Saturday, April 11, 2009

Once again soundly agreeing with ole T.S.

Let me begin by saying that my dad is fine.

Because if you begin by saying that your dad is in the hospital, it raises alarm bells. So the fact is, he is in the hospital, but he's doing OK.

The last couple days his heart wasn't doing so well, and yesterday afternoon he thought it prudent to call an ambulance. By the time Betty and I got there his blood pressure was much reduced and he was hooked up to all kinds of things and they were trying to figure out why the beats were so irregular.

They let us know up front he'd be there at least 24 hours for tests and monitoring. Which definitely made me feel better.

He called this morning to say that some hours earlier, his heart beat had returned to normal, and now they're just doing more tests.

He sounded good, and his voice sounded strong again, and I just feel like, oh, thank you god.

I have to say that in the scheme of things, it was scary, but not the worst. We knew he was going, and we knew why, and we knew he was in OK enough shape to call my cell and tell me that he'd been admitted and which room we could ask for.

But still.

I know all the pieces of this all so very well. I've been to INOVA Fairfax more times than I can count.

And as such, I suggested we stop at Whole Foods, which was on our way. Not to treat it as a spectator sport, but if you've ever had to settle in for the long haul in a hospital, you know that eventually you'll be faced with Snickers from the vending machine and crap coffee and you'd rather have a nice turkey wrap and grapes and bottle of Orangina in hand.

Plus, in these circumstances, we knew there was time.

But I know that drive down Gallows Road - and who fucking puts a hospital on Gallows Road, anyway?

I know the first turn to Emergency, and I know that the next turn is to parking for the main hospital area. I know that if you are leaving at 4 am, you can ask and security will drive you to your car in the dark, dark lot.

I know that Grey parking area. The other day I found a multiple visit card from last year in my car - much better parking value for money, fyi. And the attendants are nice.

I know the Emergency waiting room and I know the Emergency rooms.

And even though I believed in my heart that it was all going to be OK, I got that claustrophobic chest tight want to cry feeling walking past closed curtains, past the big open center area with all the doctors and nurses, walking back to the right room number.

The hospital scares me. The frailty scares me. The reminder of mortality scares me.

I hate April.


  1. So glad he's okay! And so glad he called for the ambulance. That is very good.

    Perhaps soon you will have a positive experience at a hospital.
    (Seems strange to say "soon".) I always hated hospitals until I met my daughter in one. Now I love that hospital and everyone in it.

  2. Glad to hear that he is ok!

  3. Yep, that ol' T.S. knew what he was talking about.

    I'm glad to hear that your dad is doing better.

  4. I'm glad your dad is doing better, and hope he stays that way! *hugs* Hospitals make me think of cancer and chemo and late night ER visits when temperatures spike and there's the possibility of disease in an immunocompromised person. But the hospital also makes people better, so I don't hold it against them.

    You've already made it through more than a third of April, so look on the bright side--each day brings you closer both to it's end and to your son, whom you'll "meet" in a hospital sometime soon!

  5. *Hugs*

    I'm glad he's doing okay. Hope you are, too.

  6. A.S. - I will be very glad when hospitals hold positive connotations for me! I could totally see how it would change your perspective entirely.

    Jules - Thank you!

    mysterygirl! - I'm glad to have an expert agree! I know the vaguest bit about T.S. And thank you.

    Sarah - I know you have had more than your share - and hospitals are so filled with scary things and grim thoughts. But you are right - they heal, as well. And yes, a third of the way down! And more than halfway to the kid!

    Dagny - Thanks, as always. Big hugs back to you.

  7. here's a good healthy dose of positive, healing energy for your dad!

  8. Hang in there. I know it's scary. Logically, you're there for a different reason than before, but the emotional triggers exist.

  9. i hear ya. hospitals make me nauseaus and scared and anxious and every other bad feeling... no matter why i'm there.

    i'm really hoping that when i have a baby it will change all this for me and i'll have a good association with hospitals but i have a feeling i'll just be super tense and anxious when i go in to deliver instead

  10. So sorry to hear about a scare for you and Betty. Really glad your Dad is feeling better. Big hug

  11. When I was in college, one of my friends from home called me and said, "Hey, I just drove by your parents' house and there was an ambulance. Everything okay?"

    I had heard NOTHING and when I called my parents, my dad said "Oh... yeah, we didn't want to worry you. I just had a little SPELL WITH MY HEART, but I'm okay now."

    I know I was in NC and probably wouldn't have decided to jump on a plane or anything, but he could have at least CALLED. What if it was worse??

    I'm glad yours did... and even more glad that he's okay. Hope April does an upswing for you from here on out, love.

  12. I was sick unexpectedly last summer and spent 3 months in and out of the hospital. No matter how young or old we are, we don't expect to have health issues, it's a very scary thing for everyone involved. It reminds all of our mortality. I am glad he is doing well.


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