Friday, March 28, 2008

Very Rough Times

Three weeks ago yesterday (Thursday) my dad called. He was to have surgery the following Tuesday and my sister was ill and couldn’t come to help. He asked if Thomas and I would come and help him.

Of course we would.

We left Friday evening and arrived Sunday.

The surgery on Tuesday went well. By Wednesday evening, I had concerns about dad. The next morning I called the surgeon’s office and scheduled an appointment that day. I voiced my concerns and basically he blew me off and told us to come back the following week.

On the way home, we drove through Wendy’s so Thomas and I could get a Frosty. We got home and dad, Thomas and I sat at the table while Thomas and I ate our Frosties. I looked up and saw my dad was passed out, in the throws of what I now know was a heart attack.

I called 911 immediately. I got him to the floor with Thomas’s help – he pulled out the chair. I was about to start CPR, but the paramedics arrived. The paramedics arrived in less than five minutes. I specifically looked at the clock when I called 911.

Well, the rest is a long story and somewhat personal so I don’t feel free to share the details. However, dad was released from the hospital today and my brother-in-law and sister drove him four hours away close to their home to a skilled nursing facility. He is very ill, still, but…..sigh. I cannot express my feelings. I ache for him. He has a struggle ahead of him that I just cannot fathom. I love my dad very much and I worry about him.

As they drove off from the hospital, both Thomas and I just let loose and bawled.

Thomas and I are still in Denver. We will stay for a few days because I have a lot to do here, plus I am so completely exhausted that it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive two days home yet.

On the Sunday morning after dad’s heart attack, Thomas and I were driving to the hospital. We were only about two blocks from home. I had the most intense “thing” happen to me. I thought I was having a heart attack. I had tunnel vision, I shook, I had chest pain, I had the most horrid sense of impending doom – I thought I was dying. I got to dad’s house and my sister arrived a few minutes later. She took me to a local walk-in clinic. I was so bad I couldn’t get out of the car so they had to get a wheelchair to bring me in. After a few minutes, they did an EKG and informed me that it was not normal and they had called an ambulance. The ambulance arrived, and I feared for myself, but mostly for Thomas. I didn’t want him to see anything, so requested they take me outside. My sister took good care of Thomas.

Before we left for the hospital, they did an EKG and it was normal – they only saw one “weird blip” They did another en route to the hospital, and that was normal. In the emergency room, they did another which was normal. They gave me Atavan?? I felt much better, but I still shook. They admitted me and I spent one night in the hospital. I was two rooms away from my dad. I had a CAT scan checking for clots and also a treadmill test complete with radioactive dye. Bottom line: My heart is healthy. I was released with Xanax and Ambien. It was a massive panic attack.

The next day I started to have another panic attack, but the Xanax did the trick. The Ambien, which was a higher strength than what I had at home, enabled me to sleep every night. Before I had that, my mind raced at night and I didn’t sleep. I have only had to take one Xanax, thankfully I’ve been practicing breathing and trying to keep myself relaxed.

Poor Thomas. I cannot believe what all that wonderful 12-year-old boy has had to endure. He was a perfect angel, but the stress started to show two days ago. Even then, he was still good. I am so proud of him.

On the way home from the hospital visiting dad one night, I stopped at a Wal-mart and bought him a cell phone with 250 minutes. He is so proud of that phone. He really deserved something special. He’s been able to keep in touch with family and friends on his own terms, which he really needed. He also got a thrill every time someone called him.

We hope to be back home sometime next week. I miss my blogging buddies, I miss the internet, I miss a good computer and high-speed internet. This is the first time I’ve logged on since I got here. It will probably be the last because the computer is so slow.

So, we’re still alive. We’re obviously not doing school at the moment, even though I brought it with us. We’re planning on going way into the summer now. I am so thankful we homeschool because we wouldn’t have been able to stay and help.

If you pray, please say a prayer for my dad. If you don’t, please think good thoughts for him and send him good vibes. I would greatly appreciate it.

Frankie, in Denver