24
Nov

“It May Be The Cock That Crows, But It Is The Hen That Lays The Eggs.” Margaret Thatcher

Friday afternoon at 1PM, my sister and I walked into Harris Methodist Willow Park Emergency. Cindy could barely walk due to the pain of angina coupled with a shortness of breath. 

My twin sister had been popping nitroglycerin pills like candy all week. It should be noted that she had to argue to get a prescription for these lifesaving pills from our PCP. 

Cindy had been admitted and released from Harris Southwest on September 1st after being “diagnosed with angina.” What does angina mean? It means something is wrong. I was upset that Harris Southwest they hadn’t bothered to write Cindy a script for nitroglycerin. If you have heart problems, you need nitroglycerin. 

Cindy and I have recently learned that an EKG is unreliable regarding diagnosing heart problems. How so? Cindy’s had several EKG’s since August and all of them were “normal.” 

Here’s a tip kids, if you are having chest pain and your EKG is normal, request a blood test, CT scan and MRI. Following these revealing tests, get a stress test. It could just save your life. A normal EKG doesn’t mean you don’t have a heart problem. Each and every one of Cindy’s EKG’s have been normal. 

After being “accepted” which is a requirement by a cardiologist at Harris Heart Tower, my twin sister was moved by ambulance. I was thankful and relieved that she was finally going to get some help.

I left my suv and drove her suv to pick up her twin granddaughters, Maryssa and Makenna at the 9th grade center and had them both pack overnight bags to stay at my home AKA WorthamWorld with my husband. Thankfully, the twins are out of school this week. Running them to and from school when I live 25 minutes away can be hectic. My son, my husband and prior to moving to California, my niece have all helped Cindy and I with the twins.

Feeding the twins cats and making sure they are okay for a few days, Maryssa and I loaded up the directional signs for McBee Homes while Makenna grabbed homework to finish this weekend for extra credit.

My sister has been helping my son with his sign route by putting them out in Weatherford Friday night and picking them up Sunday night. I’ve never performed this route before so Maryssa was giving directions on where to stop and drop signs as I drove Cindy’s suv. 

Maryssa also helped me figure out how to put gas in Cindy’s suv while my suv sat at Harris Willow Park for the duration of the weekend. 

After getting the signs placed, I headed to my home to drop off the twins with my husband, Matthew. I then headed to Harris Tower to check on Cindy. 

Masking my fear and worry, I put on my “brave face”while parking Cindy’s suv in the lot and find my way to the Heart Tower. I’d been here before with my grandfather, grandmother, father and aunt. Heart disease runs in our family. Terrifying and true as this fact is, no one had heart problems that they were aware of at 55 years old. Hence my apprehension. Cindy and I now know she has heart problems. 

The greatest fear I have or have ever had is losing my sister. We’ve been through everything together. Cindy can also “read me.” 

All weekend long I’m coming and going to check on Cindy. As I park and walk to the elevators and look up at the photo painted next to the horse on the parking floor and say to myself “fourth floor horse.” This is to remind me where I’ve parked this time. 

Walking out of the parking garage, I remind myself “3rd floor C310.” Last night I was parked on floor 6 aka “sixth floor jack rabbit.” 

The entrance to the Heart Tower is private and separated from the main hospital. Even the ambulance for heart patients enters from a separate area. The visiting hours are “anytime” and the signs warning of heart disease line the walls. 

My twin sister is alone in her room. It is a private room. There are circles under her eyes. She’s tired, frightened and nervous. I’ve brought her heating pad, warm socks, a phone charger and protein bars. I forgot to bring her a toothbrush and hairbrush. I would continue to forget things for days. Lack of sleep, stress and worry do that to you. 

Throughout the weekend I would forget where I had parked. I would feel incredibly guilty leaving my sister to go meet clients and honor my schedule. I would also check in with her husband, Steve who was in Cleveland Friday, Nevada Saturday and El Paso today. Steve is a long haul driver for Ryder. Like all of us, Steve is worried about Cindy. Several times a day, my niece Leigh Ann FaceTimes me with Maddy from California. My son is out of town working a wedding this weekend. 

Saturday, my husband watched the twins and keeps them entertained with shopping sprees. I’m back at Harris after meeting clients at Belltower Chapel. Cindy is wheeled in and out for more tests. Each time she falls asleep, she’s awakened for medication or a shot in the stomach to thin her blood. Her enzymes are rising. I would learn a lot of lingo at Harris Heart Tower. 

I would also make a commitment with Cindy to quit smoking and to go vegan if only my twin can walk out if this hospital with me. I’ve prayed. I’ve asked others to pray. I’ve cried. I’ve had panic attacks. I’ve realized how fragile my sister actually is. 

I’ve recognized that my sister has always put her own needs last. From her adult daughters to her granddaughters to caring for our selfish grandmother who lived with and mooched off Cindy for 18 years while our grandmothers children (our father and our aunt) “lived their lives.” I have balked at the many times my sister’s generosity was abused by others. Usually our own family members. 

As usual, there are workers at Cindy’s house. Jessie and his crew go around and around with me. After twenty plus years of Jessie and others charging Cindy and not performing the work they’ve been hired to perform. I have also threatened not to pay the barrage of jicky handy men who show up but never come back to Cindy’s house after collecting money. Cindy’s handymen and I are always at odds. Frequently, Cindy’s handymen are always disappointing her. This week, Jessie and his crew were supposed to be at working on the gutters of her house but each time I ran over to check on them, they weren’t there. Cindy has roofers coming Wednesday that want the handymen gone on Monday. 

Today, I brought one of Cindy’s twin granddaughters, Makenna up to visit Cindy while her sister stays home with my husband. Originally, both twins wanted to come but I don’t have all day to wait around and one or both of the Twins is almost always bored. The last thing I need to hear.

I caught up with the cardiologist and addressed contracts for my clients and handling paperwork for Texas Twins Events and TDCJ Officiant while worrying about my sister and pretending I wasn’t worried. 

After several hours, I finally had stacks of contracts ready to mail along with photos from all four of my brides last week. Makenna was also bored and ready to go back to Uncle Matthew. 

Guilt and worry haunt me each and every time I leave the hospital and my twin sister. I’m anxious. I pray tomorrow the cardiologist can find the blockage causing her all of these problems. I pray her health can be restored.

My husband asks what he can do to help while Cindy’s husband tells me when he will be here and asks what he can do? I tell them both continue praying. 

Leigh Ann feels guilty because she’s in California and we haven’t heard from Stephaney which is an actual relief. Cindy’s daughter is the primary cause of our health issues. 

“It takes courage to have hope.”

Louise E. Johnson