Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yet Another Plan

Gary and I got to Dad's hospital room, with its gorgeous ocean view, around 9:30 this morning. Within two hours, we'd met a cardiology fellow, the attending, and the chief of the cardiology service (the person we'd been told had categorically denied Dad the valve replacement), not to mention several different nurses and a respiratory therapist.

We'd come here thinking that Dad would have the angiogram on Monday, and that it was important that I be on hand for the angiogram. However, the new plan is to work him up very thoroughly, organ system by organ system (they're calling in a GI consult, for instance, to see if there might be some GI reason for his anemia). The chief told us that Dad will be in the hospital a minimum of a week while they try to figure out if he can have, or wants, the valve replacement.

"But I thought you said you absolutely wouldn't do the valve replacement," I said. "That's what Reno told us."

She shook her head. "I never said that." She did say that he's high risk, but we already knew that: this is now all a matter of weighing risk factors.

She also said -- first time we've heard this -- that anyone with any heart condition is going to do much worse at altitude than at sea level, which makes Reno more dangerous medically for Dad than Phlly was. He'd asked his Philly doctors about this and they said it wasn't an appreciably greater risk. Oy!

Anyway, when I mentioned my teaching schedule, the doctor advised -- and Dad agreed -- that I should go back to Reno to teach my Monday-Wednesday classes, and return to San Francisco on Thursday. The angiogram will be done Wednesday or Thursday, probably, but they can talk to me on the phone if anything crucial comes up. The chief doesn't think I need to be on site for that, although I would in the event of surgery.

So Gary and I will drive back over the mountains tomorrow. My friend Ellen is letting us keep the key to her parents' house so we can use it again next weekend. What a godsend! And there's even someone at church who can take my preaching date, so that's all worked out very smoothly. (I haven't been to church since October 12, and I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever be back!)

I wonder where we'll be for Thanksgiving. Well, we'll work that out when we get there. One day at a time.

Anyway, all things considered, it was a pleasant day. We sat in Dad's room and listened to folk music on the radio, and I knitted. For lunch, Gary and I went to the Seal Rock Inn, within walking distance of the VA, which we think might be a fun place to spend spring break, too. For dinner, we joined Ellen and her family for her birthday celebration at a nice Italian restaurant.

We're assured of good driving weather tomorrow, since the weather here is gorgeous this weekend. I hope we have good driving weather next Thursday, too. I'm certainly putting miles on the car this month!


  1. Dear Susan,
    Even with the continuing iffiness of your Dad getting the valve surgery, this sounds so much better. These doctors seem very thorough! Good for them! Looks like your dad's in the right place. Despite the extensive driving I'm glad to see your schedule getting slightly better and more under your control. And you love San Francisco! I'll continue to pray. You continue to breath and knit and enjoy nice dinners with Ellen and your man.

    And Yes! You will get back to church! It will just take time. Wondering if you can volunteer for 4 hours at your dad's hospital ER.

    Hugs & Peace!

  2. I'm glad things are looking. And I'm glad you're getting an emotional reprieve to catch your breath!

  3. What a roller coaster! So glad your Dad has the nice view to bring peace while all the testing takes place. And hope some good information comes of all of this.


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