Posts Tagged ‘heart attack’

A significant emotional event

May 25, 2008

Reprogramming the body, mind, and spirit doesn’t seem to take very long. A significant emotional event such as our family’s heart episode two weeks ago will usually do it.

This morning in church, a woman two pews in front of me began having difficulty of some kind. I couldn’t tell if she was dizzy, short of breath, having chest or abdominal pains. A few parishioners began tending to her. I assumed they were doctors and/or nurses.

Before long she was stretched out on the pew; sirens could be heard outside; a police woman followed by two EMTs came down the aisle.  Our pastor came to anoint her.

By the time she was taken away, my entire upper body was drenched in perspiration. All I did was observe, but the impact on me physically and emotionally was pretty intense. I do hope she is OK, and that she found the help she needed.

I’m dreaming once again …

May 20, 2008

At an intellectual level, I know that the future doesn’t exist. That doesn’t keep me from occasionally dwelling there, even feeling/sensing some quiet fall afternoon out in the backyard. At any given moment the future can be palpable, a companion during periods of contentment.

So, one can imagine how I felt a week ago today as I sat in a bleak waiting room on the surgical floor deep in the bowels of a heart hospital. My wife was out of sight. I wasn’t even certain which hallway they had wheeled her down. One thing I was sure of, however, my future was on hold. That empty, unpredictable aspect of time which slowly rolls out before me as my personal red carpet of perceived entitlement appeared to be severed, to have evaporated.

What I was confronting, as I was soon to find out,  was my imagination. I didn’t really become frightened and lost until the doctor told me what happened back in that cold room filled with monstrous machinery. As he spoke, all I could do was nod while my eyes slowly filled with tears.

It’s when she had to return to that very same room 36 hours later that I nearly came unwrapped. You see, I now thought I knew what was going on beyond those double doors past the coffee machine. I was pretty sure I knew enough to be scared out of my wits. If she had almost been lost before, what now? What was going on during this rushed evening trip back downstairs?

That odd feeling of having the door to the future swing shut during my prior visit to the waiting area was nothing but my ignorant imaginings. Now I had sufficient facts and knowledge to have grave concerns and forebodings. Now the future didn’t even exist in its absence. I sat holding my daughter’s hand in silence.

The doctor came in. I’m dreaming once again about quiet fall afternoons.