How my family is doing….

So last Thursday I left Fayetteville after I got a phone call that my dad had a heart attack while visiting family in California for Christmas.  I have since been in and out of this hospital numerous times a day.  I have heard the story several times now of what happened and would like to share.  As the story goes my parents were with some family and were supposed to take Papa’s grandkids back to his daughters house to stay the night with them, turned out neither of them wanted to go (one decided a sleepover would be more fun, and the other wanted to stay home and play the WI he just got for Christmas).  It was a good thing.  My parents were sitting down on the couch eating a sandwich and wrapping things up to put in the fridge.  My mom stood up to walk into the kitchen then Papa stood up and sat back down.  Mom turned around to give him a little playful lecture about being lazy or something, to turn around and realize he was limp with his eyes rolled back and biting his tongue.  She immediately dialed 911 and proceeded to get him to the floor.  They have an amazing first responding group out there because by the time she did all that they were there ready to start CPR.  Then the paramedics arrived and got him to the hospital in 8 mintues!  We drove there today and it seemed like it was at least a 20 mintue drive.  If any of you know about CPR it’s a pretty tough proceedure if done right they say you should hear cracking ribs.  Apparently they knew what they were doing, he had 40 minutes of effective CPR that saved his life!  My mother said the first night he had 3 nurses in his room the entire time monitoring him the whole time.  He was admitted on Sunday and my mom called me to tell me about in on Monday morning.  He’s done this before so I figured he would be fine and make it home.  Mom called me again on Wednesday and mentioned that it would be a good idea to make arrangements to fly out there.  When I arrived we went to visit him and I burst into tears.  I have always seen Papa after a heart attack but he’s always been awake and able to move and full of good spirits.  I walked in and he was on a ventilator, he could hear your voice and wiggle his toes but couldn’t speak or even open his eyes.  The hope was that when they took the ventilator out he would be able to make it through the weekend, which was a concern since no one knew how his body really handled all this mess.  I sat around for days in the waiting room just hoping for the best.  I saw many people I haven’t seen since I was under 4 feet tall.  Saturday was the day they decided to take him off the ventilator after he started to open his eyes.  It came out around 10am and after they took it out he could hardly lift his hand from a flat position to the top of his stomach, by the end of the night he could lift his hand high enough to scratch the top of his head.  He was in ICU from Sunday 28th to Monday 5th.  He is now upstairs in the telimetry (he’s got a room and on the entire hall they have wireless heart monitors he is hooked up to). Since then he has been making improvements by leaps and bounds.  Today he took a little stroll down the hallway for the first time with a walker.  His diet has also been improving from ice chips to baby food to ground up meat and now to chopped meat.  He says he doesn’t mind having his meat all cut up for him.  🙂  His voice is still horse and he’s really weak.  Mom took him on a stroll in a wheelchair just to get him out of his room.  Right now they are waiting for a spot to transfer the the Veterens Hospital.  His cardiologist won’t discharge him until he gets the pacemaker/defibrillator placed in his heart.  It looks like he’ll be out here for a few more weeks.

Another problem back at home in Arkansas………my mom called her father (whom lives with them and is bipolar and has emphizema) and he called an ambulance on last Saturday and again today was having problems breathing and about to make another trip to the hospital. 

I have had alot of time to reflect on life and our purpose here and what we’re trying to accomplish.  I don’t want to go through life without “doing” anything.  I want to travel and adventure and see the world and learn about different people and cultures and religions.  I want to be less of a burden on this earth, by that I mean why am I not recycling?, why do I not turn off the water when I brush my teeth?, and how come I think it’s ok to leave on every light in the house?  I was taught all these things as a child, where did I forget them?  I want to make a difference in people’s lives.  I have so many new years resolutions, I’m not sure I can write them all down!  I hope somehow this blog entry has inspired you to reach down and figure out what you are doing here, are you enjoying life or watching the clock and counting down the minutes, and figure out what you want to do with yourself and who you want to be.


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