Monday, November 24, 2008

My Daddy has really been through a lot - to say the least! The pictures above are just a few of the day by day journey through open-heart surgery! Yes, I made him smile, but he instantly went back to his sad look after the camera clicked. His chest pain is much better and his heart (praise the Lord) is doing everything right. The only things holding him back are his legs - especially his right. He has an open wound on his upper thigh from the doctor strolling in his room and declaring that he had to have the incision from the vein harvesting opened and drained. The physician's assistant came in and opened the very painful sight using scissors (with no pain medication for my poor Daddy who moaned in pain) and proceeded insert his entire pointer finger & a few swabs under the skin and other tissues until he ruptured the blood clot that was causing such pressure. It looked like a volcano erupting! OH MY! I witnessed the entire event and wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. It was definitely a sight I will never forget! Now, Daddy has a large gaping hole in his upper thigh and cellulitis on his lower leg. I keep questioning the possibility of Staph, but the medical pros just "blow me off". Long and short of it is that he just can't walk by himself, let alone get up. He barely can take baby steps with two aides on either side and is in terrific pain. Never thought this would happen from heart surgery! We have since heard from others that the legs could be the most painful. He just doesn't seem to be getting any better and today they are talking about sending him home. My parents just couldn't handle being at home with no help from trained professionals. I, of course, would be there as much as possible and feel totally capable to dress the wound areas (I videoed the nurse, so now I am trained - ha!), but after Tuesday the kids will be out of school. I think one loving leap in the lap from Kamden would send my Daddy over the edge! I just don't know what is going to happen and I am so worried for Daddy and Mother. There is a rehabilitation place next door to the hospital, but Mother wouldn't be able to stay with Daddy and he doesn't want her to leave him. Argh! I pray that he can at least stay two more days in the hospital, as I think that would make a difference in his mobility. WE SHALL SEE! You know how all hospitals want to kick you out on your nose? Well after nearly three weeks of Daddy being in there I think they are more than ready to give him the boot! Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, y'all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Daddy's surgery went well on Wednesday, but nothing could have prepared us for how he would look when it was over! My mom and I walked into the room he was in and it echoed with sounds from an array of busy machines surrounding him like I have never heard before - pumps, puffs, beeps and constant humms. The wires and cords covered his head and body like a maze. And there was my poor, very swollen daddy beneath it all. We wept like babies. How could this be? He was so lifeless and distorted. Luckily, there has been daily progress, but it has been slow. He takes two baby steps forward and one step backwards, and we have learned to accept this happily. He had five bypasses and a maze procedure to hopefully correct the afib condition. They took veins from both legs and his chest to replace the blocked ones - so he really is sore all over! He is now having problems with his lungs and taking deep breaths, which hurts clear through to his heart. One doctor thinks he has pneumonia in his left lung, but another doctor doesn't quite agree - so who knows. He is just so SAD. He has cried a couple of times (NEVER have I seen my STRONG Daddy weep) and keeps apologizing for putting everyone out so much. I think this must be the hardest surgery on your body you can have and survive it. The nurses keep reminding us that depression occurs in many of their open-heart surgery patients, but we hope this is just fleeting sadness and he will be back to his happy self SOON.
He was officially moved to a regular room on the heart monitoring floor yesterday. We couldn't be happier to be out of the CV-ICU. We could only be with him for a few hours at a time when he was in there and it seemed like he would improve while we were in there and then go downhill when we left. It has all been very frustrating with many hours (5 days and nights!) spent in a very uncomfortable, small waiting room. My sweet mother never left Daddy. She has spent every night at the hospital since election day when this whole thing started. The five sleepless nights on the hard mini-love seats were especially uncomfortable, but there was no way she would choose to be in a comfy bed while Daddy was just down the hall going through so much. She kept telling each of the nurses (and he had many) that she was just down the hall. I hope last night was better for her. She could sleep right beside her true love and listen to him breathe. I think that kind of contact is healing for both of them. Many, MANY people would tell her to leave and let the nurses do their job, but she would hear nothing of it. He would never leave her and she would never leave him - they have obviously made a pact. Mother's sisters Delores and Betty switched off staying with her at night and I am very thankful for them. My children needed me too, so Mother would hear nothing of me staying the night, but I felt so guilty leaving her.
I must run to the hospital while the kids are in school and encourage my daddy. I want to see him smile again. I love him so much! I want his pain to lessen and for him to be glad that he agreed to have such a big surgery. He has whispered how he wished he hadn't. To regret is to dwell on the past and I want him to see that brighter, happier, painless days are ahead and just around the corner! He has made it through so much already and I am so proud of him. With everyday we are going to see his strength building up. I will blog again soon and add a couple of pictures. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ok, the election didn't turn out like we had hoped, but we must lick our wounds and go on. This is an opportunity to see if O* can really deliver. Only time will tell, and I hope we (the disappointed) will be pleasantly surprised. I'm still hopeful for 2012 - Palin will return. That chick is awesome!

We have had some scary stuff happening in my family. My dad started on Election Day (didn't even get to vote!) having shortness of breath, rapid heart beats and pain down his left arm. He has been in the hospital since then and mother has been right by his side. I have been there everyday to take food and clean clothes to my mom. Daddy had a heart cath. yesterday and has much more blockages than he did this time last year when he had one (85% in 5 arteries). The picture collage is from the night before surgery (all smiles!). Long and short of it all is that he is having open heart surgery on Wednesday (tomorrow) and they are "going to fix him". Those are Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Barry Davis' very words. Daddy also has an abnormality in his heart that he was born with and they are going to readjust the entire artery. His heart was going crazy last week with a heart rate of 150 and pulse at 80. Daddy's pulse rate is normally around 50 at rest. Luckily Dr. Parker who did the heart cath. yesterday said that his heart muscle looked strong and needed a bit of work to get it running dependably. If he doesn't have surgery he is like a ticking bomb and we just can't have that! I am terribly worried and would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my daddy. He has quite a long road ahead of him and I have to admit I am a nervous wreck. He had one of those "....If something happens to me...." talks on Sunday when we were alone and I cried like a baby. Nothing can happen to him, because we love and need him too much.

Poor Cole thought that he caused it all by playing football with his Pappy the day before it all started. Angel has been big help with my kids and had Cole when he just crumbled in tears last Tuesday. She dried his tears and prayed with him for his Pappy. Thanks for making Cole feel better and for being there for us. We love you Angel!

I am off to the hospital to take my mom some breakfast and to spend the day with my Daddy. I am taking the video camera so we can do some before videos. Daddy wants me to record his talent of making his chest muscles jump on command! My kids think this is an amazing talent. With his chest being opened and muscles being cut, he is afraid he will never be able to show off for them again and he wants it all documented. I know this sounds weird to some, but if you know my crazy Daddy, you would know this is pure Joe Pearson! He is so funny and loves to show off is muscles. He has always been fit and exercises everyday to keep that way. Within the last couple of years he has had two total knee replacements and had a beautiful recovery. Before he was in a lot of pain and hobbled around. Now he could be a spokesperson for why you should have your knees replaced if you even think you need it. I hope and pray that his heart surgery turns out the same way. He has a great, positive attitude and that can make a REAL difference.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I hope everyone will take time tomorrow to make their vote count. You can make a difference! I do have my favorites - daaah! My kids think election day is a holiday because schools are closed. They are quite excited. I am sure the lines will be long and we will spend quite a bit of their "free" time waiting for me to vote. I don't feel great (nasty virus) and have spent the entire weekend sick, but I plan to wait my turn to make a difference. This is the perfect opportunity to show my kids that everything counts, even one person and one vote. I really think Max gets it. He has been very interested in everything political lately. He nearly can't handle it when someone we know says they are voting for O****. I have to nearly put a sock in his mouth. I am sure this election will be a close one, which makes it quite exciting. Happy voting everyone and best wishes for short lines and determined voters!