This story requires a little back story, it was the spring of 2001. My dad at the time was 69, he had had quadruple bypass surgery three years earlier. I had four children a 17 year old step daughter, nine year old daughter, six year old son and a three year old daughter. My husband was out of town with his father attending his niece’s blessing. (it is the equivalent of a catholic christening. ) His mom had decided to not go since she was there when my niece was born for two weeks and felt she needed to be home for the weekend. My mom was out of town for the weekend at a womans LDS conference in Salt Lake Ut.
My dad was all alone for the weekend and wanted to come down to visit. My father called me on Thursday night and asked me if it would be ok if he came down to my house on Friday as he lived in Prescott, AZ. I told him it would be fun to have him spend the weekend as i would be all alone. my dad had to pick up my mom on Sunday afternoon from the airport in Phoenix so he just figured it would be easier from my house in Gilbert. I had to get ready as I always fuss when I am having company. I washed the sheets on my guest bed washed the towels in the guest bathroom and cleaned up the rest of the house.
I was ready for his arrival. My husband left early friday morning to the airport to fly to Texas where his sister lived to his nieces blessing. I got started with all my house work. I got the bed made with fresh sheets, cleaned the kitchen and everything else that needed to be cleaned. I made the bed with the fresh sheets, cleaned the bathroom and made sure the towels were hung back up. My dad arrived around lunch time we had sandwiches and chips, my dad arrived a little late. My dad did however have krispy kreme donuts with him which made up for his being late. My kids were super excited for donuts.
My son would always ask when my dad was coming is grandpa bringing cremes when he was little took me a little while he ment donuts. Friday night was not eventful we watched a little TV and then we all went to bed. Saturday morning I got up and made my dad his favorite breakfast bacon, eggs, and toast. After breakfast we visited for a while and discussed how my dad needed to get my nephew who was in juvenile detention some toiletries and drop them off to him. Friday for lunch we had some leftover chicken enchiladas leftover from Thursday night dinner, they were very tasty we all had some.
After lunch we went to Walmart to pick up the toiletries and then drove to Scottsdale to drop them off. When we got to the facility only my dad could see my nephew as he was on the visitor list and not I. My children and I waited in the car as it was not hot for about thirty minutes. My dad came out and we decided to get some soda pop on the way home. When we got home we had a dinner of salad and soup then the kids played for a while and we watched TV. I put the kids to bed about 8 or 9 and my dad and I got some ice cream and watched some TV in my bedroom, around 9:30 my dad started complaining about having a rough feeling stomach.
He got up and went to the bathroom, after a while he asked me to bring him a pillow. I brought him the pillow thinking it was for behind his back on the toilet as he has very thin skin from the blood thinners he takes. I brought it to him and handed it to him without looking in the bathroom. Another 10 or 15 minutes went by and he asked for a wet washcloth for his forehead as he was feeling dizzy. I told my dad I needed to come into his protests as he was going to the bathroom. I opened the door to find him laying down on the pillow on the floor and his pants around his ankles.
I proceeded to place a towel over his lower half to give him some privacy and keep him warm. First thing I thought of was he was also a diabetic and maybe his sugar levels were out of whack. I checked this right away it was all normal. I then went out of the bathroom to say a quick prayer as I had remembered a few months ago when he had to go by ambulance to the hospital in prescott to a heart episode that he stated that he never, ever wanted to in an ambulance again as the last time was terrible. When I went back to the bathroom my dad asked me to call 911.
I was so grateful it was his idea as i was going too anyways. I was at this point perplexed as who to call to come stay with my children as my stepdaughter was gone to her mom’s and my husband was in Texas. I had a sister in law but she lived across town. I remembered suddenly that my mother in law had not gone to texas , I called her immediately and was never so glad in my life to hear her voice. I remember she came right over as she lived only 5 minutes away. She told me later she knew when I called why she was prompted to stay home. I was eternally grateful.
The firemen got to my home and went into the bathroom right away, at the time my dad was too weak to get up. They began discussing how to get him to the gurney. They talked about taking out my bedroom window as they could not maneuver the gurney into my bedroom they would just lift him out the window. They had started an IV to bring up his blood pressure as it had dropped drastically to around 55 over 40. He started to perk up enough he could walk to the hallway to the gurney and there was no need to take out my window. I was grateful, not that my father was not worth it but what a mess that would be in a block house.
They loaded up my dad and off they went, I followed in my car. We got to the hospital 10 to 15 minutes later. I will admit being brought in an ambulance gets you to the back much quicker in an emergency room. The nurses put him in a bed still hooked up to the IV and to many monitors. My poor father had to get up every few minutes to go to the bathroom and to throw up this was very difficult with all the wires. I remember having to help him get up which was not hard but getting him back to bed with all the wires was. Thad to always go beg a nurse to come help. The nurses that night were not very nice.
My father and I were freezing as we were the air conditioning turned way up. hospital had the air conditioning turned way up. Tremember the nicest person in the place was there was the PCt(Patient care tech. ) She brought some warm blankets. It was a very long night we got there around midnight and finally around seven o’clock the doctor came and and discussed what had happened, that with a bad heart when you throw up or get diarrhea that your blood pressure drops dangerously low. I was so grateful not to have to call my mom and say My father had passed away.
I loaded up my dad with all the instructions on how to take care of him and what to watch for. The doctor had stated that he thought it was a very bad stomach virus that was going around the state, my dad on the other hand decided it was from the chicken enchiladas even though we had all had them and he was the only one to get sick. He was not mad just vowed to never eat chicken enchiladas again. When we got home it was around 8 am in the morning he went to lay down and so did I . I was so tired. My mother in law went home. I told the kids to watch TV until I had rested a while.
I went to the airport to pick up my mother that afternoon, she stayed with my dad one more night before they headed home to Prescott. My father has had several brushes with death since then and we have decided he is like a cat with nine lives. My father is now 82 and I consider every day he is alive a blessing. He still states he will never have chicken enchiladas again. I tease him when he is coming to my house to visit that I have made a special batch of enchiladas for him. I think that in his heart he knows that he had a virus not food poisoning since no one else got sick, I think he just likes teasing me