Pop: The Legend Continues

My sister Ann called from Chicago this morning, and just hearing her so early meant there was news, maybe bad news, about my dad.

In the middle of the night, he had chest pains. Not wanting to disturb anyone — neither Ann, who lives three blocks away and would have been at his place in a split second if he called; nor neighbors; nor paramedics — he climbed the stairs from his apartment, walked out to his car, and drove himself halfway across the city to the hospital where his doctor practices and presented himself at the emergency room. Ann was quick to say he was OK and reminded me that a few years ago he had chest pains and they turned out to be unrelated to any heart problem. So I was relieved and resigned myself to waiting to hear what the hospital tests showed.

Ann called back late in the afternoon. She and my brother Chris had spent the day at the hospital with Dad. The tests showed a 75 percent blockage in one heart artery, and the cardiac people did an immediate angioplasty (ran a little balloon through a blood vessel in his groin up to the heart to clear out the blockage). “Technically, they say he did have a minor heart attack,” Ann said. The procedure he had was not pain free, and he was pretty much immobilized afterwards and put on what sounded like a host of drugs — blood thinners and sedatives and godknowswhatall.

So let’s roll the tape back to this morning. Here’s my dad, six weeks after his 84th birthday. He sits up in the middle of the night with chest pains. And does what, again? Drives himself to the hospital. Halfway across the city. And not to be dismissive of fine Illinois metropoli like Rockford, Springfield and Rantoul, but this is not Rockford, Springfield or Rantoul he was driving halfway across, but Chicago, city of broad shoulders and big dimensions. What an adventure. I wish I’d been there to see the looks in the ER when he strolled in.

“He’s getting no end of grief from everyone who hears about the drive,” Ann said. He’s probably loving it, too. It just proves it’s never too late to add to the legend. If Mom was taking this in from some after-life bleacher seats — she’d prefer those to the boxes, though she’d like the boxes just fine — I’m sure she got a kick out out of my dad’s pluck.

6 Replies to “Pop: The Legend Continues”

  1. Thanks, Marie. You know, he’s back on his feet already. My sister called to say that the hospital is
    discharging him. She’s going to drive him home. This is partly about his resilience, I guess, and at least equally part of the get-em-outta-here health care
    system we have. Makes me nervous, to be honest.

  2. Hi Dan.
    I’m an old friend of your brother Chris.
    I talked to him and Patty tonight.
    I haven’t spoken to him in over ten years. We all went to Crete-Monee. I was married to Paul Fogle.
    He told me about your dad. I always liked your dad.
    Glad he is alright.
    Patty Fogle

  3. Amend That. They did choose to keep him an extra night, which is kind of nice, a bit less worry. I went up to see Dad this evening, worked the quote-acrostic with him and discussed the Cards game. Looking good when I left and ready to get behind the wheel again tomorrow.

  4. Actually, I won’t be picking Dad up. He has commandeered an ambulance and is making his way back up north as we speak. He’ll be home later today.

  5. Thanks to Marie,Patty Fogel,CB,Ann, and Dan for their wishing me well. It’s great hearing from everyone. I do feel pretty good, but get a little tired, which of course is solved by falling asleep while watching TV, or watching paint dry. Just so long as I don’t fall out of the chair, and disturb the people upstairs. Again, Love to All. SDBsr.

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