In January, I had a bout with atrial fibrillation, spent three days in hospital and was finally cardioverted with a single shock. I wondered then as I do now, what part the stress in my life played in that conduction problem in my heart. The end result? My heartbeat is controlled with an anti-arrthymic medicine to keep it beating at a regular rate.
Through the winter, Clint grew more weak but would not give up. We continued a family tradition of meeting the kids at our local burger joint. We ate at the club at least once a week as well.
Clint’s 50th Tulane Medical School reunion was in mid May, and in hindsight, I believe he was keeping himself alive to attend it. A lesser man would have used his illness and confinment to his wheelchair as an excuse to stay away. Clint was more courageous than he was humiliated, and we attended every affair, and I have his class photo to prove he was there. We even saw Sandra Bullock at Galatoire’s.
Looking back, it’s clear that Clint was already showing the behavior that comes with elevated blood ammonia levels. His judgement was poor, and more than once I had to jump out in the street to stop traffic because he wasn’t paying attention to the light.
After the reunion, we drove to Baton Rouge to see Susan and Prentiss Smith. Clint and Prentiss were classmates in grammar school and at Tulane Medical, and they ended up in Vietman in 1968-69, doing surgery on GIs nearly every night - all night long.Prentiss was too ill to attend the reunion, and Clint knew he would never see him again if we didn’t take the trip to Baton Rouge. We came back to Macon exhausted but happy to have gone on the trip.
There are several posts on my blog, “The Red Sweater,” that chronocile the two weeks from hell leading up to Clint’s death. I will copy them into this blog in order the bring it full circle. Then I plan to end “Living Through It” with a love letter I wrote to Clint on our 33rd anniversary. I’ll also upload some photos.