Friday, September 23, 2016

Keeper of the Plains - Inspiration for a new story

A couple of years ago I visited the "Keeper of the Plains Plaza" in Wichita. The power in that place was so real it stayed with me for days and ultimately inspired me to write one of the most beautiful chapters I've ever imagined. Desperately wanting to share a piece of my experience with my readers, I tried to "force" the scene into a couple different projects. It didn't work. It needed a home of its own... and now, after stewing for a bit, I think I've found it! - I don't know how long it will take to finish this book (it's got a few other projects in front of it), but at least it has a home now...and it's a beautiful one!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tough As Nails

When I was a kid my dad would often joke that he was too ornery to die. He'd growl and scowl as if that was needed to drive home his point. I'm not sure I ever bought into his theory - after all, his own father was as ornery as they came and he died at the tender age of 50. I did, however, always think he was tough as nails (and sometimes meaner than dirt!) In all seriousness, I don't think grit or stubbornness have much to do with the miracles we saw unfold this week in my dad's behalf. 

As I understand it, the pain started Tues night - actually it started several days before that and escalated til Tuesday night. (Though the grin on his face Saturday afternoon when he was out "Jeeping" was no indicator.) Around 11:30 Dad told Mom he probably needed help. Having inherited the "stubborn, don't need to see a doctor" gene, I know this was a big deal. She took him to the ER where they assessed his pain and ran the standard tests. Multiple EKGs came back negative, however other signs indicated that something was definitely wrong. Around 4:30 Wednesday morning he was taken via ambulance to the Coronary ICU at the IMC (Intermountain Medical Center) in Murray, Utah. 

By Wednesday afternoon they still didn't have many answers. Around noon, via the help of a catheter, they determined that he had 100% blockage of his left anterior artery (aka: Widowmaker) and two 80% blockages on his right artery. Typically a blockage of this type would have called for triple bypass surgery, however, all three were miraculously able to be fixed with the placement of stents.

I saw my dad shortly after the procedure. He looked great. Normal even. The relief was immediate. His heart rate and blood pressure were back to normal and he certainly didn't look like a man who'd stared death in the face just hours before. They kept him overnight for observation then sent him home the following day. 

Not many people survive a 100% blockage of their left anterior artery. Most don't even make it to the hospital, hence the name "Widow Maker." Even less walk away without any - and by any, I mean 0%! - damage to their heart muscle. What my family saw this week was the unfolding of many miracles. I offered a prayer early Wednesday morning and received instant comfort. I knew things were going to be okay (I didn't necessarily know what "okay" meant, just that things would work out as God intended them.) 

Dad is home and as good as new. Prayers and faith work. 

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