December 22, 2009

We Got the Middle-of-the-Night-Call

When my sister called me tonight from her cell phone - and I had just talked to her about two hours before - I instantly knew something was wrong. She always calls me from her home phone unless she's out and about. And, I knew she hadn't been planning on going out anymore tonight!

"I'm on the way to the hospital. Craig is having a heart attack" were the dreaded, chilling, words. Craig, her husband, is the youngest of the four of us. (My hubby and her hubby.) She lives in Tampa which is 1,200 miles away from me!

"Did you close the doors to keep the cats in" was my response. Perhaps in a bit of shock myself, and yet I needed a second to clear my mind.

"Sandy, they can fix heart attacks. I'd rather have a heart attack than a stroke," were the next 'comforting' words I said, knowing that not all heart attacks can be fixed, but wanting to restore some balance to the horrible situation. She was driving alone to the hospital, and she said the ambulance was, "way ahead of me".

She told me a little of what had happened at home with the severe chest pain and numbness. And, also of his pain and discomfort the night before! Tonight when he became very pale, and in terrible pain, she had quickly given him an aspirin as she called 9-1-1. She also insisted that he be taken to the 'better hospital' although slightly further away then the 'closest hospital' where the paramedics wanted to take him. Thankfully, they took him to the hospital of her choice. He needed the best of trauma care!

As she drove, I quickly explained what would happen to him once he arrived at the hospital. That he would be whisked to the trauma team where, if possible, they would try to evaluate the condition of his arteries by going in through an artery in his groin to his heart. "They might be able to open the artery and put in a stent to keep it open," I assured her.

I told her that the nurses would keep her informed of what was going on, and most of all, they would keep Craig more comfortable than when the last time she had seen him. She felt a little better knowing they would give him something for the pain. She was also prepared to hear the 'stent" word when she got there.

About two hours later, we got the news that the stent was successful even though he did have a heart attack (anterior), and the valve was also affected. But now he was resting comfortably and may even be discharged on Thursday (the 24th). "They did the groin thing and put in a stent like you said," she explained.

His Troponin level will tell a lot, and I sure wish I could see his EKG right about now, but I'm so relieved and thankful that he is doing better and in such good hands.

The doctors give my sister credit for 'saving his life" because she called for help. They said if she hadn't gotten him to the hospital, he would have died. (She says she is not going to let him forget that she saved his life.)

We know there will be significant changes in their future, but tonight we can say a thankful prayer and sleep better knowing that Craig has been given a second chance.

Take Care on the Journey,


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