Posted 10/20/2008 3:16 PM (GMT -6)
This is regarding my father. The background:
62 years old, overweight, heavy smoker. Suffered minor stroke about a year and a half ago, and lost some weight but not enough. Quit smoking but not for long. Had what turned out to be a heart attack on Thursday and had a quadruple bypass surgery on Friday.
Surgery was longer than normal because one of the bypasses was in a tricky location according to the surgeon. However everything went well, he said. In fact he mentioned that my dad's veins and arteries are very large and were a "pleasure" to work on, whatever that means. He did mention that there was a risk of stroke during the operation, but they wouldn't know until he came out of anesthesia. The next day he was able to speak and had full function of all his limbs...no sign of stroke.
However, as of this afternoon he is still in ICU. Originally the plan was him to go to a normal room on Saturday evening or Sunday. It seems that he's developed some kind of arrhythmia in which the top of his heart isn't beating in sequence with the bottom. This, apparently, could cause a stroke so they put him on blood thinners and tried to shock his heart back to normal today. That didn't work. They then told my step mother that either it would normalize its own once he started moving around or he could perhaps come in as an outpatient after his release and they could try to shock him again.
So I have questions, obviously. I'm getting this through my step mother and she's obviously freaking out. I don't know how worried I should be. Certainly if they thought this arrhythmia was serious they wouldn't suggest the outpatient thing, right? I don't know. If anyone has knowledge of such things I'd appreciate some clarification. My dad and I are in business together and for that to survive I had to leave and come back home to take care of my region. I feel farther away from the situation than I'd like.
I know that he has a long recovery ahead of him, and that it's absolutely essential that he stop smoking first and then loose the rest of the extra weight. But at the moment I'm just concerned about how he's doing right now. I don't know what's unusual and what's not.