VirgoVoice

I'm just sayin'

Heart Attack – Schmart Attack

Years ago when my family lived closer to each other we spent Thanksgiving Day together. Distance and work schedules make that nearly impossible nowadays. However, some of those Thanksgiving stories will live on forever, such as the one with my brother ending up in the hospital. Not for food-gone-bad kind of thing nor did we have any Jerry Springer moments. It could have happened to a lot of people. Really. I think.

Picture the family sitting around the living room sighing with their belt buckles undone, barely able to move after the feasting on enough food to feed a family of four for a week. You know all the Thanksgiving traditional foods, turkey with an abundance of gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, soft chewy rolls, you name it it was there. As if that wasn’t enough it’s topped off with pumpkin pie served with a heaping dollop of whipped cream. There wasn’t much conversation at this point, just a couple of barely audible grumblings, ” Oh man, I ate tooooo much.”  As we lingered in the living room the little kids went off to jump on beds or something. We didn’t have enough energy to get up and tell them to stop. At least not right away. At some point my brother did excuse himself saying he was going to check on the kids. That was nice of him! However, after about 15 minutes we all noticed he hadn’t returned. I rolled off the couch and went to see what he was up to.

I found him in the bedroom laying on the bed, complaining of chest pains and how hot it was. He told me, ” I ate too much.” Well, who hadn’t? But no one else was sweating like a flagman in Phoenix. He was so uncomfortable he had concerns and decided he should go to the hospital. I offered to drive him, his wife would stay with the kids. Within 30 minutes we arrived at the emergency room – we were not the only ones there on Thanksgiving. We waited along with other over-stuffed looking patients. After about an hour of our emergency room waiting experience a doctor saw him. The doctor examined him, asked questions and determined that my brother had just over-indulged and his gall bladder was protesting. A nurse gave him a shot to relax something and they sent him home, which was back to my place, they were staying the night. I got us home safely and everyone was asleep by then. So, we too retired for the night. But not the whole night because the phone rang at 3 a.m.. It was Dr. So and So. He said that my brother’s blood work had come back and he should return to the hospital RIGHT AWAY. Holy moly, I hurried to wake him and off  we went to the ER again. I had no idea what could be the issue. The hospital won’t give that kind of information over the phone. When we arrived they took my brother immediately into an examination room and told him his blood work indicated he was having a heart attack. WOW. That’s what the chest pains were about? We were really surprised – no personal or family history of heart disease. The doctor recommended he stay over night for observation and was told the cardiologist would make his rounds early in the morning around six.

I left my brother at the hospital and went home to tell his wife ( she stayed with the little ones). So in the morning we were waiting for a call to let us know what was going on. Eight o’clock went by. Then nine o’clock. By 10:00 a.m. we said that’s it, we’re going to the hospital. We all piled in the car and went to the hospital, all the while imagining the worst. When we got there and found his room he was fully clothed on top of the bed watching some Cheech & Chong movie.

We immediately started asking questions; “What did the doctor say?” “How long you in for? “What happened?”  We all stood there waiting to hear the prognosis. My brother looked at us and said, “They got the wrong guy. They weren’t my test results.” Our mouths dropped open, we looked at each other and began to laugh. Only this could happen in our family; a fake heart attack. We remember this story every year as we gorge ourselves, AGAIN. However, we still wonder about the guy whose blood work showed HE was having a heart attack. What happened to him? Is his family remembering the Thanksgiving when dear old dad was treated for a gall bladder issue when in fact he was having a freakin’ heart attack? Really, where is that guy today? I’m just sayin’.

 

PS – I think heaping dollop might be an oxy-moron… maybe.

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Change Of Plans – Change A Life

Most of my family, real and extended, do not live near me. Hence, I get to see the inside of airports regularly. I know the security drill pretty well. When it comes to getting airline reservations I think I’m the champ at getting great deals. Probably because I am also a planner, hey, I’m a Virgo! I am not one who waits to the last minute and takes whatever route or numerous layovers just to get wherever it is I’m heading. And I do not like to have hours to spend in an airport for layovers. Well, wait, there are some airports that are not that bad to get stuck in. Minneapolis, Minnesota ( MSP ) is huge. It has so many stores and restaurants it’s a like a mall. Which is kind of funny because Minneapolis is home to  the Great Mall of America! The GMA even includes a small roller coaster and other amusement park type rides for young kids. The airport doesn’t offer that, but if you have to be stuck in an airport that’s not a bad one to be stuck in.

Getting stuck in an airport is one thing, but being stuck on a plane on the runway would be traveling hell in my book. Luckily, I have never been stuck on a plane, on the runway. If that ever happened to me I am afraid I would have to fake a medical emergency. Something requiring an ambulance. Say, a heart attack. I have had the plane taxi out to the runway and have to wait our turn to take off. But not hours. I have been stuck on planes with stinky people, with crying babies, with loud groups of women who started their ‘girls-weekend’ in the limo. I have had the talker sit next to me. I have had unaccompanied minors sit next to me which is what happened recently when I flew on a short trip. Unaccompanied minor AND a talker. The kid was a talker and only ten-years old. I actually wanted to fake being deaf when he wanted to show me his Pokemon card collection or something in that category.  So I took the lead and asked where he’d been. He told me he’d been at his dad’s place. He went on to tell me how his dad took time off from work and they went camping. Just the two of them. He showed me a rock he found on their hike. He liked the rock because it was really smooth and shaped like a heart. He held it out for me to see. The kid said he was going to keep the rock forever. I told him he could carry it in his pocket and think about his dad and their camping trip whenever he wanted. He shared with me his parents don’t live together any more. He told me his parents had never been married. But it’s still like a divorce, he added. He got quiet after that. So I got out my magazine and before I could open it he tells me his dad packed him a bunch of snacks. He took out a bag from his back pack and started rifling through all the goodies he brought, laying them on the ‘snack tray’.  He named all his choices; fruit roll-ups, (strawberry’s his favorite) Skittles ( his most favorite candy in the world ) some trail mix ( he feigned gagging here) he showed me a small can of Pringles ( he raised his eyebrows at me). This kid was set for a three day trek. Our flight was an hour and twenty minutes. He narrated his struggle to make a choice from the array of snack items he’d laid out on the tray in front of him. Eenie, meenie miney mo… It was not going to be one of those flights where I just enjoyed my magazine and chilled. After choosing the Skittles and offering me some from the pile in his hand, ( Uh, No thank you) said kid showed me his video game thingee. I’m not sure what it was, he lost me at , “all you have to do…”  I watched him blow something up and out-run something on his video screen. I asked how high of points did he have. He looked at me kind of funny. Oh, it’s not like pinball where you compete for points – I think in the new video games a person wins by competing on a higher level. I think. I didn’t really get it and really didn’t care if I did get it; hopefully there wasn’t a quiz later!  The little guy seemed entrenched in his game so I pulled out the magazine again and got comfortable, opened it up and then the kid wanted to show me how to make the hero-figure jump a car or something like that. “Oh wow,” I said. I smiled looked him in the eye. He held my gaze for a second or two and said, “My mom says I talk a lot.”  Now came the hard part; “Really? Are you kidding me? “Nope,” he said. And I had a flash back to my grade school days when EVERY report card I received had at least one comment about how much I talked in class. As a matter of fact, the only French I can speak came from my sixth grade teacher who would take a deep breath and say to me , again, Fermez votre bouch, s’il vous plait. Shut your mouth, please. So I told the kid he didn’t talk too much and I closed the magazine and we talked the rest of the way. And I use the term “we” lightly. But maybe, just maybe, one day he’ll take the time to listen to some old lady on the plane who some say talks too much.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Today’s the first day back on the computer after a two-week hiatus from the computer. Thankfully, it’s like riding a bicycle. Well, except for the password thing. I had to think about my passwords. I actually had to get out the password-cheat-sheet, after-all, I changed most of them in recent months. I still occasionally find myself typing in the old ones. That’s pretty frustrating until I remember, “Ah-ha, changed that one.”

I was on a ‘memory-lane’ vacation; I went back ‘home’. I had the opportunity to go to San Diego, that’s where I consider ‘home’, no matter how long it’s been since I lived there. It’s where I went to school and formed lifetime friendships. It was pretty cool to drive around the old neighborhood and remember who lived where.When I drove by the house I grew up in the new owner was outside and came over to the car and visited. He said my family’s name and hand-prints were still forged in concrete where we put them 52-years ago! He told me some of the changes he had made to the house. That wasn’t as weird as I thought it might be – hearing of the changes, like he converted the fireplace back to wood burning, which my parents had converted to natural gas. I can remember my parents doing that, my mother thought it was ‘cleaner’. But really, who the heck NEEDS a fireplace in San Diego?

I visited places along the beach where my friends and I as teen-agers would hang out. Amazing how some things seemed the same and some had changed but still had familiarity. Like La Jolla Cove; back in the ’60s the cove was the perfect spot for a love-in. Yep, in San Diego there were several places on a Sunday afternoon one could gather for a ‘love-in’. Which meant girls wearing flowers in their hair ( cue up the cowsills  song ) tapping their tambourines and passing  the peace pipe! La Jolla cove had some nice improvements since my last visit. Way back when… the only way to get to the beach front was climbing down the cliffs or jumping off an outcropping called “the clam”; which I never did. But I wanted to, just never could get up the courage. As I looked at it this time, I thought that was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made as a fifteen year old. It still looked dangerous. However, in recent times, our tax dollars have added a stairway to the small beach where one could swim in the underwater preserve. Which you could share with some very large sea lions. They are really cute to watch. I watched them bobbing in the waves, I could watch them for hours, well, that is if they didn’t stink. But at least they are safe from obstructions in that area, like surf boards and fishermen. Body surfing is allowed and that was cool to see a couple of guys out there riding the waves. And one of those guys body-surfing could probably have shared with you some of his experiences at the cove in the ’60s. As they say, “He was no spring chicken”! Of course I took some photos – now I have some new desktop images. Enjoy!

Look how fun this looks. Don’t know if it’s difficult or not. I never tried it. But it’s just man and nature as one.

When in the water these sea lions don’t look so large, but on land, close up they look pretty big. I didn’t want to disturb this one, I was very quiet. Partially because I have seen videos where they can be aggressive and wasn’t sure how fast they could move! It was awesome to see it up close though.

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