It started out, like any other Friday. I was planning on sleeping in a little, and then I was going to take Grandma Chuck shopping. Nothing out of the ordinary. I heard QH and Alex talking in the kitchen, discussing some things and laughing. Then I heard QH come into the room and I told him to be careful on the roads because it was snowing on my way home. "Love you. Bye," and then I snuggled down in the flannel sheets to try and get some more sleep. I didn't sleep very well the night before. I was tired enough, but for some reason, twice this week, I tossed and turned and didn't start to sleep well until I heard Alex's alarm buzzing in the other room. Usually, I hit the pillow and I'm in La-La Land. Nope.
I was about to drift off when the phone rang. We got a new phone this Christmas, and since the old one still worked and we had a plug-in in our bedroom, we set it up next to the bed. I looked at the caller ID. Not a number I recognized, so I thought it might be QH or Alex saying they forgot something. Instead, it was Carol, who is married to QH's brother Neil. She was wondering if Quint had left for work yet. I said, yes, you just missed him, why? Then she said, "I don't have any battery left on my cell phone, could you call him and let him know they are taking Neil to the hospital. He's having a heart attack."
I told her not to worry, I would take care of everything and asked where they were taking Neil. She said to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. They live in Buffalo, so if they were taking him to Mercy, it had to be dire. I told her to keep in touch and I prayed and prayed and prayed as I jumped out of bed, then in the bathroom to take a shower. I called QH and told him what was going on, to call his Mom and tell her I was on my way, but I had to shower first. I hung up and got in and kept on praying. "Please, God. Not Neil. QH can't lose his brother. Not in January. Not now. Please, please, please, please..." I got out, got dressed, dried my hair and then as my coffee warmed in the microwave, I turned on the computer and found the prayer circle. I asked for them to pray for Neil and his family and to help give them strength no matter what the outcome was. We were all in God's hands now.
We got to Mercy, and the wind and the snow were blowing pretty fierce, but once we made it up to the room, we came in when the doctor was explaining they put in 2 stints in his heart, that he would be out of work about a week, and that he would have to make some drastic changes to be in better health. He was beyond lucky. No visible or apparent damage to his heart. He was groggy, but said, "A week with no work? I can go ice fishing!"
I told the doctor, "He's feeling better."
Neil and Carol's two sons, Ted and Clayton were there with their girlfriends, Amanda and Heather. I then let loose with the water works and thank goodness Amanda, Ted's girlfriend, was there. We hugged each other, and I was so happy that this was the outcome and that he was going to be okay. I backed out of the room and found QH in the waiting area, and told him what the doctor had said. He had to get back to work, so he left, and I told him if anything changed we would call him. I took his Mom (Grandma Chuck) to get something to eat and then to WalMart. We headed for the best place to deal with this kind of situation: IHOP.
I was just bragging to my friend Beth that I was cutting back on all the junk food and had stopped eating late at night and low and behold, I lost 10 pounds last week. It was IHOP's "All You Can Eat Pancake" promotion, and boy, did I ever! I had 4 pancakes, 4 sausage links, 2 eggs over easy, hashbrowns and coffee and water. I wasn't going to eat anything until supper and figured a big breakfast was what I needed to keep me going. Inspite of the bad taste of eating all that fat, butter, syrup and carbs, while my "brother-in-law" was in the hospital for cardiac arrest, I didn't feel a damn bit guilty. I know I will be back on the wagon tomorrow, and I know that this has given me and QH a scare. It could very well have been me lying in that hospital room or him, with a very different outcome. Who knows? If I know anything, things are going to be a changing around here. Lots of things.
Right now, I please ask you faithful readers to please pray, send blessings and well wishes and any positive energy you can for the family. Thanks to all of you on the prayer circle, wherever and whomever you are for helping us through this. Praise the Lord all turned out as well as it did. Neil isn't completely out of the woods yet, but he has to make a lot of decisions as to the quality of life he wants to have from here on out, as do we all. I'm not preaching here, I'm just as bad as everyone else when it comes to excuses for why my health is as bad as it is. But when you have 2 parents who have had major cardiac problems, on who died 2 years ago this month, and you have a brother who had open heart surgery in September, it would certainly get my attention. Neil thought he just had the flu that was going around: vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, out of breath going up and down stairs, and sweating, a lot. But then when his arm began to hurt and he couldn't lie down and breath, he felt it had to be something more. He got up, told Carol to take him to the hospital and went to the cupboard and took two aspirins. She got him to the hospital and they did an EKG and then next thing he knew, he was in the back of an ambulance on his way from Buffalo Hospital to Mercy Hospital. He made the right decision.
Please everyone, make the right decisions. Hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them, even if you haven't spoken in a long time or you are mad over some stupid thing.
You never know how your day is going to start, and you never know how it is going to end. And you may not get another chance.