This is a hard post for me to write

This is a hard post for me to write. I’ve had an internal debate on whether or not to write about this. I don’t want it to sound like “poor me,” but it is about something that has changed my life and my family forever. I have to write about it or my future posts will all seem kind of like they aren’t the full story.

Last Tuesday my husband had a heart attack. It was really quite shocking. Especially considering that he is only 31. He was at work, yet alone. I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been for him. He was barely able to call 911.

I was very scared. The administrative lady for the plumbing company Joe works for called me and said that he was being taken by ambulance to the hospital in
Redmond. My first thought was that he somehow got injured on the job. While I was in route to the hospital, with my two boys in tow, I got a call from my husband’s cell. It was a paramedic saying that they were taking him to the hospital in
Bend and that Joe was suffering from chest pains. I don’t know how I made it to the hospital since all I could think about was that I might be widowed on this day.

I made it to the hospital just in time to rush to the cath lab to see my husband. The doctor wheeled him out so I could have one, maybe two minutes to tell him I loved him. That’s all the time the doctor would give us. Joe ended up with having angioplasty and a stent put in one of his arteries. But the doctor also found lots of damage to another artery.

I was blessed to have Joe’s co-worker and his boss’s wife sit with me. I will forever be grateful to them for talking to me and my boys and trying to keep my mind from thinking the worst. It had started out as a bad day anyway since my youngest woke up throwing up. He was extra super clingy all day which wasn’t very easy. But my oldest would go with the ladies to walk around the hospital and to go get lunch.

And I had to call Joe’s mom and tell her. That was a hard one for me. But really, who likes delivering bad news? And I had to call someone in my family. I really would have liked to talk to my mom but my parents were, and still are, on a cruise of the Panama Canal.

It was a long day and it has been an even longer week. Joe was supposed to come home Saturday. But on Friday night he had to go back to the cath lab to have blood clots removed from his artery. I’m thinking it was a blessing in disguise. I was so worried that I would get him home and something would happen to him. He finally got to come home today and he looks so much better.

We have been very lucky to have the support of family and friends and our church. Two of my sisters, Dena and Tracy, drove up here to help out with the kids. Joe’s dad drove up here to help out too. We’ve had so many people praying for us that it is just overwhelming and humbling.

And it’s not over yet.

Joe has to have bypass surgery. He meets with the heart surgeon next week to schedule it. He’s going to be off work for at least the next three months if not longer. It’s going to be one tough struggle for this single-income family. We have some money saved away, but not nearly enough.

And we didn’t COBRA our insurance when Joe changed jobs. Who thinks that something of this magnitude is going to happen to them? We thought that at worst we would have to pay for one or two doctor visits. Our new insurance starts tomorrow—a week too late. At least we’ll have it when Joe has bypass.

I’m trying to be positive about all of this and not dwell on the negative. I keep trying to think things like “It will be fun to mow the lawn and pull the weeds,” “It’ll be nice for the boys to have their dad home for the summer,” “Now we can eat even better.” But really, what else can I do? If I focus on the negative it’ll be bad for all of us and we need to stay positive to help Joe recover.

I’ve felt bad for the boys all week. When I would spend time with them I felt guilty for not being in the hospital with Joe. When I was with Joe I felt guilty for not being with the boys. My oldest has been very concerned. He kept telling people that his dad was sick. My little one has been put through the wringer. He’s always been a mama’s boy and this week he’s had to grow up a lot. But I was so proud of him on Wednesday when I left him with our Bishop’s wife. He waved and said “bye” and was good all day. Once my sisters got here it was easier for me to leave him since he was with his aunts.

And I’ve cried a lot this week. But mostly when I’m on the phone talking to one of my sisters or Joe’s youngest sister (gosh can she make me cry). I’ve tried to be strong but it’s hard. I was really touched one night when Joe looked at me with concern and asked me how I was. There he was, sick in bed hooked up to monitors and IVs and he wanted to know how I was. See, another reason I so love that guy!

So yeah, it sucks but we have to move on.

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7 Responses to “This is a hard post for me to write”


  1. 1 kat May 1, 2007 at 7:05 am

    kathy you, your husband and entire family have been in my thoughts!
    I hear you… when it rains it pours. Keep your chin up 🙂 Thank god your insurance will kick in before his surgery. I’m kinda a “glass is half full” kinda girl, so I can only say, things could be worse! Let me know if there is anything I could do for you 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you all and praying for the best 🙂 be well.
    ~~~~
    Thanks so much Kristen! I really appreciate it. I’m trying to be a “glass half full” person right now. I’m trying to figure out how to make lemonade with this big ol’ lemon. 😀
    -K

  2. 2 lera May 2, 2007 at 4:57 am

    I am so very sorry to hear about your husband. I hope and pray that it will work out for you. I hope that he will recover quickly and that his subsequent surgeries and treatments will be successful.

    It’s so nice to have your church family there for you when your real families cannot be. And even nicer when your real family can come to help.

    Take it easy or you may find yourself getting exhausted very quickly. Running on emotions have a way of only sustaining us for so long until we crash.
    ~~~~
    Thanks Lera! It is nice to have a church family to depend on. But even nicer to have your own family. I’ll try to take it easy. But I don’t think I’ll get much down time. As long as I can still sew a little here and a little there to keep sane! Plus, I still have to finish the notebook covers for my Big Goofball’s preschool classmates!
    -K

  3. 3 Wende May 2, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear of this. Of course, you and Joe and the boys will be in my prayers. I can’t imagine the stress this has caused and I do hope you find time to rest in the midst of all the chaos.

    Holding good thoughts for a safe surgery and speedy recovery for Joe. Blessings!!
    ~~~~
    Thanks Wende! I really do appreciate it!
    -K

  4. 4 Happy Zombie May 2, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s health! How, how, how scary for you all.

    Sometimes the universe knocks us down a little. But when we get up we always stand taller. Always. It may not seam like it… but sometimes gifts are disguised.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us informed, k. There’s power in prayer and good thoughts.
    ~~~~
    Oh thanks Monica! I hear what you are saying. I’m trying to see all the little good things going on instead of worrying about it all. But I need to do a little worrying here and there to get the bills paid!
    -K


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