Dad is home with mom again ... the cardiologist/pulmonary guy knew exactly what was wrong with his breathing, did tests and confirmed that dad's heart is great, his lungs are great and that he's having trouble because he wakes up after stopping breathing from sleep apnea and has an anxiety attack from realizing that he wasn't breathing. The anxiety attack makes resuming breathing very difficult. That's why dad went to the emergency room to begin with.
None of the doctors or nurses were able to explain to him why he was having trouble breathing at times ... none until this cardiology/pulmonary guy. Now dad is home, he's overjoyed, he has great confidence in the doctor and even shook his hand vigorously because he was so happy to finally get to talk to someone who knew what was going on and could explain it. The doctor told dad that he has no worries about heart or lungs and that his body will not let him suffocate from the sleep apnea. That knowledge will help dad not have an anxiety attack upon waking to not breathing. No anxiety attack will help dad breath easy again. :)
And I didn't tell the long story, but dad has three slipped discs that he's been trying to get help for since October 7. He's been in pain for three and a half months and the surgeon refused to treat him until he had a battery of tests done on his heart and lungs and everything else. The surgeon would only schedule one test every 2 or 3 weeks, so dad has been through the wringer waiting to get some help. The cardiology/pulmonary guy is going to be dad's permanent doctor and advocate now and so maybe this means he'll very likely get his back surgery and be out of pain (or on the mend) soon! I'm so happy there are no words for it. Hurray. :) It looks like I'm going to have my dad for many more happy years to come.