I called my mother this morning to find out how dad was doing with the fact that he is now an official-getting-paid-for-his-work artist. Even though he hasn’t officially accepted the job, it is still a big deal.
“Did he pop a happy pill last night or what?” I asked.
“You know, I forgot to ask. I have got to ask.” She said.
My poor dad has been though a lot in his life:
- Broken hip
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Diverticulitis – followed by 3 month long Colostomy – followed by Fixing colostomy
- 2 Hernias
- 2 hand and foot surgeries
- Kidney Transplant
Then to top everything off he has something new – an erratic heartbeat. Beat – Beat – beatbeatbeat – beat – beatbeatbeat beatbeatbeat – beat.
His heart is totally fine. He is healthier than most people my age. He just has to learn to live with the erratic heartbeat.
Easier said than done. Especially when it is late at night and he is trying to sleep and is sure he is having a heart attack.
The first time I got the 3AM call that the ambulance was on its way, I was worried.
The second time I got the call, I walked over there in my robe and started a monologue about the crazy shenanigans of Sarah for about 5 minutes. He forgot he was supposedly “dying” and relaxed, so when the ambulance guys came in to check him out and my mom and I were trying to tell them it was just anxiety, they weren’t amused:
“We have to bring him in ma’am. We don’t take these things lightly” they said. (Well, neither do we you dipshit.)
The third time I got the call, the conversation went like this:
Mom: Yeah, Jim thinks he is having a heart attack. The ambulance is on its way.
Me: Really? Is he sure?
Mom: He thinks he is sure.
Me: Well what got him all worked up this time?
Mom: I don’t know.
Me: Is he? Is he? Or is this another anxiety attack?
Mom: Probably anxiety. He is sitting right here and is fine. You had better come over. It would suck if this were the real thing.
Me: Yeah, it would suck if this were the real thing. We would look pretty bad for not believing him and then he died. I will be there in a minute.
I walk the 20 yards to their house, walk in and ask my dad, “So are you dying, or not?” This makes him laugh. This is how our family rolls, by the way. We tend to try to lighten things up in our own sick way.
He was not having a heart attack, but had to go to the hospital anyway. His doctor and heart specialist eventually prescribed Xanax for him, in case the erratic heartbeat gets the best of him.
This is also how we can tell how he is doing… if it is a Xanax night or not.
After I saw my Dead Grandpa Ghost in our living room – that was a Xanax night.
The Vikings had a close game – that was a Xanax night.
A tornado sweeps through our neighborhood – you guessed it – a Xanax night.
And I don’t blame him one bit.