Yes, I'll be the first to admit that I am indeed burning the candle at both ends. I'm not swimming in a pool of wax so I'm not exactly worried just yet. Everyone knows what Kevin has been through this past year and being his wife, his caregiver...well, I feel that I have walked every step with him. Like we are on this marathon and people on the sidelines keep putting their hands out with water yelling that the finish line is right around the corner!! I wouldn't have it any other way. He is the love of my life. A year ago I was willing to give up everything just to hear his voice, just to see him open his eyes and wake up.
Never underestimate the power of love.
It's been a year of ups and downs....heart failure, LVAD, compartment syndrome, Mr. Insurance (not sure if I'll ever be ready to fully discuss that topic), getting listed, heart transplant, pheochromocytoma tumor, and now recovery. Don't forget we have twin four year old boys. It takes my breath away just typing it all. Can you imagine how Kevin feels? Can YOU?
One year. 365 days.
You know last week I was doing my best to avoid the whole anniversary of what happened when I blinked my eyes. The whole memory of what happened was just unavoidable for me. The memory is still too fresh I guess. Instead of sulking I decided to raise my glass (of scotch) three times. First was for all the doctors & nurses at Cedars Sinai. Second was to everyone that has supported us. Third was for Kevin. The weekend went on.... I finally got around to filling the planters on our front porch with actual plants. The "fall" decorations are out....the scarecrow, the bail of hay with 4 little scarecrows in it.
Life as a parent is unpredictable... you never know what you'll be wiping up or from what end at any given moment... same applies for sick children. It happens when you least expect it. Last thing I wanted to do this particular weekend was go to urgent care. In the end, breathing treatments, a couple of xrays, some stickers, and senseless toys....diagnosis: slight case of pneumonia.
Work has been quite busy these days for me. I welcome work. It's a wonderful distraction and honestly I love my job. Last week I was talking about Scotland, this week Paris, and next week Italy. Come on, my job is pretty freaking fantastic. No joke. Ask anyone that knows me, I really do enjoy my job. Nonetheless, it's been quite busy where I'd leave at 8am and be back home by 7pm. It's a long day.
Fundraising. We've got to pay for everything that Mr. Insurance won't, right? We've signed on with NTAF to help us raise money to pay for Kevin's medical expenses. A dear friend, Mary Ann, whom I've known for years, also I've adopted her as a second mother (in addition to my already Californian Jewish mother Paula), is heading up our fundraising campaign. Our first event is this Sunday October 16. It's a virtual walk. We have friends & family members on two continents that got people to sponsor them in a 5k walk in their own neighborhood or local park. Starts at 12noon east coast time/9am west coast time. Donations are tax deductible. NTAF oversees it all. (convenient link to Kevin's patient page with the NTAF on the top right of my blog)
As this week has moved on certain things have triggered memories for me. Songs on the radio. Pictures. Pieces of paper. Clothes that I haven't seen since a year ago. People mentioning to me that "they know it's been a year." The ongoing statement of "wow, you look good Tracy considering all you've been through."
So, I'll say it again... a year has passed.
Want to know what I think? I wonder if I've said "thank you" to everyone enough times. I hope everyone involved in our lives realizes how grateful we both are. I wonder if that emergency room doctor had a boy or a girl? Is that nice woman I met in the ICU a year ago doing ok...is her dad doing well post heart transplant? Will my kids remember the bad part of this past year? Why do people park in handicap parking spaces when they're not handicap? Will the memory fade away? Who is our donor family? What circumstances did they undergo to have to make that decision or was he a registered organ donor already? How did I get home that first night?...for the life of me I can't remember. Tomorrow at clinic will they tell us benign?
Lead by example. My father had a heart attack when I was a teenager. A pretty serious one, quintuple bypass before 45. Want to know what I remember about that? My mother. I never once witnessed her letting her guard down, never once saw her stressed out, never once saw her fall apart. Everyone in the waiting room was a mess, including me. Not my mother. She was strong, a tough cookie my mom. If she did fall apart, I never saw it... she kept it cool when I was around. Maybe the apple doesn't fall from the tree after all?
Relief for me is spelled with a capital B-A-B-C-I. For those not fluent in the the Polish language, Babci means Grandmother. More importantly she's coming and will be here in less than 24 hours. Or as my boys said tonight "one more sleep until Babci." I cannot wait to see her and I cannot wait for my mother to take care of me.