Today’s heart attack update

13Feb11

It still hasn’t completely sunk in that Esteban had a massive heart attack.

Esteban has always seemed larger than life to me: He’s taller by more than a foot, and he’s always had strength to spare. (I once saw him pick up a refrigerator. And just a few months ago, he pushed my dead car up a hill.)

Now he’s struggling to walk. And I’m a bit surprised by how much I’m struggling, too.

I’ve thought a lot about mortality over the past 12 months. (Getting a scary diagnosis will do that.)

But as I’m discovering, there’s a huge difference between facing your own mortality and facing the mortality of someone you love. And there’s no question which one I prefer: If life were a game show, I’d say, “Give me ‘my own mortality’ for $200, please.”

That’s the funny thing about life, though … We don’t get to choose. Sometimes, all we can do is react.

And on that score, I’ve been doing my best: I’ve been trying to take care of Esteban’s immediate needs. I’ve also been trying to get a head-start on our “new and improved” future together, and working hard to keep our loved ones informed.

Of everything I’ve faced over the past few days, though, that last item has been the toughest. It’s been a bit stressful and time-intensive to field all the emails and phone calls. But it’s also been an absolute gift to see how deeply Esteban is loved, and to glimpse the many lives he’s touched.

I don’t have much to report today, except to say that Esteban is seeming more and more like his old self. I’m very hopeful that tomorrow’s cardiac MRI will give us a better idea of his long-term prognosis — and that perhaps he’ll even get to come home.

In the meantime, I’m off to get some rest. Tomorrow is another day.



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