My Stress

I’m leaving for Colorado on Saturday. I think I’m still in a state of disbelief. It isn’t that I can’t wrap my mind around the trip itself, rather it is the impending surgery that is keeping my sense of reality at bay. Perhaps my fears will be unfounded once everything is said and done. I can tell you that I’m still on edge over all the other stressful events that have occurred recently.

Better Half’s TEE went without a hitch. The final diagnosis is mild pulmonary hypertension and that can be controlled through diet.

Pulmonary hypertension is the narrowing of the pulmonary arterioles within the lung. The narrowing of the arteries creates resistance and an increased work load for the heart. The heart becomes enlarged from pumping blood against the resistance. Some symptoms include chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The goal of treatment is control of the symptoms, although the disease may develop into congestive heart failure. This is why Better Half is going to focus on controlling the symptoms and correcting lifestyle imbalances in order to reduce the risk of future complications. Right, Better Half?

He did well under the anesthetic and bounced back to normal about an hour later. The doctor said he shouldn’t have any problems while I’m away. Stress #1 has been partially alleviated.

Stress #2 was the worry that family heirlooms would be sold off. My cousin reassured both my mother and me that this would not be the case. I fully comprehend that “stuff is stuff” but there are some things that take me back to a time when life was simple and my Nonna, my wonderful grandmother and confidant, would take care of me on weekends.


There are a few items that my aunt kept that immediately take me back in time. I can smell my Nonna’s apartment in Los Angeles; the aroma is a tomato Marinara replete with handmade meatballs. I can hear her in the kitchen and I can recall poking my nose past the stove and seeing her hands form those wonderful treats. She doesn’t just roll them. She tosses them between her palms with just enough force to compact the mixture into a shape that will not break down or crack in the frying pan. I have never been able to duplicate her recipe and skill (nor my mother’s recipe and skill.)

I took it for granted that my Nonna would, in my child’s mind, always be here. She moved to Misouri, and I knew that she would come back. She moved to Steubenville and, once again, I knew that she would be back. She came for a visit and a voice in my head said, “she won’t be back.” It was confirmed by my mother who, while standing in the driveway with me and watching the car pull away, said, “she won’t be back.” She knew, I knew. We somehow sensed it. Nonna did not come back. My Nonna passed away from an aneurism not long after.

It’s an odd feeling to have a fear confirmed. It adds to stress, I assure you. We all have petty fears such as a fear that a bill has been left unpaid or that niggling feeling one gets when one forgets to shut off the iron. In all seriousness I tell you that some of us can honestly say, “they are going to die soon” without any indications telling us otherwise. I knew that my aunt died at midnight (we knew that she was going to pass away soon as it was, given that she was in the last stages of cancer.) I knew because I felt the urge to do a rosary. There wasn’t any reason for me to be awake at that hour but for the fact that I somehow felt that I needed to be awake.

Bizarre, isn’t it?

I did not have that feeling yesterday (or in the days leading up to yesterday) thus I was able to relax while Better Half had his procedure. I knew it was pulmonary hypertension and so the diagnosis did not come as a shock. The fact that it was “mild” was simply reassurance.

This brings me to Stress #3 - my mother’s surgery next week. I’m a basket case. I can’t filter through my anxiety to be able to say, “things will be fine.” I don’t think anything will go wrong, but I do know that my Mum will be in pain. I refuse to say (or write) anything that would jinx that (and humbly beg my Dear Readers to please say some prayers for her on Monday and Tuesday.)

Stresses 1-3 have lead to Autrice’s tachycardia playing up in a fierce manner. I told God, “if I drop dead from all this, I’m coming up there and having words with you.” It’s not polite, but God and I have issues over plenty of things, my health being one of them. Bah, humbug.

I’ll try to keep my blog updated while I’m gone. I did so the last time. We shall see.

3 responded with...:

vintage moon studio said...

Well I drop in to say hello and find all kind of things going on with you! I am so sorry about your dear Aunt... glad your hubby pulled through with flying colors...and will keep your precious Mom in my prayers for a quick and full recovery. You will be in my thoughts ~ Deb

Autrice DelDrago: said...

Thanks Deb. This stuff has kept me on my toes and given me a new perspective on the value of life. I told God, "ok, lesson learned." I think that he chuckled and handed me a few more things to tackle.

Annie said...

Reading and catching up Toni Love. Moving on now to next in your posts. I'm happy to read the good news of non-loss of family treasures and BH's mild condition. This will give you the mental strength and heart strength you will need for the days ahead.