One robotic day following another it seems. Taking life for granted and waiting for the next day on repeat. Then all of a sudden your world takes a sudden shift in a direction you didn’t see coming. Wait just a dang minute…that wasn’t in the plan. Not mine anyway!!
I’m not that old! I’ve always felt younger than my actual years. I’m a healthy, most of the time eat right and exercise type person. Ok, maybe I am that old and just can’t seem to wrap my head around the whole aging thing. Well, there’s nothing like a sudden heart attack to slap me with the stark reality of my world shifting.
So, I started my April Fools day as I’ve always done. Feeling sly and racking my brain on how to play a April Fools joke on my daughter, or for that matter anyone who was gullible enough to fall for it. However, my daughter knows me well enough not to believe a word I say on this particular day. She just texted me the word “NO” first thing in the morning. She says she has April Fools PTSD…. Fine, I’ll move on to my grandchildren….
My silly antics worked on my sister and brother. I got them good and laughed and laughed after fooling them. Success! My nonsensical goal was complete.
Next on this day’s agenda was to go have a nice lunch with family. While getting ready I started feeling a little strange. Nothing I could explain to myself made sense. I felt great this morning. What’s going on? Ok, just finish getting ready and go eat lunch. It’ll make this pass and you’ll feel better.
Before getting in the car to drive around the corner to pick up my siblings, I sat at my table for a few minutes asking myself, should I drive? Of course I said, go eat and enjoy. Well, it took me about 2 minutes to get there and I knew there was something definitely wrong with me. No April Fools this time!
As they got in my car I told them I was feeling very strange. I don’t know why, but for some reason….they didn’t believe me at first. Ok, maybe I know why…. By the time I got to the end of the driveway I asked my sister to drive. She knew then by looking at me that something was not right. My left arm was going numb and my chest felt very heavy.
She turned the flashers on and drove like a bat outta Hades taking me to the ER. All of a sudden I was surrounded by the “code ready team”. The tiny, dim ER room seemed too small to hold me and all of them. I remember saying we were going to need a bigger room. They took a quick x-ray and I was told “you’re having a heart attack”.
Poking, prodding, removing clothes, machines beeping and so many hands on me. My world was dazed and they must have given me something because I felt I was in an alternate world. Before I knew what was happening to me, they had put a needle in my wrist and told me they were putting a stent in the main artery of my heart. Why, I asked? Because it’s 100% blocked and you’re lucky to have made it here and be glad you got here when you did. I was! And, how in the world do they put something in my heart through my wrist. It still amazes me!
The next thing I knew, they were wheeling me to the ICU unit where I spent the next two days. Somehow those two days seemed a month long. I felt fine, no pain, just a little tired. So, why can’t I go home I asked the nurse. After all it was just a mild heart attack. I’m fine now. She looked at me like I was on drugs and said “no you didn’t, you had what they call the “widow maker”. It was a major heart attack she says.
That didn’t make any sense to me. The only marks on my body were from needles in my arm and hands and patches all over my chest with wires leading to a beeping monitor. Sleep wasn’t to be had in this 2 day eternity. I swear they had a camera on me and every time they saw me dose off they would rush in to do some test…just to ensure sleep was not an option as long as I was in this alternate world.
The funny thing is that when my sister called to alert my daughter, she didn’t believe her. After all, she does have April Fools PTSD. She headed to the hospital, but not without calling the main number first to make sure I REALLY was a patient. I may have ruined her for April Fools day…..forever.
Later that night after the lights went out I had a major melt down and full blown pity party and cried like a baby. The stark reality of the situation smacked me with the truth that I had actually had a heart attack. Not someone I knew…..me!!!
Fear started seeping into my thoughts. Do I have to worry about another one? Or, change everything about myself? Am I too old to be doing the things I’m doing? Should I sit on my couch and just eat lettuce and kale for the remaining years I have left this side of heaven?
Just stop it! Millions of people have heart attacks….why shouldn’t I be one of them. I’m not special.
The way I see it, I have 2 options here. Option 1: Refuse to leave this fear induced pity party and let my mind be consumed by fear and worry. Which in turn will stop any forward motion in my life. Or, Option 2: Get up, keep moving, ask for wisdom and live my days in faith and trust, just like before. I choose the latter.
Now when I feel a little twinge or pain that’s not normal, I don’t panic and immediately think “Oh Lord, here’s the big one”. Instead, if my mind turns to negative and fearful thoughts, I have God’s word in my heart that I bring to mind to give me His peace. I truly don’t know how people without His peace make it through times as these.
He brought me through this and He will lead me on until it’s His time for me. Then He’ll bring me home. Until then I plan on living because I know He has a reason for me being here.
And, to all the nurses out there. Thank you! You too doctors, but I only saw you for micro-seconds. The nurses are the angels of a hospital.
The moral to this story is to live everyday as if it were your last one. We don’t know when that will be, so let’s quit wasting time in worry and fear and get on with it.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. And, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone…..at anytime. Love, live and get on with your life! Trust me….life is too short to sit around and watch it pass you by or sit and worry about when and if it will happen again. Fight fear!
I’m so very thankful that I’m here today and I have a loving family and a faithful God who gives me healing, peace, grace, forgiveness and unconditional love. I hope you know Him too!!
Live wisely and take care of your body and soul.