Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life Whaps Grace Upside the Head

Aging is about more than finances. It's about life's little (and not-so-little) surprises.

While it is my intent to concentrate on finances in this blog, there are times when real life trumps even the money.

Consider Tuesday.

There I was, sitting in a hospital room in one of those ridiculous open-backed gowns, looking at pastel watercolors of a human heart and listening to my cardiologist explain all the ways in which Grace's heart did NOT look like the pretty pictures.

If I'd had any warning, any pain, ANY sign at all that I was in trouble, I might have been more prepared. As it was, I'd come in for an angiogram because a routine stress test had shown "ambiguous" results. That, along with some seriously lousy genetics (mom, dad, grandparents on both sides all had heart conditions) led to the angiogram.

Long story short, I'm undergoing open heart surgery on Saturday. Triple by-pass time.

Funny how finances don't play into situations like this. I didn't even ask about my insurance coverage. I still haven't. I just assume it will mostly cover what I need, and if it doesn't--well, like Scarlett O'Hara in a different context, I'll think about it tomorrow.

Thank God I HAVE health insurance. And a job. And my family. Two of my daughters are professional caregivers, so I'll be in good hands.

I expect to be off the computer for a few days.

After that, I'll explore the finances of aging with much more attention to the details.


Anonymous said...

OMG! Grace! Grace! Grace!

This is unbelievable.

But you are going to be fine. I am going to pray like crazy for you to come out of this perfectly.

Yes, thank goodness you have health insurance, a job, a family, friends....and this blog, filled with people who love and care about you!

Please don't worry. You will be fine. But please if you can just have someone just write a few lines or two after Saturday and let us know you are OK?

I love you Grace! I will be praying for you. You will be fine!

Peace and love!!!!


Sharon said...

Oh, Grace, I was so not expecting this either!
Prayers will abound this weekend, luckily by-pass surgery has advanced soooooo much....

You will be fine!!!
Will be thinking about you!!!

Kemkem said...

Having been an avid reader of your blog in the last few months, and knowing how much moxie you've got, this is going to be a walk in the park! My prayers will be with you and best wishes for a quick recovery... I don't pick my heroes willy nilly! :o)

Retired Syd said...

Wow, that's sure not what I expected to read today in your blog!

Very scary. We'll all be sending positive thoughts your way. Just think of all the material you'll have for your blog afterwards!

Hope everything goes exactly as it is supposed to and that your recovery is speedy.


CT Mom said...

I got whapped too, and had my surgery last month. (not open heart, but still a surprise just the same ...)

I'll be thinking of you - {{{hugs}}}

Take care!

frugal zeitgeist said...

Yikes! Best wishes for an uneventual procedure and a quick recovery.

road less traveled said...

I hope you recover swiftly. From reading your blog we already knew you had a big heart.

Shevy said...

Oh, Grace! I'm so sorry to hear that you need surgery. Speedy recovery to you and we'll all be waiting anxiously to hear good news.

Along the lines of Morrison's request, is it possible for one of your kids to post an update after the surgery?

Carol said...

Oh dear!!! I was certainly not expecting that!!! I guess, to look on the bright side, it's a good thing it was caught before it was too late, huh? I love the way you always try to count your blessings...

My mother in law had quintuple bypass surgery about two years ago, she didn't really recover too well, they ended up putting a stent in, too :-( And now she is as good as new :-)

And David Letterman looks pretty good, I know he's had bypass surgery...

I'll say a prayer for you and hope you're back soon!

Bouncing Back said...

This is soo unexepected! Yup, take care of yourself and be well. Scarlett had great advice, think about it tomorrow.

I will be thinking happy thoughts for you and please just give a quick check in if you can. I know you will need to rest and heal, but check in if you can.

We are all here for you.

Linda said...

Grace, I'm so grateful that you found this before it did more damage to your heart. I won't say you were lucky, because I'm a 19-year survivor of early breast cancer that I found when I was 40, and I hated it when people told me I was lucky I found it early. Because of my family history, that "lucky" diagnosis meant bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction. I wasn't feeling too lucky at the time. I bet you're feeling the same "not lucky" feeling with your upcoming surgery. But here's the thing: when you're looking back after 19 years, you will know you were lucky. So, here's to the beginning of your new and healthier life. Expect to be moody and vulnerable at times as you come to grips with what happens. Expect great joy, too, as you feel released from obligations to be everything to everybody and really explore what it is you want to make of the rest of your life!

Oh, and all that stuff about how a tangle with a life-threatening disease or condition makes you breeze over the little trials and travails of life and not be bothered by them because you now know what's really important? Sorry, didn't happen with me. I of course now know what's important (people, people, people) but I'm sitting here obsessing as I type this because I forgot to take the wash out of the washing machine last night and put it in the dryer and I have to bake a cake and my stock-market trades haven't all gone through this afternoon.

Be easy on yourself, Grace, if you don't fit the norms for what you expected, if you don't overnight turn into a calm, Zen-like version of yourself. You'll still be yourself, and that's the best thing.

Anonymous said...


I've been reading your blog a long time. Lots of love coming your way from Cincinnati.


Terri said...

Oh Grace, I'm so sorry to hear your news. I wish you the very best in your surgery and recovery. Good that you have some loving caregivers.

I came to give you good news that you won the book draw on my blog. When you're able send me your email address to teelgee7 AT gmail DOT com. No hurry at all. Maybe it will be a good book to read while you're recuperating.

Take care. Terri

Kim said...

Wish you well, you'll do great!

Karissa said...

Love and strength to you.

Petunia said...


Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery. Such an inadequate thing to say, but heartfelt.


Anonymous said...

Grace, I'm sending best wishes to you from Oklahoma for a speedy, comfortable and "graceful" recovery.

You have such a huge heart. This operation is all about protecting your health so that you can live a long life and continue to do all the good that you do in this ole world

Elizabeth said...

I am very moved by your post. Thinking of you, and thank you for sharing about this--it's a wake up call for all of us.

Florence said...

Oh my! I miss reading your blog for a few days only to find that you go and have heart surgery!! I hope all went well and that you have a complete and speedy recovery. We all love and miss you!!

mapgirl said...

Hey Grace!

Take good care of yourself during recuperation. :-)

Living Almost Large said...

Good luck and take care and best wishes!

Hope that everything goes okay. and you are blessed with a speedy recovery.

Linda said...

I hope your recovery is going smoothly.