So when that kooky clairvoyant told me he had a heart problem. I smiled, smugly safe. Nah, it’s me with the wonky heart, not him. But within weeks of that odd meeting; he was rushed into hospital for what we thought was pneumonia. He could barely breathe, was grey and covered in a sheen of cold sweat. I knew something was very wrong, because when I sternly suggested a trip to the doctor, he swore at me. My hubster swears at the rugby ref. But not at me! We went, pronto. Straight into resus at the local clinic. A clever nurse looked at his heart trace and called the ambulance. My man was in trouble.
It turns out, he had a bicuspid aortic valve and needed a new one. It was shocking, terrifying and life changing. We waited while he rested and they pumped him full of medications to reduce the size of his heart. It had been under so much pressure from the faulty valve and regurgitation, for so long, that it was massive.
I always knew he had a big heart.
Bit scary though, when it is too big to operate on. We waited and then, six weeks after diagnosis, they decided they couldn’t wait longer, they’d push on. He underwent rib cage-cranking, chest opening, spare part surgery and came out with a brand new synthetic valve. Click. Click. Click. I can hear it, if I concentrate on it. The ticky clicking of his new valve is a familiar and comforting sound now. So familiar we barely notice it anymore.
He’s got a strong heart.
Every year, they check on the progress of his heart. Measure to see if it is coming down in size; it takes a while apparently. Years. Sometimes, they can get larger and the med regime changes in the wrong direction. See, when it comes to betablockers, more is less. The more you take the less energy you have. The harder it is for your heart to respond organically to exertion. There’s a knock on for everything. But on it ticks. Click. Click. Click. Slowly, calmly. It’s okay, heart. You’re okay, just chill. Keep it all on the level.
It’s a steady heart.
Sometimes at night, I lie there listening to his beautiful heart. When they did his heart op, the nurse said that people post heart surgery are often quite emotional. It’s a normal part of cardiology she said: emotion. Makes me think there is something more to the mythology and imagery around hearts. Why do we equate the heart with love? There must be more to the heart’s connection to love than meets the eye. And that makes me think that it is small wonder his heart is so big.
He carries so much in that heart.
My hubster is the best of men. He works so hard. He shows us, all of us, in our big menagerie of a family, how much he cares by how he soldiers on. He provides for us, so well. In spite of all the hurdles and the hot mess our mutual health states are in. And as well as the pressures of a big job, he builds beautiful furniture, fixes stuff, works on miniature stables with our daughter, karate practise and lego with our son. He looks after me, he becomes a mum in my place when I can’t be here. He’s a good hubster, a good dad; that man. Solid, dependable and loving. A strong and funny guy. I laugh with him, and it makes so many things a joy. Things I never thought could be funny. We are friends.
Sometimes he even does the washing!
See? He’s got a generous heart.
We went for his regular cardiac ultrasound check up today. It was a bit of a carnival atmosphere, at least in our little corner. A familiar sonographer (the lovely James from Yorkshire). A familiar waiting room. We’re frequent fliers. We enjoyed the chance to be there together, just us. And James. Actual dates are a bit few and far between these days. we were holding hands like teenagers. Squee! He even let me take some photos for your edification.
Here he is, with the lovely James. They got a bit snuggly, out of necessity. James did a bit of geo-phys on my man’s Time Team terrain. Cute conversations about radiology stuff (hubster used to work in Radiology). Cute bum. (Hubster’s, ‘cause James didn’t have one).
It was so good to be there today and reflect on what a ride the last three years have been. We’re compatible in quite a few ways, us two. And all those years ago at the Desperate and Dateless ball, our very hearts were reaching out to each other. Tickety boom. I’m a bit broken, like you. Wanna fall in love?
He has my heart and I have his. It’s a nice mutual arrangement, that one.
Here are the Lumineers, singing about it. Finding and choosing my man.
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet heart.