With Go Red getting so much attention this time of year, let me tell you a little story.
I don’t look “sick”, I don’t act “sick” and if you ask me how I feel, I will say, “Fine.” But I have heart disease, peripartum cardiomyopathy and heart failure, to be exact. It's not a popular disease, but it's mine. From what I understand, part of my heart doesn’t work anymore.
All because I had a baby. She is turning into a wonderful little girl. If I knew what was going to happen, would I do it all over again? Absolutely! I wouldn’t change anything about her. There are some things I wish I could change.
I wish the nurses and doctors paid more attention to me telling them I couldn’t breathe, instead of telling me I was just anxious from having a baby. Me? Anxious about a baby, she was my third and Ted was a stay at home dad, what did I have to be anxious about? Mimi said it best, she told the nurse, “Obviously you know nothing about her because she is the calmest person in the world.”
I wish I didn’t get sent home first and then have to leave to go back to the hospital and then not to return for almost 2 weeks. That was the one and only time I didn’t kiss my kids before I left the house, I have NEVER EVER done that again. I wish the doctors didn’t tell my husband they thought I wasn’t going to make it, no one should have to hear that.
Once I was sent through the tunnel from Women and Infants to RI Hospital, I was put in the cardiac ICU, I had no idea it was the ICU until the nurse moved me to the other side and I asked what the difference was. Every time someone told me how sick I was, I just said, “I’ll get better,” because there was no other option. I remember the shocked faces when people would read the name on the door "Kraus" and then see me. They were expecting a much older person.
I am grateful I had a wonderful doctor, who kept telling me, “We’re going to make you better,” and now tells me, “If you get worse, we can always do a transplant.” They give those out like facelifts nowadays.
I am grateful I got to spend Stella’s first year with her, I didn’t do that with the other two.
I am grateful I was able to get better and return to work for two more years before it became too difficult and had to make a choice.
As of now, I didn’t end up needing the pacemaker I was scheduled for (I was pretty much prepped and ready). I tried going back to work, but ended up being a stay at home mom. I became a blogger, which I don’t think I would have done if I was still teaching (contrary to popular belief, teachers have very little free time).
Some days I can only go from the basement to the top floor with a laundry basket once, other days I can make a few trips. There are many days I need to take a nap; and it’s hard to pull myself together in the morning, but I do and I will keep doing it. Someone has to keep writing stories about the Kraus kids.