Day Three After My Dad’s Open-Heart Surgery

15 Jun

11:30 AM

A nurse mentioned that my dad’s moving into a new room soon, so I’m thinking this is his last day in the Intensive Care Unit. This morning we (family members) arrived at about 10:30, and he was lying down and had again slid in the hospital bed. He wanted to sit up, but a nurse said he had already sat up in the recliner for a whole three and a half hours, in the very early morning. Two nurses came in and moved him so that he’s not crooked and slouching; he mentioned having a crick in his neck, which is hardly surprising considering his awkward position when we showed up.

He’s much more coherent and vocal. He speaks in complete sentences, and I understand most of what he says, even though of course he’s groggy. When he hears my mother coughing (since she has emphysema and smokes), he asked, “Are you OK?”

He even asked about things that don’t have to do with his pain and needs: he asked what day it is, what time it is, and if it’s still raining. He said, “It’s embarrassing,” after asking what day of the week it is. In the past few days, I haven’t kept track of what day of the week it is or what the date is, and I’m not a drugged hospital patient.

 

7  PM

In the afternoon, my dad was transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular hospital room. This is definitely quite a step forward. We visited him in the evening at his new room, where he nibbled a little at mashed potatoes and pudding. Yes, he’s actually eating real food now, though not much. He’s embarrassed about feeling weak, but it’s normal to feel weak after you’ve had surgery. His surgery included repairing the bad heart valve and a single bypass, so he’s had an extremely major surgery.

The gift shop opens at 11 on Sundays, and tomorrow is Father’s Day. I’m thinking I’ll get my dad flowers.

I just noticed that my dad’s not only hooked up to the IV and a white box on a pole; he’s still hooked up to the gadget that has a tube containing heart blood. He’s had that all along. But he just took a little walk in the hallway, with the nurse. She just tested, and he no longer needs oxygen.

That said, it looks like he doesn’t have huge bandages on his chest anymore. And he’s getting pain pills instead of a needle full of morphine.

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