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my second reason for running…

18 February, 2010

Today we’ve got a guest blogger…cubicle dad’s dad:

Dan,
for your blog:

My heart story started on a normal Friday afternoon, I had my usual lunch, a burger, fries and soda, but about an hour later I had a bit of “heartburn.” I took some TUMS. After work I did my usual walk, about 4 1/2 miles around the beautiful Lady Bird Lake in the center of our city. On Saturday, after work and my walk, I stopped in to help a friend install a turbocharger on his car. I declined his dinner invitation because I had “heartburn” again. I took some ROLAIDS instead. After work on Sunday I still felt bad. I’d eaten TUMS and ROLAIDS all day but still had a little “burn”, so when I got home I took a nap. Since it was Easter, I called my mom and then my older sister, a nurse, when I told her about my indigestion she said, “That’s not normal. You need to go see a doctor as soon as possible, today.”

Yeah, OK.

I don’t know why I did, I‘ve never listened to her advice in the past, but I took a shower and drove myself to the hospital in a nearby town. I checked into the ER, and had them look at me. After a few minutes I had an EKG running and the doc walked in, sat down and said, “Sir, you’re having a heart attack.”

“Well, I don’t hurt.”

“It’s pretty serious.”

“But it doesn’t hurt.”

A little while later I’m in an ambulance going into the city. I arrive at the Heart Hospital. I get to their ER and everyone is really excited, I mean REALLY excited. I get wheeled into the catheter lab and they find the blocks. 45 minutes later I’m under the knife and I get a triple bypass.

It was 10 years ago when I got my wakeup call, I was 49. I am so proud of my son for getting his call earlier in life. Of course I’ve warned Dan that my father had his first heart attack at 49 and his other grandfather had a fatal heart attack at age 54. Perhaps Dan is breaking the cycle.

Go to the doctor and get a check up; know your family’s history. Watch your weight, don’t smoke, drink or eat in excess. Enjoy your life! I do.

I remember where I was when I got a call form my aunt about my dad, but not all the details. Everything sort of blurred together. I had just returned to Champaign from a Chicago visit. I had spend Good Friday at the Field Museum seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was a great trip.

I was at a friend’s apartment when I got the call. I think I called my dad, or he called me…not sure. But I remember being scared at the way he sounded.

The next morning it was decided my sister and I would fly down to Austin. I booked a flight up to O’Hare and met up with my sister and we headed for the gate. On the flight…I decided I needed a drink. I ordered two…figured sister could sneak a sip or two. The flight attendant got all pissy because sister was a month short of 21. He threatened to keep us on the plane and have the book thrown at us. The big Texan next to me, told him to shut his trap, get him another drink and to leave us alone. He knew exactly why we were in a hurry.

When we got up to deplane…Tex turned to us and told us, “to follow him, if he tries anything he’s block for us.” Awesome! See, weird…this I remember vividly, but not all the details. I remember being scared.

We arrived late evening, and I think dad was in surgery…we weren’t able to see him right away. Though again, not sure.

We took turns sitting with him in the ICU recovery room for a bit, then went to get some sleep. He was up the next morning, and I remember dad being bummed because the doctor told him he had to slow down and take it easy…and that he was a Type II Diabetic. He moped and said he would have to sell his car…his Miata…because he had to slow down, and wouldn’t be able to have fun.

I’m proud of my dad! Since then he’s taken the bull by the horns, and run with it. Yes he is a diabetic…but he’s managed it like a pro. He eats well and he exercises! To be honest, I took his effort for granted. But stopping to think about it, my dad is awesome…he inspires me.

And so yeah, my dad helps fuel my fund raising effort. I need your help…all of you. Please take a minute and go donate. My goal is to raise $5,000 and I think it’s an achievable goal…so if you can, please make a donation. I appreciate your support…so does my dad.

Tell your friends, spread the word…let’s shatter that $5,000 goal!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. DSMIT permalink
    18 February, 2010 7:37 am

    Living life is definitely better than the alternative. Dan, you are looking so good and working really hard. Great job! ;-)mab

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