For about two months now, hubby and I have been confronted with the question of our mortality – well, hubby’s mortality, to be exact.
It is not easy to imagine this. Hubby does not drink, does not smoke, is an athlete – he lifts weights, plays basketball, soccer, rowing, just ran a marathon. Healthy and active would be words to describe him.
Or so we thought.
When the doctor pronounced that his heart was weak, it sounded like a bad joke. But tests after test confirmed that something was wrong. But why it is happening, no one can explain.
And why him?
We talked to his heart (asked it to heal, asked it for forgiveness, told it we loved it), prayed, went to a Chinese herbalist, followed the doctors’ advise to the letter (no strenuous activity, drink medicine, no-fat diet), I tried to be a really good, dutiful, obedient, loving wife (was it too late?), but hubby’s heart continued to deteriorate and weaken.
Until the ultimatum – he had to have a pacemaker implanted.
The doctor gave us 3 days for the aspirin (blood thinner) to be out of his system, and 3 days to come up with the money. Almost half a million pesos or some $10,000.
I was not a picture of sanity or calmness in the days that followed because I was wracking my brain for solutions, asking myself – how? Hubby told me not to worry. In his situation – ejection fraction of 25-30% (down from 57%, when normal is 55-100%), heartbeat at 17 beats per minute when he is asleep (at 2 am and 5 am to be exact, when normal is 60-100), pauses of 2.5 seconds from time to time (read: no heartbeat) – he tells me not to worry. The doctors say he is sick and he still wanted to be my knight-in-shining-armor. I wanted to be hysterical and did not know if I should smack him or kiss him silly.
Little did we know that his friends started calling friends, asking for help for us.
People and help – financial, moral, spiritual – came in droves.
This entry is not only a testament to the miracle that has happened – hubby’s recovery – but most especially, to the miracle that is family and friends. They moved mountains so we could get the help we need.
It is said that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when that good old-fashioned do-not-despair-pick-yourself-up does not work, turn to others. There you can find comfort, understanding, love. I know this. I have seen this.
To my hubby’s fraternity brothers and sisters, highschool and elementary batchmates and co-teachers, his doctors and nurses at the Philippine Heart Center, a senator, some congressmen, our officemates, friends, relatives, hubby’s family, my family (to my mom who called me every minute of the hour of the day to ask how we are, how my husband is), our bubbly daughter, our yet unborn son, to the heavens, to the universe, to Mama Mary, to God – our heartfelt thanks.
When his operation was over and he was still drunk with anesthesia, hubby turned to me, smiled, and said, I am now Iron Man. I laughed and hugged him.
Here’s to life.