Friday, June 6, 2008

I Feel Like The Cheese

My SIL says I'm The Sandwich. She'd read an article where people who take care of the young in their family and also take care of the old are called The Sandwich.

My FIL got to go home from the hospital last Thursday. For those just checking in, he went to the hospital last Monday for a routine heart check. His EKG was very unhappy with him and they admitted him. His breathing for the past few weeks was very whistley, wheezy, and labored. When they first admitted him, the dr.'s were saying that due to his age (80), his quadruple bypass surgery 15 years ago, and his current health/breathing issues, he was a really bad candidate for surgery. He agreed and remembering how hard the recovery time was on him 15 years ago, he was really adamant that he didn't want surgery anyway.

After 4 days of hospital care and med's to clear the fluids in his lungs, his health/breathing made a 180. He still didn't want the surgery but one cardiologist that talked to him could "sell water to a drowning man" (as my FIL said). So he decided to do the surgery.

It's kind of funny because when the new cardiologist was talking to him about the surgery and explaining that now that his lungs were fine and he was a good candidate for the surgery - she was really trying to talk him into it.

She dangled the wife in front of him, "She'll miss you."
FIL: I'm 80, she's 79, we're good.
Dr. (dangles grandchildren) : What about them? Don't you want to see them grow up?
FIL: They're young, they'll be fine.
Dr. snatches his car keys away from him and he looks at me and says: Looks like I'm having surgery!

(Of course the dangling and key-snatching are strictly metaphorical.)

We had the family meeting Friday night and my BIL/SIL came, too. We all went out to eat and then to FIL/MIL's place to talk. The FIL had already made up his mind to get the surgery but the only thing making him waver was the up to 6 month recovery time. My BIL put it best when he said, "That 6 months is going to pass either way. It's what your life will be like beyond that 6 months that matters." If he doesn't have the surgery, he'll be on an oxygen tank, can't lift anything, can't drive anywhere. If he has it, he'll be better then he is now and will stay that way for many years to come. His chances of dying on the table are less then 20%.

So Monday this week, I drove them to the cardiologist for his appt. and then to the hospital again for his angiogram. I've been driving back and forth to that hospital at least twice a day all last week and part of this week. I didn't think it was bothering me, even though my MIL keeps pointing out how much stress I'm under with doing my job, taking care of the kids, and taking care of the grandparents. However, on Tues. I ran some errands, including taking the FIL to Home Depot (I had to go anyway). When I came home at 1p, I hopped out of the van, got Davis out and trooped into the house. Dave stopped at home 3:30p and when he came in the house, he said, "Why is the van on?" I said the van wasn't on and walked out to see. sigh. 2 and 1/2 hours of idling gas, wasted. WTF??

Anyway! Thanks for all your well wishes, they seemed to've worked! FIL's angiogram (they put a catheter in his leg and go up to his heart to film stuff) came out with really great news! They already knew he has Aortic Stenosis which means his aorta isn't opening all the way and would need to be replaced. They initially thought part of the problem might be that his quadruple bypasses, after 15 years might be wearing out. They are fine! There's one other vein near the heart that may need a bypass but other then that, the surgery won't be nearly as extensive as they initially expected. Splee!

I feel more like the ham, Ruth!


sophanne said...

That is some really good news. I'm so glad to hear it. I love them vicariously. Take care of yourself my friend.

Nell said...

That is really great news!!! Sounds like your FIL is sharp and knows what's good for him. Just remember to take care of yourself too!

Yarnhog said...

Well, that's great news!

But don't underestimate the toll it takes on you to care for both your children and parents (or in-laws) at the same time. You need to be extra sure to find time for yourself.

Diane said...

I'm glad your fil's surgery won't be as invasive.

Anonymous said...

All my best to your FIL and to you and your whole family. May the Force be with you all!