The Heart of the Matter


No beauty shines better than that of a good heart. ~Kapten and son

This has been the longest week of my life.  

Last Monday, my husband, Chuck went for a stress test as a follow up to his overnight stay at the hospital a couple of weeks ago.  The doctor called around 5:00 saying they saw a shadow on one of his tests and would like him to come in for a heart catheterization.  

I left for work on Tuesday morning expecting him to schedule the test in the upcoming week, and I would take the day off and go with him.  Well my little chihuahua likes to do things quickly!  I get a phone call at work at 8:15 telling me he going to the hospital by 9:00 to get the test. He said,”Don’t worry, I just need a ride home.” Yeah right!

Of course there was not a sub to be found, but I work with the most awesome group of teachers.  My colleagues gave up their prep times to cover my classes, so that I could leave and go to the hospital.

Honestly, I think that the worst we were expecting was that maybe he would need a stent or two put in.  Can I tell you that I almost fell off my seat when the cardiologist told us that Chuck needed quadruple bypass surgery!?! They wanted us to go home and make an appointment to see the surgeon, but that was not sitting well with my “let’s get it done” husband.  Chuck requested to see the surgeon before leaving the hospital.  One thing led to another and before you know it surgery was scheduled for Friday morning.  

The wait from Wednesday to Friday was interminable.  The surgeon gave Chuck a good prognosis, but there is no stopping your mind from wandering to dark places.  

We joke and laugh a lot, so that seemed to be the best way to handle this situation if we could.  I told him that Friday was the first day of Autumn – my favorite day of the year,  and he had better not ruin it for me!  I also told him if he saw any white lights during surgery not to go towards them. Some people thought that was terrible; he laughed.  He knew I was just doing my best to keep the situation light and not have a total and complete meltdown! We also had our serious quiet moments “just in case.”

Seeing Chuck being rolled away to the operating room was frightening.  I could see the fear in his eyes, and that is not something I am use to seeing from my “rock”. Each good update made me feel a little more relaxed, but it wasn’t until I saw him open his eyes just before midnight that I felt like I could really breathe. Of course in his joking way – the first words out of his mouth when he saw me were, “Ew – a nightmare!”

He is doing well, but we have a long road ahead.  I am just feeling so blessed that we got this second chance at life, because his heart was just a time bomb waiting to explode.  Like everything else that has come our way, we’ll take on this journey together, because after all, two hearts are better than one.



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