Heart Stories

November 21, 2006 at 6:08 pm 19 comments

Pap’s heart doctor looks like a shriveled version of David Spade wearing Donald Trump’s hair.  He’s the only guy left at the hospital that insists on wearing hard soled shoes.  Even when you don’t want to, you find yourself listening for that clack-clack-clack that signals his approach with news of the latest condition of Pap’s weary heart. 

I’m too young to sit in the waiting room of the heart unit.  Yesterday it was positively raucous.  Every seat but two filled with senior citizens armed with coffee cups and brag books of their grandchildren and great grandchildren, yakking it up and telling war stories of the surgeries they’ve already survived.  Its a natural thing to have had bi-pass surgery, stints and stress tests after retirement.  Pap and I have too much to do, we don’t belong in that place. 

It was a long, tiring day of doing nothing but waiting.  Once “Dr. Spade” had confirmed Pap was not going to keel over with a heart attack, and didn’t need another bi-pass surgery, we spent the rest of the day waiting for the remainder of my husband’s parade of doctors to also sign their names on the release papers.  The GP, and the doctor that treats his diabetes.  Pap’s groupies.  Most of them drive beemers I financed.   A long day freezing in a chair by a window, sometimes reading, sometimes nodding off until my pumpkin sized head made my neck ache.  Pap doesn’t talk much at any time, but in circumstances like these, he doesn’t talk at all.

We’ve been married for a quarter of a century.  Pap will never understand why I’m in the chair and he’s in the bed.   He was an athlete, a coach, is a referee and a tireless worker.  He doesn’t understand how he drew such a crappy hand in the genetics lottery.  He doesn’t talk in the hospital, but I can see how he looks at me.  Some minutes with puppy eyed adoration, that I’m there, that I stayed.  Some minutes with fear, and some with hostility feverishly glowing all over his face.  Why me, and not her?  That wife that lives on diet Pepsi and cigarettes, who races and flutters and gibbers about while I plod my sure and steady path?  Why not her?


Entry filed under: hospital, Uncategorized.

Drama to the Left of Me, Drama to the Right! We Give Thanks

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catch  |  November 21, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    I am glad he doesnt have to have surgery again. Those hospitals make me a nervous wreck! I told my Doctor if I ever have to be in one I will need to be sedated…heavily!

  • 2. tony  |  November 21, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Prayers from here, Kat. We just went through a scary heart scenario with Mary’s Mom here in Florida. Life isn’t fair sometimes. Sometimes being the picture of health doesn’t mean squat. You just don’t know what the Good Lord has planned for you. Tell Pap he’s in our thoughts.

  • 3. Hayden  |  November 21, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    impossible ever to know the whys, or what is yet in store. yet still we compare ourselves, can’t seem to stop it, can we? makes no sense at all. I’m glad no surgery is needed, glad that he is going home. Take care of each other.

  • 4. sunfloweroptimism  |  November 22, 2006 at 12:43 am

    Dear Kat, I’m sure he adores you and is so glad you are facing this with him. But I think his hostility is not directed at you, but at his illness and the unfairness of it all – and he is fearful of losing you. Maybe you can both try being healthier, for each other – less sugar for him, fewer cigarettes for you. . .

    Glad he will be home soon and you can all enjoy Thanksgiving together.

  • 5. jackie  |  November 22, 2006 at 1:46 am

    Kat, glad to hear Pap is being giving the all’s clear to come home for Thanksgiving. Gives you all one more thing to be thankful for. Someone wise said that when comparing ourselves to others, we should look for the similarities and not the differences. My guess, Pap’s just being normal.

  • 6. Mr. Fabulous  |  November 22, 2006 at 2:19 am

    I am sure he is not thinking “why not her”? He’s just scared.

    I am sending all my good thoughts your way.

  • 7. Dave M  |  November 22, 2006 at 3:11 am

    Glad everything is ok and Pap will be home with you soon.

  • 8. NMOTB  |  November 22, 2006 at 3:14 am

    I am keeping you in my thoughts Kat! Pap will be home real soon – Take Care of yourself!!

  • 9. katcampbell  |  November 22, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Catch – me too! The only time I’ve been in the hospital was for breaking my foot (twice) and the birth of the five kids. Hate those places.

    Tony – thanks! I’ll tell him, and you’re right, pure lottery what kind of health you get sometimes.

    Hayden – Thank you, we’ll attempt to take care of each other, and some days we’ll even succeed!

    Sunflower – You are entirely too fair minded and logical… give up cigarettes? Not until January.

    Jackie – Pap and normal… okay, I’ll try and look at it that way! We are thankful that this was just a false alarm.

    Mr. Fabulous – Thank you for you good thoughts. When he’s healthy, he actually says “Why not her???” But he means it in the most positive way!

    Dave – Thank you! He can be annoying, but I have kind of missed him around this joint.

  • 10. bobciz  |  November 22, 2006 at 3:35 am

    Whenever I’m feeling lousy about my Parkinsons, I look at my wife and thank God she is there to take care of me. If anything ever happens to her I don’t know that I would be as selfless and caring as she is. I’m sure Pap is looking at you the same way more than you might realize.

  • 11. katcampbell  |  November 22, 2006 at 3:43 am

    Thank you for that Bob, I bet you’re right!

  • 12. Velvet Sacks  |  November 22, 2006 at 5:57 am

    Okay, I like men. A lot. But I think you’re making a big mistake in trying to figure out what the hell Pap is thinking. Unless you’re a lot better at understanding a man’s thought processes than I ever was, there’s no way to know unless you come right out and ask him.

    Glad to hear he’s doing better.

  • 13. Linda  |  November 22, 2006 at 7:41 am

    I really hate all the waiting that you do at hospitals. I am glad to hear that no surgery is necessary.

  • 14. Dave M  |  November 22, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Kat …..being annoying, being a nuisance, pain in the ass …..is what we guys are really good it. It dosent come easy you know , oh no, you have to work at it. All the best.

  • 15. delmonti  |  November 22, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    I doubt he ever thinks “why not her”….. maybe the bit about “why is she still here”, I bet that goes though his mind.

    He’s a lucky fella.

  • 16. katcampbell  |  November 22, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    Velvet – I won’t profess to understand all men, but this one is rather transparent.

    Linda – Aren’t they just horrible? Hospitals, not the nurses or doctors.

    Dave – LOL! An honest man! Glad to know all that grief you guys cause is at least work.

    Delmonti – Luck is a relative thing… sometimes I suspect he thinks he got the booby prize.

  • 17. Nessa  |  November 22, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    Great post on the honesty of relationships. He’s right, too. sometimes genetics suck.

  • 18. mrsjosegoldbloom  |  November 23, 2006 at 9:04 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you guys…Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • 19. guyana-gyal  |  November 29, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Uh-oh. Do you think he’s been plotting and scheming how to swop hearts, how to snitch yours while you sleep?

    Poor Pap. I know how he feels, life can be so darn unfair.


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