10/4/2012 10:20 AM
By Kim Edgren
September is always a hectic month and this one was no different. With the start of a new school year for three kids, new families at work, and all the other running around, it usually wears me out. But this September has been good—an uneventful “heart” month. I have had energy and few of my usual annoying symptoms. I’d like to think it is because I have been exercising a little more or eating a little better.
But maybe it has been a good cardiac month because I haven’t been waiting for the other shoe to drop or looking at every little thing as a symptom. I have been living my life. And that may be because of the big milestone our family hit at the end of August: Alex left for college—1,531 miles away!
For all the typical reasons, her leaving was hard. Throw in a hurricane, loss of power and canceled classes for a week... well, it was really hard for her and us! For me, all of that and the doom and gloom of all the CHD stuff—you know what stuff I’m talking about—it really sucked!
Part of my difficulty was the dichotomy between the joy I felt reaching this milestone in my life and the fear I felt that I wouldn’t reach the next. I struggle with all the things in life I have been able to do against so many odds, and feeling like I may not have appreciated them all enough. As I age, I want so many more of those life moments and I want to savor every last one—even the not-so-easy ones like watching my baby become an adult and leave the nest for her own flight in life.
As I watch my girls grow, I want to be there for them and I think that in the moments of milestones—mine and theirs—is when the fear of that other shoe dropping becomes the greatest. What-ifs make living in the moment damn near impossible. But, living past a milestone...like having our oldest start her college life all the way down in New Orleans... gives just a little reprisal to enjoy the ride.
So maybe, that is why this September has been great. Life is as it should be, with my girls living their lives, growing into beautiful young ladies, and I am enjoying the ride, continuing to grow on with them. And for today, that is good enough.
Kim Edgren was born in 1966 with transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. She recently became the proud owner of a Melody valve! When she is not trying her hand at writing she is busy spending time with her partner and three girls, managing her two child care centers and planning her next vacation.
Copyright ©2012 ACHA
1 comment(s) so far...
By Terri Elliott on
10/8/2012 8:22 AM
Re: Joy Versus Fear
Hello Kim...I enjoyed your story! I, too, (born in 1956) have an L-transposition, pulmonary stenosis, and VSD. I, now have a shunt to help with my oxygen levels, and also (after a v-fib cardiac arrest) am the proud mother of "Sparky" - my intercardiac defibrillator. :-) I have a 34 year old daughter and 5 grandchildren... what a wonderful life! We could probably share alot of similar stories. I am employed in veterinary medicine and have written a chapter in a book which just came out entitled: ICD Connection: Living with an Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator. Pretty fun! I am giving a speech tomorrow at the Congenital Cardiac Heart Walk in Clarkston, MI... We should talk! :-) Hope to hear from you soon... -Terri