Duty had a heart attack.
There. I said it. And he’s just fine. Which is good. But at the time, it was rather scary.
This might be long. Please forgive me in advance and know that writing about it is cathartic for me plus added snark makes me feel alive.
Act 1 Scene 1
I, weary from work and in one of those “I feel and look gross” kind of moods, come home to find Duty back early because the baseball game he went to was rained out. He mentions that his left arm doesn’t feel right. I, still weary, mumble something and decide I’m going to take a nap. (Clearly, I’m not paying attention that it’s the LEFT ARM.)
Weary old me trudges upstairs, gets undressed and actually thinks these very thoughts: “I’m so glad that I don’t have anywhere I have to be or anything I have to do.” and curl up in bed, drifting off to a peaceful sleep. Karma, she is not so nice.
Act 1 Scene 2
About 10 minutes later, I am somewhat rudely awakened by Duty saying that he really doesn’t feel well and I agree that he’s a sweaty mess. I dress quickly and we head off in search of the local urgent care. Guess what? It’s no longer open! I decide we will drive into Annapolis to the hospital but remember that there is another urgent care on the way. Â We go in there where they take him back right away and call me in to the room. Yep, he has had (or is sorta having at that moment) a heart attack. Doc says he must go to the hospital and in an ambulance yet. Duty, such a hard ass, says he will not go by said ambulance and that I can drive him. (Uhhh, whut?) Doc retorts: “What if you go into cardiac arrest while she’s driving you over the bridge? Do you want to put her through that? (Way to go, Doc! He’s had practice at this!)
Duty begrudgingly consents. An ambulance magically arrives and they strap his ass in and off he goes. I decide I have time to stop at Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee because it’s gonna be a long night Tra la la.
Act 1 Scene 3
Now I know what people on various political forums are talking about with the chaos in emergency rooms. Good God almighty. I am thankful that Duty’s ailment necessitates immediate action or else I’d probably still be there. (I silently thank God for our good Tricare insurance thanks to D being retired Navy. I can’t imagine going through this without that.)
Blah blah blah some medical stuff – blood pressure is high, they took blood, yada yada yada. Duty’s arm no longer hurt (yey for meds) and he held hopes that they would release him. (hahahah thought I. You ain’t going nowhere.) And that’s right. They are keeping him overnight. I leave about 10:30pm.
Act 2 Scene 1
So yeah, I hear from Duty early Friday morning that they want to do some stress test or something. My plan is to go to work for half a day and then head over to the hospital with hopes of his release. As I’m driving across the bridge, Duty calls (ha! in more ways than one, I am to learn). “Uh, they want to do some sort of surgery on me. Can you come now?”
Imagine me, driving over a freaking huge bridge, trying to process this, while calling what I think is my co-worker and backup person to tell him what’s going on. Don’t have his number but remembers that he called me a while ago about something so I hit the redial button. Oops! It’s Duty’s best friend Sal. SHIT! Before I realize it’s Sal and not Travis, I blurt the whole thing out but then get worried because someone (you know who) is very private about his matters. How am I supposed to drive, blurt and process, y’all? Yeesh.
I consider that oopsie a sign from the Universe that Sal needed to know. Called Travis at the right number, filled him in and got to the hospital in time to talk with the doc and discuss the procedure at hand. Got it. Angioplasty. Not that big a deal, all considered but a must have given that he has 90% blockage in one artery and 70% in the other. No choice there. It’s a go.For … sometime that day.(yawn)
And we wait in the little stall in the emergency section. And wait. And wait.
Act 2 Scene 2
As Mr. Petty says: “Waiting is the hardest part” and it’s especially so when you have stereo barfing going on all around you.
Sweet Jesus – what is up with all the barfing? Let me share what seemed to be my up close and personal very special edition of “Intervention” with you:
Unseen (but alas not unheard) woman in next room: MOAAANNNNN
Seen and heard friend/relative of said woman: “She’s gonna throw up” – yelled at the nurse’s station
Me in the next stall: EEEEK!
Unseen woman: BLARFFFFFF! in the loudest and grossest terms possible
Doctor: M’aam? Is that blood in your vomit? Â Have you had anything to drink?
Unseen woman: yes (blaaarf) there’s blood and what do you mean have I had anything to drink? (blaaarf)
Doctor: Alcohol, m’aam
Unseen woman: Yes.
Seen and heard friend: she drinks beer
Doctor: how much?
Friend: oh, something like a 6 pack or 12 pack a day
Doctor: every day?
Me: Where’s Jeff Van Vonderan when you need him?
Friend: yes (as if this is a common occurrence)
Unseen woman now known as Drunky McPukeshoes: Blaarrrf Mooooaaaaan
Lots of running around by all manner of nurses and doctors and lots of blarfing from Drunky. I had to put my hands over my ears and hum a little song so I wouldn’t hear the loud and grotesque barfing going on over there. Duty remains calm and signals me when it’s over.
Whew! I made it through! (Wait, isn’t this story supposed to be about him? Whatevvvver!)
I return to my book and Duty takes a wee nap when what do I hear from the room on the other side of us? You got it? Blarfing to beat the band! OH MY GOD! People! Stop this now. I will not have it!
This one was so loud that I had to hum even louder to make it disappear (and we had the door to the cubicle shut too!).It was bad. Duty did the hand signal when the coast was barf-free but as soon as I took my fingers out of my ears, it starts up again! Duty says “sorry – it stopped for about a minute so I thought it was okay.”
Act 3 shall follow tomorrow, kids. Don’t want you nodding off on me!