Sybel’s Memories Al goes to the hospital

6 Mar

Truly it was an unplanned visit! The work is progressing nicely at the Barling First Baptist Church on work night. Al was pleased as he put away his tools and started for home. He had parked car by the first sidewalk, instead of the second, as he usually did. Since Barling First Baptist has two front doors, it has two covered sidewalks. The right hand one is the most used, but Al had parked near the left door. The lights out, the door closed behind him, he walked down and stepped towards the car… Only the pavement dropped off there, and Al lost his balance and fell heavily against the car. Brushing it off, he assured the men he was okay.

But his neck got sore and a day or two later we made a trip to the emergency room for treatment. Al decided not to go to aunt Sadies funeral as his neck still pained him dreadfully. I had gotten me a new permanent and a ride with the rest of the family here, so I went ahead to the funeral. I was surprised and pleased to hear her pastor say how active she had become the church, and nameed shut-ins she had visited and other kinds of deeds she had done. The pastor read my favorite passage of Scripture, John 14:1-6.

After the cortage to the cemetery, where I wondered after the committal service, I saw graves of people I had known in my Oklahoma childhood. Charlie drove us around Quintin afterward and I saw the vacant lot where our old  school stood, and remembered the names and houses of several the neighboring families. I had a lot to tell when I got home.

Al’s neck continued to hurt, and I woke up on Saturday morning to find his side of the bed empty, and discovered him in a chair in the living room. Soon he came in and said “I think I need to go to the hospital. It feels heavy right here in my chest. I may be having a heart attack.”

Recalling the instructions I passed out with the plea for money gifts for the American Heart Association “before you call the ambulance give the patient aspirin, it may save his life.” Well I didn’t call the ambulance, but I gave him an aspirin, and dressed as quickly as I could, and drove him to St. Edwards Hospital before daylight. It is about 3 miles straight down Rogers Avenue from Barling. He walked into the emergency room, sat down and gave them all his medical information, before they got a wheelchair and took them to a room, and monitor on him.

I called brother Mark, our pastor, and then Charlie. We have a camper for sale and had two men call on Friday and they plan to come and look at it on Saturday, so Charlie came over and stayed, but they never showed up. (We still have the camper, too much to worry about it now.)

The nurse got a wheelchair and moved Al out, then he was put on a stretcher and moved room 3402 and hooked up to an IV. I settled in beside his bed, where I stayed for two days and two nights. The nurse found a breakfast for him, but he didn’t feel like eating, but I was so hungry so I ate it. After a while Charlie came to the hospital to check on him, and said the two men never showed up to look at the trailer. Boy, that was the least of my worries right then! When Charlie went home he emailed all the boys for us. David Called at the hospital and talked to both of us. Dan and Joan says a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, which is still blooming today on my long table in the dining room area of the kitchen. (I kept in the hospital room until today, since I know he’s coming home in the morning.)

When I got home I called Willie about the church building project. Told him where to pick up the finished boards Al and I stained on our patio, so he could finish around the sound booth, since the carpet people were coming in a day or two, and all the work in there needed to be finished before the It was laid.

I picked up the mail, and there was a box with my new Easter dress and shoes and I was glad to get them in the house. I checked them out, and they will be nice for Easter.

I stayed with Al for two days and nights and I was there when they did the sonogram. What a fascinating thing that was there on the TV screen, a moving picture of Al’s heart, in full color, as it pulsed and moved. Later the technician enlarged parts of it for a better look. At one point Al said “that looks like a valve.” And the technician said “it is.”

Two men came in from Fianna Hills with Al’s doctor. One of them an Episcopal minister, grinned and flipped his fingers and told Al he’d given in the last rights! Al loves to tell visitors about it. The other doctor said “there’s nothing wrong with your heart!” I gave him the “praying hands” sign and he smiled at me.

When it was time for the stress test, I watched with a worried look on my face, as Al walked out surrounded by nurses, with his hand clutching the back flap of the Johnny, trying to keep it closed. One of the entourage of doctors and nurses said “well I don’t know what they’ve got you in here for!”

One of the nurses in his room was a little oriental girl and she told us her story and showed us her diamond ring… Later on she filled in more details of her six year courtship before she finally agreed to marry the guy after he became a Christian like she is.

Al had oxygen from tubes inserted in his nostrils, monitor cords fixed to his chest, and his name tag on his wrist. Most of the time he slept. I sat beside him patiently. He told me to bring a book to read but I haven’t done it. One of the nurses brought in a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Dan and David called us, and Paul called us. He was so good to have these boys to talk to. A comfort to us.

At 3:40 a nurse came in and changed all Al’s batteries. She said they have a room where they monitor the heart batteries. Later when Dr. Calloway came in he unhooked the tubes. They have about decided that the pain was caused by his blood pressure being too high, and are giving him medicine to lower that.

I came home during the day to pick up the mail and feed Bill Bailey. This day Al told me to stay home and get some rest tonight and hopefully he’ll come home tomorrow.

Mary Addy (from our church) call to see how Al is, and tell me the people at the center have signed a card for him… where should she send it, and I said “home.” She reported that Bobby Belt taught our class Sunday night, and did a good job. So now we know who we can ask to teach it while we are in Maine. Our teacher died of heart disease since we were in Maine last.

What the heart gives away is never gone. It is kept in the hearts of others. Robin St. John.

We keep you all in our hearts.


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