Patience is not my strong suit. Never has been. I want what I want when I want it. Give me instant gratification!
But life is rarely like that. Today I sit here, completely immobilized by the great “unknown.” I feel like I’m living in a foggy world called “Limbo,” which spans the space on my life map between medical testing results and scheduling open heart surgery.
I have no concentration. No motivation. No energy for the daily tasks that might actually be able to distract me for a little while. How ironic that although I have the time, I cannot make myself work on my next book, start figuring out my taxes, or even clean my office!
What if? What if? What if?
On Friday, I had the “TEE”, the transesophogeal echocardiagraphy. It took 4 tries (big bruises on the backs of both hands and inner elbows) to get a good IV going, but after that, I was in la-la land. Afterward, the doctor told me the heart tumor (yes, it IS a tumor) is bigger than what it had appeared during Wednesday’s ECG, and that “the only place for a tumor that size is in the surgeon’s pan.”
I had thought about this possibility all night, so I did not hesitate to say Yes to the surgery to remove it. Then the doctor had me have a chest CAT scan, in which they injected ‘stuff’ into my veins and then ran my torso back and forth through something that looked a lot like an MRI tube, while I held my hands over my head.
I was TOLD the surgeon in Portland would call that day to schedule either an appointment to meet me, or just to go ahead and put the surgery on his schedule. As of this moment, 6:30 a.m. on Monday, I have not heard a thing.
I spent my weekend trying to figure out how to get through the next eight weeks—two months!—without the use of my arms to push myself up out of a chair to stand. Or lift them over my head to wash my hair. Or reach “behind me” to wipe my bottom. And have you ever tried to get dressed without reaching over your head or behind you to find the second sleeve?
The sternum must not be compromised in any way. No lifting, pushing, twisting, reaching. I won’t be driving for eight weeks. I watched Rick struggle with all this, and I am scared spitless. I cry often.
Heart problems of my own were never on my radar.
But first things first, and I need the surgery on the calendar in ink. And THAT is completely out of my control. A great time to practice patience…
But didn’t I mention at the start of this blog that patience is not my strong suit?