Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Catholic Carnival LXIV...

..is up and you can read it here. I entered the post about facing my sexual addiction. I hope you enjoy the other entries too.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Waking From The Coma

Last night I lay in a hotel bed after experiencing one more self induced food coma and said to myself and God, "This is going to be the last time I do this. Enough." I thought about when I said enough to booze nearly 18 years ago and enough to sexual addiction 9 weeks ago. And I wondered for the umpteenth time if it were at all possible that I had stayed the course so far out of pure pride. Can one evade grace or how does a person know they were actually leaning on grace and not on self? After all I had had 8 years of abstinence from sexual addiction at one point in my life. I simply made up my mind and that was it. Poof, gone. Whenever temptation tried to weasel its way into my mind I shut the door at once. So was that grace or self control? Okay, self control is one of the fruits of the spirit. So do people who do not confess to lean on God for anything have human self control or fruit of the spirit self control? Or is all self control via the grace of God and we just don't give honour to Whom it's due?

I wondered what my goal in life was. Did I think it was to get rid of all vices? Whas that what being Christ-like looked like? Somehow I didn't think so.

I am sick to death of feeling broken. Fix me Repair Man, please. My pride can't take being such a mess of humanity. I thought about being in an AA meeting and how people are simply unapologetic for where they are on the journey. I long for that reality to sink deep enough into my soul that I never lose sight of it. I want the cleaned up, polished fake journey much of the time. Not that I do that well either. Part of the reason I didn't post the other day was that I was simply sick of hearing myself talk about the same stuff over and over again. I wanted progress.

This morning I picked up my current read [hat tip to poor mad peter and sue] only to read these words,
"You're worth more broken."

I buried my face in a pillow and sobbed.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Whiny Human Drivel

There doesn't seem to be anything to write that doesn't sound like whiny human drivel. I keep typing and deleting it all so for now I'll just leave well enough alone. Trying to find hope in the midst of the struggle can be daunting. Looking up, breathing deep and hanging on.....I'm gone until Sunday, see you then.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

You Gotta Have....

...a sense of humour to survive in our household. I am married to the king of quick comebacks so that serves us well. I have often said that if it weren't for him we would have a very serious household indeeed. My luck all three kids have inherited his sense of humour so there you go. God bless them all.

Last night at the supper table I saw my son for the first time since Saturday. Remember my desire to stop stabbing him with my words? God help me, I'm learning. I start up what I think is normal conversation. Before too long I say outloud, "I have to shut up now." My king of humour looks at me and asks, "Why?" I tell him, "Because otherwise I am going to start ranting any minute." There is a split second of silence before I add, "Okay, I already did." We both burst into laughter and he admits that in that split second silence he was thinking the same thing. Oh, I am laughing outloud again as I type that. It was as if the Holy Spirit had been tapping insistently on my shoulder and telling me to shut up. Now I haven't had a problem thinking God has a sense of humour, nor Jesus but this is the first time I have ever thought that perhaps the Holy Spirit was laughing right along with us, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Trashing Candy Machines

Do you wait until you can make sense of something before you write about it or do you write about it so that you can make sense of it? I'm asking myself those questions this morning as I sit down to write.

Last night as I pulled up to a four way stop in town, I realized I was coming home to an empty house. Normally I crave solitude. Occasionally there are times like last night when I don't. Times when I want something, anything to numb the range of feelings within me so I don't have to deal with them. An empty house would mean enough quiet to listen. "Distract me please," was my cry. In that brief moment of stopping at the intersection I thought about buying some booze. That would deafen my inner voice for sure. You gotta know that except for my college days, I prided myself on never going into a liquor store. I sobered up in a town where I had never seen the inside of their liquor store. Someone else always did that for me. It was denial at its best. "Who me?" I don't go to the liquor store therefore I cannot be an alcoholic." Denial is a slippery word. God help you if you grasp it.

I came home without any booze - thank you God - yet promptly went through my mental cardex of distractions looking for a fix. And then I got pissed off because I knew none of them was ever going to be enough to shut out the Light. Fuck.

Eventually I turned off the lights, lit a single candle and turned on this CD. In my mind I saw those 25 cent candy machines that sit at the exit of many stores except these ones are labelled with my distractions. Put your quarter in, turn the crank and out comes stuff that will never satisfy your inner hunger. In my mind I eventually got really mad and started trashing them. In real life I can't carry two full grocery bags without it costing me spoons but in my head I was trashing over candy machines with ease. Anger and desperation can do that for a person. The music played on as I exhausted myself mentally.

Now what? I knew I could do any number of things. I could eat myself into a food coma. I could go see if there is a beer where my husband keeps them. I could turn on the tv and rent a porn flick. I could. That's the weird thing about God. He lets you choose. I trashed a few more candy machines in my head while I decided what to do next.

Eventually I took my prayer rug and knelt to pray along with the CD. There is something about the posture of prayer that signals a submission to God's will for me. I rarely kneel to pray at home. It inevitably leads to gulping tears and a snotty nose.

An hour later I went to bed thankful for another day of sobriety from all my addictions.

Friday, January 20, 2006

As The World Turns

Wasn't that the name of a soap opera? Another World was the one I watched as a teenager. Sometimes you get to watch one and sometimes you get to star in your very own version. I'll pass on both thank you very much.

Random thoughts tonight are as good as it gets. Dearest one has had a headache since Wednesday. A few hours in ER today with IV meds but no relief. He is sleeping and hoping a new prescription for migraines works wonders. The internist told him last week after his stress test that he could only use his migraine meds twice a month. He used up a month's worth then in the last 36 hours. I knew it was bad this morning when he said it was as painful as when he had meningitis. It doesn't get much more painful than that, trust me. Thankfully his white blood cell count today was normal otherwise the doctor was going to do the long needle in the back routine to make sure this headache wasn't because of encephalitis.

A man we used to pick up as he hitchhiked his way from here to town was in a bed a few curtains down. I didn't recognize him until I heard him talking to the nurse on duty. I missed my chance to go visit with him before they wheeled him away. This man had an incredible memory - it was a year once in between times when we saw him standing on the side of the road hoping for a ride. He got in and remembered us all by name. His memory is slipping now and that saddens me. I think of all the people who would have passed him by on the road and not known what a kind and gracious man they missed getting to know.

As I was sitting there waiting to see if the IV was going to help I also heard a little child crying. The kind of crying where one could envision picking her up and cradling her in your arms and the sobs would get quieter and fewer in between. As I listened to her and her mom I thought about how all those tears of childhood mark us - the kind of tears I heard today do anyway. It's a wonder we don't one day melt away with the pain of buried tears.

I thought about two brothers I knew when I was an aide in a classroom eons ago and how one of them was bright and sunny all the time and one wore only a scowl. One day the sunshiny one came to my house to collect any bottles I had for the depot. He was as cheerful as could be. At school on Monday when I asked him what he had bought with the bottle money he told me he had bought a loaf of bread and some sandwich meat and stuff for lunch. He was happy. How is it that one person gets blessed with a sunny disposition and the other one not? And why do we punish the one with the scowl as if it were his fault?

Sitting across from the drugstore I watched a woman cross the street and was admiring the playful splash of black hair set against her natural grey when I realized she was a coworker from that fast food restaurant I wrote about the other day. She too, is unable to work now. I rolled down my window and called to her. We visited a while and she told me how she had spent 4 days in her apartment recently without getting a phone call or a knock on her door. She grew up in this town and has plenty of family. I wondered if she has scared all her friends away. When I worked with her I suspected she might be addicted to pain killers as she ate them like candy and got very angry when the doctor tried to get her to wean herself off them. I sit here tonight with her phone number and home address before me not knowing whether to keep it or throw it away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Having Company

I read in a Feng Shui book last year that a person should get rid of all their houseplants whose leaves hang down. Yep. All of them. I don't have enough fingers and toes on which to tally up how many house plants I have killed over the years but for the first time in history I have healthy houseplants. And their leaves all hang down.

We moved last summer to a home whose livingroom window faces south. My plants love that southern exposure. Now I don't know if house plants read books or what but shortly after we moved in my Heart Leaf Philodendron sent up a shoot that continued to grow upwards instead of hanging down like its brothers and sisters. I thought about cutting it off but decided to let it lean against the wall all it wanted. I figured sooner or later gravity would prevail and it would fall over and follow the pack. It appears the joke is on me.

After Christmas my quarterly "have-to-move-furniture-around" chant started and we were going to move the enterainment centre that this plant was on. I went to move old heart leaf and found that the sucker was now stuck to the wall. Yep. That little old shoot not only reached all the way to the ceiling but beside every heart leaf there were these tiny little feet that glued the vine to the wall. I could've waited forever before this branch hung its head and played follow the leader. The entertainment centre stayed put and the plant is now making its way across the ceiling towards the light. It's good to have company on the journey.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Disillusioned Romantic? Not.

Not a clue what to write but here I am anyway. I start about 85% of my posts with that sentence; I just normally delete it before I hit the publish post button. As I wonder what to write about I'm picking up my current read and putting it back down again. I want some magic quote from it to do my writing for me. It's a book I ordered through the local library based on a recommendation from who-knows-who's blog. Just a few days before it came in I found it in a thrift shop but didn't like the cover. Because of that I didn't take the time to really look at the words inside. I dismissed it as some sappy Christian book full of platitudes and the like. Wow, my bad.

A few days later I started to read my library copy and realized I had just passed on buying a book for a few bucks that I will now have to pay 4 times as much for it if I want my own copy. And I do. I looked it up online and found the new cover a big improvement, too.

Well, I could write about asking myself just how much of my life is like that anyway? - the dismissing things with a passing glance - but that sounds oh-so-trite and if I'm not careful I'm going to sound like one of those weakly(no spelling error there) devotional crapolas that pass for spiritual food.

Oh, man now that sounds cynical and it's been a long while since cynicism was part of my regular thought pattern. I once asked Brennan Manning whether cynicism had any place in the Christian life. He said that a cynic was a disillusioned romantic. Ooh, that pissed me off. I prided myself on being a realist, if anything, and absolutely not a romantic, nor a disillusioned one at that. Hah. But he went on to talk about just what he meant and I remember sitting there and thinking "You can stop talking any minute now." He was wrecking one of those "la,la,la fingers-in-my-ears I can't hear you God" moments I am fond of having.

I prayed about being willing to stop being so proud of my cynicism. I liked making those wry comments that got a laugh and made a point. I liked them a lot. I liked having a silent "Ya, right" punctuating most sentences. But I did pray about it and God did hear me and God did answer. Oh, jeepers now I want to write a sentence that says, "Ya think?" Of course God hears and of course God answers. If I would just get my la-la fingers out of my la-la ears it might not take so long to remember that.

What happened was this. I went to work in a fast food restaurant. The first morning I was nervous. I was much older than those usual teeny boppers who ask you if you'd like fries with that? Heck I was old enough to be their mother. But the first morning I was teamed up with two women close to my age. And one of them had a mouth on her. On one hand I could relate to her hardness, her mouthiness and her sexual innuendo full comments. On the other hand she scared me. I didn't know how to react and it panicked me. We made our way into the back to prep some salads and muffins. I went through the swinging back door reminding myself that if I really found it too hard I could quit. Yay! What a relief. And in that moment this woman turned around and her voice faded out as I saw, I mean really saw, for a split second, her eyes. The thought flew through my mind, "she has kind eyes". And with that thought I was undone. In seeing her as she really was, I could never go back to seeing the world through those cynical eyes of my own.

To this day whenever I find cynicism running full bore through my thoughts and through my words, I stop and take stock of what is happening in my life. It's become a warning bell of sorts. And while I still don't see myself as a romantic (and I mean no disrespect to those of you who are)I'd like to think I'm a little less disillusioned and a little less hearing impaired these days. Ya think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Piercing A Soul

It's a weird but wonderful feeling to be so full of hope in the midst of living such a human life. But I do feel it. I've spent a long time waiting for life to work according to my plan, to be set in such a way that I can put my check mark on it before being happy. It feels good to see the futility of that. Notice I didn't say I've stopped doing it. But I am aware of it. I may be able to quote the Serenity Prayer with lightning quick speed but that doesn't mean I live it quite so fast.

My kids are all adults now and they only wish their mom would get with the program already. Having three kids close together made it so that they all became adults in what seemed to be a blink of the eye.

One of the reasons I am filled with such hope is happenings like the one I experienced yesterday. There is hope for me yet. My youngest son is a young adult with a steady girl. A girl and a relationship I would rather he didn't have. A relationship I can't quite seem to shut my mouth about. I have my reasons and they are pretty sound ones. It doesn't mean that he is obliged to see it my way though I keep trying to make him. What's the definition of insanity? Oh yes, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What an apt description of my behaviour.

I have pretty good intentions about keeping my mouth shut once and for all when I'm here alone, but the minute I see my son, intentions get replaced with actions, and we've all heard how actions speak loudly and good intentions pave the way to hell.

Sunday night my son came home from his girlfriend's house and I just couldn't leave it at "How was your weekend?" No polite, small talk from me, no sirree. Damn. I made my jaded little comment, his eyes registered the hurt and that was the end of our conversation. I could almost see him curl up into himself right before my eyes and close me out. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a one time occurence but it has happened more times than I care to admit. I've asked my son to bear with me as I learn but I seem to be traveling at less than a snail's pace. What I really meant was that he bear with until he could see it my way.

Yesterday I was talking to God about my mouth. About my inability to let go of the things I cannot change. About my relationship with this son. As I prayed the picture of a fencing sword came into my head. As I looked at the sword I knew I was using words to stab my son. I asked myself if I saw him with a sword in his hand stabbing back. A sinking feeling came into my gut when I realized that he held not a sword but a shield. As I carry my sword he walks with a shield ever ready to deflect my blows. The weight of both is getting too heavy to carry on the journey and it is up to me to lay mine down first.

So where is the hope in all this you ask? I never mentioned the picture of the sword and shield to anyone. I simply asked God for the grace to lay down my sword. Last night my husband went for a long walk with our son. In the midst of the conversation our son told him that he felt like I was jabbing at him all the time with words and that he had to constantly defend himself and that it was just easier not to talk to me at all about his girlfriend.

I know better than to think that I will spontaneously lay down my sword once and for all, as nice and spiritual as that sounds. But my grip is looser today than it was yesterday and I know for as many times as I may drop it and pick it up again my grip will become looser and looser until the need to carry the sword is gone. And that is such a good and hope filled picture.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Brewing In My Soul

42 days ago we were on the cusp of Advent. It was a snowy day here and as I headed out the door to attend an Advent retreat, I faced icy roads and a long drive ahead of me in the dark. It was to be my first taste of Advent since my reception into the church and of experiencing for myself what it means to wait for the Light to pierce the darkness. During that retreat I wrote this prayer. Turning my chair towards a wall of windows while watching giant flakes of snow fall I shut out my inner censor and spilled my guts to God in that prayer. Afterwards I sat in the room of women and wondered what they would think had they known that renting a porn flick for my solitary enjoyment the previous night was what prompted that prayer. That I knew with the viewing of that film I was spiralling downwards fast while seesawing between both the shame and the thrill of it. It was the culmination of a lifetime of sexual compulsion/addiction within me manifesting itself outwardly in a way I could no longer hide from even myself. My written prayer scared the shit out of me. I don't know what felt worse. What happened when I let my guard down and rented that movie or what happened when I let my guard down and wrote that prayer.

When I had been doing a step 4 and sharing it with Father Charlie in a Step 5, my sexual issues weighed heavymost on my mind. There was some relief in alluding to them, even speaking clearly about some of them. While inching closer to the Light however, I skirted around rigorous honesty. I was playing at seeing how close I could come to the truth without actually facing it. Compulsions I could admit to, but the label of having a sexual addiction perhaps belonged to the perpetrators in my past, it didn't belong to me. It wasn't too far of a cry from standing up at my first AA meeting nearly 18 years ago, and admitting that I was an alcoholic. In that moment I felt I had become my mother(the real alcoholic), something I said would never happen.

I brought a copy of my Advent prayer to Father Charlie the next time we met for counseling. It took a while before I could say that my prayer was connected to my struggles and that it had a name. Sexual addiction. I understood that some people could engage in some of the behaviours I struggled with and it wasn't compulsive or an addiction for them. The same way some people can have a drink and it doesn't become a problem. But for me this was a complusion spiralling out of control.

I reached out for help from someone I knew who had been on the path I was staring at. Her counsel, encouragement and prayers gave me strength to climb out of the pit of denial and stand on solid ground. Pope John Paul II said once that we should not fear "the truth about ourselves." Not exactly what goes through my mind when I think of Jesus saying, "Be not afraid."

I have thought often of writing about my struggle here but if other things I've shared with you have felt like an unveiling of my soul this surley tops them all. I kept open to sharing and then a few things happened to prompt me to go ahead and write this post.

One was that Moneybags wrote about people requesting a patron saint for the year. Well, actually it was about a patron saint picking you for the year. I am still new in my Catholic faith and thought, "what the hell - having a saint intercede for me couldn't hurt anything." And at first when I found out St. Augustine of Hippo picked me I had him mixed up in my head with St. Francis of Assisi. When the fog cleared I remembered that the last time the cat had made it into the house I yelled that if that cat was on the counter licking the butter again I was going to kill it and I knew I didn't have all that in common with old St. Frank, although it wouldn't hurt to have him intercede for the cat. After that my eyes grew larger with the realization that all I could remember about St. Augustine was his reputation for being sexually out of control. "Ohhhh," I thought. How appropriate. I was sure he was winking at me from heaven and saying, "Gotcha."

This morning I found this snippet about St. Augustine:
He is a prophet for today, trumpeting the need to scrap escapisms and stand face-to-face with personal responsibility and dignity."

and this one:

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break."

Oh ye good St. Augustine - you understand exactly what's been brewing in my soul.

The other factor in writing this came about from reading Ronald Rolheiser's book Against an Infinite Horizon. I read this account and it puts into words my own experience of these last 42 days of abstaining:

"You are as sick as your sickest secret. That's a phrase AA groups use to challenge people to understand what, at its roots, sobriety really is. Drunkenness, of all kinds, has much more to do with lying than it has to do with alcohol, drugs, or anything else. We are sober, truly sober, when we stop lying."

He goes on to talk about a film called Sex, Lies, and Videotape in which he says "a man who has every kind of dysfunction, including sexual neuroses in his background, makes a vow to never again tell a lie. He sets up a video camera and invites people to , with as much honesty as possible, tell the story of their sexual lives. The ones who come and speak honestly, regardless of whatever weaknesses or perversions they have get better, grow gentler and eventually get healthy while the people who lie and do not face their truth slide ever deeper into hardness, rationalization and self deception."

The Truth shall set you free is a theme that has woven itself through many of my posts. After I dared to say the phrase "sexual addiction" outloud to Father Charlie I felt my body actually relax. There is truly something freeing about admitting to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.(step 5) I no longer struggle on my own strength. God knows. God's there.

Well, we both know God has been there all along. But once, many years ago I felt Jesus standing beside my bed and saying, "You know what? That (behaviour)will never be life giving. You are trying to find life where there is none. Only I can fill that gap." There was no judgement, no weariness in his tone. Just a full knowing that I was seeking life where there was none to be had. And he was going to be patient for however long it took for me to surrender to that truth.

What else can I say? I look back at the process of restlessness with where my sexual issues were going and how that prompted me to do a step 4. I see how the grace imparted in doing that step showed me some truth which helped me on my journey. But it didn't stop there. It didn't halt the process of self denial in this area because I hadn't disclosed fully to myself just what I was messing with. Seeing the process of opening the door a crack to let a little light in lead to the door being blown off my self deception.

And this is not the end of the story. In giving up a source of comfort, a way of soothing my emotions and keeping real intimacy at bay I am left with a gaping hole of sorts. I find myself more emotional, more agitated. I see these things about myself with as little self judgement as possible. I pray more. I feel some embarrassment that it's taken this many years of sobriety to come to a fuller understanding of sobriety in other areas. There is also a deeper sense that the journey is a journey, a process. I haven't arrived. I never will. But there is a freedom, a relief in not lying to myself anymore. A gentleness with myself that leaves room for the process to continue. God's patience with me is life long. His love never fails. I shudder to think of trying to conquer this addiction once and for all but for this moment I can abstain.

It's taken me several hours of writing to get this post to the point where I can hit the publish post button. I started writing when it was still dark out. It is appropriate in more ways than one that the light is now breaking through the darkness outside as I sign off for today.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Searching For God Knows What

I swear I am losing my mind. Well, my family knows I have lost it but I am still trying to pretend it's all there. You know those memes going around listing 5 weird things about the poster - you might find out 5 weird things about me without me even trying to do the meme.

Went to town today to see the doctor. My hubby made out just fine....a stress test for him in a few weeks and we'll be reassured his heart is fine. Huge sigh of relief. He's not feeling himself exactly so we sure hope the stress test shows there is truly nothing wrong with his heart.

Went to use bank card to withdraw cash but typed in the number wrong 3 times. Miraculously the machine did not eat the card for lunch but it now refuses to acknowledge the real pin number. Wonderful town where bank card is from is 110 kms in the other direction. Left town with no groceries.

Get home and pet dogs on the way into the house. All three of them. Forget I've done that until after I've ripped the plastic wrap off the pizza pops and put them on a plate. I only remember when I get that distinct doggie smell wafting up to greet me. Petting a dog and then touching food without washing my hands in between is enough to make me panic? In my haste to wash my hands I throw plastic wrap dangerously close to lit burner on which the tea kettle is sitting. Did I mention that a few weeks ago I turned on the kettle and forgot about it - and forgot to notice that the burner didn't light until after the gas had filled the house for over 20 minutes? My guardian angel was working over time that day and it is a miracle that me and the house didn't get blown up. Today I went into the livingroom to read a snippet from Donald Miller's book (I forget its name, sorry - but somehow I know you aren't surprised. Oh, now I remember(honestly I didn't remember until at least 10 minutes after I typed that - it's called Searching For God Knows What) and came back to the kitchen when the microwave beeped to tell me the pizza was done. I get in the kitchen and think, oh I turned the kettle on.

In fifteen minutes my husband will be back with the bank card all fixed up and off we will go in the other direction to buy groceries. Miscalculated there. Here he is now. There's probably not 5 weird things about me in this post but I tried.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Good Hands

** Updated below

I had the beginnings of a post all nicely forming in my head and then life happens....I was going to quote from Anthony DeMello's book about love and how if a person wants to try and change the world so that it fits them, go ahead and try it but changing circumstances won't be the answer to happiness but that changing the thinking that goes on in your head will. Sigh. I spend an inordinate amount of time wishing people in my life would just cooperate with my plan. You'd think I hadn't spent any time in recovery circles by my seeming lack of progress in wanting control over everything and everyone. So much so that I ended up in confession yesterday asking for the grace to make more progress for my sake and for the sake of my relationships with those I love.

If some of you have read about Hector's daughter lately you know she got hit with a bad case of encephalitis or viral meningitis. Nasty stuff. My husband, me and our infant son came down with meningitis 17 years ago. My husband has been plagued by migraine headaches ever since, a lasting legacy of the meningitis. He takes meds for them but last week had to take it three days in a row(which is the maximum limit). I just got a call from where he works(he is an ER nurse) and he is in ER with chest pain and heart irregularities as a result of the migraine meds. I know, I know, you are asking me why I am sitting here typing instead of in the vehicle on my way there. I spoke to him and everything is under control, no sign of a heart attack but they are taking no chances and are keeping him there all day. As soon as my daughter is out of the shower I'll take my turn and then we'll hit the road. We are 90 minutes away from where he works.

We are headed out the door now. Thank you for praying. I am sure he will be okay. He is in Good Hands.

Update: I was thinking as I went to sleep last night that I probably never made the connection clear in my post yesterday between the migraine meds and the heart problems. I wonder how much of our communication is like that? We are connecting the dots in our minds and think that because we thought them the other person heard them too? The migraine medication my husband took carried risks of creating heart problems. He can't take them anymore, that's for sure. The doctor told him to take today off of work too and he is going to get a stress test done soon. The ECG showed some irregular stuff going on and only nitro spray would make the chest pain go away. With his family's history of heart problems(dad has had 3 open heart surgeries, mom has angina) they weren't taking any chances. He's tuckered right out today and yesterday is pretty much a blurr to him. He's so used to making the calls about cardiac patients, not being one himself. Thank you for your prayers. I had a very short period of time yesterday to make a decision as to whether I was going to put out a call for prayers locally on a prayer chain or put out an online request for prayer. I haven't written about my emotional reaction to all this stuff - all I can say is that we've been married almost 24 years....with all my own health stuff we've always thought I'd been gone first. The thought of my husband dying is about more than I can handle thinking about. Snuggling up to him last night was very comforting.