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Friday, October 2, 2009

The Wake Up Call

You just go about your day, you know? Do laundry. Clean the kitchen. Drive to school. Go to church. Have your quiet time. Go to dinner (or cook it as the case has been in THIS house lately!). Dust. Do homework. Go to work. TRY to make time to work out. You know how it is? You just do your thing... day in, day out. You think about the same things. You plan each day and you just sort of "DO" life.

Last Wednesday, as I was "DOING" life, I was talking to my mom on the phone as I drove Caroline to school. I noticed that someone kept beeping in on her line and she said, "Your dad keeps calling me! What's wrong with him? I'll call you back."

Twenty minutes later she called. "It's your brother. We are calling 911. I don't know what's going on. He's in his car (30 minutes away) and isn't feeling well. I will call you back."

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All of the air left my body. I could not think! They live 2 hours away and I had just dropped my kid at school. What do I do? My husband was in Atlanta on a business trip. THE ONLY ONE HE HAS TAKEN ALL YEAR!

I text one of my closest friends. I call another. I text another and ask all of them to start praying!! I was at the gym by this point and I tried to go on with my workout, but it was useless. Finally my dad called. "They think it's a heart attack. He was sweating profusely, hurting between his shoulder blades and could hardly breathe. He tried to drive himself to Urgent Care from work, but he had to pull over. He called the ambulance to himself!"

He is 37 years old.

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Praise God Tommy is ok. He went to the hospital where they cleared a blockage and inserted a stint. He spent several days in CCU and a couple in a "regular room" where they watched his heart.

While we were at the hospital the nutritionist came in and our family had a nice little chat!! See, none of us are little people! We all eat what we want and we pay no attention to our health. My parents are on blood pressure meds and they are both diabetic. Tommy, who is younger than me, is in the same boat. I DO exercise and am not on any meds, but with my family history it's probably not out of the question as I get older. My dad has a terrible time walking due to the weight he is carrying and arthritic knees. All of us are overweight.

WHAT A WAKE UP CALL! I fully believe that God used Tommy's heart attack to make us snap out of the "just going about our day" attitude. He has given us a brain that we need to use to think about more than what's coming on TV tonight. Every one of our family members have decided to THINK about what we eat and how much exercise we are getting. While it may not be easy, we promised to do this together so that all of us can be around longer for each other.

Another wake up call happened for my parents that, I think, was unexpected. They moved away from the side of town where I grew up and attended church with my family. They joined a local church and they go on Sunday mornings when mom doesn't have to work. Their lack of involvement in church and in the lives of other Christians really showed while we were at the hospital. For a few days I was the only one there to support them! THE ONLY ONE! My extended family lives hours away and they all called, but it's not like someone being there with skin on! It killed me to see them there with no support what so ever!! Eventually word got out and people did visit, but I believe the Lord used that experience to show them the importance of His body ministering in His name. It means the world!!

In some ways I am grateful that this happened. No! I wouldn't go through it again, but I definitely believe that my family learned some important lessons and some changes are taking place. I also know that we are human and will make mistakes along the way, but I pray that we will never forget seeing my brother lying in CCU and that the image will cause us to be more aware of the choices that we make... both physically and spiritually.

4 comments:

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh my gosh... how scary! So glad your brother is OK... God is graceful & merciful though, isnt He? To give us reminders where we need to straighten up! Thanks for sharing - it makes me want to grab my chance to do better too!

Ginger said...

I am so glad that your brother is o.k. 37 is so young. I too need to take better care of myself and don't. Thank you for the reminder of just how precious life is.

Faith said...

Melissa, I'm so thankful that Tommy is okay. I know that this was such a scary time for your family. Praise the Lord for protecting him and not allowing it to be worse than it was. I will be praying for the strength to get and stay healthier!!

Love to your whole family!
Faith

Bella said...

Oh, I am so glad your brother is recovering. THAT is a wake up call (both health and spiritualwise).

Church family is sooooo important.