It's a Friday morning. We leave the house at 530. Me, Mom & Step-Dad. I'm driving my Step-Dad's new Honda CRV. My Step-Dad is in the front with me & Mom's in the back. We drive across the Spillway as the sun comes up. Orange and pink streaks are spread across the sky. Mostly, we are silent.
Today is a big day. My Step-Dad is having an angiogram. Heavy stuff. Thank God my Step-Dad turned on the radio & found Walton & Johnson. Talk radio fills the silence. But we all feel anxious. It's palpable.
We arrive at the hospital. Time passes. Infomercials are watched. Tests are run, IV started, other children arrive.
We all kiss my Step-Dad & tell him we love him before he is taken to the cath lab. He tells me Happy Birthday. My birthday is tomorrow.
And there it is. The elephant in the room. He is scared he may not come out of that cath lab.
Someone we all know & loved died during an angiogram. And that is at the forefront of all of our minds.
He tells me Happy Birthday in case he can't tell me tomorrow. I say "thank you." I refuse to let tears fill my eyes. Refuse!
He is wheeled away in his bed by two cath lab nurses. Our large group is led to a waiting area. And the waiting commences.
And then - the news. There is blockage everywhere. Instead of stents, there will now be a referral to a Cardiac Surgeon who will determine whether or not my Step-Dad can undergo bypass surgery. Appointments are made, the beeping of the monitors is a constant reminder of an irregular beat, more tests are run.
Time passes slowly. My Step-Dad can't leave fast enough. If he could run away right now, I think he would.
He is being told to take it easy. No exertion, they say.
We are all tired. And anxious. And irritable. We are right there - on the edge of cracking. The ride home...uugh.
Arriving at home at 510pm, there's a message on the answering machine from the nurse at the Cardiac Surgeon's office. We have to be there Monday morning bright & early for labs, a CT, an office visit, etc. If all goes well, surgery is tentatively scheduled for Friday. A week from now. Wow. They're not wasting any time, are they?
The Cardiologist has agreed to give my Step-Dad something to sleep. Yes! We all have fingers crossed that he will be able to rest. To finally get some sleep. It's long overdue.
What an emotional day.
Addendum: It's Saturday. He finally slept well. And the first thing he said to me is "Happy Birthday, baby. I hope you have a good day."
My heart is full.