I had taken a day of vacation to get bags and boxes packed for our trip to Topsail Island the next day. Remember? The beach trip I've been squealing about? The latest loud squeal was right here - http://meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com/search?q=Topsail+Island
Donald and Harley and I were going to the beach - Yay!!
But then, the phone rang.
Donald was at the hospital with chest pains, and next thing I knew I was by his side until two strangers strapped him onto a gurney, put him in a helicopter and whisked him away from me to Asheville.
Here's the story in Donald's words -
"I died last Friday from a heart attack. It wasn't for very long but a definite flat line on the monitors. Just like a light dimmer switch the light in my mind and the energy in my body were going to low in synch with each other and did go all the way to dark.
The emergency staff had given me blood thinner, clot busters, and even nitroglycerin. That was not enough. I found out much later that I had gotten the electric paddles. As I became groggily aware of my surroundings I spoke to whoever might be listening that I was not having fun and wanted to go home. There was some muffled laughter and someone told me that a helicopter from Asheville was coming to get me. I quickly requested a window seat and there was a little more muffled laughter.
So. There you have it. Today, Donald and Harley and I are together at home, almost as if nothing ever happened. Almost. But not quite. However - Donald is expected to make a full recovery and the damage to his heart was minimal (10-15%), and that's expected to come back. He has a stent in an area that was 90% blocked and it is doing its job.
While Donald was being so wonderfully taken care of at the hospital, Harley and I spent our nights at the Marriott Residence Inn just a couple minutes away from Mission Memorial Hospital. The staff could not have been kinder. During our entire stay in Asheville we were surrounded by angels; both at the hospital and at the hotel.
And surrounded by friends and family - both in reality and virtually.
Donald's Mom & Dad were there, and my gal pals Nancy & Dindy were there. You've heard me speak of the importance of old and dear friends. Donald and I are the luckiest people on God's green earth when it comes to being blessed with dear friends. Nancy & Dindy have been a part of our lives for our entire married life, and were a part of my life even before Donald entered it. We've been through all sorts of times together - the wild & crazy, and the saddest of the sad. It's what has forged a friendship that will last forever. I also had the virtual support of friends and family literally around the world, with a constant stream of emails and notes on Facebook and phone calls from people expressing concern and offering help in every way imaginable. We will never forget those gestures. Cherished and treasured are every one of the notes and calls. The warm feeling of having friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, along with the mystery/crime fiction community AND the blogging community sending prayers, warm wishes and positive thoughts is not something to be taken lightly. I will always believe it helped the doctors and the nurses pull Donald through.
We've had one incident which has hurt terribly. When I called the rental folks at Topsail to tell them we would not be arriving, I asked if they would be able to switch our week to a later date we would appreciate it greatly. Their response was that they would try and for me not to worry about it. So, I didn't. Silly me. I was naive enough to think that a near fatal heart attack would out-weigh contracts and money and that Donald and I would still be able to take our anniversary/vacation trip. Unfortunately, that's not to be. The contract and the money won - we won't be able to just change weeks, and we won't be getting any sort of refund. So. We won't be having that beach trip this year after all, but I still have my Donald. And that's a pretty nice trade-off, don't you think? The beach? Maybe next year. In the meantime - thanks everyone. From the bottom of our hearts.