Mended Hearts

Whew. It’s been a pretty tiring couple of days. Thank you for all your well-wishes and prayers … I really do appreciate all your support and I know for certain that my parents and the rest of my family do, too.

So what happened after the cardiac cath? Well, my Dad finally realized the extent of his smoking and fatty diet. The short end of it is that he was diagnosed with quadruple-vessel heart disease. Unfortunately because of his history of smoking and high cholesterol, along with diabetes and kidney disease, they weren’t able to do angioplasty or any other sort of “interventional” procedures. So the only other option was to have open-heart bypass surgery. For those in the medical profession, it’s known as CABG with LIMA. (On a funny note, my mom kept saying, “What’s this food surgery? Sounds like ‘cabbage with lima beans?'”)

Well, today at 3:15 pm was his surgery. And after what seemed like an eternity of sitting in the waiting room (in reality, it was approximately 6 hours), the surgeon came out to tell us that his surgery went well. And in about an hour, we were able to go in to visit him in the surgical ICU (SICU). He was still asleep from the anesthesia, but I was overall surprised that his color looked good. His blood pressure was a little low, but within 5 minutes of us being there, it seemed to have stabilized. We were told by his nurse that if anything were to happen, they would typically happen within the next 6 to 8 hours.

As he sat in the hospital bed, I couldn’t help but suddenly realize how small he looked. This is the guy that used to pick me up and throw me over his shoulders. This is the man who used to let me climb up his legs to let me do flips. The same person who, on my wedding day, walked me down the aisle alongside my Mom. I think I flashed through every single memory I had of him during that first moment of seeing him in the SICU. And finally, the weight of his surgery, hit me. The task of just getting through the surgery was so ginormous, that I believe I tucked away all those emotions. And now they’re just surfacing. When we got home tonite, I couldn’t help but hug Hubby a little tighter and (finally) let a couple of tears loose. But I know that by morning, I’ll tuck those emotions all away and be as strong and steady as the bull-headed person I can be. At least in front of my Dad.

For my Mom’s sake, I asked whether family could spend the night. As I expected, we were told that we certainly can but would have to sleep in the waiting room. Since I literally live about 4 blocks from the hospital, I offered to let her stay at our house, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She also insisted we go home, as Hubby was still a bit sick and well … unfortunately, I seemed to have gotten his nasty cold. So instead, without much more for us to do, we went home. But not without making sure my Dad’s nurse had my phone number on hand to call us if anything should happen. Hubby & I finally got home around 10:30 tonite and I know I’ll definitely be back first thing tomorrow morning at 10 am when visiting hours start.

And before I wrap this up (because believe me, I’m mentally and physically exhausted here) I have to say this … My family has been totally blessed with any of the staff that we’ve encountered at this hospital. When my Dad was in the cardiac cath post-procedure area, my brother and I ran into a brother/sister team that we both knew since GRADE SCHOOL. They are both RN’s in that area, and the sister was in my brother’s class, while the brother was in mine. What are the chances of THAT happening? The best part was that the sister was a Clinical Nurse Specialist, who was able to explain things in greater detail (while using less medical terms) to my Mom. And this morning, while in the pre-op area, I ran into a high school friend of mine that was also an RN in that area; while my brother ran into an OR tech that knew our family since my brother and I were in grade school. I believe they were the reason that our whole family and extended family got to be around Dad in the pre-op area, as typically they don’t allow more than two people at a time back there. And finally, I think God blessed us with providing my Dad with great Filipino RN’s both in the CPCU (stepdown unit) and the SICU; both of which I know is a great source of comfort for my parents.

So with all this said (or typed), I think I better sleep now before I get any more loopy. Again, thank you Thank You THANK YOU for all your blove (blog-love) sent this way. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Big HUGS to you ALL!

8 Replies to “Mended Hearts”

  1. I’m so glad the surgery seems to have gone well. It’s so hard seeing parents, who have always been the ones to take care of us, being the ones who need support. Make sure you take time for yourself as well – don’t try so hard to be strong for your parents that you don’t let your own emotions out.
    Your dad will continue to be in my prayers as he recovers.

  2. Glad to hear that your dad made it through the procedure okay, and that you were surrounded by so many caring staff. Hope everyone continues to get well!

  3. So glad the surgery went well and I hope your dad recovers quickly! My dad had double bypass surgery years ago. We also nursed my grandpa back to health after quintuple bypass surgery. Take care and hope you feel better soon!

  4. oh, what a relief to have the surgery over with. i hope your dad recovers well and quickly. so nice to have a caring, familiar hospital staff, too! don’t forget to take care of yourself. this worrying stuff is so exhausting…

  5. Glad to hear everything went well…You and the family are in our thoughts

    Much love, hugs, and prayers…

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