A heart attack won’t stop husband-head | PostIndependent.com

A heart attack won’t stop husband-head

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The bad news is that husband-head suffered a heart attack last week.

The good news is that he’s at home now and recovering nicely.

It scared the hell out of me when I was told by the doctor that husband-head needed to have quintuple by-pass surgery … immediately. We’re talking all five veins to the heart ” and husband-head is only 43 years old. Apparently, it is a genetic disease.

Neither one of us are very familiar with hospitals or surgical procedures, so we weren’t sure what to expect when we met with the doctor after they’d done some initial tests. What we did know for sure was that husband-head was hanging on by a thread and needed the surgery right away.

“Basically, we’re going to cut your chest in half to get to your heart,” the nice lady surgeon told husband-head beforehand. “And I’m going to replace every vein that I find.”

Basically, I was about to throw up at the very thought.

I looked at the petite, dark-haired, very attractive woman who seemed not to be older than 35 and prayed that she’d done this surgery before. But her bedside manner and the way she looked at husband-head with concern, caring and confidence made me feel things would be all right.

I could tell husband-head was also nervous, as anyone would be, when she asked him if he had any questions.

“Ummm … will you put me under before you do it?” he asked softly with his big green eyes wide open.

“No honey,” I assured him. “They’ll give you a large bullet to bite on while they cut you open … Of COURSE they’re going to put you under!”

The next 3 1/2 hours were the longest ones of my life.

I can’t explain to you the thoughts that go through your mind when your loved one is on the operating table fighting for his or her life. All I know is that I never realized how very much I really did love my husband-head.

But he sailed through the surgery and the fun had just begun.

“He’s not going to look like your husband,” the surgeon warned before I went to see him after the operation.

She was right ” with all the tubes going in and out of all his orifices, he looked more like a science experiment than my husband.

Then there was the morphine.

“Hey … did you guys see that donkey they just brought in?” husband-head asked me and his friend Grady when he started to come around after the surgery.

I looked at Grady.

“I didn’t see no friggin’ donkey, did you?” I asked Grady, quite confused.

“Nope,” he said truthfully. “But then again, we’re not on morphine.”

Husband-head and I hung out together for the next few days in his hospital room, often with him in the reclining chair and me in the bed.

“Maybe they’ll mistake me for a patient and give me some morphine, too,” I said hopefully, holding my arm out.

Husband-head looked very afraid at that thought.

“What do you want to eat today?” I asked, looking at the room service menu. “How come there’s no prime rib or Eggs Benedict here?”

I’m pretty sure that if husband-head had been feeling better, he would have put my head in the potty.

Over the next few days, husband-head slept, walked and ate intermittently. He lost 15 pounds and I lost 10. However, we do not recommend the I-had-a-heart-attack-and-we’re-freaking-out-diet as a regular weight loss program.

And when we did return home five days later, we had about 25 messages on the answering machine.

“HEY!” one guy said. “Don’t you think this is a little drastic just because the Packers lost in the playoffs?”

For some reason, we did not feel the need to return that particular call.

Husband-head is doing well right now and we thank all of you who have sent cards, called and visited.

When you come this close to losing someone you love so much, it makes you think twice. And I know that husband-head is getting better every day because he’s becoming more of a pain in my butt every day.

But that’s OK ” God gave us another chance and we’re taking it.

Brett Favre can resign, but husband-head ain’t checkin’ out.

Heidi Rice is a staff writer for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.

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