A Heart Story – Part One

I never saw it coming. Never!

One day I felt fine. Still a bit tired from nearly a year of cancer, chemo, and recovery. I mentioned to my doctor that I lacked energy. She said to get elastic bands to strengthen my legs. (Did I forget to mention that she will no longer be my oncologist?)

On December 18, 2018, I could not breathe. I called the cancer center to see if this could be cancer related. No and call your primary doctor they said to me.

Before I could make the call, I felt much worse and dialed 9-1-1. Rescue was here in minutes and off we went to the emergency room.

  1. I had fluid around my lungs that needed to be removed.

  2. I was told I had congestive heart failure.

  3. A heart cath was needed because I failed the stress test, heart echo, so forth and so on.

My question remained the same: Am I going to die?

That was the last thing I remember and two days later I ended up having double by-pass surgery and then taken back into surgery to stop the bleeding. I remember nothing.

What I do remember is finally waking up and believing I had been kidnapped, and believed everyone was trying to gas me. I remember asking my brother-in-law to call the police. I remember my sister writing a “ransom” check. I remember thinking the “people” wearing coats were impersonating my hospital, and that I had to let the hospital know about it.

I also remember a priest coming to pray for me. (That really happened and I saw him two more times before leaving the hospital. He kneeled while praying with my family while I was in surgery.)

If I was going to die, let it happen quickly, please dear God because my mind was playing horrible tricks on me. I still didn’t understand that I had survived open heart surgery.

When those around me finally convinced me that I was at the hospital in ICU, the fog started to lift a little. I started to believe the truth and not what was going on my head.

On Christmas Day, my family was with me and the nurses said they could stay as long as they wanted. We had the best Christmas ever because it was filled with love and gratitude and sweet talks of family memories … not to mention filling in some of the missing pieces of what had happened to me.

On January 2, 2019, I was moved to the best rehabilitation center in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. I stayed there for 10 days and finally was able to come home a few days ago to begin this last leg on my road to a full recovery.

To be continued …

~Catherine

© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.

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