It’s been a year and a half since The Man’s heart attack. I’ve almost forgotten the fear and worry and feeling of loss I had while he was in the hospital and I was here alone trying to make life seem normal for our little girl. Almost. I will never forget that hideous shade of grey on his face. I will never forget him being so quiet and unmoving. After they “stabilized” him he wasn’t himself. He wasn’t making jokes or being funny or even telling me not to worry. I hugged him and said “I’m scared.” He said, “Me too.”
I can’t forget having my source of stability and my rock to lean on disappear. I didn’t cry until I was alone in the bathtub at home. He was in the ICU, Abby was asleep after curling up against me on Daddy’s side of the bed and crying because he wasn’t home. I didn’t cry until I didn’t have anyone in front of me to comfort. I didn’t cry until I had nothing waiting for me to handle it. It was quiet. I was alone. I couldn’t handle it.
For two days I wasn’t sure he would be coming home. I wondered what I would do without him. What Abby and I would do to take care of ourselves and where we would live and how we would manage. I wondered how to take care of a funeral…should we even have one? Burial orcremation? Who would I ask for help? I don’t have family or friends here.
I was in a daze. When they did a procedure on him I was in the waiting room with some knitting. I only got a few stitches done and my hands were shaking so badly that they were horrible and had to be unraveled. I don’t know when my hands started shaking. At the hospital I was too busy concentrating on not crying. At home I was too busy trying to keep my voice level and making things fun (or at least “normal”).
In the months following the heart attack we endured lackluster care from the cardiologist who handled our case at the hospital. We had to find a new one. The new one was appalled and redid the procedure two months after the heart attack.
Since then, well, life happens. There’s no time to dwell on the horribleness that life throws your way. But the Fear never goes away. It’s always there. When he’s late coming home from work Fear rears it’s head and I find myself wondering if he had a heart attack at work or on the way home. Is he dead? In a ditch? What if he got a flat tire? He can’t change that himself.
But even at that I thought it was mostly “okay.” a few months ago he accidentally left his cell phone here when he went to work. I totally lost it. I couldn’t call him to see if he was ok, and more importantly he couldn’t call for help if he needed to. I totally freaked out. I called the switchboard who put me through to his bosses office and I left a voice mail. Nothing happened. I used his cell phone to look for the number of the guy he worked with and texted him to please have The Man call home. When he did call he was fine, of course. But it didn’t stop me from crying. He said “You took my heart attack harder than I did, didn’t you? I’m all right, honey. Don’t worry.”
Don’t worry. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
And here we are a year and a half post-heart attack and the worst is behind us. We just have to obtain meds as often as we can because he’s supposed to be taking 8 a day. After the heart attack he needed to get a new job because he couldn’t keep doing the one he had. He lost his insurance. We do what we can.
Recently he’s said he doesn’t feel well. I tell him it’s stress. We try to talk it out. We try to do what we can for pain because we both have Fibromyalgia too. I get chest pains from the Fibro so I told him that was probably what he was feeling and sent him to a hot bath and gave him a massage.
Then this made an appearance on his nightstand: