The Mind of Bluesleepy

How to fix a broken heart 6 November 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 7:18 pm

My mom called me last night around 9:30pm.  The first thing out of her mouth was, “I don’t want you to worry,” which of course sent me into worry overdrive.

She was calling to inform me my father was in the hospital.

Here’s the story: On Tuesday, my dad was walking up the stairs from the Metro to his office in the Pentagon when he felt this massive chest pain.  He told me it felt like someone was sitting on his chest.  The person he was with noticed he was in major pain and asked to be of assistance, but he shook him (her?) off because “Dammit, I wanted to vote!”  Leave it to my dad to make sure his vote counts when he’s having chest pain.

Yesterday my father was concerned enough to call his doctor to make an appointment.  The naval clinic at Bethesda told him that they do not make appointments for people who are having chest pain, that he needs to go to the ER immediately.  He walked downstairs to the clinic in the Pentagon, told them his issue, and the next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.

They don’t fool around with chest pain.

They did bloodwork at the hospital and determined that my father’s pain was not a heart attack and that his heart didn’t seem to show any damage.  But this morning they performed surgery on him to determine whether his arteries were blocked.  He went in to surgery at 11am, and by 3pm he called me he was out of surgery and doing just fine.  Two of his arteries were really, really blocked, and they opened one with angioplasty.  They also installed a stent.  They’ll go back and do the other at a later date.

I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear my dad’s voice.  I was out running errands at the time, and I was surprised to see his number pop up on the screen.  When it was him on the other line, and not my mom, every muscle in my body relaxed.  I hadn’t realized till then how tense I’d been.

This whole episode, resulting in the angioplasty, has prevented my dad from suffering a major heart attack and needing bypass surgery.  I am so very thankful he paid attention to what he body was telling him and decided to get it checked out!!  He was certainly headed for a massive heart attack with the blockage that was present.


As if that weren’t enough, I had yet another bad customer service experience.  I’m part of an ornament exchange with my Flickr group, and I had cleared my local Michael’s out of an essential component when I bought the first batch of stuff two weeks ago.  I figured that would give Michael’s enough time to replenish what I bought, so today I went back for more.

There was no more on the shelf.  I flagged down an employee, a scruffy young man who would looked like he’d fit in better at a guitar shop than a craft store.  He reluctantly followed me back to where my needed component was displayed and succintly informed me there was no more.  Well, no duh.  Was there any in the back?  He half-heartedly waved his pricing gun over the bar code, and when it didn’t register, he decided simply to tell me that they didn’t have more in the back, and that another truck of merchandise would arrive on Monday.

I politely informed him I needed the component now-ish, and could he tell me if the component was guaranteed to be delivered on Monday?  He went off searching for an assistant manager, who successfully scanned the barcode on the shelf and told me that while that particular Michael’s had no more of what I wanted, that the Warwick store had plenty.  She then asked the surly clerk to call the Warwick store for me and put a hold on the items I wanted.

It was at that point I let Kurt handle it, and I went looking around the store with Grace.  Kurt told me later that the kid couldn’t even get the phone to work, that Kurt had to hand him his own cell phone for him to call up to the Warwick store to see if we could get the items I needed.  By the time we left, I was boiling mad.

What with this item being very seasonal, I decided it would be best for me to head to Warwick to get the item in question.  Off I went with both Grace and Mary Ellen, seeing as Kurt had to go back to work for the afternoon.

At the Warwick store, I met a man who was very, very helpful to me (and that’s when I got the positive news regarding my dad).  He found where the item was on the shelf in his store, and when I told him what had happened to me that morning at the Newport Michael’s, he headed to the back to search for the items I needed.  He was gone a good twenty minutes, the whole time diligently looking for my items.  He finally came back and apologized about a million times to me for not having what I needed readily available, and assured me that the items were there, he just couldn’t find them because they had so much new product that was all boxed up in the back.  He took my name and number and promised to hold the items I wanted so I can come back this weekend and purchase them.

When I told him what had happened with the surly clerk in Newport, and the fact that the kid couldn’t even work the phones, he was very, very apologetic.  I told him it wasn’t his store or his employee, but then he reminded me that all the employees represent the Michael’s company as a whole, so it was a shame I’d been treated that way.

I only wish the folks that worked at the Warwick store worked down here in Newport because the Warwick folks really seem to know what they’re doing, especially regarding customer service.

So I’ll have to go back to Warwick this weekend to get what I need.  At least I’ll be able to hit Trader Joe’s while I’m there!


13 Responses to “How to fix a broken heart”

  1. Kym Says:

    I’m glad you’re dad is going to be okay. I’m also glad it did not turn out to be a heart attack and he avoided that.

  2. art Says:

    im happy that your dad got treated properly and in time!!!

  3. purple chai Says:

    Very good news about your father. Those surgeries are like ordinary, every day miracles. I’m glad he wasn’t stubborn enough to refuse medical care, and got it taken care of. (When my father had his heart attack and the paramedics got there, he told them “I’m not going anywhere”, but one of them was a former student of mine, and I said “Pick him up and put him in the ambulance!” so they did. Men are strange.)

  4. Poolie Says:

    Thank goodness your dad is going to be okay! I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers, sweetie.

  5. Rosie Says:

    Thank heavens your dad went to the clinic…and no, they never mess around with chest pain! BTW, the d-land linky here wasn’t working right, just FYI.


  6. Shear Says:

    I’m glad your dad is ok. That was definitely a close call. You must have been scared to pieces.

    Sorry ’bout your icky experience at the craft store. Give the girls a great big hug and kiss for me.

  7. yankeechick Says:

    Thank God your Dad is okay!! Scary stuff, huh?!? **hugs**

  8. Elle Says:

    Whoosh! Glad you dad is going to be fine.
    Surly customer service – doesn’t it make you want to just grab it by the lapels and shake? Dude!

  9. michele Says:

    I appreciate you telling this to our blogger friends…. I would not have had the words and you put it so eloquently.

    This kind of thing makes you not only appreciate even the stressful / “bad” things in life, but it also makes you realize just how important family really is.

    By the way, I Love You. *muah*

    ps— mind if I link this entry on my own blog?

  10. Aimee Says:

    Sounds like they need better training! Uggg!!!!

  11. Aimee Says:

    Also, glad your Dad is doing well. Sorry I hit submit too fast!

  12. cardiogirl Says:

    Well that’s quite frightening. I’m glad your father is doing well and they were able to avoid major surgery.

    Frustrating to hear about the guy at Michael’s. I suppose at least you got the supplies you needed, but it’s a drag that you had to go so far out of your way.

  13. sleepyjane Says:

    I am so happy and relieved that your dad is going to be fine Blue! It’s really horrible to get a scare like that.

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