Monday, November 23, 2015

Can't sleep

I can't sleep. My friend Leslie always recommended keeping a pad of paper and a pen on your bedside table to jot down the thoughts that kept you wake. It is Leslie who wakes me . We attended ninth through twelfth grade as two members of the tiny class of '84. I think there were thirty two of us in all. We attended the same college freshman year and were roommates. I left after the first semester. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. I was a visitor in the hospital after her third open heart surgery. She was simply resilient. By 23 she had already lost her Mom to a massive heart attack. By 28 she had divorced her first husband, which was a relief to us all. She also underwent her third open heart surgery at 28. I think the surgeon was Dr. Weintraub, but maybe he was her cardiologist, not her cardiac surgeon? I do remember going with her to see Dr. Weintraub. Leslie was born with a not quite right heart. She had her first open heart surgery at age 5, at Mayo in Rochester. Surgery # 2 & 3 at Georgetown at ages 14 and 28. Two weeks ago she posted that she had been having symptoms since summer that caused her concern. She saw her cardiologist once, then twice. After the second visit he referred her to a cardiac surgeon at Hopkins. She was scheduled for a valve replacement at Hopkins on December 18th. But alas she didn't make it. I couldn't really tell from her post two weeks ago how dire the situation was, figuring she's a pro at this. I remember visiting her at Georgetown in the cardiac care unit after surgery #3, visitation was limited. I was waiting for my turn and out walked Wayne, class of '83. I remember Leslie telling me that Wayne had come to see her daily at the hospital when she underwent her second surgery at age 14. I saw Wayne come out of that unit and I thought it's a done deal. Those two are getting married. It was my turn to visit now. She was a little loopy post op and as white as Snow White. Even though I am a nurse I still have the hardest time seeing "my" people in a hospital bed. As I was leaving her room I kissed her on the forehead. She replied "thanks mom." That's who she needed at that moment in time. I was glad to play the part. 

She did marry Wayne. They adopted two children. We kept up on Facebook mostly, catching up on what the kiddos were up to. Her son, K, attended Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this past summer one week before my son. Later in the summer she messaged me that K was working as a camp counselor at my friend Niki's family owned camp. Niki and I have known each other since age 3 and 5. Small world.

Just two weeks ago Leslie posted on Facebook that she was in right sided heart failure and had scheduled her fourth open heart surgery for another valve replacement on December 18. I sent her a card with a prayer card and a poem. I had no doubt that her resilience would bring her through this. Yesterday I learned that  she is the first of our class of '84 to depart this earth. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Muffin Lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you. 🙏