Monday, May 4, 2015

Post Op Day 5

What a day!!  Really the last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions.  Yesterday wasn't the greatest day for Dad, but to be honest I somewhat distanced myself as Dave and I went to Cheryl and Bentley Burkholder's funeral.  To those who there and asked about Dad, I apologized if I seemed rude, but it was too much to talk about at the moment.

Hope had been diminishing over the previous couple days and it was hard to talk about.

Let's recap today.  Today started very early for us. I got a call from the hospital at 2:49 AM saying Dad had made some changes during the night, his oxygen sats weren't very good, his blood pressure was dropping and his kidneys seemed to be failing.  They thought we should come.  So those of us who were at the motel went in right away with Darryl & Ruthie, Dave, Dorothy and Ross coming as soon as they could.  Dad was stable when we got there and over the next couple of hours, his oxygen got better and his kidneys seemed to be doing their job better as well.  His heart had flat-lined briefly during the night, but came back with no intervention other than meds.

The doctors came in and wanted to do an MRI of the brain which would tell us the extend of the brain injury that Dad had.  They were pretty much absolutely certain that Dad had brain injury related to his post-surgical incident when his heart stopped as they were sewing him up.  In order to do the MRI, they had to pull the temporary pacemaker.  This can cause conflict between the neurologist and cardiac surgeon, but temporary patches were applied to be used if it became necessary.

His original MRI was scheduled for 11, but the machine was broke down and so another one had to be used and his MRI took place at 12:30.

Both the cardiac surgeon and the neurologist came to talk to us together and to their complete surprise and ours as well, the MRI showed really no brain injury.  Now our emotions were off on the other end of the spectrum.  All of a sudden there is hope again. The other complications of the last few days were concerning but not worrisome. They can be a result of heart surgery.  Dad is almost 80. Their recommendations are to continue to give this more time.  While it feels like months to us or at the least weeks, it has only been 5 days and much could happen yet.

They did sedate Dad a bit more so that he would quit breathing on his own.  This was done because the ventilator and Dad were not in sync and it made very jerky looking breathing.  It was awful to watch him like that because it looked like he would have really been struggling.  He looks much better now.

We have a wonderful team of doctors. They took the time this morning to explain things and to answer our questions about the events of the last week and a half.

So we are back to the waiting game.  Mom and Vivian, Dave and I came home tonight.  Mom and Vivian I think will go back tomorrow. I am thinking tomorrow or maybe even Wednesday.  Darryl and Ruthie and Dorothy and Veronica are there tonight.  They will all leave tomorrow sometime.  Kevin made the difficult decision to go home this morning in the midst of all this with the plans to return on the weekend again. We are trying to work out something of a schedule that will allow two people to be with Dad without wearing any one out completely.  This is still such a waiting game, but it doesn't feel completely hopeless now.

I talked to Ruthie tonight and she had spoken with the doctor who said that Dad did improve throughout the day. So things feel more positive.

So we would just beg and plead for your prayers.  We want God's will to be done.  It feels like a miracle is needed now.  Darryl put it very well today: "Dad is not afraid to die, but he also isn't afraid to live." And we would love to see Dad put in a few more years on this earth, but we want God's will to be done in this as well.  So, the more prayers the better.

When you are this close to the situation, at least for me, it is hard to even pray.  You aren't even sure how to pray, but we are grateful for all of you who are lifting Dad and Mom and all of us up to God.  I and I think I can speak for the whole family are especially blessed by those of you who have prayed for Dad when you have come to see us.  It means so much.

Also a huge thank you to all the visitors.  We appreciate it so much--it helps break up our day. Don't feel bad if we push you off or tell you to come another day.  It is nothing personal, we are just trying to space out our visitors to make them "last longer".

This feels like a very factual, somewhat emotionless update.  Trust me, emotions were present today, but it is late and it has been a very LONG day and I am really ready for some good sleep.

Thanks again to all of you were are caring.

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