I had no idea.
In hindsight, I should have.
My trips up the hill to the mailbox left me huffing and puffing like The Little Train that Could. I excused the strain on my body on my lack of aerobics and my age. So instead of reporting it to my doctor, I filed the information in my personal card catalog under “Get a Life,” and I just kept pushing. Not only did I not mention it, I increased my trips up and down the hill sometimes to ten times in a row in an attempt to build my stamina.
So when I was on the road doing the last three speaking events of the year (2018) and a sharp pain went from my arm, up my neck, into my jaw, and spread across my face, suddenly, my body had my full attention.
The set of symptoms catapulted me back to years earlier when my husband, Les, had the identical trauma when he had his second heart attack while seated in our living room. I walked in the room and glanced in his direction and saw he was a ghostly grey covered in beads of sweat. When I had Les describe what he was feeling, it was exactly what was happening to me 32 years later.
(Les would go on to have a triple bypass, followed by another heart attack (3), and then be medically retired to help extend his life, which obviously and gratefully, it has.)
I, after a failed attempt to put stints in, would also have a triple bypass on January 22, 2019. No one was more surprised than me.
Kindness and Support
I have to say I have never been more aware of the kindness and support of people as I was throughout and following my surgery. The prayer and love was palpable. It comforted and strengthened me beyond what I could have imagined and I remain deeply grateful. My family and friends were champions and ran this race with me. Their presence, prodding, and prayers kept me moving forward. The Lord knew the voices I would listen to and the people I would trust.
At first I didn’t want anyone except my immediate family at the hospital and I wanted them to go home when the surgery was over and not come back until I was released.
What was I thinking?
When friends called and wanted to fly in to be with me I was adamant that I would see them a few months after I was released from the hospital and not before. However, I have a couple of friends who had other definite plans and they weren’t budging. Jan Silvious and Anita Renfroe teamed up and came to my house for a come to Jesus meeting a couple weeks before my surgery. It was a long, lively, sometimes loud discussion that they ended up winning with huge doses of reasoning and love.
The hospital time was divided up between my daughter-in-law Danya, Jan, and Anita. I was never alone my entire stay. It was an unbelievable experience that deepened friendship and family ties. And reminded me of the importance of camaraderie and community.
Thanks again for your continued prayers.