Tuesday, April 01, 2008

At the hospital

Dad is having his heart bypass surgery today. I'm blogging from the waiting room. The doctor just came out and talked to us. He said they'd begin surgery around 8:00 and that it normally takes about three and a half hours.

To backtrack a bit, the surgery was postponed two different times. Dad was in the hospital five days with viral pneumonia. Then he had an issue with low blood pressure, which left him very lethargic for a few days. But lately, he's been doing much better and getting stronger.

With the postponements, it was easier to remain distracted and keep my mind on other things for a couple of weeks. But yesterday and this morning... I've never been this nervous in my life.

Seeing Dad just before they took him back this morning was hard. I started to tear up but caught myself. On the other hand, he seemed pretty relaxed considering. I told him I loved him and he promised to give me guitar lessons when he gets out.

Now we're just waiting. Watching the clock. Thinking good thoughts. Talking about everything but. And saying little silent prayers.


2:05 PM - We just got back to see Dad for a moment. The doctor came out about 1:30 and talked to us. He said they did a triple bypass and everything went as expected.

Our next ICU visit is 4:30. They said he might be awake by then. Thank you all for your comments and prayers.

5:16 PM - Dad opened his eyes during our 4:30 visit. He's still on the ventilator, but mouthed "What time is it" and "I love you" in that order. I told him "four-thirty" and "I love you, too." Our last visit of the day is at 8:30.

8:10 PM - Navigating these halls reminds me of world 8-4 on Super Mario Brothers. One wrong turn and you can wind up right back where you started. I just hope I don't run into a giant monster with a spike head spitting fire balls. I can't jump very high.

9:04 PM - Dad was off the ventilator when we went in this time. His blood pressure was a tad low, so they're giving him something for that. They're also giving him insulin, which they said is normal. He looks much better than he did earlier. The first visit tomorrow morning is at 10:30.

Today has pretty much run the gamut of emotions. Worry, fear, hope, reflection, relief, joy, sadness, love. It's been a long day. But a good day. I'm so very thankful.

Day Two...

11:35 AM - Dad got out of ICU shortly before 10:00 this morning. He's in a private room now in the cardiac progressive care unit. I'm not sure if that's the official name, but I think it's an accurate description. He's in a lot of pain, which I'm pretty sure is just part of it. They brought him some morphine and now he seems quite relaxed.

12:41 PM - Lunch! Dad is having broth, yellow jello, and grape juice. I think I'll venture down to the cafeteria.

2:12 PM - Two of my cousins stopped by, along with my aunt who always sends me ten dollars. As they were leaving, I was hugging my aunt and she put something in my hand... You guessed it.

4:42 PM - They got Dad up around 3:00 to walk. He walked half a lap around the unit. It was a struggle for him. Though he did say when a patient who was obviously on his third or fourth day zoomed past him, "Why is he going so much faster than me?"

By the day he leaves the hospital, he's supposed to be up to 38 laps, which equals two miles. So, small steps right now.

Thank you again for the comments. In addition to helping me pass the time, each one is a little boost of encouragement.

Day Three...Thursday

6:33 PM - Dad has had a rough day. He's felt nauseous all day and has hardly eaten anything. He was supposed to walk seven laps today, but has only managed four so far. They're doing tests to try and figure out what's causing the nausea. He is miserable. Today feels like a bit of a setback. I hope tomorrow is better.

Day Four...Friday

9:22 AM - Dad has already walked eight laps this morning! His nausea has subsided a bit. I had a bad dream last night about him, so it was nice to wake up to some good news. The surgeon said if he keeps improving he could go home as early as tomorrow?? So, cautious optimism right now.

5:46 PM - We're up to eighteen laps today. Well, I say we. I've actually only walked one. I worked a full day today and yesterday and have been coming over in the afternoons. Dad is now officially IV and tube free. He's doing great, though I have a feeling he totally didn't get my Doctor Van Nostrand reference just now.

Day Five... Saturday

5:01 PM - Dad didn't get to go home today. His oxygen level was low last night and this morning, so they're keeping him another day. He seems to be feeling pretty good, though. Maybe tomorrow.

Day Six... Sunday

6:37 PM - Dad is home from the hospital. He was discharged early this afternoon. And though he still has a lot of recovery and rehab to go, it feels like another major hurdle has been cleared.

Thank you all so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. I believe with all my heart that they were answered. And I will always remember your support and words of encouragement.

This will conclude the Open Heart Surgery Live Blog Experience.


  1. Bone, thanks for letting us know. You have to be strong for you family. You dad is going to be fine. Please do keep us updated.

    My prayers for your dad....


  2. I will be praying for your dad and guidance for the doctors.

  3. I'm praying for him...and your family...now. (((hugs)))

  4. same here in Georgia - prayers and virtual hugs.

  5. good thoughts to you and your family!!!

  6. -Formerly "larsonbuckeyefans"-Bone,I have been where you are in that waiting room.In 2005 my Mom had triple bypass.I know how scared you are right now.There's nothing that describes that feeling.I'm praying all goes well.Afterwards they need chapstick when they come off the vent to be comfortable,because the vent dries their mouth so much.Chapstick naturals is a good one,I got some at the hospital gift shop.He will look vulnerable in that bed afterwards,too,don't be alarmed.I will be watching for updates.

  7. Bone...I'll send some prayers.

  8. No...many prayers. I wish I had more to say, I just don't know what can be said to make you feel any better. This is just an ocean you'll have to cross.

  9. Another of my friends is having surgery today as well. I'll keep you and your dad and family in my thoughts and prayers along with my friend. I'm hoping to hear good things back from each of you later.

  10. Hang in there. I've been there and know how difficult it is to be the one in the waiting room. Praying that all goes well. ((((hugs))))

  11. *HUGS*

    Please remember to take care of yourself in all of this, too. It's OK to cry. It's OK to lean on other people sometimes. It's OK to be scared.

    You have people who care about you to turn to.

    I have a feeling both you and your Dad are going to come out of this all the better. Him, with a stronger heart. You, with a stronger sense of your own strength. And the two of you, with a renewed determination to make the most of your relationship. Buy yourself some guitar picks on the way home tonight. :)

  12. sorry I didn't get a chance to check your blog this morning. I'm glad your update was good and continued prayers are coming your way.

  13. My prayers are with you and him today.

    Big hug from Texas!

  14. I'm waiting for the guitar lesson you tube vids :)

    Today is truly the first day of your father's new life

  15. Just the updates I was hoping to come back to :)

    (Even if you did make me get misty-eyed.)

  16. Sorry I wasn't here earlier. Thinking of you and your family. Good thoughts!

  17. Bone, these tears are happy tears for y'all: Tear Tear Tear -
    one for each bypass. OK, so there are a lot more... You're going in to see him again in two minutes.... Smile big. I'm smiling big for you. Oh yeah, you can breathe now!

    And yes, videos of the guitar lessons, please.

  18. That is so sweet. What a lovely moment! I'm so glad things went well. Please keep us updated!!

  19. How was the 8:15 visit?
    I have been praying for you, your father and your entire family

  20. I'm so happy he mouthed "I love you" and you mouthed it back

    I think you will have many more years to say that to each other but somehow in the frenzy of day to day life we forget.

    I know you won't Bone. For some reason I thought you were great at navigating difficult places. I still think you are

    I know you know what's important in life and in the scheme of things 3WW isn't. Though I love it, I can miss a week

    But i know you Bone so I can't decide whether to bet with myself that you will have the words or not :)

  21. thinking of you all and will be here for updates if you see fit to post them...

  22. What love in your family! And it's obvious how much you realize it.

    My grandmother lived almost twenty-five years after her bypass surgery, from 65, until she died at 89. Modern medicine is a miracle.

    Best withes to you and your family, Bone.

  23. Hello Bone~ Glad to hear your dad made it through his surgery okay. I hope all continues in this direction. Also pleased to hear you and your dad are trying to find mutual ground. And, those guitar lessons would be a hoot to see on You Tube. Thanks for the update. Hope to see more good news in the future. Have a nice night.

  24. I am late to the news and happy all went well for your dad...keeping him in my thoughts for a speedy recovery...make sure he walks everyday after they release him!

  25. well, ¡¡¡ʎɐp s,ןooɟ ןıɹdɐ happy, anyway. Here's hoping he climbs on out safely and well.

  26. I'm glad everything turned out well. It's not easy going through that with a parent - not easy at all.

  27. Hey! Glad to know that everything went well! I have been praying for you guys!

  28. just read pia's notice on 3WW and so got to know about ur dad...
    im glad everything is fine and the surgery went as expected :)
    my best wishes to u and ur family...
    and heres wishing ur dad a speedy recovery :)
    gear up for the guitar classes now!! :D

    take care and god bless,

  29. Hi Bone, Hang in there. The first few days are the most difficult.. but each day he will get stronger and better. He is so lucky to have a wonderful son by his side. My prayers are with you and Dad as it seems so many of your blogging friends prayers are.. With all these vibes of positive best wishes.. You and Dad will be doing a guitar duo in no time! ♥ ♥

  30. You have my prayers for your dad, Bone. Glad to here things went as expected and that you could be there.

  31. Best wishes for your dad and the rest of the family!

  32. Thank you for sharing about your father. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. I wish your father a swift recovery.


  33. Hope everything goes fine.

    Hope your dad gets well soon.

    Prayers for your dad!

    hope you r fine too.

  34. It's Wed, and I just read pia's message. Just wanted to let you know y'all are in my thoughts.

  35. Bone, my prayers are with you and your dad. Everything sounds hopeful, and for that I am glad.

  36. I hope all goes well for your father.

  37. tad bit behind on the post... glad to hear everything is going well.. thank you for sharing... blessings to you and your family...

  38. My best to your dad. Wishing him a speedy recovery! Take care!

  39. Um... what flavor is yellow jello? Lemon? I don't think I knew they even made that. *grimace*

    I'm assuming that you're aware now - if you weren't prior to your little excursion to the cafeteria - that the food they serve there is generally the same thing they serve to the patients? Yeah... :)

    Glad to hear that the pain meds are helping your Dad get some comfort... and that seeming him out of surgery is giving you some comfort.

  40. Yes morphine will relax. Ask your Dad anything you have ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask :)

    3WW is on. Not as efficiently as Bone does it. But few people are, and I fall into the super ditz category especially on the fifth day of rain

  41. I just checked in at 3WW and saw this link. Glad to hear your father's doing well and the surgery seems to have gone properly. Warm fuzzies and happy thoughts are on order and will be shipped to you shortly.

  42. Guess... when you missed out on April Fools Day fun? No way.

    But I would like to say that it appears that you're now just showing off... linking to old posts from the Crackberry! Uff da ;)

    (Seriously, it's good to see you cracking small jokes and doing anal-retentive blog stuff: that means you're feeling better about the whole situation.)

  43. BONE, I JUST RECENTLY MET YOU THROUGH THE BLOGOSPHERE and I want you to know that I am genuinely sending you best wishes and love for you and your dad. Recovery and healing can be an incredible transformational process. Be in the moment and it won't let you down.

  44. Great to hear that your father's recovery journey is coupled with such supportive family members and blog members!

    Keeping your dad in mind and wishing him a healthy and steady recovery : )

  45. I just visited 3WW and found Pia's message about your dad. I'm glad he's doing well and hope he has continued to do well. I will pray for his full recovery.

  46. I hope your dad recovers quickly!

  47. Our prayers are with you!

    GO DAD!!!!

  48. I tried to leave you a comment yesterday, but I guess it didn't work. Anyway...

    Your dad sounds like he's doing great. I know it sucks to be hanging around a hospital all day, but hey, you made ten bucks!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  49. Well, I don't pray but I'll keep your dad in my thoughts and send out good vibes to him and your family!

    My father had bypass surgery back in June 2007 but I wasn't there when he did so it's nice that you're able to be there for your dad. My dad was in for 5 days and he did his 45 laps around the hospital floor just to prove that he was good to go.

    Couple things to note for when your dad gets out of the hospital (according to my dad):

    1) if your dad's supposed to go to rehab and the insurance will pay for it, do it. It's a big help and he'll heal easier.

    2) in addition to his rehab, he should get used to taking daily walks. initially, the walks will be short, but should increase incrimentally (sp?) over time.

    3) the doctor will probably tell him this, but under no circumstances should your dad drive himself anywhere until the doctor gives him the okay. My dad was told not to drive for at least a month but one day he was feeling pretty good and decided he would try. He was okay until he had to turn the steering wheel and that's when he almost passed out from the pain.

    One thing to keep in mind also is that the breast bone gets cracked when they do surgery and it takes some time to heal. And we don't realize how much we use those pectoral muscles for things. So picking up a gallon of milk might be difficult.

    I think your dad is a lot younger than mine though (mine is 66) so he might not have as long a recuperation time as my dad.

    And now that I've hijacked your comments, I'll just reiterate what I said earlier in that I'll send good vibes to your dad and your family.

  50. Thanks so much for keeping us updated on your Dad. I'm so thrilled to hear that he's up and around...I know he'll catch up to that other guy with his attitude.

    I hope your hospital food was not too bad...and you'll know your dad is much better when he asks you to sneak him in some food from the outside.

    that's so funny about your aunt. They aren't checks from the Chemical Bank are they?

  51. Sending good karma and prayers your way. I've been in your shoes.
    Take care,

  52. Hey man, we've been praying for you. If you need anything let me know. I come by your place every morning I'm taking the kids to school. Let me know if you need me to stop in and feed the fish or anything. K

  53. So what was it she put in your hand?? Yellow jello? That's fun to say, by the way..

    No worries.. He'll be running his laps before you know it..

  54. Hey Renee what's wrong with a check from a bank that's been out of business about a decade?

    Know that's a Seinfeld thing, and I did look, for complete seasons at Wal Mart so I can know almost as much about my hood as you two--but all they had was Raymond and...

    I do find that so sweet about Bone's aunt

    And I hope your Dad gets red jello or something tomorrow

    Know he feels embraced by all the love and that is the best healer

  55. I'm praying for your family!

  56. hey, sugar! traveling chica sent me. you and your family have my prayers and a ton o'positive thoughts being beamed your way from the great state of georgia! xoxo

  57. Sorry to be late on the scene here, but I'm glad your dad is progressing along well!

  58. Me again. Hope your food wasn't as pathetic as the Thanksgiving dinner Leon and I had at the hospital when our son's face was being partially recreated out of titanium and screws, but then quality must have improved, right?

    HUGS....Glad your dad is up and walking -- and being observant of those walking around him.

  59. Bone, I know it feels like a setback. I know how hard it is.

    I so wish I could help you :)

    Four laps is better than none--small steps. You said that.

    Each step is a little victory, but I know you're feeling tormented and you have a right to feel that way

    We will send out the positive vibes for you--and so many people are praying and caring and hoping....

  60. Hey there Bone. I'm glad the surgery is over. I'm sure the nausea is a small setback and he'll be better in no time. I'll keep you and your dad in my thoughts.

  61. Hope today he feels better than yesterday. Sending more positive thoughts.

  62. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs in this process. I'm so glad to hear that you got good news this morning after being discouraged last night, but try - for your sanity - not to let the setbacks (especially so soon after his surgery) get you too down. :) Just keep the big picture in mind.

    I know well about the bad dreams... seems like when I'm stressed or anxious about something, it affects me waking or asleep. Try thinking about some of the things you really enjoy doing: running, watching Seinfeld reruns, playing billiards, golfing, etc., and make at least 30 minutes a day to do that. I know it's tempting to be there as much as you can... but he needs you to keep yourself on top of your game just as much.

    *hugs* Ya'll are doing just fine, and things will get easier.

  63. Bone, TC is right. However I give you today through Sunday before I begin hassling you :)

    You have had a horrid past six months--bad dreams are part of the deal

    And your Dad doesn't want you checking into the hospital after he checks out. Especially since he won't be able to visit you.

    Vitamins. You need vitamins since I'm pretty sure you might not be eating as healthily as you were nor are you running

    Take TC's advice and wath an hour of Seinfeld before going to sleep

  64. I'm glad your dad is doing better. Big Hug.

  65. 18 in the Jewish religion means "chai" which means "luck."

    People give presents in multiples of 18 to help ensure the recipient and I guess themselves luck.

    I know how you love numbers, so...

  66. I'm thinking good thoughts for you and dad! So glad to hear he's recovering well.

  67. Dr. Van Nostrand... with the clinic?

    Glad to hear he's doing well.

    I'll hollar at you a little later.

  68. Seems those few bumps in the road are worth every second of these times on top of the mountain... :)

    It's OK that he didn't get the reference... you and he are still going to have plenty of differnces - but also plenty of time to teach each other your own weir--- er, uniquenesses O:)

  69. I think your dreams are normal...you're worried. But if your dad starts dreaming about Dr Van Nostrum then we better get him checked out. ;)

    Glad that things are looking up...perhaps the nausea was caused from too many laps the day before. I know when my MIL had surgery they tried to get her out of bed that same day and she barfed all over the aids. way to go mom! hee hee

  70. Be well my friend, and hugs to your dad and speedy recover for him and hugs to you and your aunt of the giver of all things ten.. Now get to walkin'... :)

  71. The sooner they get people moving the healthier they become, and the sooner they're discharged which is in itself healthier--and cheaper for insurance companies

    In hospitals zeal to get patients moving--and to satisfy insurance companies and Medicare, not that I'm cynical or anything--they forget that each individual patient has his own timetable

    I filled out too many "progress" reports that weren't

    Bone's father needed that extra day of rest and his body rebelled.

    But uh, where's today's progress report?

    Inquiring and compassionate minds need to know because Bone you have taken us into your father's world, and yours, and I thank you for that. And really need to know what's happening today.

    I hope that you have taken him home and have forgotten all about that crackberry

    This is one great, ever evolving live blogging post that I will always remember.

    I said in 3WW that you have taken blogging to new heights or something like that

    I didn't realize then that you have begun an entire new blogging genre

  72. Definitely better for them to keep him an extra day than to send him home before he's really ready. That happens way too often.

    Glad to hear that he's still feeling jovial. That's awesome. Positive thinking will do him a world of good.

    Thanks for keeping us updated: we're all pulling for him. :)

  73. I was curious how this was going - glad I finally checked in.

    I bet you feel quite some relief just to have the surgery over with. Sounds like he's doing really wonderfully and just going through the normal ups and downs that must come with such an invasive operation.

    I'm glad to hear that you're sounding pretty relaxed. I'd never be as calm as you in this sort of situation.

    Keep us informed.

  74. An extra day in the scheme of days is but one extra day to regain composure; a day to remember not to rush the process of living; a day to rest before he builds himself back up.

  75. In your almost five years of incredible blog lines, this This will conclude the Open Heart Surgery Live Blog Experience.
    is something :)

    I know your Dad muct be very proud of you, but if he ever read this, or when he does, he will be overjoyed

    It's a rare child who is so there --not just physically--but in every sense, for his parent

    There will be some set backs probably but he's on the road....

    signed: a former nursing home worker

  76. That is the conclusion we expected!

  77. For some reason, reading the end of this has R.E.M.'s It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine) lyrics going through my head.

    Probably because I see this as a second chance for you and your Dad. The end of your old way of doing things - and the start of the new way. Helping him rewrite those lyrics. Taking the time to learn guitar. Just being there. Loving life - and each other.

    And you know, feeling fine that this major hurdle has passed isn't a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. In fact, I think it's safe to say it's a very, very good thing.

    So take some time to feel fine ... and appreciate this new time and new life. The end of one chapters often starts the beginning of an even better one. And that's what I think is going to happen for you two.

  78. Soooooooo glad to hear that Daddy Bone is home. I hope you and your family are feeling a great deal of relief.

  79. Glad to hear the good news that your dad returned home.
    Warm wishes to a speedy full recovery in the more pleasant environment of home sweet home.

  80. I am so glad he can recover at home :)

  81. I'm so glad to hear the latest update, Bone. May he end up lapping you around the block!

  82. How is he doing now?
    It's so many days later, that the emotions are kicking in.

    Big hugs from here.

  83. I'm glad your dad is doing better. I know the stress and anxiety you went through - it's rough, but temporary. I hope by now he's almost back to his old self.

    Take care!