Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Celebration of Heart Day

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.
- John 14:1

Today will forever be know as Heart Day at our house.  Today is the day that my 44 year old husband received a quadruple bypass.  Today is the day that his life began again.  This is the day that the Lord has made.

When I got up this morning I didn't know what kind of day this would be.  The potential for tragedy was at an all time high.  I woke in the hospital after a spotty night of sleep, helped Rob prepare for his surgery and waited with him for the nurses to come take him to pre-op.  I worked to be cheerful and upbeat for Rob, my parents, his sister and myself.  The doctors and the nurses were so assured and encouraging.  Even with their support, kissing Rob good-bye was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

After watching Rob being wheeled away to the operating room, we went to have breakfast.  Dr. Streicher told us not to expect to hear from him until noon.  We had three and a half hours to wait through.  As the minutes of the morning ticked by I could feel myself becoming wound even more tightly.  By 11:15a.m. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin.  11:30 found my unable to remain on the first floor of the hospital.  Even after moving to the open heart family waiting room my mind was unable to settle.  My prayers were constant but jumbled.  By 12:07, when my cell phone buzzed in my pocket, I was wound so tight that my hands shook.  When I heard the nurse say surgery was over and Rob was in recovery I felt the weight begin to drop from my shoulders.  Dr. Streicher came to talk to us a few minutes later and told us that Rob had done beautifully.  He was a bit disappointed that he had only been able to make two of the bypasses with the mammary veins.  The other two bypasses had to be done with the vein from Rob's leg.  Dr. Streicher said that everything he'd done needed to be done twice because he kept coming up shorter than he'd expected.  That made me chuckle because I'd heard Rob express similar sentiments about jobs he'd done at home and on the farm.

We got to go back and see Rob briefly after he was moved to recovery.  I had prepared myself for the worst; ventilator tubes, machines, a husband that looked like death warmed over.  What I saw was the most handsome man in the word, slightly pale and sleeping.  Yes, he had a ventilator tube but all I could see was his gorgeous face.  I snuck my hand under the edge of his blanket and over the i.v. tubes to touch his arm.  Feeling that skin, warm and mine, was the most precious thing.  At that moment, I truly knew what the expression "a weight lifted from my shoulders" meant.

The rest of the day was a celebration. We went for Graeter's ice cream with Sarah, Kaleb, Annabeth,, Maggie and Lily.  Mom, Dad, Sandy (Rob's sister) and I went to the Ohio State Fair.  We looked at cows, sheep, a chocolate farm, Lego city, endless varieties of fair food, quilts and lots of people.  While we were at the fair, Rob's nurse, Leslie, called.  She told me that Rob was doing well, just six hours after surgery he was off the ventilator and ready to talk to me.  I was stunned.  I'd been told the ventilator might be removed before bed Tuesday night but I hadn't imagined that it would be removed so early. His voice was scratchy but he was in great spirits, joking and teasing.  It was the most beautiful sound.

After the fair, we drove back toward our hotels looking for a place to have dinner.  Sandy requested a place that had forks.  Mom took it up a notch by requesting that the place have metal forks.  We found the perfect spot to celebrate God's goodness at an Italian restaurant called Bravo!  Bravo! indeed.  Bravo! to Rob and even more Bravo! to God.  Happy Heart Day to all of us!

No comments:

Post a Comment