Thursday, November 30, 2006

Triple Bypass

The cardiologist said that Walter's heart attack last night was a very mild one.

He also said that Walter has severe cholesterol buildup and blockage in several arteries. They did the heart catheter this morning, prepared to put in a stent if need be. They didn't even bother trying. The blockages are just too severe.

The heart cath doc left me a message today, when I was out and about doing my own doctor stuff and errands. I was frustrated I missed the message, but then, being out taking care of business was good stress relief. Dr. Heart Cath said, --The blockage is in 3-4 different spots and in areas that look most suitable for bypass surgery...the best treatment for what he has. And he really does need to stay and have this done before he goes home, unfortunately.

Sounds like Walter was agitating for having his triple bypass done at home, not in Indiana.

He was pretty dead set on it with us, at least.

That, of course, would be foolish.

If the blockage is that bad, he's a candidate for another heart attack any old time, and the next one could well be fatal.

Say he's in an airplane high in the sky when it happens.

He's dead.

Say he's in a car, driving home through rural Georgia at 2 am when it happens.

He's dead.

Today he had a consult with the surgeon. When he mentioned he wanted the surgery done at home in Florida instead of there, the surgeon said something like, --We'll see, we'll talk about it tomorrow.

To me, that sounds like a good ol' poker-face doc response. Noncommittal.

But to Walter it sounded like, --Hey, you wanna go home? no biggie.

I called Walter and said it was out of the question. No one would take him home, not me or my mom or dad or Horacio or Danny or anybody. No way. What's he gonna do, walk home? He's having the bypass done up there and that's just how it's gonna be.

He said it was his decision and no one else's, and he was coming home for it, and that's how it's gonna be.

So far, I sicced my doc on his doc. The Heart Cath & More Cardiologist beats a surgeon any old day.

Then I called and told on him to kdad. He'll call Walter next. Then kmom.

kmom called me today while I was out on my errands and said she'd be there at the hospital for Walter when he has his surgery, so he won't be alone. When I told him that he seemed to lighten up quite a bit. Smart mom there, huh?

Horacio and his son Danny were here at the kranch when I finally got home. They used to work for us in our little shipping business and both were great workers. Danny was just a kid at the time, but he was worth most any 3 grown men put together.

Apparently they'd been reminiscing about back in the day. Times when Walter swooped up Danny or Horacio and went driving around the country with them, delivering furniture. And they remembered a time when I put together a nice rental car for them when they were stuck somewhere - can't remember where or why! - but it was a Crown Vic, I think. A nice comfy ride with enough room for road stuff inside.

So they'd been plotting away and decided to rent a vehicle and go pick up Walter, the two of them trading off driving, when the time came.

In 1996, when we bought this house and moved in, Horacio and his wife Juanita and Danny's big sister and Danny lived across the street. They welcomed us to the neighborhood. Juanita sent over a rosebud in a vase, a traditional housewarming gift, a bud getting ready to open up - your new life in your new home, about to bloom. That charmed the heck out of me.

Horacio had just gotten home from a two week stay in the hospital for double bypass surgery.

A couple of years ago, Juanita had heart trouble and had a stent put in.

So they have some personal familiarity with heart surgery themselves.

If I were Walter I'd want to come home too. He's concerned about getting follow-up care from heart docs who weren't in on the tests and surgery. But surely that happens all the time. We have great docs down here, they won't do him wrong.

OTOH, he's also worried about getting exposed to my MRSA germs after surgery. Perfectly reasonable.

And me, it half kills me to think about not being there for him when he goes in.

But even if I could get up there's not safe. I had this vision flash before me: I hug him just before they prep him. And drop my germs on him. See, one thing MRSA especially loves? Surgery. Not just any old opening in the skin, surgery is. Nope. Puts that germ way IN the person, there. Inoculates them. Oh, happy happy MRSA, party time.

I was there when Walter had his back surgery, fusing his vertebrae. They went in from the front and pawed his guts aside to get to the back, and put in these little titanium baskets between the two vertebrae. The baskets hold bone splinters inside, making more bone grow, holding the vertebrae in place where the disk failed.

I wasn't there when he had his rotator cuff shoulder surgery. That's because I was in the hospital myself with the foot abscess in 2004. kmom came down here and took care of us both at the same time.

My man. My guy.

They can't do the triple bypass until at least Monday or Tuesday because of the blood thinners they gave him. Luckily, he's in a big private room with a flat screen TV/DVD.

That might hold him until he gets his laptop back.


Nancy said...

Indiana... who do we know in Indiana...

Passing along the well wishes passed to me, only slightly used...improved.

pepektheassassin said...

SOOOo glad to hear it was a mild one! That's good news, but I understand how concerned you still must be. (I don't know a soul in Indiana).., my husband used to be a driver, too, before he retired last January. Trucks, tour buses, and the last 10 years, school buses. Looking out at the snow and ice across the country, he's glad he is not driving any more. Hope you are doing alright, and getting enough rest.

Jean said...

Holy cannoli!!... how did I miss this??
k, I am so sorry... must be driving you crazy to have him so far away.
Take care of yourself, though... he will worry more if you wear down.
Wish I knew what to offer in the way of help. Didn't you say he is Hungarian?... strong folks, there.

Cindi said...

k, I hadn't checked in here yesterday so was shocked to read this tonight about Walter. I will keep you both my prayers.

I live a couple hours away from Evansville (I am in southern IL) and a LOT of people who live here who have heart troubles and need heart surgery get it done in Evansville or Indianapolis. Is he at Deaconess Hospital? Welborn? The husband of my co-worker had his heart surgery in Evansville too. I have heard that they have very good doctors there. (The same lady had had heart surgery herself but hers was in Indpls I believe) Anyway, I have faith that he is in good hands but I can understand why he would want to be closer to home and family. I hope he stays there and has it done especially after reading both of your posts.

I am also relieved that you got your scooter before all of this happened. It will be so much easier for you to get around and less stress for you.

LL said...

K, I'm keeping Walter in my thoughts and prayers. Keep working on him to stay in Indiana. Even with Horacio and Danny driving, it wouldn't help Walter if he had another heart attack while they were driving through a lonely stretch of road.

Kenny said...

My sister just had a triple bypass and is doing wonderful. I know Walter will be fine. I'll keep him in my prayers.

Livey said...

Sounds like you two are a perfect match!
You tell Walter that he is damn lucky I can't get to him cuz I'd sit on him and make him stay there!
I'm sure the man is smart enough to realize he is probably better off where he is and he's just being, well you know... a man.

Let me know if you need anything hun. Love ya.

k said...

You know something? I'm going to ask him to read these comments. I think it'll do him some good.

Livey said...

hehe let us know what he said!

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