Open heart surgery
My day began at 5:00 AM. At 5:45, I rushed out of the house and headed for Bentonville - about 45 minutes away. I followed my mom and sisters to the hospital. We arrived at 6:30 AM. It’s currently 5:40 PM and I’m still sitting in the hospital waiting room.
At 6:30 this morning I kissed my dad and watched the nurses wheel him away while trying to fight my inner voice that kept asking, “What if this is the last time I see daddy alive?” I refused to acknowledge such possibility. There was no need in worrying myself with the “what ifs.” I’d just have to handle whatever life dealt me today. The chaplain updated us every hour. “They’ve harvested the vein in his leg for the grafts. They’re about to open him up now.” … … … “He’s on bypass now. Everything is going well.” … … … Around 10:45 she came in and said, “He’s off bypass. His heart started back up immediately when they took him off. Word on the street is that he had 5 arteries replaced.”
I put my head in my hands and sobbed. Relief. I’m crying again just thinking about it. Finally I could breathe again. I hadn’t allowed myself to grieve or consider any negative outcome so when I knew the scariest part of the day was over, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. The chaplain said they’d leave him open for 30 minutes while the doctor monitored his heart to make sure everything was functioning properly. I think we got to see him around noon but I can’t be sure. Today has been quite a blur. Around 3:00 they took dad back into surgery. He was losing too much blood so they needed to go back in, find the bleeders, and cauterize them.
I think it was about 4:30 when the surgeon came out. Everything went fine. Opening him back up was just a precaution. There were a couple of very small bleeders that would have stopped on their own but he was able to remove the clots which will actually help with recovery.
They expect him to wake up anytime now. He woke up between surgeries and fought the ventillator. I hate seeing him like that. Really. Hate. It. I don’t think I’ll go back in until they remove it. The nurse told me it will be sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 tonight before they take it out. I’m exhausted. I’m weepy. I’ve randomly cried throughout the day ever since I heard that he was off bypass. I just want him to be well. But thank God they found this. Otherwise, he could have dropped dead from a heart attack. I’m ready for bed.