Monday, February 22, 2016

Heart. Heart, heart.

Sometime during my stay in recovery following the open-heart surgery, I was given a red pillow, a red heart=shaped pillow embossed with a graphic of a real heart, veins, valves and all, on one side and the "IU Health" logo and "Methodist Hospital" on the other.  This, I was told, could be clutched to my chest to ease pain particularly when coughing or when attempting any sort of motion.

I soon found I was pleased, nay thrilled, to have the thing.

Nine years ago at the age of 44 Delbert, the elder of my sons had a heart attack culminating in a quintuple by-pass open-heart surgery.  He visited me in hospital while I was still in ICU.  Noting my pillow, he told me, "That will become your best friend."

He was right.  Today marks one month since the surgery and I have slept with that pillow clutched to my chest every night in the interim.  It got a "break" from cuddling me but once and that about three in the morning a couple weeks ago when I inadvertently knocked it to the floor.  I could not get up to retrieve it and I was uncomfortable with the idea of pushing the call-button to ask for someone to pick up a pillow.  So I bemoaned its absence for about two hours.  Help arrived, and I have cherished Pillow carefully since then.

Then.  Then after I was discharged from hospital and sent to rehab I received a call from my younger son, Ken, who told me that while I was in hospital he had had a heart attack at work, was helicoptered from the remote site of the occurrence to Lexington where the cardiologists were able to work their magic via placement of stents in his heart.  He had advised my spouse, my sister and his siblings but inveigled them to vow that they should not tell me, because he did not want me to worry about it while I was in my circumstances.  He called and told me after I was in the nursing home, and his co-conspirators had kept their word.  Kenneth was on his feet and back to work in a matter of days.


Secondary Roads said...

Those problems don't run in your family. They gallop. Hope your scheduled freedom stays on track.

Grace said...

What Chuck said -

Jim Grey said...

Wow, the things you learn on this blog: that a pillow clutched to the chest is a lifeline post-open-heart-surgery.

Lin said...

Oh, my GOSH! How scary for Kenneth...and the rest of the family having both of you so ill at the same time! I'm glad you are both doing better.

I had one of those pillows when I had a hysterectomy. It wasn't heart-shaped though...bummer. It's silly aids like that you don't imagine will help, but they do...and you are really, really thankful for them. I imagine it will be your friend long after you have fully recovered.

vanilla said...

Chuck, ironically not the case. Virtually no history of heart problems, either side. Lifestyle, maybe.

Grace, it would seem so, but it really isn't.

Jim, the things you learn when you read a blog of potpourri. May you never find this particular info useful in your life.

Lin, the tall, strapping lad who wheeled me out of hospital (three weeks ago today!) asked my nurse if she knew where he could get one of those pillows. She advised him that he would probably have to have heart surgery.

Vee said...

I saw a picture of you clutching the pillow but was not aware it was such a close buddy. In addition to being useful, it is pretty. I understand why the young man wanted one.

Ken called me after his surgery and his biggest concern was not himself but his dad. The last thing he wanted was to have you concerned about him. What a loving, caring son!

Ilene said...

The secret is out! And now you know the rest of the story. Glad that Kenneth is doing well.

vanilla said...

Ilene, Ken did good, and now he is doing well. Back to work, training for a new position.