Life in the City
2/20/2012 11:28 AM
By Lorelei Hill
Hello my fellow CHDers. You haven’t heard from me lately as I had a bit of a setback in December. Hee, hee. The doctors thought it was the end, but I’m simply not ready to go. Not just yet.
As per the doctors’ “suggestion,” about five weeks ago my mother and I moved to a furnished apartment in the heart of Toronto, just five short minutes from my team at TGH (Toronto General Hospital). The move came together so quickly, so seamlessly that it felt like it was simply meant to be. The hope is that I will get the call for my new heart before springtime.
I couldn’t image how I could possibly live so far from my husband and children for such a long period of time. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself in a quiet apartment with no children, pets, or Mike (my darling husband).
Turning to my artwork, my writing, and my networking, I soon carved out a very busy city routine for myself, as Mike and the kids did for themselves back in Port Elgin. Counselors, doctors, and friends marvel at my coping skills. I secretly marvel at my husband’s.
Now, every two weeks, he drives four hours with two very hyper children to spend a weekend filled with “family time.” And we take advantage of every moment we have together.
Three weeks ago, for the first time ever, the kids came into the city and did not wish to go eat out. Riley, Katie and Daddy had planned on going out to the monster truck rally being held in the city that weekend, but instead of “grabbing a bite,” Riley asked if I’d make him dinner!
“Of course I’ll make dinner,” I gushed, my ego doing flip-flops. They really do need Mommy after all!
Having Mike around is glorious! We smile and cuddle and simply enjoy each other’s company. Seeing his smile makes my heart leap. We have a beautiful connection. Our weekends together have now become powerful reminders of the bond we carry. Mike is my love, my rock.
Now when they leave for home my family hugs and kiss, and hugs again. There are few tears, but each time they leave, I can’t help wishing I were going with them. I don’t miss the chaos, but I miss my family.
The morning after my family leaves, I am still filled with exuberant energy. The electricity of being with each of them remains very much alive in our happy little apartment.
Mom returns to her morning workout and me to my writing. I feel good living here. So good, in fact, that it is hard to believe that just over a month ago I caught my breath, and nearly breathed my last.
When I think about my life right now it seems surreal to consider that at any minute I could be rushed to hospital to have a new heart inserted into my body. It’s crazy to think that I’m critically ill. Still, that is how many people, including my doctors, see me. The truth is, I simply cannot see myself in that light. Life is fun. It’s filled with adventure, love, and laughter. Mine is filled with creativity, great news, and treasured friends. And as for my family… well, you all know.
People look at me and say, “poor her.” But I don’t feel sick…
Anyone can be happy. And anyone can be sad. The choice is ours.
Hello from Ontario, Canada! Lorelei Hill is a mother of two CHD babies, wife, writer/teacher, and a survivor of tricuspid atresia. After graduating with honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Lorelei went on to teach and travel the world. Now settled into small town life, she is working with other CHD patients and her own cardiac specialists to complete a self-help book for young CHD families, entitled From the Heart. Click here to visit her website.
2 comment(s) so far...
By Ken Woodhouse on
2/20/2012 12:44 PM
Re: Life in the City
Lorelei, wow, thanks for sharing your story! You are such a strong woman, and I love your attitude and positive outlook. I'll certainly be thinking of you while I'm at Congenital Heart Lobby Day in Washington, DC next week! Stay strong and I look forward to reading all the good updates in future blog postings.
By Shelley Joseph on
2/20/2012 5:39 PM
Re: Life in the City
You are incredible and such an inspiration! I hope you get the call soon so you can move back with your family! I think about you often and wish you the best for your future!