The Best Medicine

by Bella Rum

my sweet autumn clematis

August was a most unusual month around here: an earthquake, a hurricane, power outages, my heart slipping back into A-Fib, a few days in the hospital, my heart slipping back into sinus rhythm.

Did you read that last one? My heart went back into sinus rhythm! All by its little old self! My daughter-in-law said the grandchildren would be good for my heart. She was right.

I suspected it had slipped back into a regular rhythm a couple of days before I went to the hospital but I wasn’t sure. I told the nurse about my suspicions as soon as I arrived. They did an EKG and attached a heart monitor and sure enough! I had rhythm! I know! I’m going crazy with the exclamation points again! They monitored (and I do mean monitored) my heart for a couple of days. I wore a heart monitor the entire time, and I’ve never had so many EKGs in my life.

Of course, one of the reasons for all the monitoring was the introduction of the new medication (which was the reason I was hospitalized), but there was no need for a cardioversion after my heart resumed sinus rhythm, even though a man did arrive in my room at 7:25 Thursday morning with a gurney. He said, “I’m here to take you downstairs.” When I asked him why, he said the explanation was not in his records. I explained that it was the cardioversion and that it should have been canceled. Whew! I’m glad I was conscious and lucid, but I guess they would have eventually figured it out before electrifying my heart.

My heart tolerated the new medication and my doctor believes it will reduce the risk of it going back into A-Fib.

I received the best care. Everyone was professional and kind, but no matter where we go or how well we are treated, home is the place we long for. I was only gone a few days, but between all of the company, the hurricane and power outage and the hospital stay, I was ready for “normal.” I was so happy to return home.

I puttered around yesterday and started tackling the mess we made while the power was out: putting the Coleman stove away, the battery operated lantern and radio, the deck of cards, and even doing much-needed laundry. I never sneer at the ordinary. It may be an illusion, but the act of accomplishing simple tasks creates a sense of security and continuity for me. When I tried to count the days since I had been alone in my house, I couldn’t. My mind needed a day alone in familiar surroundings. It was just what the doctor ordered… or should have.Suddenly it seemed appropriate that I’d been watching the tiny buds on my sweet autumn clematis and waiting anxiously for what seemed like weeks for it to burst into bloom. It just couldn’t bring itself to bloom before I went to the hospital. When I returned home, this is what was waiting for me. It climbs on the railing of the deck. For the next three weeks, I will watch it and smell it while I sip my tea in the morning and drink my one (allowed) glass of wine in the evening. Sweet autumn and home and fall in the offing – what better medicine could there ever be?

I’ll be around to visit everyone soon. After all, you are part of my comforting routine.

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