This afternoon my son with the heart condition came in and we were discussing his doctor’s appointment yesterday. He told me a funny story. He had to wear a monitor for 24 hours. He lifted his shirt up this morning and said he looked like he was carrying a bomb and said it wasn’t a very good idea to say that in class; was it? Then he told me that while in Spanish class today, his monitor beeped, and continued to beep which is the signal that the readings are over….he was laughing, all the while inside his head he was thinking he was rigged to a bomb….he went out to his car and took it off, packaged it up, and asked me to mail it for him. He also asked me to please order his medication change for him. His ability to joke and mean it really amazes me. Ah youth….but even at his age, I would have been screaming my head off…Then he went on to tell me that he knew several people with HCM. I was so surprised, he never mentioned it. Both are men working at his job, both are older, both have had heart attacks. He said that he talks to them about how he felt when he first found out, and asks them questions about how they handle their life. He also told me that he thinks they are ‘always looking out for him’…wow!! I am so glad that he has connected with others with his condition. Seeing people in their fifties that are living normal lives, with a few speed bumps along the way, has helped him have a better perspective…who knew?? I was grateful he shared, I did not have to ask him anything. He just told me on his own…..
This is kind of a big step for us. We have not really sat down, just the two of us, since we found out five months ago about his condition and really talked about it. When we tried to, he would be angry and I would cry. Today was totally different.
I felt comfortable enough to tell him my concerns about riding a motorcycle with his condition, or really riding one at all. He in turn, told me all about his plan to change the tires, make sure its mechanically sound, (even though he’s buying it from his older brother), to make sure that he practices riding safely before taking it on the highway and the wild blue yonder. I then told him that I had been reading about young patients that did ride motorcycles and their troubles were not from HCM, but from silly mistakes that they made on their bikes, or accidents caused by others. Then he told me that he had a card in his helmet with his cardiologists’ name and also with his dad’s contact information and mine and a note that said,’I have HCM heart condition’ Please call…..wonder of wonders! I have not been giving him enough credit!
I asked him if he had his doctor’s number in his phone, he said he did not, asked me for it, and promptly put it in. We discussed his blood pressure, and he said he would let me know if the new medicine was not bringing it down. He felt comfortable enough to tell me that he was getting short of breath lately, even to walk across campus and up and down the stairs, and even though my tummy was flip flopping, I Made myself Behave. I have started to look on my Anxiety as a Poorly Behaved Child. It worked.
My pal Anxiety was making me sweat throughout this conversation and I was sitting on the couch with a blanket over me, so he could not see I was digging into my hands with my very sharp fingernails so I would be quiet and listen and not react badly. My stomach was churning, I felt like bugs were crawling over me, but I refused to let my ridiculous Anxiety allow me to cry or become upset or even seem like I was the least bit concerned.
My son and I (he more than me of course) may have some speed bumps, but this is the first time in five months that I thought maybe we would be able to communicate and not be at each other’s throats. He went downstairs to his room and I could hear him play a song that he wrote for me. He plays the guitar and it was so beautiful… I ran out to my car in the pouring rain, and Yes the tears rolled down my face. After my cries were over, I calmly took out my eye drops, (quite helpful to have around when you cry all the time) and my youngest son asked me what was wrong, and I showed him the bottle. Maybe I am being what some would construe as dishonest, but I am actually trying to control myself.
Good Talk today and for that I am thankful.