Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday, Tuesday. So Good to Me...


THAT doesn't make any sense.

Well, it was Tuesday anyway. And Braum Burgers??? Stick to the fabulous shakes. Dad and I both suffered mightily last night. And today was the two-week post discharge appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Platt.

1:30 found Mom and Dad just finishing lunch. We still made it out of the Apt and were on time at Southwest Diagnostics for an X-ray. At 2:00 sharp we walked into Dr. Platt's office, new photo in hand ready to see the doctor and met the friendliest receptionist ever. She remembered Mom from when they saw Dr. Platt about operating on Mom's lung way back before anyone ever thought Dad might have a problem with a leaky valve. (Just about three months back.)

After a short wait we were whisked into an examination room and promptly greeted by Dr. Platt. The infamous 'man of few words' (we joked about it on the drive over) greeted us warmly. He examined the X-ray, pointed out the faint image of the new valve and showed us where the aneurism used to be. It was a clean  picture, the lungs were clear, everything looked good. He examined Dad and again, everything looked good. He noted that the mitral valve is slightly leaky, but it was that way before the surgery and he did not think it was likely to cause problems. He removed the remains of Dad's stitches.

Dr. Platt again reminded Dad that recovery takes time at his age, but that age was not an excuse not to push rehab. He wants Dad to walk continuously for at least 10 minutes every morning. Speed or distance is not important, what is important is the continuity. If he can build and eventually go for longer times so much the better. He said he would demand 30 minutes at this point for younger patients, but feels 10 minutes would be good for Dad.

What's more, Dr. Platt wants Dad to do arm lifts for 10 minutes with 2-3 lb weights. This can be done sitting in the living room and can be done in the afternoon. Again if he can build to longer periods, so much the better. Speed and number of reps is not important. What is important is doing it continuously for 10 minutes. Both of these exercises are in addition to what Dad might do with the rehab trainers.

He said he'd received info from Southwestern about Mom's treatments and asked how she was doing. He was quite loquacious for a man of few words. Dad goes back in three months. The receptionist asked how busy we would be at Thanksgiving. (omigod!)

As were leaving, we visited with the next patient. A 'young man' (well, younger than me!) was sitting there with his parents holding an X-ray just like we had been. We had noticed them downstairs at Southwest Diagnostics and here they were just like we were. The Dad of the group asked Don how long it had been since his surgery then talked about how much better he felt now. He he remembered being fresh out of surgery like Dad, weak and with a walker. He told Dad that it took a lot of hard work, but to stay with it. The work will pay off in the end. I hope Dad was listening and remembers.

So Dad is at the end of his post-op appointments. He is weak, but healthy. He is frustrated by his condition, but at this point it is going to be up to him to make himself do the work to rehab. Or not.

Mom has a friend lined up to take her to her treatment next Thursday. On the home front they really don't like the home nurse. She's being tough on keeping track of fluid intake, rules and regs that Mom and Dad both like to think don't necessarily apply to them. They've also had problems with the help supplied by Tami. Things just don't get done the way Mom wants them done. Even instructions aren't carried through just right. (No kidding. I've been trying to do that for sixty years!)

Getting along with home care help is going to be the next big issue.

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