Thursday, December 04, 2008

PT or no PT, Part II


Yesterday morning I talked to Dad, who said that the PT folks hadn't wanted to give him therapy because he had some chest pains. He was waiting to see the doctor on call.

At about 4:30 in the afternoon, I called him. He hadn't seen the doctor yet.

This morning, he called and said, "The news is bad." He'd had chest tightness this morning, and the PT folks now don't know if they can do PT at all. Dad said he'd had "a flurry" of people in to look at him, and that they were still coming, but that he had to go now because they were taking him to the vision clinic.

"What does that have to do with your chest pain?" I asked.

"Nothing," he answered.

My best guess is that the condition of his heart won't permit any exercise at all, but that the situation isn't grave enough for him to be in the ER. Otherwise, they'd surely take him to the ER. Right? Right?

I'll be going over there in a few hours to meet with his social worker, at which time I'll try to suss out the situation further. But first, I have to go for a walk.

Argh.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, dear, your poor Dad and poor you, too. It all sounds baffling. I hope it can be sorted, soonest. I have to warn that some tough decisions might be coming, and the information for them is at least as much medical as social work in nature. Could your Dad's heart disease be reaching "end stage?" Could it be that he really won't be getting back to prior baseline? I don't know what his wishes are about things like resuscitation and aggressive treatment for his disease, or what the doctors have actually said about the condition of his heart, and I also don't know that his heart medications are optimally "tuned," which sometimes seems to be a black art rather than a science. But, yes, you would hope that he would be transferred to the ER if he needed actual treatment, and sooner rather than later. In a way I wish this were not happening through the VA, which, though staffed with wonderful folks, is in many locations beset by lack of resources. It must all feel so very hard, for you and for him as well. More hugs and kisses headed your way, stat! One more thing--I have seen patients in hospice who came in with diagnosed end stage heart disease who could not have done rehab when they came in, who have improved somehow, maybe just rest, I dunno, and have gradually felt stronger, worked at getting up in a chair, etc., and revoked and attempted rehab some weeks later.

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