When my phone rang at the "unearthly" hour of 6 am wednesday before last, I buried it under a few pillows and went back to sleep: I had just gone to bed a couple hours back and was too exhausted to even pick it up and cuss, which is what i'd have typically done. But when the ringing persisted, and I saw that it was my sister, I eventually answered. Her news woke me up. Our father had had a heart attack: my mom assured us that he was doing okay, but we decided that I should fly out asap to be with them. I am in hyderabad as i write this post, my dad is doing well and all is under control.
My dad was alone at home when he had the heart attack. After a few hours of mild chest pain that didn't subside by midnight, he called my cousins who live down the street, and they rushed him to a hospital near by. At the cost of sounding dramatic, these cousins and the emergency doctor there saved my dad's life. He was administered the right first aid almost immediately and things were brought under control. My mom, who was in our hometown 6 hrs away took the next bus and came to hyd. Two other cousins also came as soon as they heard the news, without even being asked to come. My mother and my cousin's wife calmly and efficiently managed the entire situation. My various cousins and uncles pooled together the money that it was going to cost us. The day after my dad's hospitalisation, our apartment was broken into. A few small things were stolen, but more than that it just added to the hassles my mother had to deal with.
When I landed in hydie at 3 am, this blog friend and her hubby came and picked me up and took me to the hospital later that morning. By then, my dad had had his angioplasty and was recovering. The storm had passed, things were calming down, and my job was just to keep my parents in good cheer. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of it, until one look at my dad's face at some point that evening told me that joking about an american boyfriend was not the best idea for a dad recovering from a heart attack. How was I to know? At least we had established that his reflexes were as sharp as ever. Heh. :)
Dad got discharged a few days later and we came back home. There is a lot of running around to be done, finances to be organized, and little things to take care of. I am glad I can be here to help out and be with my parents. Truth be told, no one ever saw this coming. At 62, my dad has been quite fit and my parents follow strict and healthy eating habits. Besides a history of hypertension, there were no overt signs in my dad. The only thing he neglected after moving to hydie was his regular morning walk. I cannot overstate the importance and the huge help our relatives have been throughout all of this. All my misgivings about my parents move from bombay to hydie seem so trivial now. We were lucky to get the right medical aid and my dad was in good hands throughout. I am thankful that my dad was wise enough to call for help that night, that my cousins were just down the street and for our relatives who provided rock solid support in all forms to see my parents through this. It has also served as an awakening of sorts for us: to be more mindful about health, financial matters and such. Most of all, I am thankful my dad is doing okay.