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From Hospital to Funeral Home: A Trying Week by Anyone’s Standards

Michelle with Memere Turgeon
Michelle with her Memere Turgeon
On Monday, I was finishing things up at the Moose so I could meet up with my wife and get ready for my mother-in-law’s afternoon wake. She had passed away the week before and everyone felt suddenly lost without “Ma” being there, even though her passing was no surprise. As I was doing my “finishing up” work, I got a call from my sister, Bonnie….

She told me, “I just called dad to see when we’re going to leave for the funeral tomorrow (referring to my mom-in-law’s) and he said, ‘I may be having a funeral myself’.”

“What?,” I asked.

“He feels pressure in his chest and pain in his arm. He said if he needed to he’ll drive himself to the hospital.”

Anyone who knows my dad know he doesn’t like attention focused on him and he doesn’t like to, as he says, “put people out.” It doesn’t matter what the situation is.

I hung up with Bonnie quickly and called him. “I think I’ll be alright,” he said.

“Sorry, dad. I’m calling 9-1-1.” He didn’t want to hear that because, remember, he doesn’t like attention. In this case, he had no choice and relented to my insistence.

As I ran out the door, dialing 9-1-1 and trying to explain to Mac Dickson that I had things unfinished, he and Renee were behind me, almost pushing me, saying, “go, go, go. Don’t worry about it.” I’m so thankful for a great support system at work. Never fails.

So the 9-1-1 operator answers. “Somerset Dispatch,” or some such thing, is what I heard. So now, while I’m fearing my dad is having a heart attack, I have to explain to the operator what area Randolph is in so I can be put on hold and routed to the right center. Really? Is this what it’s come to?

Thankfully, the wait was short and Gardiner rescue was on it’s way. They determined dad wasn’t having heart issues but something was definitely wrong so they brought him in as I waited.

After several hours and a battery of tests, Dr. (Bill) Rodriguez, who is one of the best, told us he had a collapsed lung and would be admitted.

He was still in the ER as we headed to Plummer’s in Augusta for Muriel’s (Turgeon) wake. We shared good memories and bonded with people we haven’t seen since last Christmas. It was sad but nice.

By the time we got back to dad, he had been admitted with a tube in his chest to re-inflate his lung. Dad had quit smoking some 13 years ago but had smoked for 50 years or so prior to that and this type of event is consequential.

The evening visitation at the funeral home was packed. Renee and Mac reached out to see how I and my dad were doing. I could happily say, at least for that night, the dust had settled a bit.

Next day, Tuesday, after the funeral, we went over to see dad. He was in good spirits. Although he is a bit of a loner, he loves people and they love him. He kept the nurses laughing, even as they were admitting him.

I tell you all this because, like Mac and I have always said, “we live our lives, good and bad, on the radio.” Thank YOU for continuing to listen and being part of our extended family!

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