The author’s journey “from the emotional storms…of widowhood to the astonishment of finding new love in my senior years, and on to the sudden cardiac crisis…that forced me, finally, to confront a past that I had never put wholly to rest.”
After Lear's (Where Did I Leave My Glasses?: The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss, 2008, etc.) first husband died from a series of heart attacks, she detailed her struggle in her first book, the acclaimed Heartsounds (1980). What she didn't anticipate was that almost 30 years later, she would also experience a heart attack and wind up in the exact same hospital, in the same cardiac unit, with the same doctor, no less, as her husband. Lear provides rich, poignant details of her own attack, as well as her travels through the medical establishment from one test to another. The ghosts of those moments spent with her first husband in those same hospital hallways continually haunted her, and Lear leaned heavily on the past to help her cope with the often bewildering moments of the present. Her second husband was always by her side to assist in any way he could, and a host of nurses and doctors also helped out, attempting to understand why she had the attack and then contracted a serious staph infection, which caused her leg to become unbearably painful and unusable. However, as any patient knows, there is only so much a spouse, doctor or nurse can do, as sickness of any kind is a solitary journey. Lear maneuvers through the weeks she spent in the hospital with the adroitness of someone who's been down this road before.
A bittersweet mingling of previous life-changing events and present-moment illness by a skillful author.