A Week Ago (part one)…

Last weekend started out like many others.  Our granddaughter, Madison was celebrating her ninth birthday with a party.  On Friday, Ed and I helped our daughter move furniture and decorate the building where the party was going to be held on Saturday.  On Friday night, I was trying out a new sd card in my camera, so I snapped a picture of Ed.  When I looked at the picture, I remarked how red his face looked, but thought nothing more of it.  Perhaps I should have.

On Saturday morning, Ed scooped up and unloaded a couple of loads of dirt into the holes that have recently appeared in our yard, from deteriorating tree roots.  He didn’t have time to spread out all of the dirt, so it’s still sitting in little piles.  Shortly after lunch, we attended our granddaughter’s birthday party, then stayed to clean up and rearrange furniture, afterward. It was a busy day.

On Sunday we took a road trip with our daughter and her family, to check out a new store that had recently opened in a nearby town.  About halfway into our shopping, Ed told me he’d looked at everything he wanted to see, and was going to sit in the car.  He’s been dealing with plantars fasciitis for a while, so I thought his foot was bothering him.  Later, when we ate some lunch, I noticed Ed didn’t eat much, but, again, I didn’t think anything of it.  Afterward, we all went to Wal-Mart, but Ed stayed in the van, which wasn’t entirely unusual when his foot is hurting. Everyone was tired from the party, the day before, so we cut our trip short, after Wal-Mart, and went home to rest.

About 7:45, on Sunday night, I’d just settled down with my computer on my lap, while Ed went to take his shower.  In a few minutes, he walked into the living room and said, “I’m going to shave, then I’m going to the hospital.”  I replied, “What in the world?” to which he said, “My chest has been hurting and my blood pressure is high.”  I said, “Well, I think I’ll go with you!” and that is how our ordeal began.

Believe it or not, Ed was actually going to drive us to the emergency room, but about 1/4 of a mile down our dirt road, I convinced him to let me drive.  I told him he might have a stroke and kill us both on the way to the hospital.  It never occurred to me he might be having a heart attack, since he didn’t appear to be in pain.

When we arrived at the emergency room [of the hospital where Ed used to work] there was a vehicle under the shelter, with its flashers on.  We parked in the parking lot.  A woman dressed in orange was pacing the floor of the ER waiting room.  Ed and I walked up to the window, and the receptionist asked us what our problem was.  Ed calmly replied, “I’ve been having chest pains.” to which she replied, “For how long.”  Ed quietly answered, “For two days.”  (Oh, my goodness, I nearly fell to the floor when I heard that!!!)  The receptionist said, “We’re a little busy, take a seat over there.” and we did. I  kept thinking, No, this isn’t right.  You don’t sit in a waiting room when you’re having chest pains and your blood pressure is  high.  I was also thinking, maybe we came to the wrong place…

After about ten minutes or so, another woman came out and said, “Come with me.”  I thought she was going to take Ed back to an exam room, but she actually thought we were part of the family of the person who’d arrived just before us. (The patient hadn’t survived.)  She took us to a private waiting area!  About that time, the lady recognized Ed, and he told her what was happening to him.  She quickly got someone to help us, then. (She apologized several times for  putting in the waiting room.) I called our daughter to tell her where we were, and asked her to call her brothers.

Within the next five minutes, Ed was on a stretcher with a blood pressure cuff and an EKG machine hooked to him.  Within another few minutes, the ER doctor told me they didn’t like what they were seeing on Ed’s EKG, and would probably be shipping Ed out to another hospital.

I was surprised when the nurse asked Ed what his pain level was, and he replied, “about a four”.  You would never  have known he was so sick by his demeanor.  He remained calm the entire time.  In fact, when the x-ray tech came to do a portable chest x-ray, he didn’t realize what Ed’s problem was, and was actually going to let Ed walk over to the x-ray department, until I intervened.

Meanwhile, the ER doctor was on the phone, consulting with the cardiologist on call at St. Joseph’s hospital, in Savannah.  A second EKG was ordered, and, after that, it became clear Ed was having a heart attack.  They quickly began administering drugs known as “clot busters”, and prepared to send Ed to St. Joseph’s by ambulance.

At some point, the door of the exam room opened, and in walked all three of our children.  What a welcome sight they were!  In fact, I was on the phone calling  our daughter back, when they walked in. We began to discuss who was going to drive me to Savannah, because I wasn’t sure I could make it by myself.  Our daughter said she would go with me, but I told her I needed to go home, first, to pick up a few things.  I kissed Ed goodbye, told him I’d see him soon in Savannah, and went out into the night.  I looked at the clock in my car.  It was 10 pm.  The date of October 25 would be forever etched in my brain… (to be continued)


Published in: on November 2, 2015 at 7:32 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow, that must have been scary. I think most of us, like Ed, are too quick to pass off pain and changes as just nothing instead of getting them checked out. I’m going through something right now (nothing life threatening like what Ed went through) that I let go too long because I thought it was nothing to be concerned about. I praise God that Ed (and you) survived this.

  2. Your telling of your ordeal is so calm! I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.

  3. Oh my!! I’m so sorry you had to go through that experience, but so glad the kids could all get there to be with you. Hugs & prayers!

  4. Oh wow, I’m sure that was so scary. I’m glad they didn’t mess around and he got to the right hospital. With these sorts of things timing is everything. SO glad he’s okay!

  5. I’m so glad you got the care needed and Ed is ok. The date will always be etched on your mind because it was so traumatic. My husband had an accident on 13th July 2005. I will never forget that day but fortunately he came through it ok too.

  6. Oh my, I am so sorry. What a scary thing to happen and so thankful he decided to go to the hospital.

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