Thursday, January 08, 2009

News From Palo Alto

The doctor from Palo Alto called me this afternoon. Dad got into the study, but he was randomized to the control group. No new valve.

They are offering him valvuloplasty, and we'll probably take them up on that. The procedure could happen as soon as next Friday, which means I have to get all my class prep done by next Wednesday for classes beginning the following Wednesday. Yikes.

I'm also less than thrilled by having to make a lot of trips to Palo Alto (for the procedure, plus follow-ups at one, three, six, and twelve months) if he's not getting a new valve. But I'll do whatever I have to do. I just wish that the route there didn't take us over the mountains, which are dicey six months of the year.

In other news, I called assisted-living places today but didn't find many that take Medicaid (which, of course, Dad's not even on yet). Sharon and I are visiting three of the ones that do tomorrow afternoon. I also visited a group home that's literally a block from where Gary and I live; Dad's visiting nurse likes it, and the woman who runs it is very nice, but I think Dad would go bonkers there (it's a small, dark house with a small, yappy dog). Of course, maybe he'd go bonkers in any of them. I haven't seen the others yet, and proximity would be a definite plus.

Gary and I went to his place to tell him about Palo Alto in person. He looked like he'd been socked in the stomach (which is how I felt after the doctor called). Poor Dad! Everything's landing on him at once: Fran leaving, no hope of a new valve, the looming threat of assisted living. It's hard on me just thinking about all this; I can't imagine what it's like for him, in his already compromised state, to be experiencing it.

We're all feeling sad and discouraged today. I hope tomorrow's better.


  1. Oh, my, I am so sorry for all that is falling on you and your Dad at one time. So much loss. Warm thoughts and prayers for you all.

  2. A small dark house with a yappy dog would drive me bonkers too. Hope you find one that has lots of lighting and activities without that institutional feel that so many of them have. Will a valvuloplasty improve his quality of life? I'm assuming that it is a much less risky procedure than a valve replacement, which might be a plus. Praying for finding a good place for your Dad.


  3. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Dear Susan,

    I got your Thursday post on Friday - I hope today is turning into the better day that you hoped for yesterday.

    A smart friend of mine once said, "It's never too late to start having a good day!"

    However this one has begun, I hope it gets better.


  4. For what it's worth, many years ago the Princess Mom had a valvulplasty done. For her, it was very effective, and a whole hell of a lot less invasive than a valve replacement.

    As for the rest, you may be facing discouragement, but you aren't doing it alone. There are many of us holding you up in prayer.

    Hugs to you, Gary and your dad, too!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.