Monday, January 04, 2016

Catching My Breath!

The day after my last blog post, the hubs had a brain aneurysm. He came out the end as good as new, and I couldn't be more relieved! It certainly brought our relationship to a whole new level. It was great before, but now there is certainly more gratitude about the time we have together.

A question I get asked frequently is "Were you scared?". There wasn't time to be. Everything happened so fast. We were taking it as we were dealt with it, and having to make decisions quickly. I got to have my meltdown when they rolled the hubs into surgery, but it was a healthy meltdown. The next question I get asked "Wasn't anyone with you?". No, no one physically was there. I think that was best. I think I would have felt obligated to keep it together if someone was there. Because when I break down, it is ugly and worrisome. When they wheeled Brian back in, he was chatty and "drunk". Then I wasn't worried anymore. The whole experience was amazing. He was in agony, and then two hours later he felt great. He just kept getting better. I almost felt guilty his parents drove/flew down from Pennsylvania in record breaking time to be there when he got back - I know they were glad to be there and see for themselves he was fine.

Looking back at the whole thing, I probably should have been more terrified. I don't think at the time I had all the information about what usually happens when people get brain aneurysms. People love to tell you stories about how they know someone who was 26 years old with a wife and four babies who died from a brain aneurysm. There's nothing more comforting than hearing that (sarcasm). Rest assured, we witnessed first hand in the Neuro ICU what the usual outcome is for brain aneurysm. Poor Brian got severe survivor's guilt every time he had to go for a walk down the ICU unit. Every other patient was not usually even conscious. When Brian walked down the ICU unit it was like a parade. All the nurses would get so excited to see a walking patient. I sometimes think the walk was better for the moral of the staff on that ICU unit.

Once Brian was on the mend, my focus changed fast. Nothing like the possibility of health and financial disaster to really get one motivated. Our two weeks in the hospital really kicked things into overdrive. Usually, I don't take on more than one commission at a time with the same deadline. Motivated by the need to pay hospital bills and the weeks the hubs was going to be out of work while he got back to 100%, I signed two commission contracts with the same deadline and a third soon after. I'm thankful that worked out, and that people have faith in my compositions, it gave us more latitude financially. However, I had to ramp up my work. If it paid, I didn't turn it down.

What should have been a month of hanging out with the hubs while he healed, turned into the craziest month of taking care of Brian, juggling work, family, dogs, and sleep. I do have to say I never slept better during that month. If I laid down on the bed I was out. I am grateful to friends and family who helped take care of us during that time - some of them I missed because I fell asleep during the visit. Friends did everything from showing up with magazines to help with the boredom (not mine!), buying me dinner - because you forget to eat, to getting my paycheck to me so we wouldn't miss a mortgage payment, and even a friend who stayed the weekend last minute while Brian was in the ER and transferred to Emory. All those little things really made a huge difference. So next time this happens to a friend, even just showing up at the hospital to say hi or giving them a couple bucks to hit up the vending machine can really help out. It doesn't take much in a time like that. I know I never know what to do when friends are in that situation - it doesn't have to be a big gesture to make a huge impact.

So Brian is back to "normal" and so am I by the time October rolled around. It's been a flurry of flute playing, teaching, and composing. So much happened, I'll have to space out the posts. The next 4 months look equally packed. Then May will hit, and I will long for these days that are too busy to blog about any of the events. For now, this post explaining my absence will have to do. I'm pretty sure the "My Husband Had An Aneurysm" excuse has been played out by now. Don't worry, we joke about it, but we know things could be a lot different and that is not lost on us. I'm thankful we get more time together.

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