“Every artery is blocked. Every artery is blocked.” Numbness and fear surged through my entire being when I heard this serious diagnosis from the cardiologist as he showed me the angiogram pictures of my dear husband’s heart. Barely a trickle of blood was going through his heart, he said. What a major change from the initial visit earlier that day when the doctor had described his heart attack as, “a tiny little heart attack”, and his belief that only a stint or two would be needed. However, the angiogram pictures had shown the grim reality; five grafts were needed and soon! On the other hand, I was indeed heartened by the important truth that this, “tiny little heart attack,” was actually a blessing in disguise. Without it we would not have discovered the terrible truth until maybe too late. Additionally, the fact that minimal damage was done was another blessing.
Just twenty four hours earlier, Saturday, September 2003, George told me he had, “a fire” in his chest that wouldn’t go away. There was the quick trip to the emergency room at Southwestern Hospital, Lawton, OK, a plethora of tests were done, he was admitted for further tests, then the results from the enzyme test early Sunday morning that he had had, “a tiny little heart attack”, then the transfer to Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton to the heart cath lab.
Now the walk alongside the nurse as she wheeled my precious Honey Bear out of the heart cath lab and down the hall to his room. As we made our way to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), I thought of how different things were exactly one week ago, September 14th, when we had celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary while on vacation in Pala Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon Texas.
Questions were flooding my mind, “would my Bear die?” “What must he be thinking?” “What does the future hold?” These and other thoughts, results of the frightening diagnosis and upcoming heart surgery with its unknowns, threatened to overwhelm us. Suddenly, we felt a definite tug, that powerfully strong reassuring tug of the anchor of our souls, faith in God. No, we didn’t know what the future held, but we both knew that as children of God you win whether you live or die. Yes, the anchor held. It was firmly cast in the great God Jehovah, the Eternal one, the Rock of Ages. There is a rest and peace when you have a daily relationship with the Lord, rather than a mere encounter in times of distress.
Even in this time of seriousness a humorous moment occurred when my dear husband looked at me with a look of total surprise and said, “I won’t be able to go to work tomorrow or the next couple of weeks.” It was hard to keep from laughing, but somehow I managed and went on to tell him it would likely be somewhat longer than two weeks before he would be back on the job, but that the rest of the crew would do quite well covering for him.
The surgeon came in and explained what he would be doing in the surgery and told us it was scheduled for the following morning. We were pleasantly blessed when very early the morning of the surgery, a friend Blanche Brittain came to have a short devotional with us. Thankfully, the surgery was a success and some sixty days later he was back on the job. He went on to retire from his place of employment some eight years later after almost twenty five years of employment there. We are forever grateful to our church family, First Assembly of God, Geronimo, OK., our many friends, family and others who heard of the need and prayed. The anchor still holds today!
By: Karen S. Clymer
P O Box 22
Fletcher, OK 73541-0022