Have you ever had a really, really bad pain, like say you were in labor, and when the pain was over and the baby was out, you became aware of a secondary pain that was camouflaged by the primary pain? The first time that happened to me I had viral meningitis accompanied by the worst headache I’ve ever had. I was so sick, I moved into my sister’s home with my three little kids so she could take care of me and the children. As I began to get over the meningitis, and the headache started to subside, I became aware of a pain in one of my big toes. The more my headache dwindled the more my toe started screaming for aid. Finally I asked my sister to check it out (I had socks on) and when she pulled the sock off she was shaken at the sight of that toe. It was double in size and the nail was black. When she pushed on the nail, it fell off and junk from the infection spewed everywhere!
That’s sort of what happened to me in the last week and I’d like to share with you the circumstances surrounding it. As you may know, I’d been dealing with an extreme condition of atrial fibrillation for months, assisted by drugs that were supposed to help with the condition. I was taking the maximum doses and the episodes were getting worse by the day. It all started at Christmas time; in fact we didn’t celebrate Christmas. No tree, no presents, no family, no dinner, no cheer.
In March, I was scheduled to have what they call an ablation on April 8, but COVID-19 came and the ablation was considered an elective surgery. I had to wait four months with my symptoms worsening by the day. I had no desire to write, sing, laugh, cook or dance, and I didn’t sleep most nights. Several times I heard myself say, “I don’t want to live this way.”
On July 29, a week ago, I had the ablation surgery and since then I’ve been completely free of the problem! Now I have the glorious task of getting used to being “normal,” and it’s taking some time. I feel like a battered wife whose husband has promised not to whack her around anymore, but she’s not sure he'll keep his promise. With atrial fibrillation one never knows when it’ll rear its ugly head.
My doctor informed me he applied severe measures to try to incite an episode and my heart remained in rhythm through each test! He was thrilled with how we did through the procedure!
So why’d I need to tell you about the two pains with meningitis and what does it have to do with my current condition? Well, during this time I’ve been completely consumed with my heart problem and COVID-19 took a back seat to atrial fibrillation. But now that I’m fixed, I’m sorry for what you all have been through since March, being healthy and having to have your lives changed because of the virus.
I do have some advice that blossomed out of my experience. If your heart is beating normally, you are blessed. So you can’t go to church, your heart is beating normally. So you can’t eat in restaurants, your heart is beating normally. So you can’t have company, play with your neighbors, go grocery shopping, get your hair cut and your toenails polished, your heart is beating normally!
I never knew how fabulous it is to feel “normal!” I’m in some kind of gratitude mist and it’s felt like Christmas every day! I hope this gratefulness doesn’t wear off!
My heart is filled with love for all of you and what you’re having to deal with, but I know things are going to get better and you’re going to come out of this, grateful for the blessing of living an ordinary life and happier because of it.
One of my dear friends texted me and said, “I’m going out for the first time since the pandemic.”
I texted back, “Where are you going?”
“I’M GOING TO WALMART!!”
I loved her enthusiasm and got excited for her. Did you ever think you’d be excited to go to Walmart? It’s a wonderful life!