The hard questions.

It is predawn early. John has already left for work. I am sitting in a chair in the family room, the only light is the glow from the digital frame with a photo of Joe snowboarding.

I’m emotional today. I had an appointment with a new cardiologist yesterday. I was seeing her because I have an elevated pressure around the right side of my heart. When I arrived my blood pressure was normal, as it usually is.

She asked me tough questions. It was as if she put her fingernail under the edge of my scab and picked it off. She asked the question, as people often do, “How many children do you have?” I answer that question the same way, always. I say, “I have a daughter, who is 23, and I have a son who passed away when he was 19.” I can’t bare to say I have one child. And, well, frankly, it isn’t true. While Joe is not longer here in the physical he is still very much a part of me and very much my son. Most people, when I say that, shake their heads and politely say, “I am sorry for you loss.” End of questioning.

Not yesterday.

She asked me how Joe died. She asked me how long it has been. She asked me to describe how I am feeling now in his absence. She made me cry. She told me it was okay to feel like I do. Then, she took my blood pressure again, and it was high. She told me about the Broken Heart Syndrome.

I liked her. Well, there were a few minutes there when it was touch and go, but I felt like she got to know me as a person. She was treating the whole me instead of symptoms. She figured me out in just a few hard questions. We have a plan now to lower the pressure numbers.

It was an emotional appointment and I am still emotional today, but I’m hopeful and hopeful is a good thing to be.

It is all good.


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