"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Monday, August 25, 2008

Transformation


Five years ago today...I survived a heart-attack. I got a new life, a second chance, a beginning. I was given the opportunity to change, evolve, resolve and grown into a new and improved version of me. When I read those five words...I survived a heart-attack...my mind, heart, and soul are filled with such chaos. Filled with emotions and confusion that fill me with conflict. It is so hard to put to paper and I thought long and hard on whether or not to do so. It's not that I'm not grateful, or thankful, or completely in awe of the circumstances, but, there is a part of me that feels a little unsure about waving the flag and saying "I survived." I know many do not, I know someone who comes here, who recently lost someone very close to them from a heart-attack. I truly do not want to cause anyone sorrow in the telling of my journey. Later on, in the week, I will go into more detail of the weeks leading up to the event (that's really what they call it when it happens, that has always bothered me) as I think it is important, especially for women who often don't have symptoms. For now I just want to be grateful and remind myself of what I've learned. It is immense and my gratitude is never-ending.

Things happen quickly once you arrive at the hospital. There are machines and i.v.'s and monitors galore. There are pumps and needles, oxygen, and the dreaded "crash cart." They actually put it on your bed...right there, like you were bed mates...all ready to go. There is nitro and morphine and heparin running into your veins. There are a lot of people in the room, very noisy, very frightening. And it is all very surreal and at the same time it feels serene...as though you are watching and realizing for the first time that you indeed are mortal, and so...so...so very small in this so very large universe. The whole "grain of sand" thing kept running through my mind. And later, after I was stabilized, the haunting question why? Not why me, why did this happen to me BUT why me, why did I survive?

I learned about the kindness of strangers that day. People who will stop everything they are doing, jump in, and help in whatever way, shape, or form that is necessary. Some are everyday people, some doctors and nurses, some would be called angels. I have learned that the person you least expect to be there for you in this situation is the one person who stands up, takes charge, and makes sure things get down. They are at the hospital everyday and once you get home they call and check on you, cook meals for your family, and take the everyday worries of life away. Also angels. There are people who have known you all your life, who have shared in every celebration with you and your family, who love you despite your flaws, that turn around and walk away intent on holding on to bitterness and anger. They don't call, in fact, have never called or spoken a word of it in five years. These were people who I saw only days before at a birthday party. Selfish. Then there is my family. My husband there every minute, holding my hand, talking to me softly, giving me strength and courage. The man who had to call both of our children who were out of town and tell them about their mom. The beautiful children who came running to be by me side...certainly angels on earth. I learned much about Grace that day and in all of it's forms. And I am grateful.

8 comments:

  1. I remember my dad's heart attack. He had to be transferred to a larger hospital where they specialized in cardiac and I followed his ambulance up there. They told me if the ambulance pulled off the road, that meant he arrested and I was to stay in my car. They did that twice and I was so scared. I will be interested to hear your story about your heart attack.

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  2. I am grateful you are a survivor and one who is willing to celebrate and share the sucess with others out here in the world what you have gone through that takes courage ... thank you and congratulations!
    HUGS laura

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  3. I am so glad that you survived. I too, am looking forward to reading your story.
    Have a great Monday!

    God Bless~
    Debbie

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  4. I'm happy you are here 5 yrs later to remind us that each day is precious!
    My mom never had a heart attack, but I'm scared every day she will -they realized she had heart disease 3 mos after my father passed away and she had a triple bypass. Since then she has had 3 angioplasties and has 8 stents in her heart!
    A day never goes by that I don't talk to her and tell her how much I love her.

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  5. sorry, forgot to include that all that has happened since her surgery in February of '05!

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  6. JoJo,

    Thank God you survived. If you hadn't of survived, I know that I would have missed out on meeting one very special lady from Brooklyn, my New York neighbor. I am grateful to have met you.

    The others, the ones who fell away, they can cause a lot of confusion and pain. So we dwell on the ones who stayed, because that is what we would have done. They are the ones who matter. They are the ones who deserve to own a piece of our heart.

    I would like to hear your story. It matters. You matter, and maybe hearing your story will save someone else's life.

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  7. These "events" really are life-changing, aren't they? I think you have a lot to teach me, and I can't wait to learn through you and your 'event'

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  8. I've posted my final blog entry. I wanted to thank-you for becoming one of my readers every now and again over the last few months, your comments have always been a highlight in my day. Cheers!

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