Dad’s Alaska

February 18, 2020

Went to the South Peninsula Hospital Emergency Room last night….er-r-r this morning at about 12:30 AM. Been having very high blood pressure readings for over a week. Last evenings’ readings were especially high (220/117) so I drove into Homer and checked myself in. I figured that they would likely put me in a room and keep me until later in the day. I got blood drawn, IV installed, three small pills, a blood pressure cuff that mashed the crap out of my arm and a crossword puzzle I found in the local paper whilst passing through the reception area.. Two hours later my blood pressure was way down (147/91) and they gave me my ‘walking papers and sent me home. That was the boring part of the adventure. The really exciting part was getting there. It was raining pretty steadily and even in the rain there was still some ice on the road at various odd places. I don’t see well at night due in part to the fact that my eyes are old and that I have some small cataracts that blur the vision and make oncoming dimmed headlights look like high powered searchlights. The two cars I met going into town were both of them on curves and I had to come to a near stop to let them go by. I couldn’t see the damned road after I dimmed my lights. I had to have my bright lights on just to see the road and then some of those highly luminescent signs were reflecting so much light back at me as to produce a nearly blinding parallax. On a road that, in the daylight, I would normally travel at 45-50 mph, I was going 25-35 mph. Whilst I’m creeping into town I’m thinking about what the nurse said, “Your very high blood pressure could cause you to have a stroke or to throw a blood clot.” As I’m creeping along, I am more than a little apprehensive that I’ll do one of those things and end up in the ditch where I will take my last few breathes. I really didn’t want to wreck the truck. Another concern was that the police would see me creeping along and stop me to check to see if I were driving drunk and delay my arrival at the relative safety of the hospital even longer. I wheeled into the parking lot at a blistering 10 mph and drove myself right into a Handicapped parking space. I had to back out and find a legal parking space. In my heightened state, the parking seemed to take ten minutes but it was likely less than two. I was a happy camper going through the door and into the reception area. There, if I threw a clot I would still die but if I just had a stroke they could administer the meds I needed in a matter of minutes. A sigh of relief.

Going home wasn’t too bad. Thankfully, I met no cars. My eyesight was no better and the signs still glared at me but being less freaked out I could remember where I was on the road. I’ve driven that road so many times that I know every curve, bump and dip, when I’m not overly excited by the prospect of dying. I got home at about 3am made a glass of sweet tea and peanut/jelly sandwich and hit the sack for six hours.

Today was a lazy day. I mostly just sat around playing Spider Solitaire and watching the snow cover up everything yesterdays’ rain exposed. All is white and pretty again. In 60 days this is going to be the mud hole from hell. Something for which to look forward with trepidation and disgust. Wish it could always be white and pretty.

One thought on “Dad’s Alaska

  1. Old age (eyes and heart)….. and mud
    you speak about a dance older men in Alaska have danced to for decades.
    Like your earlier posting not much we can do about either one
    except face it and deal with what comes our way.

    …and by the way even though I have moved out of state
    at times my eyesight still sucks
    but down here I have replaced the spring breakup mud
    with HEAT!


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