It's New Year's Day. Looking back at this last Christmas, how would you rate yours on a scale of one to ten? Many of you would give this Christmas a ten. We all want ten Christmases, but sometimes it doesn't happened. Our Christmas hung around a two this year, because of me. Ordinarily I wouldn't share negative news with you, because God doesn't look back so we shouldn't either. The only reason I'm sharing this with you is because I've learned, once again, some valuable lessons through the negative experience.
The main lesson is I'm not good at allowing people to help me. I love to give, but receiving doesn't come naturally. It's probably because women are innate caregivers. It's in our DNA so that we'll take care of our babies 24/7. But we can learn to receive care too and that's what I had to do (and am still working on).
It started three weeks ago when we were getting ready to get our Christmas tree. My heart rate spiked to around 170 and stubbornly stayed there for about a half hour. Our neighbor is a physician and we called him. He and his wife (an emergency room nurse) were here in minutes. Ron used his Apple watch to run an EKG on my heart, while Shay took my blood pressure which was extremely high. Ron said, "Uhh, we need to go to the hospital now." Terry drove and Ron insisted on being with us while Shay followed in her car.
Having a doctor go with you to the ER is like having a police escort. He talked doctor talk and showed the EKG and I was whisked into a bed. My heart rate was at 200. I spent four days in the hospital so they could tweak medications for what they call Afib (short for Arterial Fibrillation.
Because of this condition, we weren’t able to celebrate Christmas in our usual way this year. We didn't put up a Christmas tree, I didn't get to cook a Christmas dinner and the actual date was spent in dealing with the irregular heart beat. I got to thinking about the actual date and the countdown to it. Maybe your Christmas wasn't that hot due to a husband or wife deployed, an illness, an adult child off galavanting around the world or a family member in the hospital.
What has really cheered me up in addition to appreciating all the love and help we received from our neighbor, and friends and family who have taken their valuable time to help me, was the kindness and love I received from the medical community. Every single person who has helped me through this has been loving and kind.
Thank you to you if you are part of that community. It has to be a very hard job sometimes.
A song came to mind when I was considering the thought that the "date," December 25 is not what's important, it's whether or not we can live with a Christmas heart day in and day out. Here's the song for any of you who had less than a great Christmas.
“The Secret of Christmas” is a good reminder of what’s important during the holidays and all the time. Here are the lyrics by Jimmy Van Heusen / Sammy Cahn
It's not the glow you feel, when snow appears
It's not the Christmas card, you've sent for years
Not the joyful sound, when sleigh bells ring
Or the merry songs, children sing
The little gift you send, on Christmas day
Will not bring back the friend, you turned away
So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas
It's not the things you do, at Christmas time
But the Christmas things you do all year through
If you’d like to watch and listen to a fabulous men’s chorus singing “The Secret of Christmas” here’s a link to YouTube featuring “The Vocal Majority.” Take a break and get into the spirit of Christmas right now, even though Christmas is over.
Happy New Year,