So a lot has happened over the past week or so. For one, I’ve been at home in Atlanta since last Wednesday. No worries though, all is fine now. In all honesty, I didn’t know if I would blog about it at all, but I think it’s an important story to tell.
Let me start from the beginning (and sorry for the wordiness)…
Because my dad could tick the box for all four factors that potentially lead to heart disease – diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a strong family history – Vishnu’s dad strongly urged him to get a nuclear stress test done. My dad waited a year because he had never experienced any symptoms of heart disease. No chest pain, no shortness of breath, no shooting pains. In fact, we never worried about my dad’s health because he goes to the doctor regularly, takes his medication on time, eats a healthy diet, exercises and stays active, etc. That’s why when the cardiologist came back and told us that my dad has a blocked artery in his heart, we were absolutely shocked.
My FIL advised that it’s probably best to get a second opinion, so my parents went to a different doctor. The new doctor said that my dad has not one but two blockages. In that same visit, my dad made an appointment to get a catheterization and stent placement procedure done, which was performed this past Friday…well, partially.
We headed to the hospital on Friday morning, checked my dad in, and played the waiting game for almost seven hours. When we finally talked to the doctor, he told us he wasn’t able to place any stents because of a few complications and that we would have to wait and talk to a cardiothoracic surgeon the next day. Oh and during the cath procedure, he found three severely blocked arteries – one was 100% blocked and the other two were 60-75% blocked.
On Saturday morning, the surgeon came to talk to us about our options. He told us that we basically had three. One, my dad could take really strong medications for the rest of his life or until we were able to make a decision about how to move forward. Two, they could go back in and place stents in two of the three arteries. And three, they could perform open heart triple bypass surgery. Each option had both pros and cons/ long term and short term risks. After talking to my FIL, my dad decided that he wanted to go ahead with bypass surgery. This option had more upfront risks, but in the long term, we all believed it would prove to be the best for him.
The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, but for multiple reasons, the surgeon told us that my dad had to stay in the hospital and couldn’t go home. So we made his room our home! My sister stayed with him on Friday night, and my mom and I stayed with him the other nights until Tuesday. We told my sister to go back to school because she had a few exams coming up. If we needed her to come back for whatever reason, we would let her know. She reluctantly left on Saturday evening.
On Tuesday morning, my dad was up at 5:30 am to prep for the big day. My mom and I stood by his bed and talked to him (ok, my mom talked while I fought off tears) and tried to make him laugh. They wheeled him away at 6:45, and my mom and I were once again left alone to play the waiting game.
At about 10:30 am, a nurse came to tell us that my dad was off the heart and lung machine and that the surgery team was in wrap up mode. At 11:00, the surgeon came to talk to us. He said that he was able to bypass all three blocked arteries and that my did really well. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of relief that washed over me when we got the good news.
Around 12:00 pm, we were told that we could visit my dad in the ICU. It was really difficult to see him lying there with tubes coming out of what seemed like every part of his body, including his mouth. But knowing that the difficult part was behind us, we were able to stay strong. Lucky for my dad (and us), his nurse was able to remove the breathing tube in the early evening. He stayed in the ICU for 24 hours, but by Monday afternoon, he was walking to his own private room.
My dad will most likely have to stay in the hospital until Sunday or Monday so the doctors and nurses can continue to monitor his progress. But based on how things are going so far, we’ve been told his recovery will be a speedy one. Knowing my dad, he will be back to his normal, joke cracking self soon! Currently, he’s not able to talk for long (his voice is very hoarse from the breathing tube), however, he’s back on a solid diet and is walking more and more every day.
I plan to write more about my family’s experience, both the good and the bad, but I have to mention the one thing that stands out to me the most. My dad’s attitude throughout this entire ordeal. While my mom, sister and I worried and cried our way through the first few days, my dad did not complain once. Instead, before his surgery, he was roaming the halls, making friends with all the nurses, and cracking jokes about beer (don’t ask!) with the doctors. I’ve always known that my dad is a strong guy, both mentally and physically, and this just proves it even more. If he was ever worried, it never showed on his face. Even now, he insists on doing certain things on his own and only asks for minimum dosages of pain medication. The nurses always have to ask twice about whether or not he wants more because he doesn’t ask for much!
I am pretty sure my dad is a superhero!
Stay tuned for more details about Superman’s progress…
Before I sign off, I have to mention and thank our friends and family for their love and support over the past week or so. From my aunt, uncle, and cousin who came to visit, to our family and family friends who made sure my mom and I were well fed, to my in laws who checked in on us constantly to make sure we were all ok, to every person who called/texted/emailed to inquire about my dad and to let us know that they were thinking about us…THANK YOU! I knew my dad would be absolutely fine because there were so many people praying for him and cheering him on. We are forever grateful!
26 thoughts on “I Am Pretty Sure My Dad Is a Superhero”
I am so glad your doing better Par..Praying for his speedy recovery. Heart problem or any sort of hospitalization is always worrisome.
Thank you so much, D! He’s doing a lot better now. 🙂
Oh gosh, Parita… I can’t even imagine what you guys must have been going through 🙁 Your dad does sound like an incredible man, though, and I’m happy to hear that he’s on the mend.
He is one of the strongest people I know. And I’m so thankful for his bright spirit. It helped pull all of us through this, and I know it will speed up his recovery as well!
I’m glad your dad’s surgery went well! Wishing him a safe and speedy recovery!
Thank you, Gayathri! He’s well on his way. 🙂
I’m so glad your Dad is doing well. I’m sure that was incredibly hard for all of you! I highly recommend the documentary, “Forks Over Knives”. It’s excellent. Many wishes for a speedy recovery for your Dad!
Thank you! It’s funny you mention that documentary because I was talking to my aunt about it last night. It’s definitely something I want me parents to watch when my dad gets home!
I am so glad he’s ok!!! Sorry you and your family are faced with this – I’m thinking about you all!
Thanks, Laura! It wasn’t what we were expecting, but we got through it! Just glad we detected it early enough…before my dad experienced any real symptoms.
Oh goodness so sorry you and your family had to experience this but thank God that all went well. Your dad sounds like a rockstar and his positive attitude is admirable. Praying for his recovery and I’m glad that the worst is over! I know you have a huge support system right now but am here if you ever wanna chat (email/gchat) :)!
Thanks, K! That means a lot to me! He is an absolute rockstar and continues to make us laugh and smile every day!
So sorry to hear this happen to your father, but your portrayal of him is smack bang accurate- a superhero! your family will be in my thoughts during this difficult time, lets see him power through the recovery! 🙂
Thank you, Arman! We will definitely be seeing him power through the recovery! He’s a fighter!
Glad everything went well for your dad. That’s a pretty tough situation to handle.
Thank you, Neha! It was definitely tough but we got through it!
sooooo happy that fua is doing well. we will keep cheering him on for a speedy recovery and until he’s back to his old self, enjoying a nice cold beer! LOL. 🙂
Thanks, Shraddha! It was so good to talk to you this afternoon. Will def. be in touch soon. 🙂
And my dad says hi to everyone there!
So sorry to hear about your dad, Paritha, but I am also so happy to hear that the surgery went well and he is on the road to recovery. It is often when stuff goes horribly wrong that our character is put to the test, and your dad sounds like a hero indeed!
You and your family will be in my prayers…I am also in Atlanta-Lawrenceville – please shoot me an email at email@example.com, if you think there’s any way I could help.
Thanks, Shashi! And I will let you know if we need anything at all – thank you for the offer! Maybe we can get together when I’m back in town later this month. Will email you!
Hey Pari, I really hope your dad will be ok – by the sounds of it he is a trooper! My dad’s story is pretty much the same but he ended up having a quadruple bypass surgery about 6 years ago. He still has to take meds and look after himself but doing much much better. All that yoga and Ayurveda he keeps drumming into me!
Look after yourself as well – I know it can be tough on your family too – it was really hard seeing my dad in the ICU as there was complications as well. Hang in there x
Thanks, Sig! I’m so happy to hear that your dad is doing well! Maybe I can get my dad into yoga. 🙂
And it took a few days, but my mom and I are now back on track with our own eating habits. The first few days were rough!
Hi partita, So glad to hear that he is recovering quickly and continues to be a strong source of inspiration. My prayers are with you and your family for his speedy recovery.
Thank you so much! His strength is what got all of us through this.
You went through so much Parita, I’m so sorry. I’m so glad your dad is okay though.. my dad went thru bypass and it was a very scary time, your dad will be okay. It takes a lot of strength, determination, and a positive attitude above all to get thru it. Your dad is a superhero. I’m so glad he is okay, and hopefully he is released Sunday as it is Diwali. The best way to start the new year… a brand new heart, a new life. Happy Diwali!!!
Thanks so much! Glad your dad is ok too. And yes, he was released today. Just talked to him. 🙂 He’s at home and resting!