Matt didn’t look good. I was thinking it was those damn 49-cent frozen burritos he insists on buying, but this was a jumpier not-looking-good. The burritos are more of a sluggish can’t-get-off-the-couch not looking good.
I admit, I was thinking it was nothing, or just nerves, or something that required a good, long shit. Spreadsheet at the ready, I began to pack. The next morning, we were to begin the long trip to Ethiopia to pick up 10-month-old Akeyla and bring her home.
But then little beads of sweat appeared on Matt’s gray-to-white face and it seemed like maybe a good time to go to the ER. Being the supportive spouse I am, I called his mom. I mean, the spreadsheet had me PACKING right now, people. Did I mention the flight was TOMORROW?
Turns out, his heart was beating 200+ times per minute. They call this atrial fibrillation, and it’s wildly uncomfortable for the patient, the real-life equivalent of jumping out of one’s skin. They moved him to a room on the nuclear-cardio-something wing, so this was going to be awhile. I’m told the episodes can go on for hours and after giving the patient that much of a workout, it’s like the aftermath of running an ultra-marathon. You are dead tired though, thankfully, not dead.
Matt was hooked up to monitors and still being all “I’m going! I’m going!” and other ridiculousness. Seriously? You want to fly for twenty hours to a third-world country where we don’t speak the language while your heart is beating for a family of five? MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
Reason prevailed, and we made the decision: Cindy’s going in. Solo. I called the adoption agency. I gathered the paperwork we’d need for a one-parent adoption. I found a mobile notary. I spoke to the nicest person ever at Ethiopian Air and a less nice person at Continental to cancel flights, the whole time with an inner voice on loop: I’m going to Ethiopia. Alone. For nine days. To pick up a baby. And bring her back on a plane. For 27 hours. Alone.
I returned to packing, adjusting the spreadsheet as needed, my heart racing.
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I’m excited to be guest-judging at the Yeah Write blogging challenge this week, so instead of linking up on the competition grid, I’ll be chilling on the hang-out grid. Join us!