Monday, August 16, 2010
This is my dad. I love him more then I could ever say. I didn't realize even how much until this week. It's hard even now for me to write this post...
Saturday morning my dad calls asking me a question. He told me he had been having chest pain when he exercised or was working. I told him he should go into the ER and have them check it out. Brad and I were packing up the kids and ourselves because we were headed to Alaska the next day for a family cruise. They told him to come right in.
They did a few tests in the Logan ER and they all came back negative. No damage to his heart. That was a good sign. Nevertheless, the heart pain worried them and they scheduled an angiogram for Monday and admitted him to the hospital.
Brad and I were headed up to Lewiston to drop the kids off so we stopped in at the hospital. Dad looked fine and talked like he thought he should be home. He didn't see the point in being in the hospital. I gave him a couple of hugs, told him I loved him and left.
The next day Brad and I flew to Seattle to get on the cruise with his family. Monday morning I called my mom and found out that the angiogram showed that one of his arteries was blocked and they needed to put in a stent. They took him to Odgen Regional hospital by ambulance and scheduled the stent for the next morning but said they needed to do another angiogram and an ultrasound of the arteries because they found a few more blockages.
That night I called just before we headed to dinner and my sister was crying on the phone. I thought the worse. I couldn't understand what she was saying...haha Michelle...so my mom got on the phone and told me that they just found out my dad has several blockages and will need to have open heart surgery. The doctor said my dad is so lucky he didn't have a heart attack because he wouldn't have survived. They also diagnosed him with severe heart disease and showed them the ultrasound of the arteries of the heart. Another blow was that genetically my dad has small arteries which doesn't help the situation. They were very upset and I felt so helpless and hopeless. The doctor made my mom feel like my dad had no chance and it was a hard night for our family. I also felt very guilty because my mom was having to figure out what to do with my kids because she was watching them while we were gone.
That night Brad's family all gathered in Bill & Carol's cabin on the cruise and said a prayer for my dad. It meant so much that for me.
The next day I had my cell by me all day waiting for updates. We were in Ketchican that day and it was such a mix of emotions. I would be having so much fun and then remember what my dad was going through and just be sick. I seriously felt like any second I could get a call with the worst news possible. My heart jumped every time my phone rang.
My dad got out of surgery and they said it went well. I've seen this kind of surgery in my nursing clinicals and it isn't pretty so I kept thinking all these things. My mom and sister were able to go in and see him a while after and they said it was really hard. I had been told by Brad's family that they look pretty bad after the surgery and so I knew it had to be hard on the fam.
A little while later they told my family that there was some bleeding so they might have to go back in. Another blow. Just when I felt like we were past the surgery they tell us this. Luckily, the bleeding slowed and they didn't have to go back in.
That night they got my dad up and off the vent and from that point he has been on the road to recovery slowly. He came home Friday and is taking it easy as he heals.
I was able to make it up to Lewiston today and see him. My dad and mom are now trying to figure out the changes they need to make. It's a complete lifestyle change.
We feel so lucky my dad is still here. He went on a strenuous over-night hike up Logan canyon a couple weeks ago and we are so lucky nothing happened. While I was alone on the cruise feeling so scared I had this calming feeling come over me that my dad is being watched out for by those that have gone before. It helped calm me so much.
I am so thankful for amazing family! They jumped in and helped watch my kids while I was gone and I could never repay them. My aunt Sonya and Rod drove up from Vernal and helped watch them. Michelle always does so much and is great with them. My aunt Sharee and also my cousin Amy helped also. Thank you so much. Lastly to my mom for all she did while dealing with all the stress. I can't imagine what she went through this past week. Dad, I love you so much! I am so grateful that we still have you here!