Thursday, May 31, 2007

Update on Dad

If your reading this long post...let me warn you... get a drink or cup of coffee and a snack.. it's going to be a long entry.

I'm going to start at the beginning. On Thursday, May 24, 2007, my dad went to a local water park called Adventure Island. If you know my dad, he's very much a kid at heart and LOVES adventure, rollercoasters, water rides and slides and is very active. Dad is 66 years old, will turn 67 on July 29th.

When he got to Adventure Island he wasn't feeling well. He said he sat down at a picnic table near the concession stand. He tried to get up and found he couldn't move his right leg. After a few minutes he was able to get up and decided to go home. He told my mother of his spell and that he still wasn't feeling well. He took it easy the rest of the night but he also noticed he was having a hard time writing.
My dad has impecible handwriting. When he tried to write, the words were very sloppy and some were illegible.

Friday morning he got up, came downstairs for breakfast and my mom noticed he wasn't acting normal. His speech was slurred. She called his doctor but they were closed for the holiday weekend so she left a message for the on call doctor to call her back. Dad leaves about 9am to drive to work. He gets to the parking lot and decides he's not feeling well enough to work, so he turns around and comes back home. He get's home about 10:30am. Mom has an appointment and has to leave but calls me at work and asks me to come over to the house and sit with dad until she gets back home. She's worried about him and is still waiting for the doctors office to call her back. I got off work at noon, and went straight to their house, which is about 8 minutes from my office. I pull into the driveway and Dad's car is not there. I immediately call my mom on her cell phone and tell her that Dad isn't home. She asks me to call him on his cell phone and find out where he is. I call him and when he answers he tells me that he's feeling better so he decided to drive back to work. Now mind you, he works in Clearwater, which is a 40 minute drive from his house, over a very very long bridge crossing Tampa Bay. As soon as Dad starts talking to me, I notice his speech is very slurred. He sounded drunk. He couldn't complete sentences in a normal timeframe, couldn't think of words he needed to say. I KNEW something was wrong and I asked him to please turn around and come back home. He immediately said " ok, I'll turn around and come back home". I immediately call my brother to tell him what's going on. He says he'll leave work and head over. When dad pulls into the driveway, I'm waiting at the front door for him. I watch him get out of the car and walk towards the house and he can't walk a straight line. His balance was off and he looked like he was struggling to lift his right leg when he walked.

We come inside and he sits down and I tell him to explain to me what's going on and when he started feeling bad. He told the story about adventure island and then said " Monica, I think I've had a stroke but I didn't say anything to your mom because I don't want to worry her". I tell Daddy we need to go to the Emergency Room right away. I call my mom and she said she's on her way home and will be there in about 10 minutes. She arrives home and we both tell Daddy we're taking him to the ER.
He says ok, with no fight and we get in the car and go. Called my brother, Stephen to tell him to meet us at the ER.

Friday he's admitted to the hospital after several hours in the ER. He is diagnosed as having a stroke.

Saturday, May 26th is my parent's 43rd Wedding Anniversary. Dad is in denial and thinks he's fine, wants to be released from the hospital so he can take my mom out to dinner. Dr says not happening. He stays and is released to go home on Sunday afternoon. The stroke was classified as a mild stroke and the Neurologist releases him to go back to work on Tuesday.

Monday is Memorial Day. Dad is home and again in denial that he's just been through a major health issue. He decided to go outside and start pulling weeds in the 90 degree heat! OMG I could just take him and shake him!

Tuesday morning, he wakes up and tells my mom he has really really severe integestion. He drives to work and as he's driving to work he starts having chest pains. He gets to work, doesn't even get out of the car, but instead turns around and comes back home. My mom is shocked to see him home. He only tells her that the integestion was so bad he came home. He doesn't say a word about the chest pains. Mom calls his doctor, again has to leave a message. At this point, my dad tells my mom he's fine and tells her to go to the office. If the doctor calls back, he can talk with him and tell him what's going on. Mom said that dad was basically forcing her out of the house. She left reluctantly, and came home about an hour later. When she pulls into the driveway, my dad is outside cutting down tree limbs. She tells him to stop immediately and come in the house. When he gets inside, he tells her that he's talked to his doctor and the doctor want's him to go the ER because he thinks he's had a heart attack. Mom calls me at 3:26pm and tells me she's taking him to the ER. I leave work and head straight to the hospital.

Stephen meets us there again and we waited 8 hours before they finally got Dad up to the CCU. All the preliminary tests show he's had a heart attack, but they aren't sure how strong or how much damage. They schedule him for a Cardiac Cathater for Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning, we arrive at the hospital and they take dad in for the Cath. The Heart surgeon comes out and tells us that dad's heart is severely diseased. He will need a triple if not a quadruple bypass as soon as possible. Daddy is diabetic, but keeps his blood sugar very well controlled and is insulin dependent. The diabetes is the cause of the heart disease. Of course we are devastated. Anyone who's been through this knows what a scary thing this is. Life is so fragile!!!

Dad is stable, but is very scared and depressed. After consulting with the Neurologist who treated dad over the weekend for the stroke, they decided that the bypass would take place on Monday, June 4. My dad has had an astronomical amount of blood thinners since he had the stroke and then the heart cath, so they have to wait a few days so that the medication can leave his system. They don't want to open him up and have him bleed to death.

So, that's where we are right now. Dad's still in the hospital, under close monitoring and will have his surgery on Monday afternoon. We appreciate any prayers and good thoughts that you can send his way.

I'll keep everyone posted on his status.


Jenn said...

Monica, your dad sounds like mine - mine would be out there doing yard work too and not wanting to bother anyone! I hope he's learned to take these things seriously and get help when he needs it, and is healthy now!