Tuesday, February 02, 2016

My Heart

"For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning as is refreshed." (Khalil Gibran)

I am sitting here, writing. I can almost hear my heart, almost as loud as the fridge in the kitchen. Beating. Very clearly spaced out, beat after beat, after beat.

I think this is what gave away for sure that I existed in my mom's womb - the heartbeat. My heart has since then been the rascal of my being: mom tells me all throughout her pregnancy with me, the doctor (who did not have access to an ultrasound machine back then) always heard two heartbeats in her stomach. So, he always thought she was carrying twins. She didn't. It was just my show off, loud heart.

As I grew up, I have learned I have a condition that will eventually damage my heart, as well as my brain, as well as many other vital parts of my body. But the heart was always the number one concern for all doctors - the heart goes first.

Almost all of my life, since I was 6, I have known that one day my heart would give me trouble. Well, that day has come. I am scheduled for open heart surgery in just a bit over a week.

Ever since I can remember, I have looked up to open heart surgery patients! The concept of it is no less than Frankensteinian! To crack your chest open. To stop your heart. To cut your heart. And replace parts in it ... who does this?!?! What kind of stomach does a doctor need to muster?! And then, the surviving, the moving on. The acceptance of a life on the watchout. Forever. For as long as you are lucky to breathe after that. The scare of maybe repeating the surgery, again. Oh, Lord!

Although I have known this for what seems ever to me, I am still in semi-shock. I have been lucky to have known about this for months now, and it's still hard to swallow! For 40 years, there was always "something else" they needed to try and surgery was not mandatory. There was a pill. A lifestyle change. Another test to be done. Now, there is no going around it anymore. No more delays. No avenues. No path not taken. Just a wall. A big, huge wall. A mountain to climb, and on the other side, hopefully ... life.

I pray. I beg. I cry "why me". I cry "forgive me, Lord". And I take one day at a time. And I hope. I am a big hoper these days.

I am not even in the least bit afraid of the recovery time - of all the pain, the forever meds I'll be on, the trauma, the light head, the nausea, the gore ... I am afraid of those 6 hours where my whole life, my rebel, crazy, stubborn, loud heartbeat, that first "me" of this world, will be silenced, and will only be placed solely in the hands of God and the medical staff I have only recently met. I am mortified.

I hope and pray that life will continue even better and louder than before. I hope I will meet my family, my friends, my future, on the other side. I have so much to look forward to. I miss my nephews. I miss my dad. I miss reading books I have not bought yet. I miss writing books I have not dreamed about yet. I will come back. I need to. I must.

Sick as it's been, and struggling, my heart has beaten fully, eagerly and passionately, for so many - my sister, to begin with, early on. My mom, with her blue eyes, always watching over me, beating for me, trying to make her proud of me, always. My grandma, maia, who raised me. My dad who made me tough. My aunt and all other grandparents who welcomed me, spoiled rotten, as their first born ... and not the least my husband - who keeps me together and re-stitches my broken self, daily. My cats. All the space in my heart is filled with them, overflowing.  I know all their love must keep me together because what else is there to?! So many others that never knew I cared for and about ...

I am afraid of not being the same at the end of this, the most. I am afraid that my mind will lapse and slip away, that my memory won't be all there, that my feelings will change and my outlook on life will be compromised. I am afraid of the post-op me, I guess, the most... I guess we're always afraid of what we don't know, what we don't see, and what we can't control ... but this is the ultimate in that. My dad jokingly said: "Honey, they'll pick up your heart, pull it out of your chest, wash it with some disinfectant, wipe it clean, and put it right back in". They might as well do that, or do that to my brain, and I feel just the same.

I have done some crazy stuff in my sick life. One should really not be allowed this much happiness, and gusto as I have known in my 40 years. Especially with a sick body like mine. To say that I have been blessed is to insult the word.  I have lived on impulse, spoken the truth, and never feared to look fear itself in the eye. But this time is somewhat different. Every time before, I was (although sometimes just seemingly) in control. This time, it's God and the doctors. I am just a guest at my own sorcery business.

I hope one day,  folks will remember me for one thing. And I hope that being scared out of my wits for almost the first time in my life won't be it!

I'll continue to listen to that beat. Every moment of every day. Every second. Every glimpse. For as long as God will allow. Love it and cherish it like my own first born. It needs to know it's loved and cherished. This beat needs to continue its march and stay the showoff rascal it's accustomed this world (and me) to be. I need to tell it, it's perfect just the way it is now, so it will come back promptly and carry me through many, many more winters ...

10 comments:

Cati Nechitescu said...

Stay strong! What else can be said? We will be praying for you. And do not be worried about being scared for the first time in your life, it is only natural. Te admir pentru rezistenta ta si pentru tot ce ai facut pina acum. Te imbratisez de la distanta!

A. W. said...

Sarumana, Cati! Multumesc pentru imbratisari si ganduri bune si mai ales pentru rugaciuni! Tu stii ca admiratia e reciproca! :-)) Pupici de la distanta.

Hana Carlton said...

lots of good luck, we are thinking about you …

Charlie said...

We're praying for you and your recovery! Control, by the way, is an illusion. You have never been in control and neither has anyone else, ever. You have never known what the next day will bring or even the next moment. We walk by faith and not by sight because none of us see the future that is only ever in God's hands. My faith tells me you will come through this with flying colors! Bless your heart!

jane sharp said...

Dear Alina, Please know that you will be surrounded and upheld by so many prayers and thoughts from those who love you. Your words mean so much to all who have read them. Thank you for your courage in sharing this journey. Sending you love and deep peace, Jane Sharp

A. W. said...

Thank you, everyone. You guys are great. It's scary, but one day and one prayer at a time. Be well, everyone!

Stephen Paschall said...

I hardly ever get on Facebook, sad to say, but I'm glad I did so this morning and glad your post there popped up in my stream. Such a moving essay, Alina; thanks so much for sharing it with all of us. You and Aaron will be in my thoughts and prayers this week and the weeks to come as you recover.

I know you'll come through this challenge renewed and strengthened -- in more ways than one.

A. W. said...

Thank you, Stephen! Long time no written to, for sure. Hope everything is great with you all. Thank you, again, for the kind words and prayers.

Unknown said...

My dear Alina, you have always been brave. I will be continue to keep you in my prayers. We will see each other again. You still have life ahead and more places to travel. Love Maira not Hector

A. W. said...

Thank you, beautiful and strong, Maira!