it was the call you never want to get. after seeing the bee movie on friday night, we came home and this was the message on my phone (which i’d left at home, which i never do) “hi, grace, this is mom. we’re at the emergency room, because we think dad had a heart attack.”

i can’t express the fear and panic that gripped my heart. i called mom at the hospital (they were amazingly fast at tracking them down); she said they weren’t sure what it was but they were keeping him overnight. i called amy and randy (we’d all been at the bee movie together) and kevin and i raced out the door to the hospital.

dad seemed fine. he was hooked up to those things they hook you up to in the emergency room, and he didn’t look his usual natty self because he was wearing a hospital gown, but he really didn’t look bad. i guess at this point somebody must have told us that it wasn’t a heart attack, but they were keeping him there for the night and he’d have to have a stress test in the morning.

he’d had chest pain at about nine o’clock friday night, with pain shooting up into his jaw. so it sounded like a heart attack.

it certainly was hard to sleep friday night.

saturday morning, an ice storm was predicted, and we left for the hospital a little before eight. when we got there we couldn’t find dad – they said he’d be on the fifth floor but he wasnt’ there; they said he was still in the ER. we went back to the er and he wasn’t there, either, and at one point somebody told us that he’d be gone for two hours getting his stress test. what were they going to do, have him run a marathon?

eventually he came back to his ER room (it didn’t take two hours) and we then waited for the results. and waited. dad continued to say that he felt fine, except he was tired because he didn’t sleep well because they seemed to be doing major construction nearby all through the night.

meanwhile, they closed down I-55 south of springfield because of the icy conditions and because there had been so many accidents. soon the ER was bustling with all kinds of people, many of them screaming out in the hallway. there weren’t enough rooms for the multitudes of wounded that had come in.

we waited. and waited. an hour…and then a nurse finally appeared and said they were probably going to have to admit him because he didn’t last very long on the stress test. she said she’d be back once the ER doctor had gotten ahold of dad’s regular doctor.

things were really tense then. we discussed the fact that his bad showing on the stress test could have been because he has asthma.

we waited and waited some more, and speculated…and then, finally, the nurse again appeared. dad could go home! his doctor confirmed the stuff about the asthma.

but nobody explained why dad had the chest pains.

we all went to mom and dad’s house and had pizza for lunch.

dad is supposed to make an appointment with his doctor this week, which i assume he’ll do.

it seems that things are ok. but something like this really smacks you across the face.

it’s a good idea to tell people you love that you love them. they probably already know it, but it’s a good idea to say it out loud.

the rest of the weekend was much less turbulent.

i have to make xmas cookies now.

ok then,

monday grace.