Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flying High

It has always been traditional for dad to get shirts and ties and sweaters  for Christmas.I couldn't believe, this past Christmas that there wasn't the usual emphasis on clothes. Not that I didn't need apparel - I can always use things like socks and skivvies - but this year was different. Lots of goodies, and, unfortunately, not a lot that fit the diabetes regime - but that worked out well for others - what wasn't necessarily good for me was good for them.  But the most unique gift was a radio control helicopter (shown above).
Now, at age 85 I don't often get toys for Christmas - but it did not take long for me to learn that this was not a toy - it did not want to respond to my commands. Oh, it hopped around a bit, and it skittered across the floor to crash into one piece of furniture or another. It seemed to have a mind of its own - and, to say the least, it did not take long for me to begin to wonder why anyone would give a helicopter - supposedly controllable, to an octogenarian who had lost a lot of coordination. So the helicopter remained as shown, on a living room table.
Some three weeks later I ended up at Tawas St. Joseph Hospital with what was diagnosed as a heart attack, and which involved transfer to the cardiac ICU at St. Mary's Hospital in Saginaw. Dosed up with morphine, I was advised at first that I would go by ambulance for an hour and half ride - and then minds changed and they said I would go by - you guessed it - helicopter. My past experience of not getting my model off the ground went through my mind and I became a little concerned. I even asked the pilot how long ago he had gotten his 'drivers' license. Loaded aboard, off we went and I was afforded great care and a nice nighttime view out the real clamshell windows of the Lake Huron shoreline, Bay City, and eventually, Saginaw.
During the time in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit I underwent EKGs, Xrays, echocardiograms and a heart catheterization and got visited by medicopter crew members. During these visits I mentioned my Christmas helicopter gift and my inability to get my copter off the ground. They laughed and told me about actual helicopter pilots (including a U.S. Marine Corp pilot) who had the same problem with radio control models like mine. I was relieved to know I wasn't alone.
Once past my medical crisis, I was released and took a much longer ride back home. Almost as soon
as I got home I tried my R C copter out again and would you believe, it FLEW! Up to the ceiling and back down. Amazing. I could make it go up and down. But I couldn't make it go left or right, forward or back. But it flew. And thankfully, so did the medicopter that took me to Saginaw.
As for me, I'm feeling great - in fact,flying high. And thankful for today's blessings. At least till the bills start coming in.

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