To say that the week has been pretty stressful would be an understatement! As much as I love Ernesta Week it has been a tough one. After an eventful Thursday, yesterday morning Pam called me and asked me to check on Dad because he was having trouble staying awake. Jack and I ran over to check on him (we are conveniently living only a few blocks from Dad). We got to Dad's house to find him lying in bed, slurring his words and having trouble staying awake. Dad is usually up early and very sharp, so this was very unusual. I called the group health attending nurse line and talked to someone for a while about his symptoms. They said hang up and call 911 immediately. Dad wasn't very happy that I did that, but it turned out to be the right thing to do. He was in and out of defibrillation, and his oxygen level was dangerously low. So off to our favorite place--the hospital. After several tests, the E.R. doctor, Dr. Rice, said that Dad is suffering from congestive heart failure. He has fluid in his lungs from the irregular and weak heart beats. We were hoping to have him admitted to St. Francis but there were "no beds" available. So then they sent Dad by ambulance to Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle. We are not very fond of this hospital because we have had some pretty awful times in Virginia Mason while my mother was dying of brain cancer. Lots of really bad memories. However, the doctors and nurses here are very friendly, and so far Dad has had excellent care. He is still in the hospital because they need to stabilize him, and of course there are many tests to come.
The good part of the day is that when there is an emergency my family gathers the troops in. We spent the whole day together both laughing and crying. When we had been at Virginia Mason for a little while, Karen and Jacki came with, of course, pizza. Our family is so big that we have a way of taking over the waiting room. I had fun introducing pizza to Jacki's four month old baby. By the time we left the hospital late last night Dad was in great spirits; you might even say he was a little loopy. I think he is so used to feeling crummy that feeling a little better makes him happy and even a little silly.