Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

What a day this turned out to be.  The morning started like any other...aside from the immediate dread of knowing my dad needed heart surgery and the rest of my week being a complete question mark.  I got up, got dressed, packed Jacob's lunch, and started to pack mine.  And then the phone rang.  It never rings that early, so I panicked a bit as I picked it up and saw that it was my mom's cell phone.  Turned out that they'd managed to schedule my dad's surgery for noon TODAY.  So, in a flash, my entire day changed.  I put my lunch back in the fridge, called work, got Carter ready, changed my clothes, and headed out to drop Carter off just as Craig got back from the bus stop.  I ran back home, gathered up a few things, and took off by around 9:30.

I got to the hospital in time to see my dad for a few minutes before they had to do some pre-op stuff.  There was some very painful bloodwork involved, and it made him very faint.  His blood pressure dropped crazy low and he had a hard time staying conscious.  Still, he recovered a bit once that part was over and he got into the gurney to travel down to the OR.  We said some quick goodbyes in the elevator and headed off to the waiting room.  By this time my dad's two sisters and my uncle were there, too, and we sat for a bit in the waiting room.  My dad's youngest brother came in shortly thereafter, and just as we were all pondering lunch options, a doctor-ish looking woman came in asking for my mom.  Internally we all panicked a bit, but the woman's demeanor was a little too chipper to be announcing a sudden death or something, so I figured there might have been something going on with his low blood pressure.  Turns out that an emergency case came in and they had to postpone it!

Annoying though the postponement was, particularly considering my dad gets crazy nervous and didn't need more time to think about things, the good news here is that he's not a serious enough case that they couldn't bump him, or that his case is not serious enough to need to bump anyone else.  He's lucky in that he doesn't really have any heart damage like so many people who need this surgery.  He just has clogged arteries (four of 'em) that need bypassing.  The heart itself appears healthy, as there haven't been any heart attacks to damage it.  The better news is that this issue popped up before they were on a week-long trip to the Grand Canyon, so even though they're missing their trip, hopefully this is just a stepping stone to a long life of many more trips.  As I alluded to the other day, my dad is getting the chance my uncle never got--the chance to start over and life a healthier life.  My uncle was one heart attack and done, and I think the way that went down was traumatizing for everyone--which I think is part of the reason most of my dad's siblings are near-constant companions in situations like this. 

Anyway, the rest of day was spent hanging out.  My mom and I grabbed some lunch, stopped back in the room, and took a walk in the area around the hospital.  Once we got back and the rest of the family had left, we screwed around on our electronic devices and chatted.  My dad rested a bit (yay for drugs!) and eventually had some dinner before my mom and I took off for the evening.  We took a nice walk (the weather is perfect right now!) to a little dive bar not far from the hospital.  It's right down the street from some of Craig's family and he used to play softball for the bar, so we spent many a summer evening enjoying their amazing wings after a game.  Every time I go through South Buffalo I always say how we need to go back, so my mom and I went, sat on the patio, split a single order of wings, and walked back to our cars.  All things considered, aside from the general stress of the day, it was a pleasant day.  Family time, lots of conversation, some quiet time to do some things on my computer that I never have the uninterrupted time to do...not too shabby.

But, of course, tomorrow awaits.  We'll be up bright and early, and my brother will be coming in mid-morning from Portland.  Nerves are still running high, but it did my heart good to see my dad in decent spirits today, particularly considering the extra wait.  All we can do is pray that everything goes well and he's mentally and physically ready to jump head-first into a long recovery.  Please continue to pray...

Proud first-time grandpa!
A kid at heart showing Jacob the joys of the slide!

Making snowballs for Jacob next to the snowmen he built for him!
I have more recent ones, too, of course, but these were some old classics.  I'm not ready for this collection to be done anytime soon, either!  Just sayin'.

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