Monday, November 27, 2006

White Out

After heading for the wettest November in Vancouver's history, Mother Nature has thrown a curve ball and now we're looking at the whitest in recent memory. Thanks to an Arctic cold front, all the moisture courtesy of the Pineapple Express by way of Hawaii has been transformed into a blanket of white.

For my father, all this snow is both a blesssing and a curse. The view out his hospital room window has certainly become more picturesque, but it has complicated his treatment. His recent angiogram revealed perilously obstructed arteries and a couple of heart valves on their last legs. He is scheduled to have immediate open-heart surgery - no waiting around - to put in some stents (they already harvested the veins in his legs for his last bypass surgery)and replace his valves. But with so much snow on the ground, transportation in Vancouver has ground to a halt and many members of the nursing staff are having trouble geting to work. Being understaffed has put a number of procedures on temporary hold. So my father waits. We wait.

My father has now spent twenty-one days in either the CCU or the Cardiology Ward. That is a long time to be stuck in a hospital bed, wired for sound. It's a long time to reflect back on your life. I have lost track of the times I have visited, or the hours I have spent by his bed. It is both too many, and not enough. The passage of time does not make it any easier. For either of us.

So he continues on a drastically calorie-restricted diet and a fluid restriction that only allows him 1.2 litres of fluid per day. Buying time for his kidneys and his liver to bounce back. So that in theory at least, he'll be strong enough to withstand going under the knife. Surgery offers the only way out of his current dilemna. A sobering thought, that in order to get better, they have to split you open. And split is not too graphic a term or an image. Open-heart surgery requires that they take a saw to your sternum and that they split you wide open to get access to your heart. And afterwards, they have to wire you shut. Recovery will not be pleasant. It will hurt. A lot.

Makes that old saw about diet and exercise as the keys to a long life positively sing...


Blogger Scooter said...

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." (apparently said by John Lennon)

5:14:00 PM  

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