When The Wrong Coast is Too Far

Let me begin by saying everything is fine!

That said, however, Friday was not a fun day and definitely made "The Wrong Coast" feel too far from home. I got a call from my sister around 4:00 PST that my dad had been rushed by ambulance to the hospital with chest pains. My sister is a smart gal and knows how worried and helpless I would feel being so far away that she didn't actually call me until she made it to the hospital and had seen dad for herself. At that point, he was still in the ER and they were running tests to find out what happened, but he was already doing better. They were telling him he was going to stay all weekend and perhaps have a procedure on Monday. Ugh.

It was scary, to say the least. Being 2900 miles from home means that you can't get home quickly, even when your boss is phenomenal and says "go if you need to go" without the slightest hesitation. An hour or so later I got to talk to my dad (probably breaking the rules with a cell phone in the ER, but at that moment, I couldn't have cared less!) and he said stay put here in Oregon. He wanted me to "save my vacation days for Christmas when we could all be together and not in a hospital." Vacation days isn't exactly the way things work at this level, but, he really was feeling better by that point so I didn't make the trip. But, that is what dad's always say, isn't it?  If it was really urgent, would he have told me to come?

In my head, I know the reality is that this will happen again in the future...as it will to any child that lives long enough. Reality just doesn't make me rest any easier. In the end, it wasn't a heart attack. In fact, they gave him a stress test on Saturday which he passed, so they sent him home late afternoon. He is back at work today (AMAZING!), following up with his doctor in the coming weeks, and on some new medications. And, I am eagerly awaiting Christmas break, now more than ever. But, once all the dust settled my mother was quick to point out that I have been lucky to work with some phenomenal people who put family and health above all else. I must agree! Ag Ed people (at all levels) really are the best people.

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