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Breathing Now

Do you ever think about the lives you didn't live? If I had gone to another town for my (failed,) college years, if I had stepped around another corner, I would not be here now. I might be somewhere else, I might not be at all.

Somtimes I think we love the people nearest us, not becuase they are more deserving than other humans, but becuase they are there, and loving other humans is what humans do. Love attatches randomly, and only then do we see the reasons for it. We justify it backwards, and it works just fine becuase any other human is worthy of our love. As we live with people we are able to see into them more deeply and reasons become clear. I could have loved some man who lives in Nepal that, as it turns out, I will never meet. I could have loved anyone. But here am I, with the ones I do love and they are lovable, and they are full of the everyday ordinary perfection. I can see it, because I can see them.

I did not explain that well, but maybe you all understand.

On Tuesday night Mike had a big test in Organic Chem. He had been working pretty frantically to be ready for it, but he has terrible test anxiety. He was 20 years in the Navy. He is someone who can act with speed and bravery in an engine room emergency where the wrong decision can kill. In the face of a fire or a steam leak he is deft and calm. But he hates tests. He said later that when he went to write his answers he was shaking uncontrollably.

He did his best and came home. A few hours later he was having chest pains. He said he thought they were probably nothing. Son and I, as you know were both trained as EMTs. (Son of course much more recently than I,) Now that we looked alertly Mike did not look quite right. And when we pressed him to answer he said that yes, actually, his arm felt a little weird too.

When he began puring with sweat we called an ambulance. We gave him some aspirin while we waited. The ambulnce pulled up quickly and a firetruck. They always send a firetruck. Not sure why really. Two paramedics and three fireman in tun-out gear clumped up my stairs. (They did not bring their axes, at least.) Off we went to the hospital.

They began testing him. He had blood work, and an EKG, and they moved him to the cardiac floor. Something was not right, but they were unwilling to commit as to what. His left ventricle did not please them. His blood-pressure was amazingly low. (Something like 55 over 90.) But he always runs low. They kept him overnight. They shot him up with thallium and ran him on a treadmill. The pain was gone by now, and it did not return. They kept him another night. I brought him a laptop and a change of clothes. He is a skinny thing, he does not look like a man headed for hear ttrouble. I always figured that caloric fatty foods were good for him. He could use a little weight. He walks miles everyday. I am quite the other way, too fat, and very good at holding still for hours. I am the one who looks  the part.

(In fact, we are both ten or fifteen pounds lighter than when we last checked. We do not own a scale, but the fourth floor walk-up has done me good.)

They scheduled him for an angiogram. They told him not to eat. They gave him clippers and told him to shave off all the hair near the femoral artery. He was not sure which side they wanted, he shaved it all off."You didn't have to take that much," they said. "if it is worth doing," Mike said, "it is worth doing right."

So they sedated him up and wheeled him away. They threaded the wire up to his heart and had a good look. Everything looked fine. They kept him overnight, and sent him home yesterday. He is supposed to avoid stairs, stay off his feet and rest for the weekend. For the next 10 years he is to not let his femoral artery be pucntured. (Probably sound practice anyway.)

The result of it all is this: His heart is ok at the moment. Nobody is sure what went wrong, or why, or if it will ever return. They said he should take tranquilizers when he has school tests. We will have to to see, going forward, how this works. He is tired and sore and iracible.

So that is part of where I have been for the last week. Also I have been doing some complicated hoop jumpng with daughter, her school, her doctors and all that. That is stressful in a different way.

Today is quiet. We are all home. I am grateful. I love these people. But I could have loved that guy in Nepal.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
There is such a thing as stress related heart failure, but it would have shown up in the cardiac tests that were done.
There is always a road not taken.
Dec. 13th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad he's okay, for now - that sounds scary.

On the question of lives left unlived, I wonder if you've come across either Penelope Lively's Making it Up or Kate Atkinson's Life after Life, both of which take that as their starting point in different and interesting ways.
Dec. 13th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hugs, hugs and more hugs.
Dec. 13th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. A lot of the time.
Dec. 13th, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC)
Glad you're all ok.
Dec. 13th, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
And best of luck to your husband, and to you and the rest of your family.
Dec. 13th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, you've been through the mill, emotionally!! I'm glad you 'played it safe' and got him to the hospital. Too many wait and that is not good. I'm even more glad that everything checked out okay. Hope your next few days and weeks are boring, so you can relax!! I'll keep your hubby and family in my prayers.
Dec. 13th, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear your hubby is doing ok now. What a scary time.
Dec. 14th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear M has been unwell. So glad he's okay, but what a terrible worry for you all. The asprin and the ambulance were a very, very sensible plan indeed. Here's hoping that whatever caused the problem has gone for good.

I know exactly what you mean about love attaching randomly. After all these years I still sometimes look at partner and think 'how did you end up here? how did I end up with you?' I'm very glad we did though, we seem to be a good fit.

I hope the guy in Nepal found someone he fitted with too.
Dec. 14th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
That sounds scary - glad he is OK now.

I like the idea of love attaching randomly; it resonates. So funny, the way humans work.
Dec. 14th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
What a scare. I'm glad to hear that Mike's okay though.

Hope that things start to be less stressy for you soon.
Dec. 14th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it turned out okay!
Dec. 15th, 2014 06:50 am (UTC)
How terribly distressing for everyone, and 'we don't know' is my least favorite thing to hear from medical professionals. But better now is the right result. Poor M!

May your holidays be much more relaxing for all of you!
Dec. 15th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
A bit late, but I'm so glad everything seems to be ok. Moments like that are always terrifying, even if (especially if) you've done all you could.
Dec. 16th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
Glad his heart seems to be okay, hope he feels better now.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )



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