Things have been busy. School’s busy. The horrible commute is hectic and my anxiety goes through the roof when my bus pulls up and 50 people surround you and push you to get on before you. I’m dealing with a specific person in almost all of my class, in almost all of my groups (there is a ton of group work in my program. A TON!) that I really dislike, he argues and undermines everything I say and sometimes I have to stop my voice from shaking because I get so mad at him. I’m worried about finding a real job and how I’m ever going to sit through a real interview when even the thought of it gives me butterflies in my stomach. I spend more time than I’d like to admit wondering if the man I’m with is the one, whether I’m the one for him. I hate the fact that I don’t see my best friend more than I do. My sister is getting bullied by her best friend of 7 years (pretty major when she’s only 10 years old) and I want to punch that kid in the face.
Yesterday on my way home I was SO looking forward to having 4 days off. I was playing around with the kobo app I downloaded on my phone, and I was listening to this hilarious podcast I just discovered, I was TGIF. My mom picked me up from the bus station and we made our way home. We were talking about our days, making dinner, listening to some music. My dad started complaining about heartburn and indigestion. He didn’t think anything of it, he’s been having pretty bad indigestion for a couple months, and went to lay down. He came back downstairs, was sure it was nothing, but thought he should make a quick trip (the hospital is 10 minutes away) to the ER just in case.
20 minutes later my mom called, teary, saying that she thinks he was having a heart attack but she wasn’t sure. She called back almost right away, told me he was in fact having a heart attack and for me to call her parents and his. 30 minutes later, my grandma was watching my siblings and my grandad was driving me to the hospital. My mom called again, she’s in the CCU, she’s freaked out, I should hurry. The hospital they were at is huge. Brand new and massive. I walk in, 7:30 on a Friday night, and no volunteers are there, no one at the information desk. I was that person, tears filling my eyes, walking frantically through the empty halls of a hospital.
Apparently he came in, they hooked him up to an ECG, he explained that he had pain shooting down his arms, and a lot of pressure in his chest and upper abdomen. 2 minutes later, 6:56 p.m, they were pushing him down on a stretcher, running him down the hall, my mom couldn’t follow him, he told her to tell us, his kids, that he loves us. My mom told me later that she’s never seen someone so scared. The cardiac lab closes at 7:00pm and if they don’t make it there in time, he’ll have to be taken my ambulance to a downtown hospital. 2 minutes later, an announcement comes over the speakers, code stemi, and my mom knows its my dad who is coding. Later, when I talked to him, he told me that he was sedated but awake when he felt himself slipping, his eyes rolled back in his head and he heard the nurse say he was coding. He described being shocked like two busses hitting his body from both directions.
When I finally found the CCU and his room, I walked in and saw in laying in that bed, completely flat, tubes and masks and monitors, and I lost it. I started to bawl. You usually think of your dad as the strength of the family and I couldn’t help but notice how weak he looked in his mint green hospital gown.
His one artery had 100% blockage, they put a stent in and he’s fine. I saw him today and despite being really tired and a bit sore, he’s fine. I’m still so shocked that my 49 year old father had a heart attack, it doesn’t feel real. Here I was, 24 hours ago, complaining about a busy bus and opinionated idiots and now I have real things to worry about. It’s crazy how we take simple things for granted. I woke up this morning groggy and annoyed that my sister woke me up so early. Then I thought of waking up, just the simple act of waking up each morning, being a blessing. At 24 I really take my health for granted, I have for years.
6 months ago my dad also got diagnosed with diabetes. He’s since lost a lot of weight and has cut out a lot from his diet. It’s selfish of me, but it’s scary to think that those problems are now my problems. I now have a direct family history of diabetes and a heart attack.