Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm back!

Hi everyone:

Wow, it seems like forever since I've published a blog post - or at least a few weeks! I must apologize for disappearing for awhile, but sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and throws you off your regular routine. I have lots of quilting items to share with you in a future post, but this one is personal, so I beg your indulgence while I explain what's been happening in my family's lives.

This September was busy with the start of a new school year for me (September and June are the busiest months for school office staff) and new schools for both of my children: Jamie in junior high and Sarah in high school. Throw in a visit from my parents, who live 2,000 miles away from us and it made for a busy September. 
Mom and Dad September 2011
My parents love to drive and drove from Ontario to Calgary to visit for a few weeks and then left on my Dad's birthday, September 19, for home. Rather than the 3 days that they usually take to drive home, they took an extra day, arriving home in Bracebridge on September 22 - I suppose that the fact that my Dad was a bit more tired than usual should've been a warning of what later happened. 
Dad celebrating his 78th birthday September 19, 2011
On September 26 - a week after his 78th birthday - after washing the car and only 3 holes into his regular game of golf, my Dad went into complete cardiac arrest. Fortunately, one of the grounds crew was trained in CPR and the course had a defibrillator, which he used to restore my Dad's heartbeat before the ambulance came. By the time my Mother arrived at the local hospital, he had already been put into a medically induced coma, cooled down and was being prepped to be taken to a facility in Newmarket, Ontario (two hours south of their home). 

I was on the way out the door to work when the phone rang that morning. I can't describe the shock and fright I felt when I heard my Mom's voice on the other end of the phone telling me what had happened. I don't wish that feeling on anyone. Several phone calls later, I was able to determine that my Dad had arrived at the Southlake Regional Health Centre and was in the Cardiac Care Unit there. Over the course of the next few days, he was gradually warmed up and brought out of the coma. Thankfully, due to the immediate attention that he received at the golf course and the care he received in the hospital, he didn't suffer any brain damage. Next came an angiogram, where it was determined that he had several blocked arteries and needed a cardiac bypass - or CABG - as it's called. He underwent a quadruple bypass on October 11 and was released from the hospital on October 18.

My brother lives in Ontario and had been looking after my Mom, visiting my Dad in the hospital and generally handling things, while still working (thanks, John), so I flew out a few days prior to Dad's release date so I could drive him home and help my Mom with household items. It was a busy week, but we managed to take care of many items and I left them with a frig and freezer full of healthy food. Dad's doing well - walking and eating lots to regain his strength. 
John, Mom and Dad October 23, 2011
I flew back home on Sunday night and am now back into my "normal" routine. I'm grateful that my Dad is still with us - things could've been so different - and appreciate the excellent care he received in the hospital. The nursing staff were very caring with Dad (who had never been in the hospital and really didn't want to be there) and always took the time to speak with me when I called from Calgary to update me on his condition. I'm also grateful to the staff at South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club who helped my Dad when he needed it the most. Dad works there part-time in the summer and I know how concerned everyone there was about him. My parents are fortunate to have many close friends and I appreciate their visits to him in the hospital (often driving several hours to see him), their calls to the house and the cards we received. 

I also appreciated the phone calls I received from my friends who were concerned about Dad, and me, as well. I have to thank my quilting buddy, Cathy Keevill, who generously let me use her machine to quilt my dad's quilt on a Saturday afternoon (he loved it, Cath). You truly discover who your real friends are when an event like this occurs. 
"Out of the Rough", the quilt I whipped up in 3 days for Dad
Thanks to Cathy Keevill for the use of her machine to quilt it.
The pattern is "Chock a Block" by Chatterbox Quilts.
The quilt is folded back at the top to show the pieced top of the backing.
Most of all, I have to thank my husband, Gary, and my two children, Jamie and Sarah, for managing the household while I was back east. Between the three of them, the house was clean, laundry was done, food was made and in the freezer and they even managed to put up all the Halloween decorations - indoors and out. Did I also mention that they all came to pick me up at the airport on Sunday night? I'm not sure what I've done right in my life to have such a wonderful, caring family, but I'm truly a lucky girl to have them. Thanks, guys, you are the best part of my life!
Sarah and Jamie September 2011

Gary on his birthday October 13, 2011
So that's I've been up to over the past few weeks. I'm gradually getting back to my quilting and blogging, which has been on hold since September, and have lots of exciting quilty-related items to tell you about next time.

Hope that you're enjoying a good fall and all is well with your family.
Fall in Muskoka 2011


Kari @ The Purple Quiltapotamus said...

Oh wow - what a month you've had. I was wondering where you have been.

I'm so glad your Dad is ok and thank goodness the golf course has fast acting employees. I wish him a speedy recovery. The quilt you made for him is lovely, I'm sure he will cherish it forever.

Kay Mackenzie said...

Oh what a scare. Wishing your dad a fast recovery. Your family and friends are great, just like you!!


Chatterbox Quilts said...

Thanks for the good wishes, ladies. Dad's still doing well and improving everyday.