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March 13, 2005

Heartsounds

It's practically summer here. It was, I dunno, sixty five degrees out, with bright sunshine and a mild cool breeze yesterday. I'd already done a bunch of my weekend chores, so I went into the garage, pumped up the tires on my bike, lubed the chain, cleaned the water bottle, and took it out for a spin. I don't like riding on wet roads or in serious cold, so this is the first time for me since last fall. I didn't push myself, instead taking a ride of random turns, discovering (literally) new roads, out by Ibach Park. I even discovered a new garden store, ensconced among trees, with grand opening banners fluttering at the roadside. I didn't bike in, I was enjoying my ride too much, but I'll note for later that it's The Garden Corner.

The routine continued. I got home, put together my food and miscellaneous items for the work week, and drove them down to my office. After working awhile, I arrived home to the smell of apple pie. I grabbed a glass of water, tapped the keyboard of the kitchen computer to check the email, turned around to look at something, I don't even remember what. Because there on the screen, in the list of new emails, was an email from my sister. Title: Dad is in the hospital. I remembered the day my Dad had called my house and told me my Mom had died. My heart jumped, and I sat down immediately to read the email. He had burning pain in his chest, went to the hospital, is on meds. A phone number.

So I called him up. The time between the arrival of the email, 6:09pm and the time I read it, about 6:25pm. Just sheer coincidence that I read it so soon. So the phone rings, I get put through to his room. The short story is that he seems in good spirits, though bored. He has to sit in the hospital room, deal with all the business of nurses coming and going, making it difficult to sleep. He is on an IV of nitroglycerin and heperin, and won't be seeing the specialist until Monday, when he will probably get an angiogram. Depending on the results, he may get a stent. I'll call him again today to try to break up the monotony for him somewhat.

This is one great cosmic joke, as he had only last week broke the news to me that he and his wife Betty were thinking about taking an Amtrak tour of the West which would include a stopover here in Oregon. I was all excited about that, and now this. Of course, my sister Brenda's husband Ted has had heart surgery, my father-in-law has had two stents, my brother-in-law Tom has had four bypasses, so nowadays heart surgery can be practically an outpatient procedure. I still hope to see Dad this summer. It's just a little bit of a shock.

More news as I learn it. And thanks, Brenda, for letting me know so soon, along with the contact number.

Update

I got email from Brenda (my sister), and spoke with my Dad after work, before taking Kelly to her dance class (tonight, Monday). He isn't discharged yet, but he's had his angiogram. One vessel is 20% to 30% occluded, but they don't want to put in a stent. Instead they are changing his prescriptions, and I think reviewing diet and exercise habits. He seemed to think this was not too big a deal, but I still want to encourage him to take action where he has control (diet and exercise). I'll try talking to him again on Sunday.

Posted by dpwakefield at March 13, 2005 08:08 AM

Comments

So glad to hear that it's not as bad as it could have been. I hope your Dad doesn't brush it off for that reason. If he takes it seriously, he's well positioned to really take care of his own health in a tremendously positive way.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at March 15, 2005 07:27 PM

Thanks, Pascale. I intend to talk with him at length on the subject, but he's a grown man, and he'll make the decisions he's comfortable with. I just hope that he takes this warning seriously.

Posted by: Donald Wakefield at March 15, 2005 08:54 PM