Sunday afternoon I got the call I had been dreading for quite a while….
“Hi, it’s mom. We think your daddy had another stroke.”
Pit opened, free fall begin now.
They were at a church potluck. When daddy returned to the table he was carrying the entire pan of brownies from the buffet line and two pieces of cake and Mom knew something wasn’t right. She asked him what he was doing, but he had zoned out like when he had his TIA in November of 2011 and didn’t know what she was saying. My mom went over to a nurse in the room and asked her to come take a look at Daddy. By the time she looked over, Daddy was on his way to his heart stopping and not breathing. Another nurse in the room saw what was happening right as the other started rushing to daddy and they went to work immediately.
The next few hours were an adventure that none of us ever wanted to travel.
Daddy’s heart stopped.
He stopped breathing
CPR was done.
Daddy’s skin turned gray.
He was intubated.
The ambulance came.
He was taken to the local emergency room to be received by an arrogant, incompetent doctor (who will be dealt with at a future time) that acted like my father in fact hadn’t been dead for a few minutes. He wouldn’t listen to my mom…he wouldn’t listen to the paramedics…he wouldn’t listen to the people who were there, that saw what was done. He said nothing was wrong, daddy merely passed out, he never stopped breathing, his heart never stopped. He acted like he hadn’t been intubated or ever in dire straits.
But he did stop breathing, and his heart stopped beating, in a room full of witnesses with two nurses who immediately went to work.
Mom told the doctor she wanted him sent to UT hospital. His response was that UT was full and refused. When he was actually transferred the nurse told us here they never refused patients.
Monday morning came and we got a new doctor. He looked at daddy’s EKG and told mom right off the bat, “He had a heart attack. There’s no way you can look at this and not see that. We’re going to transfer him to UT. We can’t care for this here.”
Monday morning I drove down to Tennessee not knowing what would await me when I got there, but I was determined to get to my mom. At the same time, this week was my sister’s last big chemo treatment and I had planned to be with her to help out. She and I talked about it and decided she had enough friends that could help her if needed and that I needed to go ahead and come help my mom. So I did.
It is 547 miles from my house to my parents. I left at 7:45 Monday morning and got to their house at 4:30 that afternoon.
Sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have to catch them whether you want to or not. 2013 started out on January 2nd throwing us the first major curve ball of my sister’s breast cancer diagnosis. Then we got to move. Now daddy’s having heart problems.
I’m not so fond of 2013 I must say. How about you?