Remember last week when I shared how I was learning recently that our times are in His hands? Well, I am getting another opportunity to put this truth into practice.
As many of you know, the midwest (of the States, not our country!) is being hit now with a massive snowstorm. My dad went out Saturday morning to scoop a little snow, just enough to clear the driveway so he could drive to the grocery store. But he began to not feel well, so he headed in again. He was having a lot of pain and pressure in his chest. He and Mom decided they'd better drive to the hospital to get him checked out, and despite 60 mph winds and a ton of blowing snow, they made it safely. (It's really only a mile or two.) The doctors there knew right away he was having a heart attack. They wanted to transfer him to a Heart Hospital an hour away, and at one point had even arranged for a snowplow to accompany the ambulance, but then even the snowplows were pulled off the road and parts of the interstate were closed. So, he had to stay put.
The doctors gave some clot-busting medicine and blood thinner, but there wasn't much else they could do at that point. But here's a blessing in a small town...all the nurses knew Dad and the doctor even slept overnight at the hospital in case he was needed! (Maybe that would happen in a larger city, too, but anyway I was impressed!)
About 9am on Sunday morning (US time) Dad was transferred to Sioux Falls and now has been under observation all day. They've been giving him morphine for the pain and pressure, and I was even able to talk to him briefly. He sounded all right, but he's certainly not out of the woods yet. Some bloodwork has indicated that the damage to his heart was moderate to severe. I'm praying it was more on the moderate side!
On Monday Dad will have a surgery to examine his heart, find out where the blockages are, and put a stent (or stents, depending on what's needed) in, and then later they will do an echocardiogram to check for other problems. He was having some ventricular tachycardia which was concerning, so they will look everything over thoroughly and see what needs to be done. The doctor attending Dad is great, Mom said, has an excellent manner and seems very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions.
So, I am again reminding myself of the Lord's care and provision over all our lives, and how quickly we can be reminded to entrust ourselves fully to Him. I am particularly thankful for Him preserving my dad's life. My grandpa, (Dad's dad), was scooping snow on a January day in 1999 and came in, saying that he didn't feel well. Within a few moments, he had collapsed and he was gone, just that quickly. The Lord had chosen that time for my Grandpa Al. So I'm glad that it seems my dad's time is not quite yet! And I'm praying for continued protection over Dad's life.
I am also struck again by how blessed we are to have excellent medical care for my dad in this situation. Doctors and nurses and hospital staff go to work no matter what, making sacrifices of time away from their families on holidays, during blizzards, and in the middle of the night. How thankful I am for that! These people have worked many long years to gain the knowledge and experience to perform a complicated procedure like heart surgery. These things were not possible even a generation ago. Another blessing to be thankful for!
Though it's hard that I am not by my dad's side during all of this, I am thankful that the Lord is. I am also thankful for the peace that I'm feeling despite this difficult situation. My mom also seems to be holding up quite well. (She's probably glad to NOT be the one in the hospital bed, for once!) She's especially thankful for neighbors and friends who helped her get back into her home despite the snow piled in the driveway, get things organized so she could plan to be gone, pack for being away, and drive her to the Heart Hospital despite the barely passable roads. For all of that, we're very thankful.
So, all that to say, we would appreciate your prayers for our family! Please lift up my dad's surgery, his physical and spiritual heart, my mom's endurance, and the doctors who will treat him. We are praying for excellent results and I will update when I know anything more. Thank you so much!