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.
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.
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.
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.