Bypassing time together

We feel so blessed that that in the two weeks since Steve’s bypass surgery, there was never a crisis. We didn’t encounter any dramatic moments where we felt like we were in a Grey’s Anatomy episode – when things suddenly take a very scary turn and life hangs in the balance.

No, thank goodness. Steve’s recovery is just a slow progression toward less pain and more energy.

I’m sure if Steve’s post-op experience had been traumatic, I would feel differently – but as odd as this sounds, I’m going to look back on his heart surgery with a certain amount of fondness. Not that I ever want him to go through a repeat performance. One triple bypass per customer is quite enough.

So why am I getting all nostalgic about Steve’s surgery, when pre-op, I was pretty darn anxious about the whole thing?

Steve came home from the hospital on Tuesday, April 22, and I took the rest of the week off to be with him. The next five days were like a gift. Unlike typical weekends, that are jam-packed with errands and chores, my only task was to be with him. It would be giving me too much credit to call me a caregiver. Spending time with him and occasionally getting him something to eat or drink was so much easier and less demanding than my day usually is, that it was like a vacation.

I felt so much freedom knowing that what I needed to be doing during those days was just be with him. And the great thing is, it wasn’t like being with someone who is really sick and the anxiety that comes from watching their temperature moment by moment. Steve was weak but he wasn’t sick. He was uncomfortable but not in excruciating pain so he could be himself.  We sat on the couch and talked – we talked about the kids, food, redecorating, Syria, what is the difference between CYMK and RGB… our conversation rambled far and wide.

We have joked that we probably haven’t spent that much uninterrupted time together since our honeymoon 30 years ago.

Before Steve came home, a friend who has been through numerous health issues and knows whereof she speaks, gave me the advice to enjoy this precious time. When she told me that, I didn’t understand what she meant. I do now.

Now the challenge is how to recreate that kind of precious time without one of us spending three days in the ICU. We will work on that.

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