One year ago yesterday, September 20, 2010, my husband Mark went to the ER having his second heart attack. The next day, a year ago today, he had double bypass surgery. While in surgery it was discovered that he had pericarditis, a staph infection surrounding his heart, and he was septic. This can easily kill a person.
That night, after Mark had made it through surgery and seemed stable, his heart stopped 3 times.
After a year I still gasp a little when I talk about this. I still want to cry.
I didn't start writing about this experience until November 2010, when I and my closest friends realized I needed to do something, to get it out somehow. The first step was to admit I was having a hard time.
I realized I probably had post-traumatic stress and that helped me understand what I was feeling a lot more. I went through fully feeling my love for Mark to being deeply touched by movies I watched. I easily felt like the sky was falling any time any little thing was off in my world, and there was a lot of crying.
By the end of November I felt like things were shifting back to the positive and maybe my head was too. Yet I still also felt heavy, like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I had this one really good moment when I didn't think about the night from hell, instead thinking about the day they pulled Mark's breathing tube out and he was finally awake. I was so on an emotional roller coaster, but I spent the rest of the Holiday season focusing on the good things.
I had hoped by the new year I would somehow just snap out of my funk. Unfortunately you can't simply order these things up. 2010 had been split pretty much in half, the beginning an exciting time when we bought our house, and the end dealing with the aftermath of the night from hell. I wished so much I could wrap it up and tie it with a pretty bow and be done.
Life doesn't work that way, does it? I was apparently on a slow path to learning some pretty effing huge life lessons and it was kind of pissing me off! But I kept plugging along, writing about whatever revelations came to me. I had this one really awesome day that I just had to share....
Then 6 months post-surgery came and I realized I was still traumatized. But I also realized I didn't care anymore about whether or not that was OK or normal. I was where I was with it all and I would get wherever I needed to be whenever I got there.
That bit of wisdom allowed me to start blogging about more of the other things in my life. I actually just realized this going through my posts. Wow, it is so interesting to look back at things after some time has passed!
So where am I at today and what does coming to the 1 year anniversary of the worst night of my life mean for me?
It means a lot has changed. I've changed. Mark has changed. We've both learned so much and gained so much wisdom. Do I wish it didn't take traumatic events to teach us thick-headed humans important things? Yes. Do I wish we had never had to experience that? Absolutely. Do I wish Mark's doctors hadn't felt the need to repeat over and over again that he should have died? Ya think? Pretty sure that didn't help me a bit.
But as I sit here now, I think coming so close to losing my husband is now
But maybe that's OK because then I can't take anything for granted. It's not allowed. I have come away from nearly realizing my biggest fear with a fuller heart and with so much gratitude, I can't even fully express it.
I will always be traumatized, damaged, scarred. But that's OK too. It's all part of who I am and I think, who I'm meant to be. I'm not saying it doesn't suck, because it totally does. But it's not all bad. In fact, there's plenty of good.
I've shared this quote before:
"We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, `Why did this happen to me?' unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way."
~ Author Unknown