Step only on the colored tiles

Mom visited Dad this morning.  He spent most of the time out of bed, sitting in the chair.

Carolyn and her son, Patrick, visited Dad around 6pm.   He was eating when they arrived.  After dinner, they walked around the hall.  Dad was walking very fast and was trying to step only on the colored tiles.  After he was done prancing around, he felt some pain from the incision and the nurse gave him some Percoset.  He had a slight fever yesterday and he felt like he was hot earlier today, but his temperature was only 97.

The two main things to prevent now are pneumonia and blood clots.  He needs to use the breathing tube frequently and blow big breaths to prevent liquid from building up in his lungs.  He has to keep moving around on his feet so he doesn’t develop blood clots in his legs.

He will be discharged either tomorrow or Saturday.   A visiting nurse will stop by the house during the first two days.  I’m sure Dad will be happy to get home.

Up Roaming the Halls

I went to visit Poppy this afternoon. He had a slight fever, 100.5. The nurse gave him more pain meds. This will also help reduce the fever.  Dr. Heinz came in & told him the bed is his enemy. You must get up & walk. So walk we did. We walked around the unit one and a half times. We even stopped at the scale to check the weight.  He gained 2 pounds. We even found the pantry with all of the goodies.

Amazing! Just 2 days ago he had heart surgery & today he’s roaming the halls.

Observations of $4.00/gallon gas

I stopped by to see Dad this morning for 1/2 hour, then drove straight back to Boston.  Left at 11 and got home at 3:30.

2 observations about $4/gallon gas:

  • 1) fewer drivers on the road, so less traffic, so quicker to cover long distances

  • 2) fewer drivers on the road, so more deer like to wonder on the highways – saw 2 dead deer on the Garden State Parkway and 1 on I-84 in Connecticut

Dad looks great and more tubes are being detached from him.  Mom said he moved from the C-ICU this afternoon to a regular patient room on the 8th floor.   He’ll stay there until he is discharged, which could be Friday or Saturday.

Safely Home

Well, Kristen, Addison and I are safely home.  The flight home was so much better than the flight up there.  We are exhausted but will continue to monitor Dad’s condition from Florida.  I spoke to him briefly this morning and he said he feels a little better than yesterday.  The nausea is not as bad today.  He ate some Cream of Wheat for breakfast and was waiting for lunch.  We are so happy he is doing well.

Paul stopped in earlier this morning to see Dad before he left on his journey home to Boston.  It was really nice spending time with Paul and the rest of the family.  I wish the circumstances were better but nonetheless, it was time together.

Thanks again, Paul, for creating this blog. 

We hope you keep feeling better and better everyday, Dad.  You will be back on your feet before you know it.  We are amazed at your progress so far. 

Hugs and kisses from Florida…. 

Father’s Day Present

Alice, Jerry and Paul went to visit Dad tonight in the C-ICU.  Amy is his nurse and will be in the room with him and the two other patients all night. 

We were talking to Dad and he got up out of bed, completely unassisted, and walked to the bathroom by himself.  He was very talkative and appreciated us coming up from Florida and down from Boston.  Alice, Kristen and Addison are flying back to Florida tomorrow morning.  That Addison is so darn cute.  I’m going to make a quick stop at the hospital in the morning and then drive back to Boston.

To encourage him and give him something to look forward to, I told Dad what his Father’s Day present is – a Behind the Scenes Tour of the current This Old House projectthe Weston House and lunch with the cast members.  The project will air starting in October.  Dad has watched Norm Abram on the New Yankee Workshop and This Old House for many years decades.  He idolizes Norm.  Beth and I won this “experience” in a WGBH Auction last week.  We won the same auction last year and wanted Dad to go then, to tour the Newton House.  He insisted that Beth and I go instead, even though we bought it for him to meet Norm.   We asked Norm if he would mind saying hello to Dad on the phone, for which I’m forever grateful.  Dad could hardly believe that Norm Abram called him and talked with him for several minutes.  Yes, Norm did give Dad some shop safety tips.  He was so happy to get that call.  I’ve always regretted that Dad didn’t go, and when the same item came up for bid again, we said let’s bid and insist that Dad go this time.

When I said that I was going to tell him what his Father’s Day present is, he said that he already got what he wanted.  Well, you know what, I did too.

Moved to C-ICU

Carolyn is at the hospital and reports that a bed opened up, and Dad was just moved from the 3rd floor to the C-ICU on the 8th floor in a wheelchair.

His catheter has been removed, and before he’s allowed to get in bed, he must first use the bathroom.

Afternoon Update

Mom, Alice and Paul went to visit Dad at 11am until 12:30pm.  Wow, he looked great.   He was just waking up when we got there.  He was able to prop himself up from a lying position  into a sitting position when we said hello.  We were pretty happily stunned to see that.  He’s able to talk a lot more than yesterday, is louder but sounds like he has a sore throat, which he does.

Leanne said he was out of bed for 2 hours this morning and was able to move himself from a wheelchair into a recliner chair.  We’re amazed that he can do something that physically demanding but he’s a pretty amazing person.

The blood leakage in his chest is subsiding and only a slight concern, but they continue to watch it.  He was given 2 units of blood overnight to make up for what he lost.  The attending physician showed me the chart and the leakage has been slowing at a steady pace, which is good.  It started at 100 to 150 ml per period (30 min periods, I think) and has tapered of to the 20 to 30 ml range now.  If it were larger amounts, like 400ml and increasing or holding steady at those high numbers, then they’d consider going back to the O.R. to fix the leakage.  So, it doesn’t appear that will be the case for him, thank goodness.  Some leakage is expected and can be caused by a number of reasons.  A likely candidate is the vein taken for the bypass may still be healing with some capillaries leaking.  Too give you a frame of reference, a soda can is 355 ml. 

Carolyn visited him this afternoon and reports the chest tubes are now collecting into a smaller container, which is essentially a bulb somehow attached to his waist.  This way he can be mobile. 

Leanne said that he’s ready right now to be moved to the C-ICU, the cardiac ICU, on the 8th floor.  But, all 3 beds there are in use right now, so he’ll stay in the K-ICU until a bed opens up.  Fine by us.  He may move today, or tomorrow, all depends on that open bed.

We told Dad about the many get well wishes posted in the comments.  We read them all to him and he really appreciates them all, so keep them coming.  He’ll even be able to read them when he gets more lucid and access to a computer.

Dad was getting nauseous and Leanne gave him some medicine for that, which made him immediately sleepy, so he turned to lay on his left side, then shifted to lay on his right side.  We covered him up with blankets and told him to get some rest and that we’d be back later.

Morning Update

Alice just got an update from the nurse.  Dad is doing fine this morning.  The surgeon called the hospital to check on him at midnight.

There’s still blood coming out of the tube from his chest.  They are not doing anything about it, but are monitoring it.

He was sitting in a chair.  He didn’t want to get up, but they made him.

He’s complaining that he can’t take a deep breath, which is somewhat normal.

He is not complaining of pain.  He was given a Percaset rather than morphine, which was making him nauseous.

He’s drinking.  Had to in order to get the Percaset down.

His delicious breakfast this morning consists of a clear liquid diet.  Sounds yummy.  If tolerated, then he can move on to other solid foods.

Looking forward to seeing him later this morning.

Evening Update

We left the hospital at about 4:30 and got to Mom and Dad’s about 5:00.

When we left, Dad was off the ventilator breathing on his own.  He was given some morphine to ease the discomfort of the surgery.  He could talk with us, but since his throat is very sore, he struggled to get a one word sentence out.  He was groggy.

The nurse suggested that he get some rest and it probably would be best if we went home for the night.  Better to save his energy rather than trying to converse with us.

We called the hospital just before the nurse Leanne went off duty at 7pm.  She said the bleeding in chest area that was being drained by tubes was more than they’d prefer to see, but were controlling it by giving him additional blood units.  Other than that, he was doing very well.

He feels the sensation of not breathing in enough, but that’s exactly normal and expected.

Visiting hours for the ICU don’t begin until 11am, so we’ll head over and see him then.  Mom, Alice, and Paul will taken the “morning” shift.  Carolyn will head over in the “afternoon” shift, and Jerry will take the “night” shift.  We want him to know we’re there for him, but not overwhelm him with too much activity.  We’re expecting that he’ll be fairly alert tomorrow, and possibly sitting up.  They will want him to move around so that he doesn’t develop blood clots in his legs, since he’s been lying in a bed for most of the week.

Carolyn just called the hospital a few minutes ago for an update.  They said he’s doing fine and resting.  The blood from the chest area has subsided a bit.  The nurse said that she wouldn’t be surprised if he moved out of the K-ICU tomorrow.

What a day!   It’s not every day someone literally holds your beating heart in their hands.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.  They worked.