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A Lesson in Big Rock Placement: This Is EXACTLY Why I Am Focused On This

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:18pm

You know that whole "No Safe Distance" concept, that none of us are spared from our lives changing at any time? And my comment yesterday about "warning shots?" You do know that this applies to me, too, yes?

After I sent that last post out I went off to a client site and on the way home decided to give my dad a call. We aren't a big phone call family as a rule so this isn't normal for me. In fact, this could well be the first time I have ever spontaneously called him on the way home from work. He hasn't been feeling well lately and after a recent visit I just thought I needed to be a little more conscientious about this type of thing (see: Big Rocks ). Well, what started out as a normal conversation, started to deteriorate into my dad not able to find words and then coming out with sentences that I could not make heads or tails of.

Was he having a stroke?!

I was on my cell and couldn't be sure of our connection so I got home and called him twice, no answer. Now, I'm in Chicago and my dad is in Indiana. So, I called the pizza guy on my dad's corner (the same guardian angel who got my dad to go the the doctor which lead to his having his quadruple bypass) to run down to check on him. That is one advantage of ordering pizzas from the same place from the time you were 4 years old, you know the number by heart. They ran down and sure enough, dad was slurring words but refused to let them take him to the hospital. I call him, he's a total word salad (I'm just dizzily...if I can just have some vacation but I took my chemicals...I was supposed to take them with salt) then a lot of garbledy gook after that. Insisted he's had this once before. Adamantly refuses to let anyone take him to the hospital so I threaten to call an ambulance.

Then I called my brother, an EMT who is closer by, and the one who actually took dad to the ER when this happened a couple years ago. That first episode ended up clearing completely in an hour. Jason calls him...getting better...pizza guy's wife calls 10 minutes later...better still. I call again, 20 minutes later. He's back to normal. Tells me today, in his inimitable fashion, "I just had to wait until the electrodes in my brain were back to normal. I'm good for a couple more years now. It happened 2 years ago so maybe this is just an every couple years thing."

"Dad, we can talk about whether you have electrodes in your brain another time. But first, your friends need keys, we're over an hour away. It sounded like you were having a stroke." (I'm sure it was a TIA.)

"Freddy can figure out a way in." (another friend)

"We didn't have Freddy's number. We all should have each other's numbers."

"You did okay last night." (He's a bit annoyed with me.) He did give me his friend's number but this is the kind of thing that is taking me from the blog. Life is not without its comic moments but yowsa, every way I look someone is on shaky ground.

Yeah, it can happen on a Wednesday afternoon, during a call you make just for the heck of it.

Gotta look sharp kids.

(In other news, my mother-in-law is very excited about her 90th birthday party but is concerned about whether we'll have enough food. She wants one of her daughters to pick up a couple jars of pickled herring just to be sure. Welcome to Minnesota, everybody! Like I said, there is no shortage of things to giggle about.)

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