Friday, June 26, 2009

Update on my Dad

Greetings from New York State! Surprising as it is, I am in northern NY, so far north the signs are in French and English. Why? My dad is in bad shape.

Wednesday night he woke up and couldn't breathe. He wound up calling 911 and going to the emergency room. They diagnosed him with a heart condition and wound up sending him to Plattsburgh, where he could be more accurately diagnosed. While there, they thought he had contracted an infection and would need a valve replacement. Thursday, they scheduled a cardiac catheterization to determine the full extent of the damage. It was then determined the damage was much more serious and that my dad would need surgery today instead of Monday as originally planned.

I spoke to him very briefly last night, as he was having trouble breathing again, and so he just had time to say that he was going in at 7am this morning. Judy and I took the ferry over to Burlington this morning and arrived at the hospital around 9:00am. We finally got where we needed to be and waited and waited. We were told the surgery would be over by 12:00 at the latest. Unfortunately, there was a lot more damage to his heart than we thought, and he didn't get out of surgery until nearly 3:00 this afternoon.

We met with the cardiac surgeon afterwards. He explained that my dad has been having a series of small heart attacks for the last month, and had a BIG one on Wednesday. This morning, he started having more trouble with his heart, and they were forced to get in there and start moving much more seriously. Due to the damage, a portion of his heart went ischemic, or the muscles were dying off. He needed a triple bypass. His mitral valve was replaced and a balloon pump was inserted to start helping his heart beat regularly and repair some of the damaged muscle.

Due to the lack of oxygen he's been getting lately, his kidneys started to fail. It is hopeful that this will reverse itself now that his heart is pumping again.

We did get to see him briefly this afternoon, but it was very, very hard. He is in a medically induced coma to let his body try to get used to all the new equipment and to recover a bit. They hope to bring him out of it in the morning. He is breathing on a ventilator at the moment, but they don't expect he'll need it after tonight. The doctors and nurses say he is doing "phenomenally" but the next 48 hours are critical and will tell us what we need to know about his prospects.

We will go back tomorrow morning to see him and see how he is doing. Among other things, we cannot find his glasses or his bridge, and I know he will desperately want both. He made a list of things he wanted from home, but I doubt he'll be needing deodorant or a short sleeved shirt any time soon. In the mean time, I'm attempting to find someone to house sit at the house on Wednesday for our air conditioning repair so that Michael can come north to be with me, and Lucas with Judy.

I will probably go to Star Lake early next week. My uncle is coming to visit tomorrow for the afternoon, which I am greatly looking forward to. I will post another update tomorrow evening. All we need right now is prayers. Dad's girlfriend Beth is taking good care of us. I can't stop crying, so please don't call me on the phone--I'm just not able to take calls at this time. I will call people as I can. Thank you for understanding. I'll be back tomorrow with more information!

8 pearl(s) of wisdom:

nettiemac said...

Holy cow, Susan!!! Rest assured Mr. C will most definitely be in my prayers, and I will add him to our parish prayer book Sunday @ Mass. I'm holding you all close in thoughts and prayers!!

Jasper John R. said...

Sorry to hear about your Dad.

You maybe interested in a "family / friend notification" system / site. It's called "Caring Bridge". (You're not broadcasting to the world unless you choose to.)

By the way, are you a Jasper? What class year? Either way, I'm sending prayers and good thoughts in your direction. My wife has chronic heart problems and the technology today is amazing.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this news! Sending all hugs and good wishes to you and your family.

Syl (previously known as Shib) said...

All my thoughts are with your dad. Here's hoping it all goes without a hitch and he's on his way to recovery in no time. June seems to be a bad month this year.

Cindy said...

Susan- Let me know if you need me to come over to your house. I can let Alex terrorize Tom Tom and we can wait for the AC man.

Just give me a call or send an email.
*hugs* to you and your family. It sounds like your Dad is doing ok, and got help just when he needed it.

Ellyn said...

Praying for your Dad, you and all of your family.

Beth Johnson said...

Praying for your dad and you and the rest of your family.


Brate said...

Certainly you need to be strong enough to be able to control your mind emotionally. If you are emotionally strong it would act as a catalyst to the recovery and medications. You need to be certain about your health issues. There have been many cases of heart attack only because one neglects its occurrence, and not be cautious about his/her health. But you have been quite an impressive on this front. I am having a sinus tachycardia, and a deformation in the left antricular valve, because of which I need to maintain some do’s and don’ts to maintain my health. So, I enrolled myself in one of the medical service provider company named Elite Health( They keep a constant track of my health issues, and provide me the facility to consult any specialist in their hospital through any communication media including internet and mobile phones. This helps me a lot to clear the doubts of my daily health problems. This helps a lot to reclaim my health faster and easier. Such wellness programs are increasing day by day, and proving out to be very beneficial to people like me.