“MOST OF US SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON WHAT IS URGENT AND NOT ENOUGH TIME ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT.” – Stephen Covey
I’m never home during wedding season especially on the weekends. Returning from a wedding in San Antonio today I had a few “free hours” in my schedule before I was going to be heading off to hit the road again.
My husband decided to take me to lunch. About two months ago, Matthew was prescribed high blood pressure medication. The only time he’s ever had surgery was for an appendectomy. He put off going to the hospital for so long that he became septic.
My husband has never been in an ambulance and has always been sitting by me in hospitals.
Throughout our marriage I’ve had 13 surgeries. 11 for complications of endemetriosis. Two of those surgeries would take my ovaries. I had an emergency surgery at 25 to remove my uterus. I’ve never had heart problems but I’ve had plenty of other health issues. From thyroid cancer to kidney stones to three breast surgeries, my husband was always holding my hand. Today the torch was passed.
Th “few hours of free time for me” would turn out to be the most important hours of my being free and available for my husband I’ve ever had in our entire marriage.
After lunch my husband and I returned home. I was packing my suv with floral designs for about 20 minutes before coming inside to say goodbye. Cindy was calling and I took her call before trying to find Matthew in the front hall. My husband was apparently trying to find me in the house and struggling to walk.
Collapsing in front of me, I called 911. I was terrified and also due in about an hour at a wedding rehearsal. I grabbed a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of water. I crushed the aspirin and put them in my husbands mouth as the 911 operator instructed me to.
The paramedics arrived in about 5 minutes but by then I was pretty hysterical myself and scared as they hooked up the EKG. They couldn’t find an abnormality.
My husband was complaining of both arms hurting as well as his back and chest. I knew from my sisters EKG that read normal while she was having a heart attack not to trust EKG’s.
I wanted him transported and further tests run. My husband never complains about pain. Something was wrong. Very wrong.
As they loaded my terrified husband into the ambulance, I called my client who graciously rescheduled her wedding rehearsal to accommodate my need to head to Harris Hospital.
Arriving at the ER I was screened in and tested for Covid. I was also told “if you leave the ER you will not be allowed back in.”
My twin sister had driven from Parker County to sit in the parking lot texting me for moral support while she fielded phone calls from clients and family.
My husband was declining rapidly but the EKG continued to “read normal.” For three hours they tried to find the issue causing my husbands pain while we waited on blood work when finally a surgeon ran into the room and announced they would be operating immediately.
Eight people burst into the room and began undressing my husband.
I nearly ran behind a team wheeling him across the hospital from ER to the Heart Center.
I had been to Harris Heart Center before a little over a year ago with my twin sister, Cindy who had also been brought in by ambulance.
Sitting in a room alone I was once again terrified of losing the closest person to me to heart problems. It’s something nothing prepares you for. First my twin sister and now my husband. Heart problems don’t run in his family but they do run in ours.
I answered emails for prison weddings as well as traditional bookings. I also stayed on the phone with Cindy for five hours after she had caught up everyone calling her while she sat in the parking lot.
Trying to stay busy as I always have, I silently thanked God I was home. Had I not been my husband would have never made it from the back of our 2900 square foot home to his phone at the front of the house. We don’t have a house phone. I kept thinking to myself “what if I had left and was on location when this happened?”
My twin sister knew when she was having a heart attack. We both knew she had an issue within hours of landing in NY. She was clutching her chest. We were due to film for a show and under contract. Cindy and I have never NOT HONORED A PRODUCTION CONTRACT. This created an argumentative issue between us in NY. I wanted to take her to a hospital. She refused to go. “We ARE under contract to film. We have never missed a commitment and we are too old to start now. I have nitro pills. I will be fine.”
Our plane landed late in NY because I had a prison wedding at TDCJ San Saba Unit the day of our flight. Because of this commitment, Cindy and I left Fort Worth to San Saba then San Saba to DFW airport. The time line was short. We arrived at 8PM in NY and were due on the set for hair and makeup at 8AM.
Cindy was afraid if we went to the hospital they wouldn’t release her. So she refused. How she managed to film in NY in excruciating chest and shoulder pain, I have no idea but she did and was even witty and comical.
Finally walking off the set, she reminded me of the time a few years prior where I had driven to TDCJ Sanders Estes Unit for three weddings in pain with blood in my urine determined to get my clients married.
The pain was like a tire around my abdomen. I knew I had something wrong but wasn’t sure it was a kidney stone or my appendix. Cindy wanted me to go to a hospital. I was determined to get to Sanders Estes Unit.
Throughout the drive to Sanders Estes, I told Cindy “I will go straight to the hospital after the weddings and after the bridal photos and not a minute sooner.”
At the hospital, Cindy asked “can she get on a plane tomorrow if she needs an appendectomy? We are under contract to film in LA tomorrow.” The nurses said no.
After they left Cindy looked over at me and said “you can do it. We are under contract.”
Luckily it was a kidney stone and I flew into LAX in pain but committed to filming our last segment of This Time Next Year.
Leaving NY to DFW, I gave Cindy 6 aspirin at the airport and a bottle of water. Flying from NY to DFW I was terrified she would have a heart attack on the plane. The aspirin most likely saved her life her cardiologist told me. I had to fight for that nitro prescription from our PCP and thank God I did. Who knows what would’ve happened if we didn’t have those nitro pills in NY?
Waiting and worrying at Harris today the walls were the same. The somber non decorated waiting room for loved ones of heart patients was exactly the same.
Nothing had changed at Harris Heart surgery waiting room. The carpet was still dingy. There was no TV and uncomfortable chairs. I was once again counting the circle patterns to occupy my mind between emails while talking to Cindy and wondering why this carpet was never cleaned?
The last words my husband said was “there’s a letter telling you exactly what to do. Where everything is. It’s in the wall safe. You will be okay. You are strong and independent. Don’t be scared.” He was crying as he said this being wheeled into surgery.
Would I be okay? He’s the only husband I’ve ever had that I trusted. The only one who never interfered with my twin and I being so close.
My previous other ￼husband was insanely jealous of her. I divorced him over my sister, his drinking and infidelity as well as a tax lien he dumped on my shoulders. I claimed innocent spouse and won. I had everything to lose with that tax lien. My credit. My ability to buy a car or rent an apartment and even find a job. I was forced to defend myself. He could afford a tax attorney I couldn’t. It was on me to learn tax law and a good defense and I did.
It’s odd being home without my husband here. So many of my clients go to bed alone every night and spend holidays alone as they wait for their loved ones to be released. If I were to lose my husband I doubt I would ever remarry. I found the best husband for me. I don’t believe there is anyone equal to the understanding he shows me me regarding my family and my businesses.
Being kicked out of ICU this evening after my husband was transferred from surgery, I decided to drive to Steph’s restaurant and wait for her to get off her shift. I then brought her home with me to keep me company.
My husband has never used his vacation time or even sick days. He’s at work and on the job 7 days a week just like me. He’s president of McBee Homes and dedicated to being available to his team and I’m not quite sure how he’s going to handle recovering without going to the office. Staying home will be a change for him while he recovers. Neither he or I are homebodies. Being iced in last month was the longest stretch we’ve had other than the ice storm at our previous house that also left us without electricity for a week but at least we had water then. This go round we had no water or electricity. You learn to appreciate things when you lose them. Water and electricity are luxury essentials.
Throughout the weekend I’ve had several emails regarding face masks in Texas. The venue actually will make the rules regarding face masks.
I’m answering all emails for State, Federal, ICE and County as I can’t sleep anyway and will be available by phone, email and DM unless I’m in ICU tomorrow where phones aren’t allowed.