Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Dad's Being Tired

In my experience it takes at least 4-6 weeks after surgery to regain a sense of normal strength. I've read the true length of time after anesthesia is six months for full recovery. It's gotta be longer for a nonagenarian!

Dad had back-to-back two hour surgeries just three weeks ago. And before that he was flat on his back for week with a major infection of his whole body. Then he was confined to his apartment for two weeks with rehab sessions twice a week which exhausted him.

Yeah, I guess he's tired!!!

I think he's supposed to be tired!

But he's continually surprised. And angered. And determined to go on with his life.

Damn Straight, I say. Full-speed ahead!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Looks Like There's Some Catching Up To Do

I was certainly surprised to see that the last post was entered right after we met with the surgeons after they installed his new pacemaker. Sorry about that!

He did not have a peaceful night as expected. He was extremely uncomfortable and he couldn't move his left arm without a pain. And with good reason. The sight of the incision was extremely swollen and surrounded by dark hematoma. Evidently he had been bleeding around the pacemaker. They wound up taking him back into surgery that afternoon and took a couple of hours cauterizing every tiny blood vessel they could find and packed the incision with a tight compression bandage. They must have done a good job, Dad felt better immediately. Everything was in good order the next morning and eventually Dad was discharged.

That was about three weeks ago and Dad is still doing fine. He is still recovering his strength and is going back to his exercise classes, but is still using a cane for dizziness and wobbly legs. We talked about today. Some of the Parkinson's meds that he is no longer taking were for dizziness and wobbliness and he thinks that is the cause. He will ask his neurologist about it on his next visit. Of course the other theory is that he just needs to regain his strength and endurance after almost a month of inactivity.

Today we saw Dr. D, the pacemaker specialist and the new device is working fine. The ventricle seems stronger. The incision site has swollen again, but there is no pain and no hematoma. He'll see Dr. D in another week and see what's up. The wound itself is just about healed.

No talk of rescheduling the valve surgery yet. They want to give him plenty of time to adjust to the new pacemaker and fully recover from the surgery.

He did get the new bedside pacemaker communicator. They hooked up the wires and checked it out. All Dad has to do is plug it into the telephone and plug into the electrical outlet. He'll take the old unit back to Dr. D on his visit next week.

And that's the latest!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


We checked into the Walnut Hill Medical Center right at 6am and at 7:35 they wheeled Dad off to the OR. Dr D expects it will take two to three hours to install the new pacemaker/defibrillator.
I'm not sure that another cup of coffee is what I need right now, but...
Now it's 11:44. Helen and I have met with Dr. D and Dad's in recovery. The surgery went well. Evidently it was a little tricky threading the wiring through the blood vessels, but it's securely in place. He now has a defibrillator so if the heart slows down it will zap it back. He x should be discharged Friday morning.
Then we'll see what happens next.