Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Miracle in Real Life...

My last post reflected on the not-so-virtuous life of my husband's late mother's husband.
What I didn't post is that the day after that funeral, we were moving my husband's 89 year old grandmother into a nursing home. She is in failing health and has lived an honorable life. We had to clean out her whole apartment along with my husband's aunt and uncle. It is sad to divvy up someone's life possessions when they are gone, and even more sad when they are still alive but cannot use any of it anymore. However, she is doing a little better than she was and my husband's aunt has saved all Grandma's beloved craft projects/supplies in case she recovers to the point that she can engage in her favorite hobby.
So, then on top of it all, my dad (who is so wonderful you wouldn't believe it!) has been sick with a flu-like bug for about a week now (probably same thing I had a week ago or so.) Well, yesterday morning, he was in really bad shape - sweating, throwing up, his skin actually gray. My mom called me and asked if I could take off work and take him to the Emergency Room. I knew it was bad if he was agreeing to go to the ER as he fights going to the regular doctor's office. And when I got there, fully expecting a bit of resistance, he told me he thought we should call an ambulance. I knew he was in bad shape when he said that.
So we go to the ER. He's in there awhile and we're just playing the waiting game like you usually do when visiting the emergency department of a hospital and they think you just have a bad case of the flu. While sitting passing the time, my dad casually described the "incident" that morning. He went on to say as he was sitting there in the chair at home, he felt like he was thrown backward and blacked out for just a second and then when he came to, realized he had lost track of a second or two and it scared him. He said it felt like he threw a cup behind the chair. (????)
Now, what you don't know is that my dad has had numerous heart problems - two quadruple bypasses, CHF and for the past 5 years, a defibrillator implanted in his chest. When it was implanted surgically, the surgeon told us that if my dad's heart ever needed it, and the device "fired" it would feel like a horse/mule kicked him in the chest. It never dawned on my dad or mom that this is what had happened earlier that morning. I asked the nurse if he had told any of the health care professionals in the ER this story and her eyes got really big and she said, "Nooooo." Within 5 minutes, we had the ER doc in the room listening to me retell the tale. He & the nurse exchanged looks of concern. I added my worried brow to the mix. Within another few minutes (literally) the representative from the defibrillator company was in my dad's room taking a reading to see if that was what had happened. Physically, he reminded me of the actor who played the husband-to-be of Drew Barrymore in "The Wedding Singer" but unlike the fiance in that movie, this guy was a really nice guy. He asked me if I'd like to come around to his computer screen to see the reading. Well, of course! On the screen, he pointed out to me where Dad's heartbeat was just casually going along and then all of a sudden, WHAM! His heart started beating like 300 beats per minute - basically just vibrating in his chest. He showed me where WHAM! The defibrillator shocked his heart and then an empty space where Dad lost conciousness for a split second, and then the regulated heartbeats again. The man told my dad that he got his best Christmas gift yet with that one. He proceeded to tell us that had my Dad not had that defibrillator, he would not be here now. You could see the joy in his eyes and actions. He said, "This is exactly why I do this job."
The doc and nurse came in a little later and told me I had made a good call - that my suspicions were on target. You could tell everyone was so happy to see technology work this way. This technology offering us a huge ...HUGE...Christmas miracle!
By yesterday early evening, my dad was looking and acting like himself again...his color restored and joking around with the nurses. I just called to see how he did overnight and the nurse said he did great. Said he's up walking and feeling pretty good.
So, yes, Virginia, I do believe in Santa Claus...and in Christmas Miracles!!!!

10 comments:

Becky said...

What a wonderful story! I'm so glad things worked out. You have a very very Merry Christmas!

Martial Arts Mom said...

Thanks, Becky. It surely is! Same to you!

Diver Daisy said...

The first time I read this I couldn't even comment. I was so moved. I am still pretty speechless but very happy for you and your dad.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Well, I can top it - it happened again today (Dec. 27th.) So now he is in the hospital again after another ER visit and they are trying a new drug. The good news is that the defibrillator is doing it's job. the bad news it they don't know why all of a sudden after 5 years of his having never have it go off, that now it has went off twice in 4 days??? If you're of the praying kind, please keep my dad in your prayers.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Well, I can top it - it happened again today (Dec. 27th.) So now he is in the hospital again after another ER visit and they are trying a new drug. The good news is that the defibrillator is doing it's job. the bad news it they don't know why all of a sudden after 5 years of his having never have it go off, that now it has went off twice in 4 days??? If you're of the praying kind, please keep my dad in your prayers.

Diver Daisy said...

yes i will

Michele said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Thanks, everyone. It is really tough being an only child of 2 sick parents. Up until now, my dad took my 10 yo son to school and picked him up for me. Now I have to figure something else out and I really don't have anyone to help me out and can't afford to pay someone. It's very overwhelming in my life right now and I truly don't know how we're going to figure this all out...keep the prayers going for us. Thanks!

Karen ~ Cider Antiques said...

I am all teared up. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Wish I lived closer . . . so I could help out with the school commute.

Hope your Dad's new meds work quickly. Keep us posted.

Karen

Martial Arts Mom said...

Thank you, Karen. We'll come out on top though - just have to be positive! Thanks for the empathy and well-wishes!