Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Too far away

There are times that I really hate living here...

Though it's actually nothing to do with anything about our house, neighborhood, etc. and everything to do with being too far away from family. Yes, I know that we are lucky to at least be close enough to drive instead of having to fly. But it's still a 7-13 hour drive (depending on whether we are going to my family or Aaron's, weather, whininess of the kids...). And that's just not a quick jaunt.

I especially hate being this far away when something goes wrong with my family in Utah and I can't do anything to help. On Saturday night my parents went to a party for Dad's work. On the way home, the car got stuck in the snow, and Dad got out to push. (I could say here that with both my parents being heart patients, maybe they should have called someone to help rather than either of them pushing... but I won't.)

After getting the car moving, Dad started to feel sick, with numbness and pain in his left arm. Luckily they were near a hospital and went there instead of waiting. His heart was in atrial fibrillation - meaning that the top chambers of the heart were beating way too fast; basically just quivering instead of squeezing to move the blood through the body. The doctors had to shock him to restore normal rhythms. Then he spent that night and the next day (Sunday) in the hospital in Roosevelt. Late Sunday night my sister actually called me to tell me what was going on - after he'd already been in the hospital with a suspected heart attack all day. I was too far away for anyone to think about letting me know.

(By the way, this is a recurring theme in my family. My mother complains mightily about the time that her mother had a stroke and was in the hospital but didn't call and tell her about it. And then her father was hospitalized with a kidney infection and they didn't tell her about it. And this upsets her a lot. But she does the same thing! Both of my parents have been hospitalized for things a couple of times and they don't tell me about it! Just saying... she doesn't get to complain to me about Grandma's closed-mouthedness anymore.)

On Sunday night they decided that he needed to go to the hospital in Salt Lake City. They couldn't send him via LifeFlight due to bad weather, so they sent him in an ambulance. My mother wasn't able to ride with him, so everyone in Vernal was trying to figure out the best way to get her there to be with Dad. I wasn't able to help with that, of course, because I was too far away.

Aaron and I packed up some clothes, notified work and school that we would be gone, and were (quite literally) on our way out the door to go to Utah to be with my family when my Mom called. She told us not to come. She didn't want us to have to make the long drive with the kids. Because after all, we're too far away. So we agreed to wait and see about the test results before we left. Which took until the next morning. When we were again trying to head out the door and go to Utah, but Mom and Dad insisted that we were too far away and we shouldn't come.

The good news is that Dad is doing well. The atrial fibrillation was corrected quickly enough that it didn't damage his heart. It could have been very bad if they hadn't gone to the hospital so quickly, but luckily they did go. The doctors in Salt Lake ran lots of tests, adjusted his meds and adjusted the settings on his pacemaker to help ensure that this doesn't happen again. He should get to go home today. Of course, they already sent my sister and brother (who drove Mom to SLC) home, so they need someone to come pick them up and give them a ride home. I volunteered, but I'm too far away. One of my siblings will take care of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad they're there and able to help. I just wish I was too.
I wanted to go. I still want to go. Maybe Dad doesn't need to see me, but I need to see him. But apparently we're too far away.


Tera said...

It's so hard to be far away during the tough times and I think it's equally hard to be away knowing that everyone else spends time together during the good times and you are...too far away.

Do you ever consider moving back?

taradon said...

We would actually really like to move to SLC to be closer to everyone. However, the housing market being what it is right now we don't see any way that we could sell the house and go.

Melissa said...

I always find living away from my family to be a mixed thing. Sometimes it's good, sometimes (like when bad things happen) it's really hard. Glad things seem to be OK for now!