Saturday, July 2, 2016

I 'heart' kayaking...

This post is not about kayaking... it's about a heart that is very important to me...  and worth the read... 

The story I am going to share has a happy ending....(spoiler alert!) 

Thursday I spent the morning with friends kayaking in Boothbay.  It was a GREAT morning.  We saw seals and had great conversation and shared so much laughter.  It was AWESOME, a great summer day.  

After I got home I had plans to meet up with a friend of mine for dinner.  While at dinner we also shared some laughs and got caught up since the last time we had seen each other.  As we were leaving I looked at my phone which I had silenced... and had missed several calls from my sister, my step sister, and my step mom.  

Red Flag: no calls from Dad.  I knew something had happened to dad.  

Dad was in the local hospital and we learned he had suffered a heart attack.  

He was having ongoing symptoms, but the critical piece here is that he was having symptoms for about a WEEK!  
His symptoms were atypical for men.  His symptoms felt like he had indigestion...it had woken him up a couple of times at night.  He had mentioned it to his doctor at his annual physical last week and the doctor said it sounded like a pulled muscle.  

He ended up needing to have a heart catheterization and having a stint put in... thankfully he is doing okay.  The lesson here is pay attention to your body and get checked out.  

The other lesson here is to be an advocate for your health.  Because he went into a bigger hospital on a Friday before a holiday weekend, we were told that he may not get to have the necessary procedure until Tuesday.  As Dad's symptoms were worsening they still didn't call it an emergency, said it would be a 'routine' procedure.  I went into "HELL NO" mode and became the proverbial squeaky wheel...and I will tell you I squeaked loudly!  
Dad's nurse, when doctors were not around, told me to keep pushing... she knew based on her 20 years of experience that he needed the procedure ASAP.  They did do the procedure and afterwards the doctors said it was good that they did it that day, that they probably should have done it sooner, that he should have been transferred to them sooner.  For medical folks this kind of thing is routine... for us, it's life or death.  Fight like hell and don't take no for an answer! 

Life is short... appreciate it... and advocate, advocate, advocate! 




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