About Me

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Tennessee, United States
Retired teacher living in East Tennessee, adjusting to life in the land of round door knobs. Photographer for our local animal shelter and foster of many dogs and kitties. Don't ask me how many dogs I have, but my son got me one of those "I'm the crazy dog lady" sweatshirts.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Independence Day Heart Attack

For the 4th of July holiday, we were invited to Arkansas to join other family members at my youngest brother, Jerry's home on top of Boston Mountain. After an extra long trek on Tuesday afternoon of the 3rd down HWY 13 with everyone else from Missouri due to the flooding which had closed all other southern routes (such as HWY 71), we pulled in just as the hamburgers were being put on the grill. Some of the cousins jumped in the pool. We chowed down and visited and talked about hiking down behind Artists Point to a waterfall, and maybe swimming in the lake or floating down a river on the 4th itself. Around midnight we soaked in the hot tub at the cabin we had rented with my sister and then hit the sack.

We woke the next morning to find that Jerry had finally allowed his wife Lisa to take him to the emergency room because the tightness in his chest, which he had been experiencing for six days was getting worse. He had collapsed at least twice while trying to get things ready for the family reunion, but had attributed the problem to indigestion and felt better after he rested. But it wasn't indigestion, he'd had a heart attack. He felt bad that we all ended up hanging around in the emergency room and later ICU waiting rooms instead of out doing all the fun things he had planned, but what's a family to do? Life trumps everything else. The cardiologist later confirmed Jerry had nearly complete blockage of the artery leading to the left ventricle of his heart. We still enjoyed visiting with our nieces and nephews and everyone, except Lisa went back to the house for supper, which I prepared. Then they watched TV, swam in the pool, and shot off the fireworks. Some traditions must be observed after all. Jerry was released from the hospital on Friday evening after being rotorootered (angioplasty) and having a stint put in place. He'll be taking it easy for a while whether he wants to or not.

On the way back to Kansas City, we stopped in Bella Vista, Arkansas, for a short visit with Jim's Aunt Sammy and Uncle Hawley. We had a wonderful lunch at their home, watched photos from Jim's cousin Linda's wedding, surveyed the yard and talked about the past and future. We always enjoy visiting with them, and are always impressed with their humor and resiliency.