I thought today was going to be an ordinary day.
Not so much.
My dad called around lunch time (because he couldn't get through to my mom) to tell me that he'd stopped in at the doctor's office and they wanted him to go over to the hospital for some tests.
Okay, right there I was alarmed.
Because my dad rarely goes to the doctor. As in, almost never. Whatever is bothering him, he'd rather tough it out. But apparently he's been having some "symptoms" for about four weeks. When he exercises hard he gets short of breath, and feels like he has heartburn, or needs to burp.
But that's no reason to go to the doctor. Right?
So, since he happened to be in town today (and mom had been encouraging him to talk with the doc), he decided to drive on over to the doctor's office and make an appointment in person.
Okay, in case you missed it, that was the hand of God, people. He drove himself to the doctor without the impetus of something extreme (like 2nd or 3rd degree burns, or dangling digits).
And, whoever was working the reception desk decided that maybe he ought to be seen right then. They ran an EKG and sent him directly to the hospital for further testing, which is when he called me. (I got through to my mom, and we met him at the hospital.)
So, if you don't know my dad... when he gets nervous he talks.
While they were hooking up IV's and sticking monitors all over his chest, and getting all his vitals he kept up a running commentary with the nurse... cracking jokes, accusing her of sadistic behavior (related to his hairy chest and all the sticky electrodes and tape), asking if she was going to shave a happy face onto his chest by the time she was done, joking with other patients about the different styles of hospital gowns, and so on.
He'd met his match in the nurse, though. A mom of three boys herself, she took him in stride. As they were wheeling him down to the Cardiac Unit he said, "I'd offer to walk if it weren't for this gown."
She shot back, "Then you'd be an ICU."
Took me a minute to process that one. :0)
But to make a long story longer, they did a Cardiac Catheterization (sent a catheter up an artery from his groin into his heart), and this is the upshot: Of the three arteries in the heart, two had some blockage, and the third was 95% blocked. He has apparently had a minor heart attack, probably sometime in the last three days, and he didn't even know it. His heart function looks good, (it's squeezing like it's supposed to), so it doesn't look like there was any permanent damage. They were able to open up the artery and put in a stent. He's spending the night in the hospital and they expect to release him tomorrow morning.
On the one hand, we are praising God for all the circumstances that got Dad to the hospital today. Honestly, I can't imagine my dad thinking it would be easier or more convenient to drive to the doc's office to make an appointment rather than calling from home. And, though this may sound silly, the rainy weather probably contributed to that. If the weather had been better he would probably have gone right home and been working on a project, or cutting down trees or something.
Okay, maybe I'm reaching, on the weather-factor, but we are really, really thankful that Dad got to a doctor when he did, before things got worse.
Thank. You. God.
On the other hand, this is A Big Deal. He has Coronary Artery Disease. He'll be on meds for the rest of his life, and he'll hate that.
But, possibly even more difficult and annoying, he is not to do any work or lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the next 7 to 10 days. And that is going to drive him absolutely nuts.
So, if you think of him, pray for him. And - especially for the next week - pray for my mom! It's going to be a full-time job for her, trying to keep him from exerting too much, too soon.
We'll be praying - a lot - because we really want him around for a lot longer.
That's my story. Thanks for listening.