Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A No Good, Very Bad Day

Last Thursday, the camp phone rang at 6:20AM.

An off-hours phone call around here isn't totally abnormal. Usually it's just someone without any grasp of time zones.

Occasionally it's an emergency. In this case, thank goodness the ringing woke me up because a moment later, the Bossman called over to my house. "Ashley, it's your mom."

Scary sentence.

"We're at the hospital. Your dad woke up with chest pain."

An hour later -- after another phone call from Mom and a bit more information -- I was cleaned up and driving into town. My brain, always at the ready with statistics of questionable usefulness, was ... less than helpful today.

Hey, it's January 8th! High of 45, which you've already reached, snowy with increasing wind over the course of the day. The roads are probably going to get crappy as the temperature drops. Your dad lost his job a year ago today. I mean, that all worked out, but still ... Wasn't your mom about your age when her dad died?
Oh, for crying out loud.

My dad hadn't been feeling great the night before, but he'd chalked it up to heartburn. But at 5:30 that morning, he'd woken Mom up to tell her he needed to get to the emergency room. Popped an aspirin and hit the road. And as it was early on a random Thursday morning -- and apparently "chest pain" gets you attention quickly -- he was in with a cardiologist in record time. And in this case, in line for a stent right away.

He'd had an almost-heart-attack -- in essence, they caught it fast enough that it didn't turn into a fully damaging attack. And for the first time in my time here, RC Regional really impressed me: two hours passed from the time they walked in until he was in a room, stents already in place.

Stent: a wire mesh stabilizer used to reinforce weakened blood vessels. Often placed where there was previously a blockage. I think your granddad has one of these.

It was a huge relief to walk into that hospital room and see him already harassing the nurses.

By then, I'd taken on my role as phone-call-maker. Mia Sorella and Shorty to start with, then my uncle out at the ranch (so he could talk to the grandparents). My own coworkers so they'd know where I was. Then as errand-runner as it became clear that (a) Dad was feeling surprisingly good ("Better than when I came in this morning, that's for sure") and (b) he was going to get cranky and bored very quickly.

The prognosis was good. They'd gotten to everything in time and as long as his scans turned out well, he could potentially even leave the next day. He was even allowed coffee.

Thank. Goodness.

The day passed. More and more hospital staff. Visits from another uncle and the grandparents. The cardiac rehab lady, who was excellent.

You should consider some of what she said, given the fact that you have a fairly extensive family history. Even if it's mostly the men.

Alas, the day wasn't over. Dad got settled, and although he was bored, he was okay. The roads did get pretty bad. Eventually, the weather cleared and Mom -- perhaps more than a little strung out from the events of the day -- decided she should go home to at least check on the dog.

And on her drive home, she hit a deer.

Deer cause over $1 billion in damage annually.

She was okay and the car will be fine. It was mostly a terrible cap to a very bad day.

Dad, thankfully, was released the next day. He's got a lot of work ahead of him in terms of changes -- his diet has changed, he needs to get more exercise, all that stuff. And until his body's adjusted to the medications he now gets, he has to give up beer, wine, sharp knives, and most forms of heavy lifting. (That heavy lifting one will be the first to go.)

And the rest of us are along for the ride.

Epilogue: Mom and Dad followed this by moving into their new house this past weekend. Thankfully, our family is a fantastic one and there was a lot of help moving things -- it was actually accomplished almost entirely in two days. The new house looks fantastic. Oh, and Dad can go back to work next week. Hopefully before he drives Mom batty.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I realize that I am super-late writing this, but I am SO happy to hear that everyone is doing okay. And that your parents are moved into their new house. Hope you're all doing well!