Do you ever look back and realize how many warning signs one event had. You then wonder how you could be so blind to it. I have been thinking about this a lot lately…
Alex and I went to one of our friend’s wedding a few weeks ago. It was our first night away from the baby! Which also meant, my first night having more than a glass or two of wine. Of course, I became a little emotional over the night, so I was a little on edge. Alex also had a little bit more than he should have to drink and started tell everyone about his “near death” experience. Of course, he bragged a little about how close to death he was as if he had to prove how miraculous it was that he was here.
As silly as he was being with that, I realized it was true. Most of our friends did not know this had happened to him. We had not told them just because we wanted to tell them in person. Didn’t seem appropriate to tell them via text! As Alex went around saying he nearly escaped death, people then came up to me to explain what happen exactly.
I told the story a few hundred times before, but this night with being a little over emotional I started to realize something. There were a billion warning signs telling us something was wrong.
We discovered it was a blocked artery in June of 2017. We found out how severe it was in July when he got his stent in. However, the warning signs started the winter before. The first was when we were working out. He started getting out of breath easily when doing any type of exercise. I told him to tell his doctor about it. She thought it was probably exercise induced asthma. He got his inhaler in January 2017.
Next he started getting jaw pain. He told his dentist about it in March 2017 and they told him to get a mouth guard for at night. They told him that it was mostly him grinding his teeth at night from stress. We of course discovered later that the jaw pain was actually associated with the blocked artery.
These are some of the bigger signs, but there were too many smaller signs. Like the stairs at our house getting harder for him each day. Mowing the lawn becoming a huge chore. Just the feeling of something being wrong whenever we talked about how he was feeling. Everyone kept saying it was stress because the baby was coming.
I don’t blame the doctors or anything for missing it at first. This was a freak incident. Alex’s cardiologist told him that he was actually angry when he found out how bad the block was. It was 4 weeks between the scan finding the block and him getting the stent. They knew it was blocked, but thought it was minimal. Upon learning that it was over 90% blocked, the cardiologist was angry at himself for putting Alex’s life endanger like that.
So there I was telling friends and strangers at this wedding about the events leading to the procedure and after. And I broke. This was the first time I truly cried about the incident. When I first found out, I had to hold back the tears, but I knew I had to be the strong one for our family at that point. But at that wedding, there was no holding back. I told my friend there that I forget how close we were to losing him. She said to me that I would have had the support from them and they would have helped anyway possible.
However, my tears weren’t for how close I was to becoming a widow at 25 or having to raise my infant son alone. They were for Alex and how he wouldn’t have been able to get to know our son. He wouldn’t have heard his first giggles or first words. Wouldn’t see him go to kindergarten or graduate from high school. Alex is truly one of the most loving people you could ever meet. Yes, he is a sarcastic ass at times and challenges everyone, but it’s always out of love. He deserves to live a long and happy life.
I know plenty of people go through similar type of situations and don’t have a happy ending. I thank our lucky stars every night because I know luck was on our side for this one. The doctors and us missed about every warning sign, but thankfully it was discovered in time.
This is just to remind everyone, that if warning signs start to add up, don’t ignore them. If you have a bad feeling in your gut, listen. It could save your life!