My family was hit by tragedy this week. My husband, the most robust, strong and clever man I have known for over 25 years, suffered a heart attack.
It was a surreal moment, sitting next to the man I love in the Coronary Care Unit, a plethora of wires attaching him to a nearby bleeping machine that monitored every second of his blood pressure and heart rate. Especially when he pulled a face, leant over to me and whispered, “I don’t know what I’m doing in here, they’re all old.” And he was quite right, at only 45 he was definitely the youngest patient on the cardiac ward.
We were told that the three main contributory factors to heart disease are smoking, high cholesterol and genetics. Unfortunately, he was victim of the third. The amazing cardiac staff acted very quickly and performed an emergency medical procedure to open up the blocked artery and remove the danger. A day later, much to everyone’s relief, he came home and began the long road to recovery.
The title of this post is probably a bit misleading. I’ve always felt pretty comfortable with my priorities in life – my nearest and dearest come first. Hubby and I have plans to retire early and travel again. There are so many places on our wish list – South America, Africa, more of the Far East. After that, we’ll come home, buy a campervan and explore Europe. Generally, I don’t live in a ‘grass is greener’ world. (OK, I admit, I wouldn’t mind if Mr Pan McMillan picked up my new book and turned it into an overnight bestseller, but a girl can dream, right?) Yet I do realise that this week could have gone very differently. It made me realise that our bodies are merely machines and, at any age, they can falter and breakdown.
So, whatever hurdles life places in my path now, I’m plumping for Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy – ‘never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today’. When I think about postponing that holiday, I’ll think again. I’m going to do, do, do; enjoy my daughter, sit up ‘til the early hours chatting with my husband, have fun with my dog, book loads of holidays, spend time with friends, indulge my hobbies and laugh, laugh, laugh. That’s my wake up call.
I’ll leave you with Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 hit, Sunscreen. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
This post is dedicated to the wonderful cardiac team at KGH. Thank you for sending our special person back in one piece. We will always be grateful.