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I was slapped up side the head and brought down to earth quickly a few days ago.

My father, who I always thought immortal, suffered a heart attack this past Thursday. He will be 70 this year, has never smoked or drank and is probably in better overall shape than I am at the age of 43.

Thursday morning I got a call from my older sister alerting me that dad was in route to the hospital in an ambulance after suffering a heart attack after feeding the horses and doing barn chores.

I rushed to the hospital as quickly as I could and waited for my mother to arrive in her car following the ambulance to the Emergency Room.

Mom and the ambulance arrived together. I went to my mom and we walked hand in hand to the ambulance as they unloaded my father.

It was unnerving to say the least. When my father looked up at me from the gurney and started to cry, I can only say it cut to the bone.

I think I've only seen him cry twice before in my life the first when his father died and when he came to see me in an emergency room a couple of years back when he thought he was going to loose me.

He is in good hands at the best hospital for treating cardio patients in town. They were hopping to insert stints for treatment but the angiogram showed 99% blockage in one artery and 40-60% in the rest.

He is scheduled for a quadruple bypass on Tuesday. It would happen sooner if not for blood thinners he's been on from a horse riding injury that happened a few years ago.

He is expected to do well with surgery and make a full recovery. The Doctors don't believe he suffer much heart damage. I have found my self praying (first time in years) for him to recover.

To sum things up.

My father has always been there for me no matter what I did. To him it didn't matter if the team I was on was winning or loosing. I could have been at one of the proudest moments in my life or recovering from one of the many stupid things I have done over the years. He has always been there to applaud me or to help me pick up the broken piece after I screwed something up.

My Dad has always been larger than life. If he felt he was in the right he would not back down, not to any one, and he held his ground firmly. He has always been a God fearing man with a kind heart and an old school philosophy of family first, God, and hard work.

It's hard to come to the understanding that my pillar of strength my rock and my place of wisdom is mortal.

Dad has always been god like. He has always been there for my mother and my sisters and me. He has always been the mortar that held life's inconsistencies together.

I pray he does well and is around for several more years. May I grow from this experience and come to be by his side, being a pillar for the family to lean on.

Steven D Stewart
Aka Sticks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PS.

I also have to tell you all of something strange that happened the night before my dads heart attack.

I was to go on a fishing trip Friday. Floating down a remote canyon with a friend. I had a conscious thought to call my friend Dave and tell him I couldn't go because my dad had a heart attack.

This was Wednesday night the day before the hart attack!

???????
Sticks
 

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Sticks,

I had a heart attack almost two years ago (age 52 then) on February 6th, 2007. I was taken to the county hospital by my wife to avoid the expense and extra travel time of the ambulance. The doctor (a very good friend) and the nurses were awesome. They did all they could to get me stabilized before I was life flighted by helicopter to a cardio center in another state. The flight was the worst part of the entire experience, lying half naked on a stretcher pressed up against the freezing cold plexiglass with debrillator paddles at the ready sitting on my chest. Because of the excellent care I received and the clot buster shots I was out of immediate danger. Two stints were put in two days later. I immediately felt warmer as the blood flow increased.

Last August, I was given a clean bill of health by the doctor who inserted the stints. He said my recovery was nothing short of miraculous. There is no sign of any heart damage. I take a boatload of meds, which help other ailments too. (TB and diabetes) Since then I've done everything the docs have asked, decreased my stress levels, exercised more, eaten smarter, and enjoyed life. I'm grateful for the dedicated medical professionals, decent insurance, and a supportive and positive family. While my relationship with my maker has always been an important part of my life, it's more personal and more relaxed now.

My point? Cherish the time you have together. Make what is important important and slough off the unimportant. I wish your father good health and a long life. May peace be with you.
 

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I think many of us are at that age when illness or death is in close company to elderly parents and family. I lost my uncle ten days ago to that obnoxious disease, Alzheimers. My dad is still here after a miraculous recovery from a heart virus. But friends also seem to be announcing either family exits or personal issues.

Catennacio is right - we should off-load the inessential.

My beer consumption is about to be cut by 90%:D

Which will mean more riding time:D:D
 

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I was slapped up side the head and brought down to earth quickly a few days ago.
Hey sticks...we all go thru that and all have about the same reaction. I can read your words and know exactly where you are...but I can also tell you what comes next.

mom went with colon/liver cancer, died at home in our care,
and dad had a bypass in 80 and heart attack in 90 with #5,6,&7 bypass then went (also at home) the week before OJ made the news in 94.

so I know the taste of that whole story myself...including putting bodies in plastic bags...that was my personal level of commitment...shocked those who saw it...but soldiers take care of their dead before the job is finished.

the good news is you only do that interminal roller coaster once per parent...then you get to build character when the alpha badge is passed on to you.

here's the bottom line,
EVERYONE goes thru it.

WE are the heros as soon as you step into those shoes.

think about that line... heros aren't "out there somewhere"...they're us.

get used to the term "orphan"...and you'll see it in other's eyes as well.

after you fall apart on the floor like everyone does, stand back up on your feet...because if you don't, there's no one else who carries it.

I'm sure folks wonder why my words seem jagged harsh at times and hold a negative opinion of the un-PC quality in the tone I commonly use...it's simply because trials build character and crust. One can't possibly know a thing until they've been thru it.

I have no advice for your dad's recovery and the volunteer steps you personally take from here on in. I can only say you build your own world.

words are trite...and it turns completely inside out before it gets better.

hang on buddy...you're in for a ride. I wouldn't BS you.
 

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Sticks I worked doing open hearts for a few years. It is absolutely amazing how well people can do. You said he was strong and that will be in his favor. I wish you and your dad the best and for his speedy recovery.
 

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We are all hoping for you mate, I am sure he will be OK, Dads are always the steady rock thats there supporting us in the background, lost mine to Altzhiemers a few years ago, He did not know me when he went due to the nasty creeping illness that that was, keep your chin up mate and enjoy your time together from now on and next time you guys think "I have not talked to Mom or Dad for a while", do it straight away.
 

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Steven, I know where your are. There are some fantastic open heart surgeons and the techniques are perfected and precise.

He is in the maker hands, through the doctors and nurses that are caring for him to the prayers for recovery from many people. I will pray for him also. Understand that your fathers belief in him is what's important. He has always been in his keeping. Do not fear for him but be confident and reassuring. I know that you're scared and unsure. Accept the situation as it is. Do not fear about what could happen or for his life as it belongs to God and he alone will decide the outcome. Release your fear of death and know that in this eventuality, he will be with God in peace and comfort. Be at ease and let your father know that you are there for him. Show him the strength that he has shown you throughout your life. It is your time to step up and be that morter that binds in his absence. You will grow and understand why none are able to overcome our physical mortality, we can only accept it as a new beginning free of the ties of this life. You will begin to see that life is a gift and journey meant to build our inner strength for Gods purpose alone.

God Bless your father in his recovery as well as you and your family!

Cheers
Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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I think its fair to say our thoughts are with you. I'm pretty sure we are all there or there abouts with parents coming to their twighlight years. My old dad bless him, has given us more than a few scares over the years. All his male relatives bar one had heart attacks at 61 and never made it. But that was before modern medicine worked miracles. His oldest relative made 96. So now hes aiming to beat old Ernie's family record.

We were joking together this Christmas that when he gets to the old folks home, someone will say in a quavering voice, "so Sid, do you have children?" and He'll reply " Yes, that's my son Nick over there dithering in that chair!" :D

I'm sure with good care your dad will match that. Thing is my dad has done me a favour in a way, by scareing us so many times. Triple bypasses arythmia and all. I've kind of prepared myself that we don't go on for ever and so I cherish every moment I get with him. He's 70 too and still riding his old flat tankers. Though age might be catching up as this year he's donated his Banbury run ride to me. Your dad I'm sure is in good hands and will stand alonside you for a while yet. Cherish and memorise every moment, even when he drives you nuts! ;)

We live for ever in the memories of others. I don't pray but I'll be thinking of you.
 

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Sticks, sorry to hear about your Dad's health, but it sounds like everything's going as well as it could. As everyone has said, our thoughts are with you!

My dad is 81 in a month, has heart disease and a pacemaker so I really empathise with the situation.

Like the others say, cherish the time you have together, and make sure he understands your feelings for him.

All the best
Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for the kind words and support. :)

Just need to get through the next couple of days. It will be a big relief once he makes it through surgery.

Thanks
Sticks
 
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