by Anna Arnett
Early Sunday morning, Jan 20, (about 3 a.m.) my husband's heart started racing, with a pulse rate of 135. I was ready to call 911, but he pooh-poohed the idea since he didn't hurt. He even got ready and went to Sacrament meeting (we meet at 8:30) where I sneaked in a pulse count which was down to only 100. He wanted to go home after the one meeting, and I told him not until he got a priesthood blessing. He agreed. There is no power on earth, in the universe and beyond, greater than the power of the priesthood. When we got home his pulse rate had slowed to the 60's. His blood pressure had remained in the low normal range every time we checked. He still had no pain, but some pressure in his chest area.
Monday he felt great, and also Tuesday. Wednesday we went to the temple to be with a couple of boys from our ward who were getting their own endowments as newly-called missionaries. Charles loved being back, especially visiting, after the session, in the sealing office, since he'd served as a sealer for over a decade. But he was tired. He gladly accepted a wheel-chair ride to the parking lot.
Thursday, he called the VA help line, followed instructions, and I took him to the VA hospital. He's still there. The EKG's indicated he'd had a mild heart attack, and had sustained some heart damage, and they wanted to keep monitoring him, and testing his reactions to various medications. They considered a pace-maker, but didn't decide until yesterday. They'll install one this morning at 10:30 or 11:00. I'll have to scramble to get there.
I've never felt worried about him. Concerned, yes, but not worried. Nevertheless, I've found myself not willing to function efficiently. Between daily drives to the VA hospital (and wondering if I had called 911 whether he might still be at Chandler Regional, cutting at least a half-hour per day off my travel time) I've knit and crocheted, worked Sudoku puzzles, read a simple "Love Inspired" romance, pushed myself to write at least a hundred words a day (but mostly let it go at that), let unwashed dishes pile up, and almost everything pressing just wait. I haven't even turned on the TV nor watched a DVD. I was pleased when the Primary president asked me to trade with her on sharing time (I'm Grandma Friendly). I overslept, or dawdled, and missed church. I'm just not all here. I don't really feel worthless, but I seem to be acting that way. Oh, and I've really binged on chocolate. Actually, it's quite interesting to watch myself. l wonder if my system has a built-in pressure valve. Still, I do think there's hope, even for me.
I don't think I fear death or dying. I actually rejoiced more than sorrowed over the loss of our beloved President Hinckley. But loss is still loss, and sorrow is still real, and so is loneliness. I'm grateful for every day of my life, for the sorrows and trials as well as the highlights and joys, the blessings and experiences. It takes both kinds to make a full life. I wouldn't have willingly missed any part of it.