Jed's dad was here and gone twice last week on his way from here to there.
He's been busy lately trying to sell property in Maine and move to a new house in Louisiana, all while going through some other sobering events in his life.
When we see him it's just for a few hours. He eats dinner with us, stays the night and is usually on his way first thing in the morning. Busy. Busy. Busy.
There wasn't much deviation this visit except he seemed quieter than normal. He didn't regale us with intricate tales of dance contests and marvelous meetings with a multitude of mesmerizing characters. He said he was tired.
When he left Saturday morning it was without much fanfare.
But when got back from the movies Saturday night and played the message blinking on the answering machine, his unusal demeanor that morning made shocking sense.
"Hi, Jed. It's Dad. ... I'm in a hospital in Woodstock, Virgina. I've apparently had a heart attack. I'll try to call you back."
Turns out he'd been having pain for a number of days and was trying to ignore it. At a truckstop near Woodstock the pain would not take a backseat, and he called 911.
Jed flew out to Baltimore on Sunday, rented a car and drove to Virgina where he set about to comfort his dad, collect Arly dog from the animal shelter, secure his truck and equipment, and try to help him cut through some of the gobbledee gook that passes for medical explaination.
In the ER, Jed's dad was given drugs that took away all his pain, so the docs waited until Monday to do a heart catheterization to assess the damage and see what else needed to be done.
Lucky for him, they were able to clean out three of four blockages and send him on his merry way the next day. The heart muscle itself sustained no damage.
They say he'll be good as new in a few weeks, but that he'll have to keep an eye on that fourth blockage, which wasn't serious enough to treat surgically, and take a bevy of FDA-approved medications.
Of course, Jed says he's already back to his old self, ignoring the DON'T LIFT ANYTHING OVER 15 POUNDS rule 15 minutes after it was given: "I get out to the car and he's got my bag in one hand his bag in another and he's rearranging the trunk. I said 'DAD! What's wrong with you? You've got like 30 pounds in your hands right now'."
"Oh, shit. Sorry."
Even his friends weighed in with levity:
* 5/22/07, jartmover wrote:
We have sprung him and are across state lines into headed north in Maryland. It was close there for awhile whether we would get out, especially after the sponge bath incident with Chic, whose photo will follow ...
Jed and Dad
*5/22/07, Mac replied:
"The Sponge Bath Incident"? What a great title for a book . . . or perhaps that porno movie John's always wanted to star in.
Jed, please pass on my love and aloha to your Dad. (If you've locked him in the trunk by now, no need pull over, just bang on the lid at the next Rest Stop and pass on my message).
The five of us have been best friends for something like 53 years now, and the only one left who has not encountered some major medical complications is the real fat one who smoked -- Roger Daly. What the hell message is THAT sending to us?
Have a great road trip!
... Yeah, he'll be back on the dance floor sooner than you can say CUT A RUG, I'm sure.
Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, John is a lucky man.