Unexpected Challenges

On December 30th, after two months of misdiagnosis by a pig-headed egomaniac of a pulmonologist, and after two months of my listening to my beloved husband’s rapid shallow breathing, I brought him to the Emergency Room of our hospital, and not a moment too soon. He had, indeed, had a heart attack shortly before that.

What followed were weeks of sheer agony for us both–and now, thank God, he is back at home recuperating.

I am a woman with creative resources, one of the few things I know certainly about myself. The piano has been by constant companion for many years, and not once did I have either the urge or the stamina–emotional or physical to go to the big black presence , beckoning me to its comforts. I find that amazing.

And even after Ernest was out of the woods, my own state of anxiety and limbo persisted, leaking into every part of my life. Only when I was teaching, could I focus on anything else besides the recent trauma. And although I had not made any blog entries during those critical months, I did send group updates to friends and family–partly as  a time and energy-saver, (instead of individual responses), partly as a cathartic.

You find out who your true friends are in many ways. The ones who expressed their presence and concern,  for both of us, will never be forgotten. The few who amazingly interpreted my accounts and descriptions of the stress as “complaints” are already forgotten and chalked off as non-friends. Strangely, in some cases, these unsympathetic recipients of my misplaced confidences, are the same people from whom I have experienced professionally-related disappointments.

In the end, just as there are only two kinds of music—good and bad—there are only two kinds of people: good and bad. Goodness and kindness are traits I value above all others. We are so grateful for my husband’s continuing recovery and our dear ones whose support was critical for us both.

One of the casualties of this period was my intention to prepare the Bach d minor concerto to perform next season after the kind invitation of Richard Hyman, the conductor of the Northport Symphony Orchestra. I realized that I could not handle an ounce more of stress than I was already experiencing, and so I told Richard that I could not take on the Bach project at that point.