Steve’s birthday is next Sunday but he might get an early birthday present in the form of a stent. He is checking into the hospital on Thursday and depending on if his arteries look like Highway 101 at the Atherton exit where five lines narrow into two lanes, he may come home on Friday with a teeny, tiny, chain link fence tube in his heart. The plan is that this little piece of metal will keep his blood flowing at the speed limit…so to speak.

However, if the blockage in his heart isn’t severe enough to warrant doing a stent, Steve will be released the same day. But we’re assuming that he probably will be one of the half million people every year who get stents, so he’ll spend the night in the hospital.

I’m sure I’m not unique in this, but the thought of my husband in a hospital bed is kind of scary. Steve and I have been married almost 30 years and we have been extremely blessed by consistently good health. I really can’t remember a day that he has been sick; the only malady that he suffers from regularly is really awful allergies between May and July…but so does everyone else in Sonoma County.

So as health concerns often do, Steve being in the hospital and facing having a stent, reminds me that we are not invincible. Even though we have been very fortunate and haven’t had to come to terms with it, we are vulnerable to disease and aging. But while that is true, there is also a lot of hope to be found in him having the procedure. Everyone we have mentioned this to, who knows someone who has had a stent, says how much better they felt after the surgery – more energy and no chest pain.

Steve says he really does look forward to just plain feeling better – and maybe even going back to running now and then if his knees hold out. I want that for him too. I plan to celebrate many, many more birthdays with him.