I spent the last nineteen years thinking about what I would do if my husband died that I never had a second thought about my own.
I took our daughters to a Taylor Swift concert the other night despite being in the ER just a week before. Ear pain in my right ear was complicated by ear pain in the left and numbness on the left side of my face sent me to the ER. While tests showed no signs of stroke or heart attack, I remember thinking: “I don’t want to die. I’m not done yet.”
As a parent, I always drilled the kids about what to do in an emergency, who to call, which neighbors to trust. Not to the point where I freaked them out, of course, but I wanted them to be able to think on their feet. Would they know what to do in case of an emergency?
Case in point: I was still at work when the middle accidentally cut herself with a butter knife. Her older brother walked her directly to a trusted neighbor who put a band aid on her and sent them on their way. Our neighbor promptly called me as soon as they left and I was grateful to have this network, this village, these neighbors to help me with the children.
Before every deployment, we quietly talked about the what ifs. This would happen a few days before he had to leave and always when the kids were asleep.
He’d tell me, “My friend J– would probably come to the door if… you know…”
I’d say, “Well, I’d look out the window and not answer the door!”
A little humor in a tense situation is not appropriate but needed. I didn’t want to fucking think about a world that he wasn’t in. I didn’t want to fucking think about being a widow. I didn’t want to fucking think about telling the kids that their father wasn’t coming home.
And I almost did. I almost had to do those goddamned things in 2010.
Now we find ourselves in the situation again but I’m experiencing it from the other side. What if it was me? What if I had a stroke? What if I died?
Yep, this side fucking sucks too.
After my doctor said she’d put it the referral for further tests for ENT and prescribed an anti inflammatory medication, R and I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed a morning at the bookstore followed by a definitely inflammatory lunch. (I did follow up with a cart full of fruits and veggies and a new blender!)
We’re in our mid-forties and are making small changes to improve our diet. Luckily the kids are not picky and eat pretty clean. However, I am digging my heels because (1) I’m a butthead and a brat and (2) change is fucking hard. Necessary but hard.
Since the ER visit, I went back to having a green smoothie for breakfast and lentils and greens for lunch. I feel good but I also like to complain, even though I lost seven pounds and my blood pressure decreased by ten points above and below. This evening I made green tea but added moscato to improve the taste. Rookie move, I know, but maybe I could decrease the amount of alcohol everyday until I like the damn green tea. I could happen. There’s leftover chocolate mousse leftover from Mother’s Day yesterday and I haven’t touched it. Small steps.
Welcome to Day Zero. I’M HAVING A FUCKING BLAST.