Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day Sunday

And then there was Father’s Day Sunday. 

I had already given Hunter Man some shorts and a shirt for Father’s Day on Friday night before we went out to have a movie night.   And, we celebrated with our kids and grandkids Saturday night, so other than planning to have one of his favorite things—Norwegian Shrimp Sandwiches—for lunch, we weren’t really going to do anything else for Father’s Day Sunday.

But, then something weird happened while we were at church.  After about 10 minutes, Hunter Man asked me if I had any Ibuprofen.  I told him that I didn’t and just figured that he had a headache or something. 

A few minutes after that, he leaned over to me, whispering that he was not feeling well at all and was going home.  He was sweating and his face looked ashen.

I could not get the thought out of my head that he was having a heart attack.  I came home and internet searched for the symptoms of heart attack in men.  Then, I compared the symptoms to what he was experiencing and I became convinced that he was having a heart attack.  He could not get full breaths, had numbness in his left arm, pain on the left side of his chest and near the bottom of his sternum, anxiety, sweating, fatigue, indigestion, and gray color.  Later he told me that when he got up in the morning, his heart was beating really fast and then it slowed way down.  Symptoms that didn’t really go along with the heart attack symptoms were aching body parts and diarrhea.  But, there were more symptoms suggesting heart attack than not.  I think my biggest concern was the fact that he felt like he could not get enough air when he breathed--as if his lungs would only fill up part way.  He wasn’t gasping for breath, but just wasn’t getting enough air.  When someone has a heart attack and part of the heart is damaged, then it limits the lung function, too.  This scared me because I didn’t want irreparable damage to happen to his heart by not getting medical attention.

Convincing him that the best thing to do would be to go to the hospital, rather than take a nap, was not easy.  He said he had never felt like that before and didn’t like how he was feeling, but he was adamant about not going to the doctor.  Finally, he agreed to go to the Insta Care.  I knew that they would tell him that he needed to go to the Emergency Room, but I hoped that he would believe them since he wouldn’t believe me. The first thing the nurse said to us before they checked him in was that if you think you are having a heart attack, you should go straight to the E.R. or call 911.

We should have left right then and driven ourselves to the E.R. because after examining him and performing an EKG, the doctor said that he was very concerned about “ST depression” on the EKG showing a decrease in the amount of oxygen that he was getting.  “ST depression” can indicate heart disease and impending cardiac arrest.  He wanted to have Hunter Man transported by ambulance to the hospital.  Hunter Man kind of cried when he realized that he really might have had a heart attack.  The nurse set him up with an I.V., oxygen, some baby aspirin, and a nitro glycerin tablet while the ambulance was en route. 

I followed them in my truck and by the time I got into the room in the E.R., the EMT’s were filling a nurse in on the details, one nurse was drawing vials and vials of blood, and the doctor was asking a lot of questions.  Soon, he had another EKG and a chest X-Ray.

Jer and Tass came and we waited for results.  As we waited, Hunter Man’s symptoms were all over the place.  He had more indigestion, increased heartburn, felt faint when he was getting his X-Ray and walking to the bathroom, sweating, freezing, numbness in his left arm, tingling in his right arm, blood pressure all over the place (top numbers from 107 to 138), and feeling like he was just not getting enough air every time he took a breath, even with the oxygen and especially after he walked.

But, then Jer and a friend of his from church gave Hunter Man a blessing.  And that may have made all the difference because the doctor came in and said that there were no cardiac enzymes showing up in his blood like there would have been if he had a heart attack.  The only thing that showed up on the chest X-Ray was possible bronchitis. 

Even though he did not feel well, he kept
trying to make jokes with all the staff.
Other than feeling like he couldn’t breathe very well, he had no other symptoms of bronchitis.  He had not been sick, he wasn’t coughing, has not had a sore throat, or nasal congestion, or anything.  He did start to get a fever while we were in the E.R. for some reason, which was probably why he was freezing then sweating.  Viral bronchitis could explain that and even could be associated with the diarrhea he was having.  But, it didn't explain everything else.

The doctor ordered another set of blood tests and another EKG, just to see if anything else showed up.  Nothing did.  So, Hunter Man was cleared to go home.  An appointment to have an Echo Stress Test in the morning was made for him and the doctor wrote a prescription for Prilosec to help with the feeling of heartburn.  Hunter Man still felt awful, but I guess when they ruled out heart attack, there was nothing else that the E.R. could do for him.

Taking off the EKG and heart
monitor stickers was painful!
We still did not know what was wrong with him and hoped that the next morning when he had his Stress Test, we would get more information on what could be done to make him feel better.  He was still fatigued and still having a hard time breathing the next morning.  I was concerned about him taking a stress test in this condition, but I guess the doctors weren’t.

Later that night he got this text message that made us laugh:  “Happy Father’s Day!  Thank you for not dying today!”  (Hunter Man has an awesome daughter-in-law.)

Anticipating the fun treadmill
part of the test.

(The stress test consisted of being connected to the EKG machine, laying on a table and having an ultrasound of his heart, then walking and running on a treadmill for about 10 minutes, and having another ultrasound done immediately after getting off the treadmill.  The doctor evaluated everything and said that Hunter Man’s heart is perfectly fine.  He has no blockages or leaking valves).

Norweigian Shrimp Sandwiches  (I don’t have a picture because we didn’t get to have them).

Fresh or frozen (but thawed) pre-cooked shrimp (about 1” size), mayonnaise, lemon juice, butter (not margarine), lettuce, and French bread.

Mix enough shrimp for each sandwich with mayonnaise and a few squirts of lemon juice.  Butter each piece of French bread.  Place a piece of lettuce on the bread, then top with shrimp.  Eat as an open faced sandwich—doing your best to keep the shrimp from falling off every time you pick it up!  These are so, so good and one of the greatest things that Hunter Man brought back from his time in Norway. 


Father's Day Saturday

We got together as a family on Saturday night for Father’s Day.  We had turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy, followed by my favorite delicious chocolate Bundt cake and/or strawberry pie. I had both. I love this time of year for strawberry pie, but this chocolate cake is irresistible ( and it could be held totally responsible for the extra five pounds that I just can’t get to go away!)
As everyone was talking after dinner, Hunter Man began to tell about the event that has become known as “THE EIGHT MINUTE ELK HUNT”.  One year, he was elated to find out that he had drawn a Limited Entry Big Honkin’ Bull Elk Tag for the fall.  This hunt was his opportunity to hunt for the biggest elk of his life and he proceeded to get ready for that hunt for the next six months.

It was very important to him to be ready to recognize a gigantic bull elk when he saw one.  His study material consisted of numerous DVD’s about elk and he watched one EVERY SINGLE NIGHT right before we went to bed.  He was going to make sure that he knew how long the front tines, the back tines, and the whole rack of antlers should be.

I absolutely did not love going to bed and finding him already there with the elk video playing. After a week or so of this happening, I started avoiding going to bed until the video was almost over.  Sometimes that didn’t work.  If I hadn’t come to bed yet, he would start another episode!

So, at our Father's Day party when Jer and Hunter Man were recounting the events of the elk hunt, I interjected that my (least) favorite memory of that elk hunt was the fact that Hunter Man watched “Elk Porn” every night before he went to bed right up until the elk hunt. Everyone laughed when they heard me call it Elk Porn.  (I can joke about it now).

The reason that it was called the Eight Minute Elk Hunt is that Hunter Man got so excited to see this elk just a few minutes after he started hunting—and he was sure that it was a BIG, BIG one—that he shot it first thing in the morning on the first day of the hunt!  Jer was recording the whole thing so when we watched the video of it later, we all witnessed Hunter Man walking up to that elk and being fairly disappointed that it wasn’t as big as he thought it was. 

I gave this picture to
Hunter Man one year and
told him that it was of
his 2 favorite things--me
and his elk!

When he came home from that hunt and I saw this huge elk in the trailer, I was so happy for him.  I didn’t even realize that it wasn’t as big as it was supposed to be.  I am HAPPY that he didn’t get a bigger elk.  Right now, with our standard-sized ceilings, the elk mount is hanging on a nail about 2 ½ feet off the floor and the top of its antlers is about 1 inch away from the ceiling. If it was any bigger, it would be sitting on the floor!

Our son-in-law, Mark acted quite interested in the hunting stories, so Hunter Man decided to show him the DVD of his life’s hunting pictures that I made for him quite a while ago for another Father’s day gift. It was fun to see it again and he enjoyed explaining who was in each picture. 

The timing of showing that DVD was perfect.  It had A LOT of pictures of Hunter Man’s Dad in it. His dad has been gone for about 15 ½ years now and we all wish he could have been here, sharing in all of the things that have happened since he died--from Jer getting married and becoming an electrician --to Ty growing up—to Kj getting married and graduating from college--to his two great-grandsons being born.

At Christmas, we visited Hunter Man’s grandpa, who was almost 104 at the time.  We always take a lot of pictures when we visit him, and Tass had taken a picture of Bridge, Jer, Hunter, Man, and Grandpa together.  It would have been a perfect Five generation picture, if Hunter Man’s dad had been here.  Tass really wanted to crop a picture of him into it and give it as a gift to Jer.  She worked very, very hard on it and finally got it ready for Father’s Day. 

When she presented an awesome black and white version of this picture to Jer and Hunter Man after all of the Father’s Day gifts had been given, Jer was speechless and choked up about receiving such a meaningful gift.  Hunter Man teared up at seeing his Dad in a picture with him after all this time.

Bridge thought it was a birthday party and started singing “Happy Birthday to You”.  When we told him it wasn’t anybody’s birthday, but it was Father’s Day and that his Daddy, Papa, and Mark were getting presents because they are all fathers, he changed his tune and proceeded to circulate around to every single one of us about 5 times each saying “Happy Faths Day!”  It was so cute!

Bridge had also been so patient with having to stay inside for the party that when I said we could finally go outside to blow bubbles, he quickly ran to the kitchen and climbed up on the counter to get them.  Then, blowing bubbles evolved into playing with the hose.  Hunter Man kept turning the water on and off.  Bridge laughed as the water sprayed him.  He kept saying, "Turn water on, Papa."   

Sitting outside all together, watching Bridge play, was a nice way to end the day. 


(By the way Strawberry Pie is soooo easy to make.  You buy a pre-made pie shell and bake it.  Then, slice a quart of strawberries.  And you also buy a tub of red strawberry gel stuff that is sold in the produce section when strawberries are in season.  (If you can’t find this, you can get another mixture called Danish Dessert in the Jello section and make your own red gel stuff).  Mix the strawberries with the gel, spread in the pie crust and chill in the refrigerator.  Top each slice with a dollop of Cool Whip.  EASY and delicious!)