Sunday, May 31, 2009

A New Heart For Daddy

Well, sorta...three new bypassed blood vessels to the heart.

For the last few years I have been living in fear. Every time my phone would ring and I would see that it was my parents calling, I would be afraid to answer. I was afraid that the other end would be bad news about my dad's health or my brother's health. It just is what it is.

This past Wednesday, early morning, I got that call.

My dad had chest pains early Wednesday morning and it wasn't the first time this had happened. My wonderful and rock of a mom followed her instincts and took him to the E.R. despite my father's resistance although he now admits that he always had a feeling that something wasn't right with his heart.

At first I didn't think it was anything too major since it was not a heart attack. Don't let the stigma of the words "heart attack" trick you into believing nothing is wrong if there isn't an actual "heart attack". After a full day Wednesday of waiting in the E.R. because the hospital didn't have any rooms, and a full day of waiting for a very disappointing doctor which I will not get into because it is ridiculously irritating and not important right now, we finally got to see the amazing cardiologist that is Dr. Wong. Yes, of course he is Asian. Our family just attracts the Asians somehow. :)

Anyway, Dr. Wong had his amazing Asian doctor instincts in tact and sensed something was not quite right based off my dad's symptoms, his health history, and that my dad was still having chest "twinges" and small pains while just laying in the E.R. makeshift-room all day. I honestly can't say I know why or what Dr. Wong saw and knew, but I'm glad he did. After battles with the VA Hospital and insurance, the decision was made to have dad transferred to another hospital on Thursday morning where he would have an angiogram.

At this point I thought things would be fine. I went back to work on Thursday morning and planned to go the the afternoon angiogram and back to work afterward. My awesome Aunt recently had a heart scare too and an angiogram. Her angiogram results went well and I assumed that my dad's angiogram results would show similar findings. I was uber wrong.

After about a little over an hour of waiting for Dr. Wong to come out and let us know what was going on inside my dad's heart, Dr. Wong gave us some surprising news. My dad had 70%-80% blockage in three vessels. He would not be allowed to go home and he needed to have open heart surgery pretty quick. I have a feeling that Dr. Wong's great bed side manner skills didn't let on that it was as serious as it was because I and the rest of my family have not seen a surgery planned so quickly.

The angiogram results were discovered around 3:30 in the afternoon and blood was being drawn around 4:30 in the afternoon in prep for the surgery that would occur the following morning. At first his surgery was tentative for either Friday afternoon or Saturday. My mother called me around 7:15 Friday morning to let me know that the surgeon, Dr. Kinally (I have no idea if I spelled that correctly) had just been in to see dad and told them that he would be prepped for surgery and taken down around 8:30 am for his triple bypass heart surgery at 10:00 am.

Well, daddy did great in surgery! We were told it would be at least 3 hours and his surgery was actually only about 2 hours. Dr. Kinally said daddy did great and there were no complications.

So, it's Sunday and daddy is recovering incredibly well. Obviously his chest hurts and the pain pills and Sir Koffs A Lot are his best friends...other than my mother of course. He will be in the hospital for a couple more days and he can't lift anything over about 5 lbs for at least 6 weeks.

Hopefully daddy will take his new bypassed blood vessels and feed them healthy foods and work them out with some walking a few times a week when he's finally able to get around. I might have to become a bit of a nag.

But for now, I'm so happy he's recovering well and so happy that so many people have been concerned about his recovery. Thanks to everyone.

Obviously I have pictures to share!!! The entire time daddy has been joking about whether or not he was going to make it onto my blog. He should know that I can't resist a good open heart surgery patient to exploit.

Daddy and Sir Koffs A Lot

Me kissing my daddy.

Mom feeding dad pudding

My sister It's Because I'm the Mom kissing dad. She had to fly in last minute from Oregon.

My niece and nephew who also came in from Oregon.

Enjoy and cherish your family despite your differences. Love one another, cherish one another, accept one another, enjoy one another.

Keep on Keepin on.


Blondie said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad to hear he's doing OK! That's such a scary thing! Keep us updated, and if you need anything just holler!

Captcha: Cathotr

Kinda like catheter!

jmcqueen82 said...


C said...

Oh, Deb! This post really hit home. I'm so glad your Dad is doing okay! :)

My Dad had a heart attack while on a business trip in Australia. Luckily, my Mom was on the trip with him. Still, it was so scary that something like that happened to him while they were so far away from home. Scary.

I always knew how important my parents were to me, but somehow that near death experience just opened my eyes even more.

Hold on to those you love and enjoy the time you have with them :)


Deb said...

C: that is scary your dad went through all that while away from home. events like that are really an eye opener.

Douglas said...

I haven't gotten on here in awhile to see what things you have posted and now feel really bad about it. I am glad to hear things worked out though and sorry I just now am aware. I know that must of been scary. Love ya.

Tina said...

This is Tina by the way. :)