Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Long OVERDUE Update, Part 1

It's been almost a year since I last updated this blog! To say that I've had writer's block would be an understatement.

July, August & September- We moved into our new house! Mommy went on a “You're Fired” spree and fired our Pediatric Cardiologist and ENT. Our Pediatric Cardiologist triple and quadruple booked patients...and while she was a nice person, I wasn't impressed with the way she ran her practice. We also found an awesome ENT who didn't give me the “it's just his facial structure” excuse. Austin had a tonsillectomy, new ear tubes and a second adenoidectomy (apparently they grow back.) He recovered well. My only regret is that we didn't get his tonsils out sooner!

October- I really wish I could fast forward through the last 3 months of 2012...but I'll start with the GOOD first. Austin met with his new Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. L. He was highly recommended by a fellow mom/friend. Our experience with this PC Doctor was amazing. It was like night and day. The hole in Austin's heart is still large and shows no signs of closing on its own. He will undergo open heart surgery this Summer. We were hoping he would be a good candidate for the surgery that goes through his leg. However, we were very mislead and given incorrect information from our former PC.

The not so good started at the end of October. Ryan came home and had a look of horror and worry on his face. I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. He informed me that he just got off the phone with my mom. My dad had a heart attack. The rest is really blurry. I felt my knees getting weak...I slid to the ground as tears filled my eyes. Ryan assured me that my dad never lost consciousness. My mom didn't want me to be alone when I received the news- so she called Ryan on his way home.

The fact that my dad is still here defies logic. Statistically speaking, he should not be alive. God reminded us (yet again) that he is always in control. I'm constantly amazed by his grace. My mom wanted to go to San Antonio the day prior to his heart attack, but my dad told her, “No. I don't have a good feeling about today. Let's go tomorrow.” And that was it. They decided to go to San Antonio the very next afternoon. As they were entering San Antonio, my dad suddenly grabbed his chest. My mom knew something was terribly wrong, but just as soon as the chest pain started- it went away. A few minutes later the same thing happened and my mom immediately decided to take the first exit. She pulled into the Costco parking lot in San Antonio. To make a long story short, 911 was called. My dad told the paramedics he felt like he was having a panic attack. The paramedics told my mom they were going to take him to Methodist Hospital to get him “checked out.” They knew he was having a heart attack, but did not tell my mom- as she still had to drive to the ER separately in her car.

The ER doctor met my mom in the ER waiting room. He informed my mom that my dad was indeed having a heart attack. They were in the process of saving his life. They placed a stint in his heart to clear the blockage and allow the blood to flow.

Hours later, we learned this was no minor heart attack. It was a full blown widow maker- an ominous term used by those in the medical field. Dad's primary coronary artery was 100% blocked. As it would turn out, my dad had been experiencing symptoms for months- but kept them to himself. It's been said that people “sense” when they're approaching the end of life here on earth. My parents came to visit us a month prior to my dad's major heart attack. My dad and I had a conversation on the deck of my back porch that I will forever cherish and hold on to. It was a profound conversation that only fully made sense after my dad's heart attack. Dad was on the verge of death for months. He felt it. And he knew. HE KNEW IT, yet he didn't tell a soul.

God graciously intervened and let us (and especially dad) know that it wasn't his time yet.

Fate is a beautiful thing...

My parents rarely would've gone to San Antonio together. However, my mom had recently resigned from her job of 13 years to pursue something new. On any other Tuesday she would've been at work. My dad would've been driving alone. But on that particular day they were together and my mom was driving. San Antonio is about an hour from Kerrville. Kerrville is a small(er) town and the hospital there doesn't have the best reputation. The hospital in Kerrville would not have been able to save my dad. As fate would have it, my mom wanted to go to San Antonio the day before- but dad didn't have a good feeling. They went the next day...the day my dad had a heart attack that has approximate 5% survival rate. He was already near a hospital that was more than capable of saving his life. And THANK GOD they did.

Dad has recovered well. However, there is damage to his heart. He's more forgetful these days. He might have to retire earlier than he planned. But he's ALIVE. Thank God!


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