Full Steam Ahead!

Well I didn’t have to wait long to make a decision thank goodness, as we all know that patience is not my virtue.  After a fairly long phone call this morning, several things came to light.

First, he thought I said I had a boyfriend.  So he was confused on why I wanted to go away for the weekend with him.  Second, after we cleared that up, he said that it was a GREAT idea.  Third, the reason why he hasn’t set a date for date yet is because his buddies from California are coming into town tonight for a softball reunion and staying through the weekend.  Fourth, he figured Valentine’s Day would be good “first” date again. (An actual DATE on Valentine’s Day????  Be still my heart!)

But then the other shoe dropped.  Doesn’t it always?  But not necessarily in a bad way.  But kinda.  A couple of years ago he was playing in a softball tournament in Iowa.  It was his third time up to bat.  And he dropped dead on the field.  Took 20 minutes for EMT’s to arrive.  In the meantime some of the guys were doing CPR, but thought he was dead.  EMT’s shocked him when they arrive, and got a pulse, so loaded him up in the ambulance.  Once again they lost him.  Got him back at the hospital.  He was in a coma for 5 days.  When they called his mom and son initially, they told them not to hurry, as he would probably be dead by the time they drove there from Illinois.  They did an angiogram and angioplasty and put in a stent as his major artery was 100% blocked.  Somehow his heart had made a path around it.  He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks.  Docs said the only reason he lived probably was because he was an athlete.  The only cause for future concern is that the concrete blockage at the base of the blocked artery might someday come loose…..

Silence.  Complete silence.  From my end of the phone.  Then all the questions came tumbling out.  Are you ok?  Will you die soon?  Did you have any symptoms?  Do you remember anything?  Are you in daily danger?   Etc. etc. etc.  I was just so shocked.

He asked me if he scared me away, said he was fine, better than ever, back playing softball the following season.  I was relieved to hear all that.  I said “what a pair we will make, me with a bad back, and you with a bad ticker.  Guess sex is out of the question”.   Then it was his turn to laugh.

But seriously.  In my mind I picture him having a grabber right at the wrong time.  Oh my.  But I guess it could happen to anyone, at any time.  We are not spring chickens anymore.  Years ago, my friend’s husband blew a brain aneurism during sex.  He lived.  But oh my.  Kid gloves.  That’s what I’m thinking.

Hey, I am no prize.  I have a lot of missing or non-functional body parts.  He only has one.  Granted, an important one, but it sounds like he is taking good care of himself.  So after digesting things for a while, I texted him a new picture of myself and said “here I am as I look today, if you still want me you can have me”.  A few minutes later, a new text message arrived, with a new picture of him, and it said “I’m all yours”.

I’m speechless.

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What becomes of the broken-hearted?

When people say they could just die from a broken heart, listen to them. They are right.  Broken Heart Syndrome is now a bona fide condition.  How often have you heard of a grieving spouse dying shortly after their loved one?  Research has shown that they are more likely to suffer a heart condition.

When people are grieving over the loss of a loved one due to a variety of circumstances such as death, divorce, break-up, etc., they are likely not to take very good care of themselves.  They can become depressed, not eat or take their meds and get less sleep.  All of which can be a recipe for disaster.

Intense grief brings on psychological stress, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and clotting, and there you have a perfect recipe for a heart attack or stroke.  This can lessen over time, but grief has its timetable for each individual.
I know for myself that grieving takes a long, long time.  I still grieve over my divorce from ten years ago, and at the time I literally prayed for death to come and take the pain away.  The pain WAS physical, not just emotional.  It took me more than a year to feel like any semblance of my former self.  I felt like I aged visibly ten years almost overnight.  My swollen eyes never bounced back and left me with more wrinkles etc.  It really took its toll on me.  Now I know that I was NOT crazy as some people told me.  It is a real condition.  Of course, I could have told you that years ago.
The death of my 3 beloved pets last year made me physically ill for days after each one.  I still cry buckets of tears over them, and give myself headaches and swollen eyes and I can FEEL my heart aching.
They say that time heals all wounds.  I will say the initial intense pain does gradually subside, but it never goes away entirely.  It leaves physical and emotional scars on your heart and your brain and your soul.   You can never go back to what you once were.  You can only go forward and be a better person for what you have experienced.