Sunday, May 20, 2012

That moment in time

I think we all have them in life - those moments in time when things change.

Christmas 2011
For our family, such a moment came a week and a half ago when my Father went to his Primary care doc for some back pain.

Long story short, although it didn't seem likely that it was cardiac in nature, his PCP sent him to a cardiologist the same day.

Cardiologist did a cath, same day. And by late afternoon he was on an ambulance being transported siren and lights to a nearby hospital for open heart surgery.

March 2012 - a candid moment

Talk about a shocker.

This for a man who has never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol or taken any meds for anything.

We were all pretty stunned.

Yes, in retrospect there were some signs.

Some intermittent shortness of breath and vague chest discomfort over the past year. And a general increasing weakness or fatigue that was attributed to aging and packing and moving two households. (and painting and other work)

And the birth of the grandbaby, and just lots of stress in general over the past year.

We are very blessed that he did not have a heart attack and that he got to the doctor when he did.

So, Friday, a little more than a week ago, there was open heart surgery, 4 grafts done.

one day post op

A day after surgery, disconnected from the NG tube, off the vent......still on O2 and with chest tubes in.

Very weak, sleeping lots, still a lot of swelling. (the new 'puff daddy'!)


several days post op

 Sitting up, moving around some, short walks.

Feeling pretty cruddy though, weak, disheveled. Fluid is down and so is his weight.

He had a significant loss of appetite following surgery. Partly post-surgical related and partly due to the pain meds which were making him rather nauseous.


getting strength back

Slowly, over the 6 days following surgery, he gained strength and began looking more like his old self.

A change in pain  meds helped restore his appetite which enabled him to regain some strength.

ready to go home?

Seven days after admission, they kicked him out and he's now recuperating in DE.

He's been home since Friday night and is continuing to do well.


Needless to say this has us all thinking about life in general - diet, health, longevity, etc. .  It seems like the past YEAR has been full of various "moment in time" kind of things for our family. I am beyond ready for a chance to just STOP and internalize and contemplate everything that has happened over the past digest it.. . . .examine it. To learn from it all and then take that and put it into action.

We are so very grateful for all the prayers and support given over the past days. It has been a huge blessing to read the notes, messages, emails, cards, etc. To hear other's stories and receive such encouragement.

AND -  I have to say that I have the BEST neighbors! My parents had come up in advance of Mother's Day and just prior to going to the doctor (the day before) my Dad was mowing my lawn with a push mower. He was taking frequent breaks as in the past month or two he didn't have the stamina he used to and he actually stopped and was going to complete the task the following day. Well, he ended up in the hospital the following the grass was half cut. And lo and behold, I came home Saturday evening from the hospital to a fully mowed lawn. I have been very blessed with great neighbors. THANK YOU LEECH FAMILY! ((hugs)). You're a blessing for sure!

I hope we will all look back at this one day and see it as a positive thing that changed our lives for the better. I walked around last week, going from work to pick up my son from school, to the hospital and back home at night -- and thinking about what we were dealing with and the idea that a lot of people that I run into each day didn't know what had happened (some still probably don't know) and how you just never know what people are going through. It's not that it was a secret, it's just that I had things to take care of and couldn't stop and talk to EVERY person I see each day to tell them what was going on - I never would have made it to work in the morning! So, just a small reminder to be gentle with others, you never know what they are going through.

And I pray health and happiness for you all. :)