Blessed to be alive

The first three Christmases we were married took us to Topeka to visit her family & her best friend.  All three years were memorable, but not for the best of reasons.

In 2009, Topeka was hit by a heavy snow/ice storm.  Her friend lives a ways out of town on a ranch.  Of course, her drive is gravel, with a ditch running down one side.  Just as we were heading down the drive to come home, we slid into the ditch, since you really couldn’t see where the drive was.  AAA wasn’t able to come out for 2 days, and we finally had her brother come up & yank us out.

Mrs MF found on in early December 2010 that her mom had advanced cancer of the pancreas, and she passed away on 12/29.

And in 2010, we drove up separately.  She’d purchased a ‘new’ (used 2011) car, and my car had been traded in.  I’d had some chest pain during the week before Christmas, but being me, I’d ignored it.  Yeah, I know- stupid on a monumental level.

When I got to her friend’s place Lori, a nurse, said ‘You know, you don’t look so good.’  Well, I know that.  But I’m never anything to write home about in the looks department.  But she wanted to check me over.  She grabbed a stethoscope & her pressure cuff, checked me, and said ‘I think you need to get to a clinic.’

We drove to the clinic, getting there about 10 minutes before they closed for Christmas.  They checked me over, and said ‘Drive to the hospital as fast as you can.  Which hospital will you use?  We’ll call them to let them know you’re coming.’

I was admitted on Christmas Eve, spent Christmas Day doing nothing except sitting in a hospital bed, and was tested on the 26th.  The cardiologist said he thought that at my age, a couple of stents would take care of things.  No such luck.  I ended up having quintuple bypass surgery on Dec. 29, from about 1-10pm.  The nurses kept Mrs MF, her brother & sister in law, and her friend updated regularly.  First thing I spelled out in my wife’s hand was ‘MULE’.  Her friend said ‘If he’s joking already, he’s ok.’  Thank God for the excellent care at Stormont-Vale hospital in Topeka, Kansas.

I’m feeling much better now- more energy than I’ve had in a long time.  I’m taking (slightly) better care of myself, and have managed to lose at least a little weight, but there are still miles to go.  Except for the last 2 weeks, I’ve been exercising more than I have in who knows how long, and that’s only on hold because I pulled something in my leg.

Don’t ever ignore your body telling you something’s wrong.  Good God I was an idiot to not head in to the doctor’s office 3 or 4 days earlier than I did.  The surgeon was mad at me for driving up solo- he said I could have had a ‘major event’ at any time.

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