Someone new commented on my blog recently and, being the polite person that I am, I decided to visit her blog. She's young. Young enough to be my daughter, technically speaking. She's also been battling a heart condition most of her short life. To read more about Kaylee's story, click here.)
Now, I know about heart conditions. Dear Hubby was blessed with poor genetics from both sides of his family tree. His father's side is prone to massive, fatal first heart attacks. His mother's side has micro-vascular disorder (i.e. very narrow arteries). So in Dear Hubby's case, a little bit of plaque blockage can cause a lot of damage.
Dear Hubby was 34 years old when he had his first episode (slight chest pain/arm numbness while jogging). Fortunately, I found a cardiologist who was willing to take this seriously, and he had his first angioplasty and first stent a week later. Son #1 was 7, Son #2 was 5, and Son #3 was 6 months old. I was alone, breastfeeding Son #3 and trying to entertain Sons #1 and 2 in the waiting room because, as fate would have it, Dear Hubby's sister had a massive coronary "event" earlier in the day was in critical conditional in a different hospital. She had four stents put in a week earlier. Not exactly a confidence builder.
A year later, Dear Hubby had 3 more stents put in. At this point, we were in "maintenance mode." As in: okay, the docs know what's causing this (microvascular disease, C-reactive protein, unusually high cholesterol levels despite a healthy diet).
Six months later, we were hoping (and working - wink wink) for Son #4. Fate has an interesting way of kicking you in the face. Six months after the 3 stents, and so called "promotion" at work (i.e. the offer one can't refuse - even if one wishes to), it was decided that Dear Hubby would have to have triple bypass surgery.
Good bye, Son #4. Seriously. I felt the energy just drain from my body and at that point, I decided that if I would be a single mother, I'd rather be a single mother of 3 than a single mother of 4. Not to mention that Dear Hubby was 36 and I was - ahem - older. The surgery sucked a lot of energy from me.
The surgeon was very interesting. Dear Hubby is a runner and his surgeon is one of the pioneers of a new technique that involves using grafts from the radial arteries in the arm to replace arteries in the heart (versus using veins in the legs). He was happily running 12 weeks later. Surgeon told me that all went well considering that he considered Coronary Artery Disease to be a "terminal illness". Silly me. I had been thinking of it as a manageable condition.
The truth is this. You never know what life is going to deal you. There are plenty of distractions. Money, alcohol, fun, sickness. The trick is to thank God for what time you have, find a way to honor Him. Live each day as if you may not have the chance at a "do over" tomorrow, but don't obsess over your mistakes. Each day is a gift. Learn from the past and let it go. Live and love today. Look forward to the tomorrow that may or may not come.
To Kaylee, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Don't lose focus that you serve a real purpose in this world. Fulfill it. No matter how large or small it may seem. Hugs to you.