Hindsight is always 20-20. If not perfect, it’s dang close most of the time.
When I got home from work yesterday, Nick was sitting on the couch, face streaked with dirt and his eyes looking (as my dad used to say) ‘like two piss holes in the snow.’ He was dead-ass tired. He had been working on the trail most of the day (remember, he said he needed help to finish? Yeah. Not strong on patience when he wants something done, that man of mine). He was spent. I noticed he was breathing a little hard and asked if he was okay. “I’m alright,” he assured me. “Just tired. Really, really tired.” I took his blood pressure anyway and was relieved that it was normal. He didn’t say anything, but his face said, “See, I told you. Just tired.”
He said he was just going to relax while I went to spin class. We kissed goodbye and told each other “I love you.” I left with that thought in my head.
Yet, somehow, when Chris’ phone rang while we were spinning, I knew the call was for me. I knew it before Allan came down the stairs and pointed at me. “That was Ken. They are taking Nick to the hospital. They think he’s having a heart attack.”
I’d ridden to class with Dana so I had no wheels of my own. Allan drove me to the hospital. The whole way there, I worried that he would be gone when I got there. I wanted to scream. To cry. I didn’t… because it have done no good. Instead, I concentrated on holding it together and praying. That took everything I had.
I ran into the ER lobby and was by Nick’s side in less than a minute. My mind took it all in: Nurse. Nick. Good neighbors and friends, Don & Sue Q., who had driven him to the hospital when things started to go south. Busy room. Lots going on. But the main thing was: Nick. He was conscious. Vitals were stable. Heart was beating…strong…watching the blips on the screen comforted me almost as much as seeing his eyes focus on me… Oh, so much better than the LAST time we were in that SAME ER ROOM—don’t think about that, Deb; focus on the present, not the past.
They’d given him nitro and started an IV. His limbs and lips were tingling and he kept asking me if I was rocking the bed, because that’s what it felt like to him. No, hon, it’s ok. Just relax. Take it easy. Keep breathing. Stay with me. Don’t go.
He did. Eventually the tingling left and they gave him a shot to attack the headache. Jake came by and made Nick smile. Rest and relax, everyone kept repeating. Don’t worry about anything and stay calm. Take it EASY.
Then, they sent us home. Unsteady and weak, home we went, thanks to strict medical criteria and insurance rules. But I digress- We’re home. He is still tired and his headache is lingering. He’s sleeping a lot. That’s okay. Rest, my love. Rest and recover.
I was here with him today and will be here tomorrow, too. He shouldn’t be alone and I don’t want to be away from him.
Nick will be absent from facebook for a bit. He doesn’t want his phone, either — so you know he’s just not feeling well. If you call his phone and I hear it, I may answer – but probably not. At this point, we’re just tuning out the world most of the time.
Good thoughts and prayers would be most welcome.