I have loved not feeling completely freaked out.
But I knew something was coming. I don't know how I knew, but I did.
I was starting to feel overly anxious out of the blue. Unsettling thoughts kept rearing their ugly little heads in my mind.
Always, though, we think of ways to try not to worry needlessly. When Mark didn't feel well on Sunday it was easy to explain it away as, "Oh, he just needs his dialysis on Monday."
I did ask him, "Honey, do you think how you feel could have something to do with your heart?"
"No!", he replied. "This isn't that."
When dialysis didn't make him feel that much better, but he went to work anyway, it wasn't hard to assume he'd be alright. Eventually.
Monday night after work he complained of how tired he was. And proceeded to help me with dinner. So I thought he was just tired.
Right after we ate, however, he started complaining of being very achy and he could not get comfortable in any position. He was sick to his stomach and short of breath.
I was feeling increasingly uneasy. Mark had dialyzed just that morning and I've never seen his blood sugar level (which happened to be high) have any bearing on his ability to breath.
We decided to call 911. Their blood pressure and EKG results seemed good, but just based on how high Mark's sugar was, they took him to the hospital.
I knew, though, his blood sugar being high was just an added complication. I was certain it wasn't really the problem. It was high only because his insulin pump hose had gotten clogged while he was at work.
The ER confirmed my fears, that Mark may have been having a heart attack. As it turns out, an Angiogram on Tuesday confirmed a blockage. It was opened up and a stent was placed.
Problem. Solution. Right?
It took a good hour after learning it wasn't anything worse, for some relief to settle in on me. I wasn't feeling celebratory by any means. I'm still not.
I was just so scared. So scared.
This is Mark's third heart attack. He has had double bypass and Ventricular Tachycardia. His heart has stopped and been shocked back into beating.
I have gotten phone calls from the hospital. The worst phone calls.
All of this has damaged me. There are scars, both literal and figurative. There is trepidation.
My dad gave me a list of reasons I should be happy about how this played out:
- Before the Holidays
- Before winter has set in
- We did the right thing, getting Mark in when he needed it
- He will feel better now
- All things considered, this is minor
I'm pretty sure I will sleep better tonight.
It's just that, now my fears, the heaviness that comes with loving someone who is chronically ill and whom you will undoubtedly outlive, are all stirred up again.
This may be just a blip, a hiccup, but there's simply always more to it than that. For me, anyway.