Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Opening doors (UPDATED)

The theme at Mama Says Om this week is "open." I have been thinking of what to write about with this theme. Well, the story/request I have may not be what you might expect, but it does have to do with an "opening."

My father is undergoing surgery tomorrow to repair severe blockages in his leg arteries. According to my Dad, this is as basic as "pulling a tooth." I disagree. I'm familiar with the procedure somewhat, because my father-in-law has had it done a few times to the arteries in his heart. The doctor will run a dye test to see where the clogs are determine their severity. If they are not serious, he will insert stints into each artery which work by holding open the artery so that it doesn't collapse or completely block up. However, the doctor has already prepared my Dad that the initial tests show a 65-75 percent blockage in his legs. So, he expects to have to do a bypass operation.

If my Dad was in the best of health, I'd still be worried. But, my stress is heightened by the fact that my Dad has been living with heart failure for several years now. His heart is now functioning above 50 percent, but for a time he was down below 40 percent. He is quite overweight as well. The doctor has taken him off of blood thinners and has been thickening up his blood this week. That in itself scares me.

My history with my Dad is a whole other story for another time. But, I will share that it has mainly been as an adult that I have grown closer to him, realizing that I did get a lot of my personality traits from him. He was not around a lot when I was a kid, due to work and some other things that consumed him, which he put first. But, I always knew he loved me. I just didn't know or understand him. And, even today I have awkward moments with him. My Mom and I can fight like a cat and dog, but I never have those moments with her...as irritated as I get with her. I can say anything to her. I have never had a big argument with my Dad at all. But, I have found as I've grown older that I'm getting to know him better and finding an admiration for him. And, I hope to have many more years to learn more about him.

So, I pray the doctor will have a quick and easy time of opening up my Dad's clogged arteries. His pain has gotten so severe that he can barely walk any distance without his legs locking up completely. He is a very active man who loves to be outdoors, so this has really hindered his life in a big way. Also, he needs to exercise to lose weight and put less strain on his heart. This procedure could mean a much happier life for him. In short, the risk he'll take tomorrow could open new doors for him. He's still pretty young and has a lot of fathering/grandfathering to do, so I pray for success and easy recovery. And, deep inside, I'm also praying to have more time to open other locked doors that have kept us from connecting over the years and so I can really get to know my father as a person.

Good and bad news this evening...my father did NOT have surgery today after all. After they ran the dye test, they found that one of his legs was not blocked at all. However, the other leg has a full (100 percent) blockage. Apparently, the body sometimes creates its own bypass by sort of growing an artery to bypass the block and that's what happened to him. So, he does get a very small amount of blood flow to his leg because of this, but he still definitely must have the bypass. So, after a long day, he ended up sleeping in his own bed tonight and they will schedule the bypass with the another doctor who handles that sometime this next week. It is somewhat good news because he'll only have one leg affected now, but the waiting is frustrating for him as well.

THANK YOU to all of you for your wonderful prayers and well-wishes! I will keep you posted with how his upcoming surgery goes!


Blogger MommaK said...

I'm praying for him & more time for you too. *hugs*

10:01 PM, November 29, 2005  
Anonymous Nicole said...

thinking about you and sending lots of good medicine your way.

10:23 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Connie and Rob said...

I know the worry you are going through. Both my parents have had surgery in the past year and a half and have done well but you can't help getting that sick feeling and biting your nails.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Hang in there. You will see his smile without pain real soon.

11:09 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

All my positive thoughts are heading your way.

7:34 AM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh, good thoughts for your dad. That's so nice that you can evaluate with grown up eyes and work for a better relationship.

11:19 AM, November 30, 2005  
Anonymous pia said...

hope that your father makes it through it in good health

You'll connect to your father as a person because you want to. Really

Like your blog. Glad Michele sent you;-)

11:30 AM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Got your family in my prayers. Keep us posted as to how he does.

4:15 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Moonface said...

Hope everything goes well with the op. I think it's great that you are trying to connect more with him now, which I guess cannot be easy if you didnt have that as a child. I think it's so important to do that, especially with young impressionable children.

6:43 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger christina said...

I hope the surgery goes well... time to be open with family is precious--yet we only realize this when it seems there isn't enough time left. Take comfort in the fact that it is a procdure they're good at---and he'll be fine!

I'll be thinking of you nonetheless!

7:58 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Sending good thoughts your way, and I hope all goes well with your father.

8:07 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Connie and Rob said...

Still with you in spirit. Hope everything works out well.

Take care of yourself.

7:06 AM, December 01, 2005  
Blogger Tyra said...

Praying for your dad's complete recovery. Take care!

7:34 AM, December 01, 2005  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Steph, I'm sorry you're going through this right now. You and your dad are in my prayers.

11:54 AM, December 01, 2005  
Anonymous Theresa said...

Keeping your dad in my prayers too! Maybe this is all a sign of good things to come! Wonderful post.

12:11 PM, December 01, 2005  

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