Yesterday began as a typical day with getting up early with my Anne around 4:15 am. Yeah, it isn’t easy to roll out of bed at that time but it can be done. We quickly get dressed as the dogs are dancing around us knowing that we are taking them for a walk on the canal. The dogs chase us down the stairs barking as if they had never done this before.
As we get them into the truck and gather their leashes we are ready for a chilly walk before work. It is really dark outside and the moon seems to be hiding. Walking on the canal is loads of fun for the dogs because of the open fields, the old cotton that had been picked weeks before, the possibility of a coyote crossing our paths or the fear on our parts that a jogger without any lights will get attacked or I mean greeted by our dogs.
We finish our walk and load the dogs back into the truck. We do our usual detour by Starbucks where I get our cup of coffee to share for the morning. I get free refills so I’ll be back at the Starbucks in 30 minutes or so to write and do e-mails. We make our way back to the house. Anne gets dressed for success for work and I finish making her lunch. I quickly get my ‘stuff’ together and we are both ready to face the world.
I go to Starbucks and do a couple of e-mails and then blog for a few minutes. I am anxious to go visit my dad because he doesn’t seem to be as capable after his stroke. As I pull up to Chris Ridge the parking lot is still rather empty. I quickly make my way to the elevator. The floor is still rather quiet with only a few residents up strolling around. I make my way to my dad’s room and notice that I hear someone inside talking. I quickly open the door and see Rhonda trying to rouse my dad. He seems to be out of it and almost in a daze.
I can tell that Rhonda is concerned and don’t know what’s up. I try to get his attention and get him to wake up. He is having some trembling episodes so we are very concerned. We have the med tech come and take his blood pressure and pulse. It is high and he is presently on blood pressure medication. I am waiting for the floor nurse to come but she doesn’t have a cell and is slow. The more I look at grandpa the more I sense that I can’t wait any longer.
Rhonda takes the initiative and calls the paramedics. They arrive quickly and do their usual routine. I gave the history of his last month or so. They get him on an IV and then are ready for the ambulance to take him to St. Joe’s. I am emotionally numb at this juncture. I am becoming too use to the routine of having emergencies. I follow them downstairs. Dad seems to be aware of his surroundings and is relaxed.
We make our way to St. Joe’s and I go to the ER Room and then get told I have to wait until he is officially in the hospital. It takes about 15 minutes for him to end up to in the ER room in the back. I quickly text my Anne, then my brothers and then my kids about grandpa's situation. I don’t want to scare anyone but I also don’t want to be slow to share what’s happened.
I go back to see Dad and he is on his bed sleeping and looking a little tired. The nurse and doctor take his info and I ask a bunch of questions. The doctor explains some other potential causes of what seemed to have happened. After talking with the doctor and his nurse I decide to go get something to eat and talk with Anne. I go back to the ER after getting an egg sandwich from Einstein’s. I go back to see how grandpa is doing and if there is any news. I talk with the nurse, give him my cell and discover that they are going to do a MRI. So I decide to talk with grandpa and then go back home to wait for Anne, let the dogs out and then relax, if possible for a little before returning.
My Heather, who is a warm-hearted softy, asks is she should get off early and share that he is taking a test and shouldn’t be back to his room until after the MRI. I explain I am waiting for Anne and we will be there a little after 5pm. Heather and Jeff go up to his room and see him snoozing and snoring. He is now in his own room, which is great, the lights are off and he is still in la la land. I greet him and help him see that all of us are there. He has a smile on his face and asks his usual questions, “How are we doing Dave?” My usual response is great dad!
We talk more with his nurse and discover that he hasn’t had his MRI and that it is going to happen soon. We haven’t had dinner so we talk with grandpa a little bit more and then go get some burgers from Lenny’s. We have a pleasant meal, especially with the great milk shakes. I call up my brothers and explain the situation. We make our way back to the hospital. Grandpa is still waiting for the MRI. We turn on the TV and find something reasonable for him to watch. The night shift is now on board so we talk to his new nurse, Evelyn. She’s very nice and seems to calm down dad fairly well. We ask about getting food for dad and discover he has to fast until after the tests.
We pray with grandpa and then tell our good byes. As I finish this blog and get ready to see him I have a total peace about caring and loving on my dad. I know that many will say this must be tough; you must be stressed or maybe even mad at God. My response is that I am blessed to have had a great mom and dad. My hope and prayer is to be able to love them, care for them and be there until they go home to be with the Lord. So driving back to St. Joe’s isn’t a hardship. I will have to start looking for a better place for grandpa to live. I am thankful for having a legacy where both my parents were always quick to step up to help and reach back to me, my brothers, our friends, our wives, our kids and eventually our grandkids. I thank God for giving a great dad who cared for me every day of my life so the least I can do is be there for him.