In a few days we will have an ablation. I say we, because whatever the outcome is, it will affect me. Us. My husband is lucky. When he had a massive heart attack five years ago, while doing a bike trail, kindly bystanders called 911. The paramedics at that moment were rolling by returning to their station, and he happened to crash in their presence. Fell into an arrhythmia not compatible with life. Later at the hospital, the paramedic told me that he had continued with resuscitation because he saw that he was fit, that he took care of himself. So, I kept going, he said. I focused on his muscular arms as he talked to me and I imagined the power he had put into doing CPR. They were so kind; they even collected his mountain bike from the park where he had nearly collapsed forevermore.
The doctor came to me hours later, during a respite where my husband was not trying to die, and told me that he could not do a bypass. That there was not enough well tissue to work with. I understood. In order to build a bridge, you must have solid ground on both sides. It took months, but because of the collateral circulation he’d developed as a result of his athleticism, he recovered well enough to resume most of his activities. He did have to cut down to 20-mile bike rides instead of the 50 or 75 that he’d done in the past. The doctors were amazed every time he jauntily walked into their office, sometimes with hat tipped rakishly over one eye. Miracle Man, they called him. I felt like asking the doctor, are you writing him up for a medical journal?
Now he has developed AFib. Extra beats that are stealing future beats. His electrical conduit is misfiring. And it must be burned away. He worries about not seeing his granddaughters. Is this week the last he will see of them? It annoys me. He was not as present with his own children as he is with his granddaughters. And I wonder, is it because time with them is temporary? Meant only to enjoy? And with his own children it was 24/7 responsibility. Is it because with time, we see the future in these small beings? Blood of our blood.
I worry about my leg thing, as I have come to think of it. It can be particularly cruel in the mornings and he must be there by 0800. I think I will not sleep that night and trick it into thinking it is just the continuation of the day. Normally it stops hurting in the afternoon and by bedtime I have forgotten about the spinal nerve pain. Or at least, have pushed it aside for a little while. He says he will drive himself and they can call me afterwards. But how will I ever find the car in that huge garage? And how can I even think of not being there? But will they let me be there? They are so strict with visitors in this covid age. But I will limp there regardless and if they turn me away, I will drive home and wait.