Saturday, January 16, 2010

Terrified

My Dad is sick.

Really sick.

He was admitted to the hospital on Monday for the same type of thing he's had before - pneumonia. He's a lifelong smoker, and has asthma and COPD on top of that. So, he doesn't just get a cold - it always turns into pneumonia, usually a couple of times a year.

We've been through it all before - he waits until he's almost past the point of return to seek medical attention. We plead with him to see a doctor. The doctor sends him right to the hospital, where they pump him full of antibiotics and breathing treatments, and in a week or so he's better, vowing to quit smoking, lose weight, etc. since everyone at the hospital has read him the riot act about it. But within weeks or sometimes days, he's smoking again, eating cheesesteaks and working too much.

This time, it started out the same way, but now it's more than just pneumonia and lung trouble. Now he's having periodic chest pain, atrial fibrillation, blood clots, ventricular tachycardia, possible blockages, and other stuff I can't spell or pronounce.

So it's not just his lungs this time - it's his heart.

He's on 17 medications. Hooked up to countless machines. Lots of tests - CAT scan, daily EKGs, etc. He hasn't been getting worse, but he's not getting better.

He gets a heart catheterization on Monday. That will determine the next steps - whether or not he has blockages (they seem to think he likely does), and what to do about them - possibly stents, angioplasty or even a bypass.

He is in good spirits, as usual, downplaying all this stuff, putting on a brave face and focusing on everyone else other than himself. Typical. But we are terrified.

If he makes it through all this, we are sure he will need to make major lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, smoking, scaling back on work, etc). This is not the type of thing that he has done well with in the past.

So, if you pray, kindly include my dad. We need all the prayers for him we can get.

I know he won't live forever, but I'm not ready to let him go yet.

I can't imagine a world without my Daddy.

Thank you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a stranger who happened upon your blog a while back and have enjoyed it very much. My mother was diagnosed w/ colon cancer 5yrs ago. She had been having severe pain for over a yr that she never told anyone about. By the time that she had become so anemic from internal bleeding that she couldn't hide it anymore her tumor was the size of a mans fist and her cancer spread to her lungs and liver and as of last January her brain. Each time we would start to feel like things were going well something comes up that kicks you right in the heart again. My mother will die. Possibly soon. And no matter when it happens I will not be ready. She is only 63, she has 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren that need her. When I think of her not being here to see my children graduate, marry etc. the pain takes my breath away, but this illness has also been a gift. It has given me the opportunity to cherish every moment with her. It has taught me to not put off spending time with her to do errands or clean or any of the other mundane things that take up my time. There are no words to make you feel better. Your dad may make the changes needed to better his health and he may not. It is out of your control. Just love him, spend time with him, every minute that you can. I will be praying for you and for your father and hoping that you have many more years together.

Overwhelmed Mom said...

Anonymous: Thank you - for reading my little blog, for sharing your story with me, and for your kind words. You are so right about the hidden blessings...it really does make you realize what is important. I'll hope and pray for a miracle for your mom. Again, thank you.

Catherine said...

You will be in our prayers. If you need anything, we are close by and would be happy to help out in any way.

Lucy and Ethel said...

I just clicked on your blog because of BlogHer.

I will definitely say a prayer. I lost my dad 3-1/2 years ago, and I still can't believe it. Mostly because I don't WANT to. It still seems like he's just on a trip (and I suppose he is).

Prayers from NC -

'Lucy'