Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"What Did We Just Do?"

My dad passed out at church on April 7, 2 days before his 79th birthday. Finally my mom was able to get him to the hospital because an ambulance was called. What we thought was going to be a couple day stay has turned into a two week stay so far with everyone's emotions going everywhere.

It was eventually determined that my dad had to have a quadruple bypass. What?! He is fine, except that sometimes his color does look a little gray (I thought this because I don't see him as often as I used to because of moving farther away).
Surgery was scheduled for Friday, April 12, but the anethesiologist was sick. They would not let him leave the hospital because they said he was a ticking time bomb. I am still thinking, 'You are crazy! His color is good, he has no chest pain, he says he feels fine'. (except for that really low blood pressure he keeps having).

So surgery is now scheduled for Monday, April 15 at 6:30am. Ugh, stuck in the hospital all weekend, why? He is fine, just look at him. (even though the cardio workup shows 100%, 95%, and 85% blockage). So, what is a man suppose to do...hang out at the hospital. The boys and I went to hang out with dad and play some games on Sunday to help occupy his time and help keep all of our minds off the upcoming surgery.

Monday morning gets here and surgery is pushed back to 1:30pm. Ugh, more waiting....although I was able to have the precious visiting time I would not have had if he went in at 6:30am.

Here goes the start of the crazy roller coaster! Surgery- in at 1:30pm, out at 11:30pm, finally see him at 12:30am. So upset to see my dad lying in that bed thinking about his heart being removed from his chest while they work on grafts. Crying my eyes out on a rainy drive home an hour away. Calling my mom and just being so sad and angry for what dad just went through. Finally tucking my two little boys into bed (who had been the best behaved little boys at the hospital all day through the process) at 2:30am and myself at 3am.

Then, the dreaded phone call at 6am, taking dad back down to surgery because the nurse spent the whole night giving him blood and plasma; the bleeding just won't stop. What did we just do...he was fine just two days ago! (except the doctors said it had to be done).

That Tuesday they not only went into his chest once, but twice! Onto bypass a second time to fix the graft that was bleeding all night. Leaving his chest open in case they had to go in again, plus he was swelled up. Thinking to myself, did we really have to do this! What is dad going to say when he wakes up!?

Wednesday and Thursday hanging out, sedated, bloating body full of fluids, can't stand to see my dad like this! What did we just do!?

Thursday they went in his chest cavity again to wash everything out and make sure all was good. They then closed up his chest. Friday, another day of rest. Watching the monitors and questioning. So scared for my dad just laying there not knowing what has been happening. Thinking, what did we just do?

Saturday, find out he is in A-fib and they need to shock his heart. Everytime they try to adjust medicines there are complications. Okay, shock him, let's get this heart pumping right. NOPE, didn't work. Just kept thinking what is going to happen if he doesn't come out of this. He was fine on Sunday, we were just playing cards. He wanted to go home! Nope, doctors said a ticking time bomb.

Okay, mentally yelling get the heart on track! Finally Sunday morning the heart started with a regular sinus rhythm. Okay, good news, can it stay that way and if not can it be fixed! I need my dad! Yes, it did stay. When it didn't they adjusted meds and got it back on track. All is going well! Except that I see a tear in dad's eye as he is looking at me but can't talk or move. My dad never is still for long. What is he thinking while he is looking at me probably seeing the fear (and relief) on my face but can't react and has no idea what has been happening! What did we just do!?

Big step on Sunday, the balloom pump came out. So scared, what happens if there is a relapse?

Monday, a week after surgery, they finally get him off the ventilator. This was suppose to happen last week. Why did those doctors tell us it would be surgery and up the next day when it wasn't. (because he is 79, that's why!)

Again, I had to walk out of the room today, Monday, before they extubated him because I saw the tear in his eye and the look on his face that said, "What did we just do?" I came back in rubbed his hand, acted all composed, and said, "It is going to be ok. I love you!" He squeezed my hand and that meant everything to me.

He has done well being extubated. They had to put an oxygen mask on as he was working a little hard and getting frustrated because he can't talk. He has to be tired of sitting in that bed and thinking, "What did we just do?"

Looking forward to many positives this week and trying to keep his spirits up and his pain down.

Everytime I picture his face in my mind of his helplessness as he lay there and the look of unhappiness on his face I think, "What did we just do?"

What did we just do.....hopefully gave him another 10 plus years to his life!

I love you dad with all my heart. You are my inspiration, my strength to do what people say I can't, my mentor, and the best grandfather to my children!

mom and dad - 50th anniversary, November 3, 2012

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