Lead Balloon

True Blessing
July 21, 2007, 7:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thursday night, my sister and I spoke a few times over the phone about a Nintendo Wii that just came available at her office. One of her co-workers bought it for a friend, only to find out his friend was able to get one as well. Imagine our luck – we’ve been searching forever for one – and this one seemed to just fall into our laps so easily. Holly and I made plans for Todd to go pick the thing up the next day on his lunch break, exchange the cash, and traffic that thing safely back to our house for some unadulterated family fun for the weekend at the Luckey house.

Early Friday morning our phone rings. Usually an early morning phone call raises my blood pressure and causes a bit of a panic. I’m always paranoid that someone’s been in an accident or someone has fallen ill…but when I saw it was Holly calling, I breathed easier knowing it was about the Wii and picked up the phone.

Only the call wasn’t about the Wii, it was about our mom.

Mom woke up Friday morning with some numbness in her chest. A warm, tingly feeling that went from her chest to both her arms, and a little bit of nausea. She knew something wasn’t right, she called for an ambulance. The ambulance came and took her to the hospital where she stayed in the ER for several hours, being poked and prodded, running test after test… For a while, things looked “fine”, except for the scary incident that morning. The bloodwork was showing that she’d not had a heart attack, necessarily, but thankfully they decided to admit her for observation.

Once in her room, she finally saw the cardiologist. He came in and checked on her and told her he’d like to keep her through Monday, where he’d do a stress test and then decide if further tests were needed, including a heart catheterization. He walked out of her room, then back in, and said, “You know what, let’s just do that cath now, I’ve got some time available.”

I’m not sure if it was an instinct he had or if he made the decision based on something he saw from the various monitors mom was hooked up to, but nonetheless, we’re all very thankful he acted so promptly and was so thorough in his treatment of her. During her cath, he found that her main coronary artery was 90% blocked. 90% blocked. Seems like mom was a heart attack or stroke just waiting to happen…and without Friday morning’s “episode” and an aggressive treatment – that might have been in her near future. Who knows, if they’d just sent her home that day, what her future would have had in store for her, and for those of us who love and care for her so much.

Really, it seems miraculous to me. It seems like we got this “free pass” to something, or won the lotto. It feels that way because heart disease has taken the lives of so many of my family members, sometimes without warning at all. But mom got a “get out of jail free” card this week, she’s been given an official warning, and for that I am just so thankful. It’s not her time to go, I know that for sure. We’ve got so much to look forward to over the next few months and selfishly, I’m going to need her!

I say that others have had no warning…We’ve all got warnings. We may not listen to our bodies like we should, but we all know what’s right and wrong for us. My sister and I talk about how we sometimes feel robbed of some really wonderful life experiences that we’d like to share with our dad, or our grandmother. It’s very hard to not feel like their refusal to take care of themselves was a direct disregard for our feelings and needs. When told that some life changes could prolong their lives, they chose not to make those changes. Choosing not to make those changes was translated by people who loved them as, “I don’t care to be there for your wedding,” or “I’m not interested in knowing my grandchildren,” or “You’ll be just fine without me.”

Sounds harsh, and really selfish. But when you’re the one “left behind” there’s not a lot of options for how to feel…

For mom, she’s lucky today. And she knows it. I’m sure she’s received a few good lectures from not only her loved ones but from her doctors – and we all know how my mom hates a lecture. But I hope she’s not just hearing them but listening to them. And I hope she truly understands that while we tell her these things because we love her, we tell her these things because we’re tired of being the ones left behind.


5 Comments so far
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you are so right…what a true blessing that everything worked out the way it did. thank goodness your mom listened to the warnings her body gave her that morning and called the ambulance. i know exactly what you mean about the loved ones deciding *not* to make the healthy decisions to keep themselves around for the future. i feel that way quite a bit. it’s so hard not to take it personally. but in the end, i think it really has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with that loved one’s fear, denial, etc. i’m so happy to hear that your mom is doing okay…she needs to be there for when your little one arrives. 🙂

Comment by jessie

I’m so glad your mom is going to be OK.

Comment by jen

feel better, mom.

Comment by amber

Thanks ladies. Hope you are all doing well!!!!! Miss hearing from you guys.

Comment by leadballoon

thank you all for your thoughts and comments. since i can say that i have “been there”…it might be easier for me to say, it’s very, very hard to give up bad habits; and here we are talking about smoking. it is the hardest, addictive habit to break and i am sure those that have gone before us never considered those thoughts of “leaving you behind”. maybe you can have some compassion and understanding in knowing how much they loved you, and they enjoyed life to the fullest, even though it may not have been the way we wanted them to live. enjoy the memories you have! and i am here to say i am two weeks free of cigarettes, and i am thankful and so happy! it’s not an easy thing, but i have prayed about this long and hard, for this desire to be taken away… because…i had NO willpower…so it was a power much stronger than myself that enabled me to put these things down. i can only say i will take one day at a time.

Comment by mutha deah

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