Family Life, Misc

Today’s The Day

It has been 3 months since I had a health scare that landed me in the ER for 9 hours!  What they found that night was two things.  One, I have very high blood pressure that needs medication.  Two, I have a thickening in my aorta.  I was referred to a cardiologist who isn’t sure what is going on.  He ran a whole series of blood tests on me.  I was tested for everything from hepatitis to scleroderma.  Thankfully, everything is fine.  The majority of my blood might have been drained, but my blood work is good.

Of course with that all being fine, the question remains, what is wrong with my heart?  So, today, I am having a cardiac MRI.  I was pretty calm about it, until last night.  Now, I am getting a little scared.  It doesn’t help that I am terribly claustrophobic and this is going to be a two hour procedure.  My husband is going with me.  He won’t be able to hold my hand during the procedure, but I know he will be in the waiting room for me when I am done.  Claustrophobia set aside, I am actually starting to worry that they are going to find something wrong with me.  Given the heart procedures my dad has had this year, I am scared I might have to have the same thing done to me.  Most of the time, I feel like I am pretty strong.  But today, I am not really feeling that way.

I had planned on skipping the procedure.  I told myself that I was going to skip it because it was unnecessary, the blood work told me I am healthy.  I also used the excuse that with our high deductible insurance, this was not fiscally responsible, which is ridiculous of course.  I was going to skip it because I just didn’t want to know.  Ignorance is bliss and all.  But, after long discussions with my husband, parents and some really good friends, I realized that in this case it is better to be proactive today rather than reactive in several years in a cardiac crisis.

So, off we go in a few hours.  When we return, I will be enjoying a glass of wine.

heart shaped lights
Photo by Ian Panelo on

Change Is Needed

I am going to write a bit off topic today.  If politics triggers you, it would probably be best to skip what I am writing today.

My husband and I went to a funeral this last weekend.  An extended family member went to a local gun store, purchased a handgun and was able to walk out of the store.  Within a couple hours, this person was gone.  There are far more questions than answers as to why this decision was made.  Honestly, I did not know this person well enough to even venture a guess.  But the fact remains that this kind of death, no matter how close you are to victim doesn’t matter.  The outcome is heartbreaking and those left behind will never truly get over such a loss.

The state of Wisconsin does not have a waiting period when purchasing a firearm.  That safety measure was eliminated in 2015.  Why?  I have no idea.  But I would guess that the NRA donations to the powers that be in Madison had a lot to do with it.  With that single stroke of the pen, hundreds, thousands of lives have been impacted.  You have to wonder what a 48 hour wait would have done in this situation.  All of us know how a single incident can be so all consuming that you cannot possibly believe that you will get over it or feel better.  But, a good night sleep and time to think and reflect can make a big difference.  I myself cannot count the number of times I have gone to bed thinking that something was the absolute end of the world, only to wake up the next morning and think I can get through this.  Or in retrospect, it wasn’t that bad.  Waiting periods allow for that time of reflection, to cool off and realize there is another answer.

I am not interested in debating the 2nd amendment with anyone.  The fact of the matter is that as long as it is in the US Constitution, people in this country have the right to own firearms.  But that doesn’t mean that common sense can’t be applied.  Waiting periods and background checks need to be a part of the process of buying a firearm.  It makes absolutely no sense that purchasing a firearm is as simple as walking into a store and walking out with something that has the power to kill.  Yes, I am aware that there are thousands of products that also have the power to kill as well.  But as far as I know, nothing else has the shear force of a firearm.

The day before the funeral was December 14th.  That day was the 7th anniversary of  Sandy Hook.  This was the second deadliest school shooting in US history.  On that day 20 first graders were murdered in their classroom along with 6 adults.   The perpetrator of that mass murder was a mentally ill individual who had firearms purchased for him by his mother.   I remember thinking that this incident will finally bring meaningful change to gun laws in this country.  Seven years later, we are still waiting for the politicians in  Washington D.C. to put people over their donations from the NRA.

I respect people’s right to own guns.  I live in a state where hunting is an important part of our culture.  I myself have never hunted but that doesn’t mean that I am opposed to hunting or think that it should be eliminated.  I also understand why people want a handgun for protection.  These are rights that we have and in all honesty are not going anywhere.  I have accepted that as our reality in this country.  That set aside does not change the fact that we need some serious reform to protect everyone.