Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Here's how OUR day went yesterday:

6 am and we're up getting ready to leave for work (Shawn) and the Heart Hospital (me & the kids). Big Daddy was scheduled for a cardiogram at 8 am, and we were on our way to his side.

We leave the house at 7, head to the donut shop (for "the kids"), stop for gas, and we're on the road.

8 am and we're still sitting in traffic.

8:10 We finally arrived, stressed because of stupid drivers who can't manage to readjust their cars so they actually fit into one parking space, but mostly because I feared we'd missed him. Silly Amy. We found Menana, Ninny and Big Daddy posted up in the lobby, kicked back all comfy-like.

An hour later and they've taken him back, prepped him and now we're ....waiting. With children. Enter the Central Market playground. Right next door to the hospital. Off we go in search of food and fun, both of which we eagerly consumed. The kids ran, Ninny, Menana and I ate, and all was well. After about 45 minutes Menana went to check on the big man, while Ninny and I lured the kids back to the hospital by way of the bookstore.

After hearing that Dad was still waiting, and would be for an undetermined amount of time, I trekked back to the playground with the kiddos, rather than face another minute chasing down Jax, begging him to be quiet, and hearing Ryan whine, "I wanna go to school!"

So this makes it what, 10:45/11? SOOOO many more people at the Central Market playground at 11 than at 8:30. Ryan immediately sent her radar out and attracted a fellow girl mate, and Jax busied himself climbing, sliding, and playing with his trucks. Then some kids tried to bully him, Ryan yelled at them, and they ran away. Boys. Tough Boys.

As I sat intermittently watching them and reading Jane Eyre, I saw the little girl Ryan was playing with walking towards me.

"I'm an evil princess dog," she said.

"Me too," I replied. (When I was younger I used to get a kick out of making scary faces at little kids and watching them freak out. See how well I've matured?)

Ryan then comes running up, breathlessly saying something to the Evil Princess Dog about "losing their powers", and they were off again.

It wasn't until about 20 minutes later that I realized what part Ryan was playing. As I glanced up from my book to see what playground urchin was interrupting my peace by relentlessly screaming, "Gazelle!! Gazelle!" I saw it was EPD, obviously searching for her master, Giselle (Enchanted, anyone??), but was just having a bit of a struggle pronouncing it correctly.

About 1:30 Menana and Ninny phoned to say that they'd finally wheeled Dad back and they would be joining us for lunch at the playground asap.

One hour and several hysterical fits of laughter later (the "Gazelle" bit never did end), we headed back to wait for Dad's results. They were not what we wanted.

He has 3 clogged arteries/veins, one 50%, one 70%, and one 90% blocked. They barely got the microscope up his leg before they saw the damage, brought it right back out and declared "Bypass time!"

This is not good. Big Daddy has been battling heart disease for 17 years, undergoing numerous angioplasties, stint insertions, and one "brought back from the dead" experience. But it has been 11 years since anything has happened. 11 years of convincing ourselves we could breathe a little easier, 11 years to stop the constant "How's Dad?" conversation, 11 years to watch college graduations, baby births, and help Menana beat cancer.

Our luck could only last so long. Plus, he doesn't really exercise or eat right (though he does try), and his stress levels are always Orange or above, so this day was inevitable. But like I said, it's been 11 years -- I'd forgotten what this was like. It sucks.

We started making calls right away, booked a flight home for Lea, and waited for the doctor. By then, the kids were cranky (we all were) and tired, we were anxious to get some factual info, and we needed some comic relief.

Enter Jax. Seeing Ryan curled up asleep on one of the lobby couches, he quickly tunneled underneath a tall-boy table surrounded by chairbacks, and laid down, quietly pushing his cars. As Mom and Ninny and I were talking, Menana looked over to see Jax gone. She went searching for him, reporting back between bursts of laughter that Jax had crawled under the chair of a very old man in the next seating area, and was apparently just waiting for the guy to see him between his legs and send him into cardiac arrest.

That was fun, especially the part where we tried to drag him out, which just ended up making everyone in the lobby laugh, which you all know is my favorite thing -- it really helps with the discipline and all.

I finally decided to take the kids home, and keep updated by phone, so that's what we did.

Now here's the thing about heart patients: you never know how long you'll be waiting, or what will happen. That said, we had only planned on being gone until about lunchtime, and had just left Lola to fend for herself in the house alone. Something I rarely do because of her propencity to eat poo, pee everywhere, and generally wreak havoc. I was not looking forward to seeing what she had done as we walked in at 5:30.

What she had done was completely demolish Jax's stuffed dog, "Cheeto", a cheap little orange rag-dog that Shawn won for him at Wurstfest. Lola had gone to town, and there was stuffing everywhere. Jax ran into the Big Room, saw the destruction, stomped his foot and yelled, "Shit, Lola!"

And then we laughed. And called Big Daddy and made him laugh.

Because in times like this, that's all I know how to do.

Until I tucked Ryan in, and the tears started flowing. "Mommy, do you remember when you told me that if you cry too hard and too long you will make yourself sick? Breathe, Mommy. I promise everything will be alright." She may never know how much I needed that.

So even though I'd enjoy some peace while we wait at the hospital today, I'm bring them with me anyway, because they're my buddies -- they make me laugh when nothing else can and they remind me to breathe. I'm hoping they'll do the same for everyone else.

His surgery is at 11. Prayers are welcome!!!

1 comment:

redpolkadotsgirl said...

Amy.....I've been on pins and needles waiting to hear everything went okay. You guys have been on my mind all afternoon. I pray everything went well.

Lots of love,