balloon, promised to “unclog” any blockages found and possibly insert stents to get the blood flowing where and how it should.
What actually happened was that the cardiologist he had saw that some vessels had rerouted blood to that blocked off section of his heart. This told him that since his body had time to do that Matt had apparently had a heart attack already, years ago. The cardiologist stopped because “Hey, there’s blood getting over there somehow, so, we’re good.”
After talking to his sister we discovered that Matt had probably had his first heart attack shortly before meeting me. WHEN HE WAS THIRTY FOUR.
There is so much that just wasn’t fitting in my brain. Thirty four??????
He regained some strength and a bit of color and was released from the hospital after four days.
One month later he wasn’t any better off than he was the day he had his heart attack. He made some calls and switched cardiologists. The new doctor was appalled at the actions of the first doctor and scheduled Matt for stress tests and a new angio-whatever procedure. This guy actually opened up the blockage and inserted stents.
Yes, there was blood getting in, but it was a trickle carried in by blood vessels and not at all the amount that an artery had been providing. Matt felt much better almost immediately, although he had chest pain for another month or so, and still feels it when stressed/upset or exerting himself.
He’s got a new job (one less physical and less emotionally taxing) and is taking night classes to get the degree he didn’t finish (because he fell in love and moved to the Great White North to be with this crazy chick). He’s back to living his life instead of lying around the house worrying about whether or not he’s got a life, so it’s time I pick back up too.
Times were tight without him working and we don’t have internet at home right now, so I’ll be writing at home and posting whenever I can get to an internet connection. Thank you and SO MUCH appreciation goes out to those of you who’ve been following along via frantic texts or rare Facebook postings. Neither one of us could have gotten over this particular hurdle without knowing how many of you were out there caring. We love you!