Thursday, August 27, 2009

Troubles of the Heart, Part 3

If you have not yet read parts 1 and 2, please do so now.

After being forced to substitute the attention of the heart monitor for that of Rachael, I slept fitfully at best. Several times during the night, I'd wake up with my heart tapping me awake. Or at least that's how it felt. I could physically feel it beating wildly inside my chest every time it went into arrhythmia. At times, it felt like it would explode.

I found out that the reason I'd felt light-headed during these times was that the heart was beating so fast, it was forced to beat shallow beats. Therefore, the blood was never carrying enough oxygen to the body and brain and without enough oxygen, the brain decides to take a nap. Fortunately, I had not actually passed out, especially while driving.

When I awoke, I felt like I had not had hardly any sleep at all. However, I was greeted with the best news of the last couple of days!

My heart had regained a normal rhythm.

Whether due to the medication, lots of prayers, the body's natural desire to stay true to what's 'right', or a combination of the three, my heart was now beating a normal beat. While walking to the beat of a different drum is cool for teenagers and rock stars, I was very happy to be back to 'normal'.

It was the best Father's Day present I could hope for. Although a close second was when I saw my kids a few hours later.

Rachael showed up at the hospital bearing gifts, kids, cards, and a story. It's one of those stories, like many on My Poor Husband, that are much funnier in the retelling, than they ever are the first time you hear them.

Apparently, Rachael's emotions were a bit on edge, as can be expected. That morning, Rebecca was taking a bath at the Best Western just down the street, on the corner of Mowry and I-880. Rebecca has a habit of dipping her head completely under the water. It's just something she likes to do.

It normally does not cause any problems.

That morning was not normal.

Rachael was on edge.

Rachael was trying to get Rebecca's attention. She went to talk to her. The door was locked. She called out Rebecca's name.


And Again.

At this point, as I understand it, Rachael decided to test out her incredibly honed martial arts skills.

"Wax on! Wax off!"

Only this was not going to be a harmless wax job.

Rachael, running on pure adrenaline, put all of her weight into a Super-Kick. The kind that you see in the movies where the door flies open fast enough to knock the person down that's on the other side of the door.

Either Rachael did not read the same script the actors do, or she failed her karate lessons, because when she kicked the door with all of her might, nothing positive happened.

I say nothing positive, because while she did not help herself gain entrance, she did succeed in putting a hole in the door.

At this point, even with your head underwater, you can feel the vibrations of the room shaking. Rachael said that she heard Rebecca raise her head from the water and say in her innocent 9-year old sweet voice, "What Mom?"

She had no idea what had been going on.

But she was all right. That was the main thing.

Of course, later on, the Best Western felt that the main thing was that they got paid $140 for the door that probably cost them $50 to replace.

I found all of this out Father's Day morning, the day my heart returned to normal.

Fortunately, it did not cause my heart to go back into arrhythmia.

Rachael and the kids all came to see me. The kids had all written me notes on cards and they brought me a great Father's Day gift.

By this time, my other good friend Bryan was there. The doctor told me I'd probably be getting out around noon, so we all decided to go to Denny's for a nice Father's Day lunch.

My doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment for an echo-cardiogram, stress test, EKG. While I knew the test was sure to be fun, I had no idea what it would lead to. For that, you'll have to check out the next post.

One of the things that really hit home to me was the fact that I have a great family and great friends, and I will be eternally grateful for both. Mike and Maria and Bryan all came down from somewhere between Sacramento and Chico to be with me in my time of need. My other friend, James had also left Sacramento and was on his way when I was discharged.

On Father's Day.

With no notice.

I've heard it said that a man can consider himself fortunate if he finds one true friend in his entire lifetime. My blessing basket is truly over-flowing.

I am grateful.

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