My Flawed Heart
When it’s you facing a potentially life-threatening operation you can sink into yourself and concentrate only on your own survival. Dark thoughts cross the window of your mind, “What if I have a stroke under the anaesthetic? What if I get an infection?” or the final frontier “What if I die?
Days before open heart surgery I was busy scrabbling about for life insurance policy paperwork, birth certificates, making sure the bills were all paid up. I even bought a new car, just in case the old one broke down. Well, you never know, nothing in life is guaranteed, cars being one of them.
And yes it is true, you’re the one going under the scalpel but it is all too easy to forget those beside you, cheering you on from the sidelines. I’ve been in both positions. Cheering on and being cheered on. I sometimes wonder which is worse. The waiting to hear or the hoping you are still “here” after the operation.
Anyway, the operation which was major came and went. I had a jolly (NOT) time in the hospital gradually waking up, having chest drains and wires removed. Slowly lurching out of bed into a standing position. Small steps round the bed was a big victory. My care was wonderful. Surrounded by learned men and women who looked after me, cleaned me up, administered medication, and made sure I ate.
But what of those left at home, waiting by the phone or trying to dial the hospital. In these times of Covid, visiting is pretty thin on the ground and in some hospitals in the UK it still isn’t allowed. Drop your loved one at the door and hope and pray that you will be returning to pick them up.
Although my daughter is twenty years old, has a boyfriend, and works full time, she still remains at home with me and her Father. Whilst recovering in the hospital I looked at her Facebook page. It was full of worry and the sentence that broke me was “I’ve never been away from my Mum”. I was having a testing time and so was she.
There are events in your life that shape you. The fixing of my flawed heart has shaped both me and my daughter. I’ve come out less able to suffer fools gladly and she has become even more watchful and caring towards her Mother. She says “I love you” far more often and it is not said as a…