Of logic and love

May 06, 2007|By Sherry Bosley

Four weeks ago, while I was at the grocery store, my husband had a heart attack. On the way home, I met an ambulance on our two-lane country road, and I had a premonition that it was somehow connected to my house. I berated myself for the remainder of my two-mile journey for this voice of doom in my ear.

It wasn't logical, after all.

"Logic" is a funny word that we banter about often. It takes different forms - you can "use logic" or something can "be logical."

Oddly, I have been caught up in the notion that we often do not apply logic when we use these terms. And, of course, men and women sometimes see the same thing differently.

When I arrived home, there were no neon arrows pointing to alarm. There were no crowds of neighbors on the corner, no scrawled notes taped to the door. In fact, everything seemed pretty much in order - except that my husband wasn't anywhere to be found. This was a bit annoying on my third trip into the house with the case of water, gallon of milk and litany of other perishables thrown in those half-ply, blue shopping bags that lose their poly bond once they leave the air quality of the grocery store.

My daughter arrived home from college for the weekend five minutes after I had the last bag on the kitchen counter. Reared in the world of CSI (apparently filmed in every city of the United States) and channel-surfing past the 20 episodes of Law and Order that seem to be on each night, she checked the last number dialed on our portable phone and discovered it was 9-1-1.

It was not logical to believe that time stood still, but it did.

At least, that is, until I answered the phone that was by then ringing to tell me that my husband was being transported to one of the two hospitals in Harford County.

It is not logical to forget to turn onto a road you have driven 50 times a week for the past 20 years, and it is not logical to make deals with whomever is willing to make them in your mental call to the muses of any and all religions.

I arrived at the hospital, only to be told that he was being taken to the heart trauma center in Baltimore County. The doctors felt he had a blockage and advised that he would be out of surgery before I could drive the same distance.

The nurses then handed me a plastic bag that contained some of his clothes and told me they were sorry that they had to cut off his sweat shirt. When I left that morning, he had been working in the yard, wearing his jeans with the knees ripped out (not Alan Jackson-style) and his zip-up Old Navy sweat shirt that has been ripped, bleached, stretched out, hit by the weed cutter, repeatedly buried under the bags of weekly trash (by me) and rescued and salvaged (by him). His gravitation to bag-man couture while gardening is not logical, because he has at least 20 shirts with tags on them hanging in his closet waiting to be called to action.

"I'm saving them," he would say.

"Why don't you just throw out your yard-wear and start wearing some of your older, everyday-wear as yard clothes, and then wear your new clothes - that are now 5 or 6 years old - every day?"

He would just look at me. "That doesn't make any sense" (synonym for "That is not logical").

I looked at the nurse. "You had to throw it away?"

She nodded, not telling me what I suspected, that the medical staff had thought that not even the biohazard bags could contain its contamination risk.

Still, it was not logical to feel teary-eyed over a misshapen rag that had repeatedly escaped the trash bin by some seemingly magic power. But at that moment, I likened it to Superman's cape.

I do not remember the drive to St. Joseph's. I am assuming I did all the correct things. I can only say that somewhere, perhaps, there is a logical portion of our brain that takes over and guides the other part - the paralyzed part - to go on.

The doctors were right. By the time I parked in Towson, he had two stents put in a major artery and was on the mend. When I walked into the intensive care unit, he was awake and worried that the tractor and his garden tools were still out on the lawn.

Yes, one month ago, the world stood on its edge for a period of time. It does not seem logical that my husband went back to work nearly two weeks ago, but trust me, he really needed to go.

We have much to be thankful for. Now, 30 days later, I am tempted to send a thank-you card to the nurses for cutting up that hideous sweat shirt in addition to saving his life.

He, on the other hand, ponders how medical science has developed a procedure that can move surgical devices to the heart through a small hole in the leg but cannot fathom how to use a zipper on a shirt and thereby save both a patient and a valued piece of clothing.

"It's just not logical," he says.

That's true, I answer.

Sherry Bosley is a Harford County educator who lives in Bel Air. Her e-mail is sbosley@comcast.net.

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