Another late Update
Everything seemed to be fine on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday some twinges developed in Mom's chest and pain in her left arm and neck. She returned to the doctor yesterday and underwent another stress test. Unfortunately, she was only able to complete little more than a minute on the treadmill and they decided to do a chemical stress test. Mom called this "unpleasant, but survivable", which can be translated to excruciatingly painful, but the slightest grimace would be a sign of weakness. For some reason that they can not yet discern, the blood flow out of her heart is being restricted.
So, after the euphoria of a successful operation, we're back to the fear of the unknown. They will continue the tests today. I can hear the fatigue and pain in her voice when I talk to her, and I know that my father is scared out of his mind. I'm torn between wanting to be there with them (She's had all of this done in Wichita, about five hours away) and not wanting to stress her out with being smothered. I know that they have a tremendous support network up there, but that doesn't necessarily assuage the guilt. I also know that she wants, more than anything, to be in her own house.
You never know when you'll be facing situations such as this. I certainly didn't expect it at this time. I should have been prepared. My mother lost her mother to cancer when she was twenty-one and her father to a heart attack when she was thirty-five. By those standards, I've been extremely lucky. I think that's what they call cold comfort.
So, I sit at work and try to concentrate. I try not to call them too much and just wait to hear any news. I know that she is sick of talking about it. She hates attention, and likes people worrying about her even less. She's the caregiver, the organizer, the one that can make nearly any situation pleasant. She has patience out the wazoo, but is a terrible patient. She is the ultimate "glass half full" personality. When I asked on Sunday how she was feeling, she said, "Better" and then she laughed, "If by better you mean I can now sit on a chair without screaming". Obviously, this wasn't remotely what I meant, but she found it terribly amusing.
Anyway, the posiiblility of a third heart catheter in two weeks looms on the horizon today. Something that was definitely not part of the Jan Plan. The doctors should beware. You defy the Jan Plan at your peril.
By the way, I wanted to thank everyone for the kind comments and emails, except for Chris Muir, who joins the long line of "People telling Matt to eat his weight in Ring Dings each day". Seriously, it means a lot. When you find yourself sitting totally still, staring at the monitor, it's nice to have a few encouraging words pop up.