Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Dad

I was really surprised at the number of hits my blog received starting around Thanksgiving. It occurred to me that many of your were looking for updates on my Dad. The weekend before Thanksgiving my Dad started having some discomfort in his chest. He has had some heart troubles that had been monitored. This made him hesitant to go to the doctor because they always gave him the same thing: "yes there is a problem but it is not bad enough to do anything yet." By Tuesday evening Dad was really having a hard time. My mom and brother Austin who is now a PA talked my dad into going into the ER. We figure that he would go and be monitored for a little bit and then they would refer him to a cardiologist after Thanksgiving. Well much to Dad's dismay they decided to keep him overnight. The next morning we went to visit him and find out what was going on. When we got there the doctor was just finishing up talking to my parents. We found out that Dad's heart was actually in real trouble and he would need to stay in the hospital until he was stable enough to have open-heart surgery. I did not understand a lot but over the next few days I was able to pick up enough from the doctor, my mom, and Austin. Dad had a valve in his heart that didn't form properly. It was now about the size of a pencil. It should be about the size of a silver dollar. It had also been leaking for probably all of his life. Because of this his aorta had taken a beating and needed to be repaired. They kept using words like "sudden death" "time bomb" and "mortality rate." It was so scary. But we had a lot if family around, Dad had a couple of amazing priesthood blessings, and he was in amazing care. They scheduled a surgery to replace the valve and repair his aorta for the Monday after Thanksgiving. They actually moved all their other surgeries back to make room for Dad. We celebrated Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's house with Aunt Susan and then all us kids, spouses, and grand kids took the party to Dad's hospital room. On Monday they had a man come in on the life flight that was in more trouble than Dad and they had to move his surgery to Tuesday. Austin and Sydnee had to go back to Washington and Paden had to return to school. Dave and I along with Jenna and Adam we able to sit with Mom during surgery. They were expected to take about 8 hours and then we would be able to see him a couple hours after that. They called us about every two hours to give us an update.. They finally finished and the surgeon came to talk with us. They did everything they set to do. Dad's heart was about twice the size that it should have been. They couldn't believe that he had not suffered a stroke before that point. The doctor said that there was a possibility that he had a stroke during surgery. We wouldn't know until he woke up. Dad was taken to the ICU after surgery and we were allowed to see him that evening. It was so hard to see him in there. But we were grateful that he was still there with us. He did not have a stroke. He stayed in the ICU until Thursday the following week and then was able return home Friday night. He will still have a while to recover. He is off work for a few more weeks/months. But our family has been truly blessed and we would liked to thank all of you who helped us during this time. We will forever be grateful! This picture was taken two days before Dad went into the hospital. Tucker and my nephew Heath were trying on Grandpa's cowboy gear.

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