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Monday, February 9, 2009


I found out yesterday afternoon that my mom's father, my grandpa, had a heart attack on Friday. He didn't even realize it was a heart attack, but was having breathing difficulties so he went to his doctor. Thankfully the doctor sent him immediately to the emergency room where he had an EKG to show he indeed did have a heart attack. He's currently in the ICU.

After talking to my mom, I knew what had happened and that my grandpa was going to have an angioplasty/gram with a camera instead of the dye today, Monday morning.

J and I went to our Life Group that was meeting at one of the member's homes and were in the middle of our discussion when my phone rang again. I had forgotten to set it to vibrate, but it was fortunate that I had.

My mom sounded frazzled, and rightfully so, because her words would shake me. They went something like this,

"My dad is going to have open heart surgery tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM, instead of the angioplasty."

Wow. That's a change. Heart surgery isn't something to take lightly of course, but years ago when it was suggested that my grandpa would need surgery on his carotid artery so he could have back surgery. His doctor didn't think either would be worth it, because both surgeries were too risky. Since he's gotten older, that risk hasn't reduced either.

My mom and I talked a little bit more about what was going on, and that her sister would be flying out (today) to be with their dad and mom, and would let my mom know if she needed to make arrangements. I don't remember what was said, but I do recall that we were wrapping up the conversation. I was searching for something to say, something to give my mother strength. I was at a loss and my voice broke. Hers did too, and we both struggled to tell each other "I love you" and "I'll talk to you again soon." If you haven't noticed, I don't worry about showing my emotions.

I returned to our group discussion a bit red-eyed but managed to do alright. We finished our discussion and once we were taking prayer requests I told everyone what had happened. It's times like these, and even in the every day things that make J and I so very thankful to have the friends and church family that we do. They are such a support and encouragement.

Once J and I returned home after our discussion and dinner, we barely walked in the house when my phone rang again. I have a particular ring set for my mom and dad, so I knew who it was without looking.

I answered, trying not to worry about what might be said next.

My mom apologized for the call and worry earlier. She then said that somewhere along the line, the information that had been given to her was incorrect. That may have something to do with some very stressed adults ranging from 82 to 85 getting details mixed up. I don't mean that disrespectfully. It's just that if I were in the same situation, I'd get nervous/upset if I heard a doctor suggest things like angiogram, angioplasty, heart surgery. Once I heard "heart surgery" I probably would have unconsciously blocked out details like, "possibility", "perhaps", "maybe", "consultation". I don't know what the real reason for the mix up was, but can only guess that lack of sleep and worry created some confusion.

What was actually going to happen this morning at 7:00/7:30 AM? My grandpa was going to have a consultation with the doctor. He was not scheduled to have open heart surgery like we were all told and had believed.

Talk about a wide range of emotions.

Concern from the initial knowledge about my grandpa's heart attack and difficulty breathing, to worry about an impending heart surgery, to relief mixed with concern about the consultation.

It's now 2:22 PM and I have not heard how the consultation went. I don't know what the plans are. I just know that it's difficult seeing people you love struggling, and hurting.

I realize that my grandparents are older and their bodies are wearing out and slowing down. It's a fact of life. I don't have to like it, but I'm being real with myself. It makes me very thankful that J and I were able to go visit my grandpa and grandma a few weekends ago. We all had a nice time and it was wonderful to see them.

When I hear how things went I'll try to update here. Thanks for your concern and prayers. They are appreciated.

If you glean anything from this, tell your spouse, parents, grandparents, children, families that you love them.

4 thoughtful comments:

Burcham Family said...

I will be praying for all of you.

Ann(ie) said...

oh girlie. I have lost all my grandparents and it sucks. Enjoy every minute you have with them. YOu are such a sweetheart! **hugs**

Hol and J said...

Thanks Melissa.

Hol and J said...

Ann - Thank you! We plan on going to visit next week when my parents are there as well. Sorry to learn that you're without your grandparents.

You're right. It is hard, having lost my grandfather (heart attack in his sleep) on my Dad's side and J's grandmother (cancer). It doesn't seem to get any easier either.

I hope you're doing well! Has the morning sickness gotten any better?

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