My 3 Cents

  Heart Stopping

No recession here. Not as long as I can slip three pennies in my pocket and share thoughts. Two choices; to write heartfelt or silly. I’ve opted for heartfelt.

I am guessing at some point during the last few weeks, we have all had “heart stopping” moments. There are three times in my life that qualify.

The first time was when I was twenty years old. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Back in the sixties, this was a frightening thing to learn. A biopsy was scheduled with the understanding that if cancer were found, a radical mastectomy would be performed immediately.

My one-year-old niece lived with us, so I loaded her in what passed for a car seat back in the day (metal handles, cushioned seat, and a plastic steering wheel with horn). I would drop her at my sister’s before going to the hospital.

The seriousness of the situation hit me physically halfway there. I pulled into a mall and with baby in tow, found a ladies’ room in the nick of time.

The second time my heart stopped was more than fifteen years ago. We were flying into Chicago from Washington State to see family and friends. Anticipating lots of great meals and good times, as we pulled away from O’Hare, we got a call from my brother. My niece was heading into emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. My heart stopped and tears flowed. She was in her early forties with three young sons.

We drove to my sister’s home, tried to take a quick nap (since we had flown to Chicago on the redeye), and left for Pittsburgh later that afternoon, driving all night, and arriving the next morning. The surgery was a success – for a period of time.

Leaping ahead to the present. On March 10th I had knee replacement surgery. The next day, the hospital staff quietly stated if I wanted to go home a day early, it might be a good idea. Two cases of the coronavirus had been admitted to the hospital. The next day, I was told that a member of my surgical team had been put in isolation as a precaution.

My heart stopped. For the next fourteen days, I waited to hear if the results were positive or negative. The virus, even a month ago, was just beginning to spread. Fear was everywhere. Despite being in denial of my seventy-one years, I knew I was considered high risk. Results came back negative accompanied by a huge sigh of relief.

I was and am lucky. Life throws each of us into unforeseen situations and challenges. Nothing compares to what the world is experiencing at this moment. We all do the best we can.

Live each day to the fullest. Reach out to others. Take care of your heart.