Dad’s surgery went as planned on July 18. The heart team was able to go through the groin and the jugular of the neck to replace pop’s heart valve. This was wonderful news since dad was adversely against having his chest cracked open. Originally we were told dad would be hospitalized for at least 5 days before he’d be released to go home but because he opted to have the surgery using only a local anesthetic, thus foregoing being put on a ventilator, he was up and moving the very next day, and he was pain free. Pop’s rebound not only astonished his doctors but the entire heart wing staff as well. He was released in 3 days! I knew dad was a tough old bird.
Don and I got my father all settled in at home. Dad got his 2 X’s per week visiting nurse appointments scheduled and I recorded his doctor and rehab appointments on his calendar. Pop was given a 10 pound weight restriction, a liquid intake restriction, and a no driving for 2 weeks restriction. He was also encouraged to eat a heart healthy diet from now on but anyone who knows dad knows that ain’t gonna happen. I assured the doctor that as long as we were in town and I was doing the cooking, dad would eat healthy. Other than that, the rest is up to dad.
My father followed his regime and continued improving until the morning of the 26th. Don and I were sound asleep in the Suite Pea when the phone rang at 5:30 am. It was pop, asking me to come right away. Don and I hastily dressed and ran up the drive to dad’s. Dad said he’d gotten out of bed to use the bathroom but found himself bouncing off the walls. Included with the dizziness was numbness down both arms and in his hands. He was also complaining of feeling very hot at the base of his head and pressure in his lower chest cavity. The pressure we later determined was anxiety. I called 911 immediately.
Apparently dad’s neighbor Mike keeps a scanner turned on 24/7. He heard my distress call and came over right away. What a blessing to have a EMT right across the road! He immediately began checking dad’s vitals and relaying all pertinent information to the ambulance while it was enroute. I rode with pop to the hospital. It was one of the fastest and longest 40 mile trip’s I’ve ever made.
Munson Hospital began doing blood work and a series of tests right away. Later that evening we learned dad had suffered a minor stroke that morning. He remained in the hospital another 2 days for observation and testing. Dad was released anew with no residual after effects. We are so very thankful.
So here it is the first of August and to look at my father you’d never guess what he’s been through the past 2 weeks. Don and I will remain on the property until dad sees his heart team again in September. If pop is given the thumbs up at that time, then we will break camp and depart the following morning. Don has gigs scheduled the end of September in Florida.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid…….