Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life in a nutshell right now.....

(deep breath)

For my friends who aren't on Facebook, here is the skinny. I received a phone call Sunday afternoon from my step-mom, Patsy. She and my dad are wintering in Mission, TX - which if you were any further south, you'd be in Mexico. She let me know that my dad was in the ICU at McAllen Medical Center - about 10 miles from where they are staying. He has:

1. coronary artery disease (not unexpected - he's 87 years young)

2. atrial fibrillation (Atrial fibrillation or AFIB describes an irregular and often rapid heart rhythm. The irregular rhythm, or arrhythmia, results from abnormal electrical impulses in the heart. The irregularity can be continuous, or it can come and go), and

3. aspiration pneumonia (Aspiration is defined as the inhalation of either oropharyngeal or gastric contents into the lower airways. Inhalation of these contents can lead to aspiration pneumonia aspiration pneumonitis. Although these two entities are managed differently, they are often interchangeably referred to as aspiration pneumonia.)

He's actually been in the hospital for the last week because of the atrial fibrillation - which means that if your heart is supposed to beat at 70 beats a minute, his is going at 130. The faster that your heart beats, the less effective it works. During the last week, he told Patsy (my step mom) that she wasn't to call us "kids" and bother us with this because he's had the AFIB for years. Dad would call me last year, and tell me that he took another ambulance ride over the weekend and by the time they got the 60 miles to the hospital, his heart was normal again. He treated that like no big deal.

But over the weekend, Dad became disoriented in the hospital, fell, broke his nose (which is how he got the aspiration pneumonia because blood went into his lungs), and the catheter was pulled from his body. From that episode, he's become worse. He is now in an ICU bed, sedated, and intubated.

We are at the wait and see point.

Patsy does not want me to come to Texas. Her exact words were "You'd fly to Texas to sit next to someone who doesn't know that you are there - that's stupid" We are in contact 4-5 times aday.

On the bizarre side, I put a note on Facebook on Sunday - "Do I know any physicians in McAllen, TX?" - I received a note from one of my ex-residents who told me that one of my other ex-residents is on staff there and gave me his cell phone number. When I got a call back, this doctor told me that he actually saw my dad the day before when he was consulted about the blood that he was spitting up (to make certain that there was no internal bleeding - there isn't). He's promised to call me everyday with updates.

So, that's what's going on right now - I know, way too much information.
As you all know, I am not the most hugely religious person in the world, so I am not going to ask for prayers - but I am not going to exclude them either. I want what's best for him (even if that's not the best for me).


abeadlady said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad, Liz. Sounds like they are doing all they can for him. Prayers and positive thoughts going out for him and your family. Keep us posted.


abeadlady said...
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Mary Timme said...

At 87 I think a lot of things in life aren't fun anymore. I hope that what is best for your father is what happens also.

Robin said...

Not too much information, Liz... not at all... what else are we here for but to listen and send our prayers. The Dr. contact was so fortunate... I'm glad you thought to try FB. Hugs, Robin A.