Tieing Up Loose Ends, My Dad

23 08 2009

Imported Photos 00031

I have developed quite a bad habit of starting series of posts about a certain subject and then never finishing the story.  Our trip to Italy was one such series.  You may have been left hanging about what happened to my dad.

If you have been reading here you know that the doctor did an angiogram on my dad and that it did not look good.  But the next thing you know is that Dad is flying across the country and driving with us to North Carolina, snapping photos along the way.  So what happened?  I will try to keep it short this time.

My dad went into the hospital and had six bypasses done on his heart.  It was pretty bad.  He came through the surgery well, but we did not know what the outcome would be.  Dad did not leave us in the dark for long.  The first day after surgery they had taken his ventilator tube out.  He was on morphine for pain the first day, but on the second day was taken off of that.  I was a little confused about his pain medicine at that point.  I knew they had taken him off of the morphine, but I did not know yet what they had replaced it with.  Sometime in the afternoon I was with my dad in the hospital.  He was sitting up and eating.  We were talking.  One of the nurses came in with his medicine, so I took the opportunity to ask about his various medications.  She told me all he was taking, but she did not tell me what he was taking for pain. 

“What about his pain medicine?  What is he taking for that?”

“He’s not taking any pain medicine.  We took him off of the morphine yesterday.”

“I know that, but what did you replace it with?”

“Nothing, he hasn’t complained about any pain, so we haven’t given him any.”

I looked at my dad.  He seemed a little lost during the conversation.  “Dad,” I asked, “are you not in pain?”

“Well I don’t know, Todd.  Should I be?”

[Thinking to myself: “Other than the fact that they took a power saw to your chest two days ago?  No I guess there’s no reason.]  Out loud I said, “No, Dad, that’s great.”  He went on eating his meal.

Dad ended up staying in the hospital for six days.  He had a lot of problems with hallucinations and panic, but we understand that is normal from that type of surgery.  Physically, however, he did great.

When he came home he seemed fine.  His chest healed up great.  He had a bigger problem, it seemed, with the incisions they made up and down his legs where they took the vein grafts for the bypasses.  One of those had some trouble healing, but eventually everything was fine.

He is doing cario rehab now three times a week.  They have him exercising more now than I ever remember him exercising.  And he seems sharper and more alert than he has been for some time.

He has done a great job through all of this.  God bless you, Dad.


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