Believe, Hope, Peace, Gratitude

I haven't written in a long time and thought I'd just write random thoughts on my past summer.

I have faithfully been upbeat and positive over the last few years. And that attitude has paved my path. But sometimes, I just feel despondent, almost like I've lost a loved one.

* I cry when nobody is looking.

* To punish myself just a little more, I'll watch sad or emotional movies and sit there and sob.

* I am grateful to be alive. When I finally became aware that my surgery was over, I had a tube down my throat and couldn't talk - but I knew that was coming - and I smiled and gave a thumb's up sign to Mechanic Man (who took a picture of me with my phone).

* Grateful for Mechanic Man plodding through each day, for being there all the time, for keeping his emotions in check (because I think he hates this more than me), for cooking, cleaning, washing, etc., etc., while ordering me to sit still.

* Again, I'm grateful. Thank you God for hearing me. This business of handing over my worries to you is not that simple.

* I lay awake at night and think that there's been way too much stuff happening to my body.

* Then I grieve for a friend who died just a week after I was released from my latest surgery - and think about him being on the same floor.

* I grieve horribly for the missed baby snuggles with my new grandtwins. (They are 11 weeks tomorrow - I've seen them three times.)

* Very grateful to my son who came to the hospital from Moscow, Idaho with the greatest grandma gift you could ever ask for - a digital photo frame loaded with 75 pictures of his then 7-week old twins.

* Very, very grateful for a picture of my granddaughter, Abigail, with a small grin on her face. It hung on my wall at the hospital and cheered every single person who came in - including stuffy doctors.(No that was a smile; not gas).

* I take that back - my doctors are not stuffy. They are like fathers or brothers in a very loving family.

* I feel fragile - it is going away, day by day - but for a couple weeks, when I did my marathon walking two blocks and back - I walked like a hunch-backed 90-year old lady, clutching my arms in front of my chest (to protect that sternum).

* Will this endocarditis come back? (Had it once in June and I thought that made my dues paid up for extra illnesses.) Endocarditis three months later. Open Heart Surgery.

* Am I going to die?

* I'm very emotional, very introspective. I really need to master this giving-it-to-God trick. We're in a tug-a-war. He says He'll take care of it, I say but I need to do this myself, He shrugs and says He'll take care of it. Eventually I release my worries (of that moment) to Him and find peace and hope.


Fear of Words

Do you ever think that some phrases are better left unspoken. "Open Heart Surgery" is one of those phrases that makes me think a priest is going to give me Last Rites any second. Those were the words I heard when I ended up in Sacred Heart emergency two weeks ago. It was not in my itinerary to hear those words.

Hearing that I needed to have open heart surgery was scary and surreal. Actually having open heart surgery was just as scary. But when I became aware of the time on the clock and that I was in Cardiac ICU, I realized that I had survived! They had me sitting in a chair two hours later. Walking to the hallway the next day. Walking around the halls the next and then suddenly they are saying - you can go home!

What is unique to me is really routine to the hospital. I had one of the finest surgeons in the state of Washington. I had excellent care. And I even liked the food.

So, now I am home, "protecting my sternum." It's a constant in my brain. Don't lift anything, don't push yourself up by your arms, use your legs, don't cook, don't clean, don't drive, don't bowl. Just protect your sternum.

Prayers have supported me and sustained me. God has plans still for me and of that I am grateful.