June 2nd

About 9pm Saturday evening I was stopping in at Blockbuster and decided to give Dad a call. We chatted for a moment and then suddenly I heard nothing but uneven labored breathing. I called at him over my cell for a moment or two, then hung up and dialed 911. I asked for the local 911 for his community and gave them a report and his address. A few minutes later I was back on the phone, and talked with both a cop and a medic in the room. Gave them some medical history, and told them to contact a cousin of mine, one of the best known paramedics in their area. I ran home and grabbed a bag and begged the neighbors to feed Littleone and hit the road.

The local 911 dispatch operator called my cousin who is a paramedic, who made it to the hospital in time to greet the ambulance and he totally smoothed everything through the ER. I pulled into the hospital about 90 miles north of here about 90 minutes later, and spent until 330am with Dad in the ER while they x-rayed him and sutured his tongue that he bit through back together and such things. By the time I got to the hospital that night there were six family members in the ER waiting room. Sunday I spent the afternoon with him watching the Mariners sweep the Twins before I drove home again. I found out later that the couple that live upstairs from him came down and totally cleaned his apartment so that the large puddle of blood on the carpet from when he bit through his tongue was totally gone, there were no ripped open wrappers of paramedic supplies strewn about, and the apartment looked normal. My cousin's wife, who works at the hospital, has been in daily to check in on Dad. This is family, and family in a small town, at it's best.

He's quite lucid and competent now, although doesn't remember anything after he answered the phone for my call until he was in the hospital. He doesn't seem to have any deficits reminiscent of a stroke. He did put a crack in his clavicle in the fall.

They still don't know if it was a stroke, a seizure, or what. They're doing all kinds of tests and continuing his dialysis right in his hospital room. Thankfully, they're also in no real rush to push him out the door of the hospital until they have some better idea of what's wrong. When he is discharged, I'll drive Catsy up to spend a few days with him so he has a 24/7 companion while we make arrangements for whatever supplemental services he may need for a while. Bless his heart, Catsy is deep into desperate job hunting, but family is family and he says he will do what needs to be done. That - that attitude, that dedication to family - is the legacy of the very man he's going to help. Dad always has put taking care of family ahead of his own needs.

On the drive home I spent about 20 minutes chatting on my cell [hands free headset, of course] with Vamp, and then another 20 minutes chatting with Shawn. I've been telling both of these girls that they have so much in common they should talk. And I guess it was that stuff in common, the fact that I knew for damn sure that both would understand the concept of "It's just one damn thing after another and what the fuck could possibly happen next" that made them the two I called to dump on. Thanks, girls.

Thanks and blessings and offerings to every possible god or goddess who could rain happiness and health upon my father, and the rest of the family who love him so much.

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