So here I was just minding my business and doing the usual things when I got a phone call from mom early one morning Sept 22. She said dad had had chest pains the night before and they went to the emergency room to get it checked out. The ER Dr said it was serious and had him flown to Calgary since they have a cardiac hospital there. She said not to worry but that she was on the way there as we spoke. Well the text messages started flying between me and my sisters. Nadine was hysterical basically which made me more worried and upset so by lunch time we decided we were all going to fly to Calgary! Nadine flew out that afternoon and Carolyn was on the way that night. I waited until the next day so I could get the office organized but Beth didn't have here passport so she was grounded until she could get it. She had to go to Atlanta and get an emergency appointment which would take all day. So off I went to Calgary. Dad was stable and doing okay so the panic was over but the concern remained.
He looked in good spirits when we arrived so that helped.
He was stable and had been undergoing lots and lots of tests.
|The blockages documented|
They found multiple blockages and a valve that was going to need to be replaced. BUT here's where it went sideways. Enter Canadian medical system. They make these kinds of decisions by committee only and that was once a week. Naturally the meeting was a few days away so we had to wait around and see what they decided to do. We were afraid they were going to do nothing at one point. The poor Dr's said they could feel the hostility in the room at one point while they talked us all down off the ledge. They eventually decided to go ahead with the surgery but it was going to be at least a week later.
|The view from Dad's room|
So while we waited and waited we kept ourselves busy. During the mornings they don't want you hanging around the hospital so we went shopping at the mall. What a mistake because we all went nuts. Everything is cheaper with the Canadian dollar low so that made it super fun!!
Because the new valve would be a pig valve we decided to have a little fun with that. Everyday we brought in pig items and made a shrine for the pig valve. Each time we came in it got bigger and bigger. The first time when we brought in the bacon potato chips the nurse went nuts until the next day we finally convinced her dad wasn't going to eat them it was just for laughs. We hit the dollar store one day and loaded up on all things pig! Such fun.
One after noon Karen an Janet and Bob and Phylis came in to visit so that was fun to see them again. The room was always pretty crowded with us in there so we found a lounge down the hall and took over that. We played cards all the time and kept dad busy and distracted. We really had a good time probably because of nervousness and relief mixed that we got a little loud and carried away. One day we got shushed bad by the staff so that was the end of that! I blame it all on Nadine's ever so dainty and quiet laugh.
We had a great time in Walmart buying candy for our families.
Even the chip flavors were totally different!
|I got a kick out of the signs on the dad's floor!|
Once we got the word that they for sure were going to do the surgery and it was going to be the following week at the earliest we headed back home on Sunday. It was so good to see Mom and Dad and Carolyn and Nadine but we were all exhausted. All four of us in one hotel room wasn't super restful and we were pretty beat from stress too. Little did we know at the time that the surgery would be about two weeks later and dad would have a heart attack on the table and suffer a stroke. He was blessed to come out of it all we know now. It was hard enough to leave thinking everything would be fine. I guess it's best we had no idea of the complications to come.