Friday, August 03, 2007


It has definitely been a roller coaster week!

This is going to be a long haul. My dad is (better become was) a smoker. The heart attack he had on Monday was major. The artery that was supplying blood to 80% of his heart was completely blocked. While having a cath they dissected the wall of the artery causing major bleeding. Even a slightly larger tear in the wall and he would have bled to death. There weren't any surgeons available to perform my dad's surgery until they pulled one out of a non-emergency surgery FOUR hours after he got out of the cath lab. That whole time he was still having a heart attack. As you probably know, surgery after being pumped full of blood thinners is risky, but it was necessary to repair the damage from the cath and to do a double bypass.

Tuesday brought a lot of bleeding. It was expected because of the circumstances. Before we left that night he was doing SO well that his doctors and nurses were pretty confident they would be able to take out the ventilator the next day.

About 1:00 Wednesday morning he took a turn for the worse. His blood was not oxygenating like it should, weight was up 34 lbs from pre-surgery weight and lungs were filled with fluid. He was given a paralytic, sedated even even further, and all breathing was done by the ventilator. It was thought he may have developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). (I know enough of what it is now, but haven't googled it because I don't want to read horror stories). My SIL's (a cardiac ICU nurse) reaction when she heard those words was enough for me. It is treatable, but can be fatal. It was the last thing she wanted to hear mentioned.

Yesterday was a better day. Dad was taken off the paralytic, but is still sedated and on the ventilator. He is doing a little over 50% of his breathing. His oxygenation numbers were good, but it still isn't clear if he has ARDS. One of the chest drainage tubes were removed. There were small steps in the right direction yesterday. He isn't completely out of the woods yet, but at least we're going in the right direction.

Please continue to keep our family, especially Dad, in your thoughts and prayers.


carolynn said...

Yes, at least the steps are in the right direction!

Wow, you never know what a day will bring.

Praying for a complete recovery!

Pen said...

Thank you, C!

diane said...

So sorry about your dad having all these problems. Praying daily. Take care of yourself.

HeatherJ said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your dad is going through all of this. I'll pray for his recovery.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Pen...I've been so tied up in my family's drama that I had no idea what you are going through. Hang in there girl and I'll
keep your dad and your whole family in my prayers.


carolynn said...

"Trouble lives its season, shadows our hearts until it is spent. It changes the landscape, but leaves a space for the light
to return."


Pen said...

Thank you so much ladies!

Thank you for that quote C! It's perfect! :)