So far, in my short life, the scariest words uttered in the same sentence were "your mom" and "heart attack," which were then followed by sentences including the uber frightful phrase: "quadruple bypass." And while hearing this is actually really easy, it's the processing and trying to concentrate on the subsequent utterings that will send you into a tailspin.
It's also the realizing that you are some three thousand miles away and barely a week into your brand new position. Nothing makes you feel more helpless than only being able to offer encouragement instead of hugs. I asked Maternal Unit if she needed me there and her response? "No. There's nothing for you to do here." Well I wasn't planning on scrubbing into the surgery Mother. Sheesh.
I only cried once during the whole ordeal. The day of Maternal Unit's surgery (which ended up only being a triple bypass), I received some coupons that she had cut out and sent to me. Maternal Unit is always worried about whether or not I'm eating and/or using soap. Considering I've been married three years, gained nearly twenty pounds and smell like baby powder, I would say her fears are unfounded. I also know that there is no convincing her differently and that is what had me dissolving into a sobbing pubble of mess. One minute I was considering if I seventy-five cents off Tide was worth it (it's not by the way) and the next I had Melodie in a choke hold, blubbering into her fur. It happened so fast that Husband had to do a double take to make sure he was seeing his normally overally composed wifey having a breakdown. Hugs and shoulder pats ensued and the tears stopped as quickly as they started because if there's one thing (out of the zillions) that Maternal Unit and I share in common, it's that, while crying may make you feel better, it won't actually solve anything. Unless the problem is a contact that has worked it's way up under your eyelid, then crying is the perfect solution.
It's been over a month since everything happened. I call two, sometimes three times, a week to check on both Parental Units. The doctor said that Maternal Unit's heart is very strong and other than being trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey (she has a wire holding her ribs shut) and a loss of stamina, she's doing very well. All of the running (yes running!) she did when she was in her twenties and thirties and then the bike riding in her fifties definitely helped save her life. She has always encouraged me to be active, run hard, walk the dogs, do something to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And with heart disease being the number one killer of women, I don't think I need anymore motivation to lace up the Reeboks and take on the road, always with Maternal Unit's voice saying, "Good for you Poopy! Now, have you eaten today?"