Thursday, April 27, 2006

Things Unplanned

I know, I know. I haven’t posted in a while.

What can I say? Sometimes life just runs up and kicks you right in the Jewels when you least expect it. Hell, it’s ALWAYS when you least expect it.

2 weeks ago, my grandfather was rushed to the Emergency room after he admitted to passing out for seemingly no reason. I say he “admitted” to passing out, because over the last few months, he had passed out a handful of times before, but he had consistently told us that he had “just tripped”. I guess this final time scared him enough that he finally decided to fess up and asked for help.

My grandfather is 93 years old, and still as strong (and as stubborn) as an ox, God Bless him, which made him being admitted to a hospital all the harder. While we waited in the Emergency room (for 24 hours before we were able to get him a Damn room!), he told me that he hadn’t been inside a hospital for over 50 years. That is an incredible statistic to me, and makes me think that maybe God blessed me with some good genes.

I have always had a very close relationship with my grandfather. Yes, I know, everyone loves their grandfather (and puppies and rainbows!), but I am especially close to mine. One of the biggest reasons for this was the fact that we lived together until I was 27.

When my mother worked during the day and went to school at night, and my father worked 2 jobs to keep food on the table, it was primarily my grandfather who took care of me. He picked me up from school, took me on vacations during the Summer, and was always the first one to jump into the car to drive me to 30 different Toy’s R’ Us stores until I found the latest piece of crap toy that he knew I wanted.

As I said, he’s a physically strong man. Before last week, I had never once seen him appear weak. He drove a car up until last year, when he had FIRST EVER fender bender. He regularly still mows the lawn and uses the snow blower. Hell, one time 2 years ago I stopped over to see him hanging from the roof, fixing a shingle!

I think that’s what scared me so badly about this ordeal. To see him weak for the first time in his life really put the fear of his mortality in me. It’s something I of course am conscious of, but stubbornly (I wonder where I get THAT from), refuse to dwell on.

Anyway, after 1 week of being in the Cardiac ICU, the heart specialists finally diagnosed him with a condition (can’t remember it’s 2,000-letter name) where the blood flow through his carotid artery has become very weak, and even such simple actions such as turning his head too fast, could cause him to pass out.

The doctors ordered him a pacemaker, which they said would keep the blood flow through his artery on an even keel. The surgery went well, and the pacemaker was installed. Then while he was being moved to recovery, one of the leads to the pacemaker disconnected, and he basically had to have the entire surgery all over again.

Overall, about 6 hours on the operating table for a 93 year-old man, and he’s already back home, climbing up and down 2 flights of stairs, and generally Raising Hell.

My grandfather is STILL as tough as an ox, and just as stubborn, Bless his heart.

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