Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whirl Wind weekend

Kentucky often gets a bad reputation.  Sitting just south of Ohio, Kentucky is known for it's southern drawl, bluegrass, moonshine, and even the legal spirit Bourbon.  It's awesome that Kentucky is so close for us too.  Jenn's family lives there.  It's so nice to be so close to visit as often as we do.

6 weeks ago, The Wifey's Granddad had a stroke.  She was itching to get down there and see what it going on.  The stroke was nothing life threatening, it was mild by stroke standards, but put her Granddad's morality in check.  For her Granddad his mortality first came into play when he and his wife, Grandmother, went on a trip.  They were in Nova Scotia, Canada, when he had a heart attack.  It was serious, but again, by heart attack standards it was under control.  Well he got to see the 'fantastic' Canadian health care system. 

For those of you who want to know how it works, here is a sneak peak.  He sat in the hospital for 3 days before they gave his doctor's clearance to do the stent procedure which is done within 24 hours here in America.  They took their time with testing.  About 2 weeks later he was cleared to leave the hospital and come home.

The Wife's maternal grandparents are the epitome of independent senior living.  They were active, sharp, and everything the doctors say you should be when you get older, but this heart attack while on a road trip in Canada, was a snap back to reality.  No one lives forever.

I know this just as much as any, Grandparents and go in a blink of an eye. 

Flash forward, Granddad had a stroke.  Then flash forward to a week ago, he had another heart attack.  At this point Jenn and I revamp our plans for Easter and decide to head to Kentucky for the holiday rather than drive up to see her sister. 

Flash forward this past Friday.  Earlier in the day Jenn gets a phone call update from her mom.  Granddad is doing well and they are talking about sending him home.  No reason to stay in the hospital.  Later that day Jenn noticed a call from her Aunt.  No message.  She tabled the call and decided to call back at a later hour.  She was getting Audrey from school, and helping with homework.

At the time Jenn didn't answer the phone, I got a call minutes later from her Aunt.  A phone call from her Aunt is not something I get.  Ever.  I answer.  Hopefully all was well.  Jenn's Aunt tells me that Grandmother had a stroke and she is on her way to the hospital via ambulance.  She couldn't get a hold of Jenn, and she asked for me to pass along the message.

I hung up the phone, my staff saw the look on my face.  I told them I had to go and get to Jenn.  I tied up a few loose ends with my customers and I was gone.

I got home, and Jenn was surprised to see me home 2 hours early.  I asked her if she called her Aunt back.  She said, no.  I said that she might want to call, her Grandmother had a stroke.  Everything was stable, but you need to call her.

I saw Jenn's heart sink.  I know what it is like being so far away and feeling helpless.  We went through a very similar situation when we went to Chicago for a nice overnight trip to see a show, and I got a phone call that BOTH of my Grandparents were in trouble and that I needed to get home.

This situation hit very close to my heart.   I knew what Jenn wanted to do.  She wanted to get in the car and go.  It didn't matter what her mom said.  Everything could have been hunky dory and she would want to get in the car and go.

With in an hour I would say tops, we had the dog off to my mom's house, and we were in the car heading south to Kentucky.

Saturday we were in the hospital visiting.  They released Granddad, but Grandmother wasn't out of the woods.  Upon first glance you couldn't even tell Jenn's Grandmother had a stroke.  After listening to the nurses and the family's account of what the doctors were saying made me appreciate what we have here in Cleveland even more.

Cleveland is home to 2 world class health systems.  If you have cancer, get to the Ireland Cancer Center at the Cleveland Clinic.  Need a heart transplant, get to University Hospitals.  There are other great programs at these two great facilities including neurology.  If you go to one of these great facilities, you get quick, prompt, and sounds medical advice.  If there is uncertainty, they rarely show you they are freaked out about it, and if they are unsure they don't tell you a bunch of bullshit.  They tell you, hey we are not sure, but this is what we are going to do.  Think an entire hospitals with Dr. Houses. 

Now here we are in a hospital, in a small town relative to Cleveland, hearing all about what the 3 doctors who saw Grandmother said.  1 said, you look great don't know why you are here, a 2nd painted a picture of doom and gloom, and the 3rd said that she didn't have a stroke. 

Get you stories straight.  I was talking to my broth via text while I was there.  He said he couldn't trust anyone outside of the Cleveland Clinic, especially in a part of country where they might use butter to treat sunburn still or use snake bites to treat sinning. 

That might be all well and good, but Jeff Foxworthy said something pretty true, it doesn't matter how much school you might have gone to, you just seem stupid if you have a southern accent. 

In all seriousness, Grandmother seems to be doing well as of right now, which is a good thing.  Jenn stayed down there a few extra days with the baby so she can have the peace of mind that everything is ok.

And it may seem that I am being a little hard on the Kentucky hospital, but in all reality I would put America's worst hospital up against the rest of the world's best hospital. 

I will let you know how everything turns out. 

In the meantime, pray, send good vibes, do anything that you might think help to make sure Jenn can get through this with some sanity. 


Leah said...

A little correction....Ireland Cancer Center is at University Hospitals and the best place for a heart transplant is Cleveland Clinic. I put in over 10 years at both hospitals. The people in Cleveland are very lucky and many don't realize how blessed we are to have TWO world renowned health care facilities right in our own back yard. We have the BEST health care at the tips of our fingers and many take it for granted. We have teams of doctors that communicate with each other in conferences on each and every patient so that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing on each case and the care is expedited. Clevelanders are very lucky and have not experienced the other end of the spectrum. That is why people all over the world (including celebreties: ie: Scott Hamilton, Robin Williams, Oprah, Christopher Reeves and the 1992 Olympic Gold Pairs figure skaters to name a few) come to Cleveland for health care! Even the brains behind Dr. Oz....Dr. Michael Roizen is from Cleveland Clinic. Be blessed Clevelanders!!!

Leah said...

My prayers are with Jenn and her family for Granddad and Grandmother's continued recovery. Our family is especially sensitive to what you are going through.

Vodka Logic said...

Yes, prayers for Jenn's grandparents. I don't have mine anymore [I'm older] but my parents are in their 70's and I pray every day for their continued health.

I have lived "under" military health care as a child and the UK health care and all my parents did was complain. The military took care of you but you got who ever was there that day, no consistancy.

I have worked in a hospital for over 20 years and seen how fast things can work. Sure things aren't perfect but what is.
We have patients die in trauma and 24 hours later there is a patient getting a new liver..amazing.

Boston is just a jog up the street if central Mass can't help you... we live in a great country.

Again send Jenn our love.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Oh poor girl. That's rough for her and family and grandparents.

I disagree on southern accents...they are hot! :)

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

The thang is, brudda...
1-outta-1 croaks, pal.
NOT whorizontal Hillary.