“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
This quote by John Lennon is one of my favorites because it is so very true. And yet, we, or at least I, often tend to forget this simple fact.
But when something unexpected happens it´s this quote that surfaces from the back of my mind and makes me realize that no matter how carefully I try to plan everything, in the end I don’t have the slightest bit of control of what I call my life.
About two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, my mum called me, telling me that she was in hospital because of her heart. When I arrived about 45 minutes after that call in the ER I insisted on seeing her although new rules had been applied since the last time I was there and that said that relatives had to stay clear of this particular area.
I was granted 5 minutes by a grumpy nurse. I was determined to stay at my mum´s side no matter what, they would have to move me by force. But in the end that wasn’t necessary – an accident that came in took hold of that nurse´s attention and by the time she noticed me still sitting at my mum´s side, it was about an hour later, and really, what harm could I do? So she – intentionally? – overlooked me.
My mum was attached to an ECG monitor while we waited for the doctor and it showed that she suffered from tachycardia. Every five minutes or so the alarm went off, indicating that her heart was beating too fast, upsetting both of us.
When finally the doctor showed up, a very competent and calm woman who radiated exactly what my mum and I needed in that situation, she explained to both of us what was happening and what she was going to do to counteract her symptoms.
She decided that it would be best when my mum would stay at the hospital overnight and so I went back home at dawn, intending to grab a few hours of sleep before visiting my mum again in the hospital.
In the end she stayed 3 nights because the doctors decided that she needed a catheter ablation, a procedure where certain areas around the heart are treated with either heat or icing to stop them from passing on the wrong electrical signals that make the heart beat faster and/or irregular.
During all that time I was very scared, not least because my mum was so incredibly tired that she didn´t even really register my visits.
When she was back home I took care of her, making sure she wasn´t lifting heavy objects or go to shop groceries. All that time I noticed that my mind was kind of hanging in a limbo. I couldn´t read, I couldn’t paint, I couldn’t blog. Nothing really seemed to matter apart from me being near my mum and keeping an eye on things.
When I finally did pick up a brush again about a week and a half later, I knew I was getting over the shock.
So far my mum hasn’t had any new episodes of tachycardia and everything seems to be good. There´s a follow up treatment planned in about a month, and she´s receiving medication. She´s still tired but her old self again.
And I´m starting to make new plans although I have once again been reminded of the pointlessness of doing so.
But then what else can we do to ward off the chaos and keep it at bay?