My uncle had to have double bypass surgery late last week.Mom called last Wednesday evening while I was homeward bound from a walk. My uncle had gone to the doctor for chest pains. I can’t remember the timing, but soon after he learned he had a 90% blockage in his coronary arteries. They wanted to do a stint, but the location of the blockage made it so that wasn’t possible. Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. he found out he was going in for double bypass surgery at 9:30.
He’s not overweight. Never has been. He is (was, hopefully) a smoker, so there’s that. Nothing really to do but hope for the best. I checked my text messages during work a lot that day, trying not to think about it too much while also sending out positive energy.
The surgery went well. Since he got out of surgery, it seems that he’s healing faster than most people who go through the procedure. The doctors and nurses kept saying it. The skeptic in me kept hoping they weren’t just blowing smoke. I don’t think they are/were.
Mom came up from Ft. Lauderdale to be with her big brother, so I got to visit with her this weekend too. I’m glad she was there.
Now that Mattmoo’s heart is all patched up hopefully he’ll get many more years of use from it. But him going through all of this has brought up the fear of losing another loved one. Dad died when he was 53. Of course, he was overweight, smoked 40 years of those 53, rarely exercised, and ate a crappy diet. When he was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Tragic, but not really a surprise. Dad’s situation was different, but Matt’s surgery still churns up those old fears.
Aside from those fears, there’s been a feeling of love and solidarity. As the texts went back and forth between Matt and 13 of his friends and family, everyone offered their prayer and well wishes. They introduced themselves via the text thread. People stepped up to help Matt out as he recovers. Some of them I met either at Matt’s apartment or at the hospital. It has been inspiring.
I’m alone a lot. Well, as alone as you can be when you see 150 students every two days, and the faculty in your department. But as a single gal, once I’m home, I’m home. I get together with friends occasionally, but not regularly. My mom and I generally only talk on the phone once every few months. Matt and I talk and meet up a couple of times a year.
None of this is good or bad. It’s just how it is.
But sometimes my solitude lets my mind travel down darker paths. Maybe if I were in the hospital, no one would even know I was there to come visit me…
Matt going through this was a nice reminder of how people come together when the going gets tough. And I know at least a handful of people who would certainly come see me if it came down to it. (Let’s not find out though, Ok? No hospital visits for this gal!)
Mom’s coming up again this weekend to offer her support to Matt. I’ll be taking Matt a casserole so that he doesn’t have to cook and clean up much.
Not the best of circumstances, but I’m feeling connected right now. It shouldn’t take someone undergoing open heart surgery to get there, I guess, but sometimes you need those big reminders of the importance of the little things in life.