Was out with a friend (J.) last night. Got to feeling somewhat contemplative about - what else - the SCA. I guess it's either that or affairs of the heart, so it's the SCA today.
I had my arrest in the ER. I had gone in after awaking with an odd sensation in my chest. I got there with about 1o minutes to spare and then ----sudden cardiac arrest. The hospital is on Wrightsville Avenue. So much for background. (Oh, my friend had had a few beers; I was on driving duty - for a change of pace; that's normally his job).
In my contemplative moment, I commented to J. that Wrightsville Avenue is one of my favorite routes towards the city. BUT that sometimes when I drive past that hospital, I find myself anxious all over again about what had happened there.
My friend leaned in, looked somewhat quizzical and said -
I have accepted that surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) has numerous consequences. My humor probably has never been 'mainstream' or of the Reader's Digest variety. Always been a little edgy. Not a Jay Leno fan, but yes to Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart, Lewis Black.
But now, at times, the humor is downright macabre.
My new favorite New Yorker cartoon:
Man opening his apartment door to the hallway after someone rang his doorbell.
There stands the spectre (specter??) of death - you know the image: a hooded cape-like garment and the scythe or machete or whatever it is.
Death is handing the man a note of some sort.
Caption: Don't freak out, it's just a 'save the date' card.
I like it so much, I've ordered a copy so I can mat and frame it.
OK, so maybe the one year anniversary of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not a total bust. I realized today that I am happy. Actually happy. I wake up happy. How did that happen?
Reason # 1 - my heart is still beating - that's a plus to be sure. The implanted defibrillator has not fired. Another major plus. 2- I bought some new furniture a while back; it was delivered yesterday, including a quite funky chair (photo above). Love it. Love the whole room, actually.
So, heart, chair --- oh yes, love it here in my new home town. It is what I had hoped it would be when I selected it a few years back - fun, lively, and soothing to my jagged soul.
My home is peaceful. A year ago, it was anything but peaceful. My heart had stopped, I had a defibrillator implanted, my alcoholic ex was out of sobriety and apparently had been (on the sly) for quite some time. Had been before we moved, so pretty big lie there. Betrayal. My days were filled with raw fear about the heart, the long healing on the defibrillator Skippy, the need for a 2nd cath, loathing the ex, waiting for him to move out and just fear, fear, fear. And no driving for 90 days. Very few friends here as I had just moved. Lots of visitors, but few local friends.
And now, one enormous year later - my home is peaceful, I have stopped wasting energy loathing the ex and now just wish him health, albeit from a distance. I have friends both here and in far places. I get to the beach probably 3 times every week. My dog, Stella, is aging at 13, but still a joy. Dogs are allowed back on the beach now after a long summer of banishment. We walked an hour+ yesterday - it was like a doggy parade down there.
And one more - I have enough of a crush on an OMD (object of my desire guy) that regardless of what does or does not happen with him, I am confident I will be able to love a man again. And I had my doubts; I wondered if I were so broken after decades of loving or attempting to love an alcoholic who couldn't stay in recovery - I thought I might really be tapped out. But what a joy - I'm confident again.
So why am I happy? The heart still beats, I will love again, my new home town is a joy in so many ways, I am finally done with the ex, I have an OMD, my dog is alive and puppy-happy, I have friends I love, my home is peaceful.
I survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in September, 2009. It's not a heart attack; the heart just suddenly stops. Electricity, not plumbing. Nearly all who have SCA die that day.(well over 90%). The luckiest among us survive without brain or heart damage. I am grateful to be in that small club. Skippy (my implanted defibrillator) -we are grateful. Thank you for reading.