My dad came through the angioplasty as well as can be expected. He had to have a stent put in because one artery was almost completely blocked. He's back home now.
So I’ll back up to Tuesday morning.
My parents picked me up at 5:45 a.m. which is about an hour earlier than I am usually awake, much less out the door. We found Hartford Hospital without much trouble; there wasn’t a lot of traffic yet. (My dad thought there was but I think it was just that everyone had their lights on, which for some reason makes it look like there are more vehicles.)
Going to the hospital is like going to the airport. Hurry up and wait.
They put him in a room on the 8th floor first. They told us the wrong room and then said they were doing the procedure there in the room in front of us. Eww. No way. But it was the wrong room, wrong procedure, so we got moved to another room. He had to put on the little gown and cool little blue sockies with tread on them (I wanted to keep the sockies; I don’t know what happened to them.) and get into bed. They hooked him up to all sorts of IVs and things. Then we had to sit around and wait.
Finally they came to get him and moved us to another floor and a waiting room. My mom and I just sat there. The TV was on really loud, annoying morning talk shows and then the same news stories over and over. A few other people were in there and we talked to them a little. I tried to read.
The doctor, Dr Farrell, came and explained they were going to have to put a stent in because of the blockage, a medicated one which meant he’d have to be on more medicine (why a medicated stent requires more drugs then an unmedicated one will remain one of life’s great mysteries). The doctor was concerned about dad's compliance with taking the pills. But my mom watches out for all that for my dad.
We got to watch a video of the procedure afterward, how the dye floods the arteries and outlines the heart, and where they seem to disappear or get smaller is where they are blocked. He has several others which are partially blocked but the doctor didn’t put stents in them. He understood what my mom wanted—keep him comfortable, nothing heroic or crazy. He was awake (slightly sedated) for the procedure and the doctor said he did really well.
Once my dad was all done they took my mom away to sit with him but wouldn’t let me come in because it was “too crowded” so I probably sat for another hour alone. By then the TV was off, thank god. Then they moved him to the 10th floor. That took a while because they wanted to put him next to the nurses’ station so they could keep a close eye on him due to the Alzheimer’s. He also had a private room. By then it was after 1:00 p.m. We got him situated and then my mom and I left to have lunch, let the dog out, and I had to go to school. Plus I was exhausted because I didn’t fall asleep until after 2 a.m. (I don’t sleep well anymore without my Zen-Zen kitty).
When my mom went back up at suppertime, there were a bunch of psychologists waiting with my father. They were trying to “evaluate” him, whatever the hell that means. They wanted my mom to stay overnight with him. She refused-she’s got the dog, the cat and the crazy grandma to deal with. She can’t sleep up in Hartford on a whim.
These people had no idea what to do with him. My mom got mad and said “Don’t you have any other Alzheimer’s patients here?” and they said “yes but not on this floor.” Well then GO to the other floor and say “WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS GUY?” How hard is that?
So my mom told him she’d be back to pick him up around 9:00 a.m. and went home.
When she got there the next morning she found out that he had been agitated and kept trying to pull out his IV and catheter so they put him in restraints and sedated him. She was a little late getting there due to traffic and having to stop at a gas station, and he was totally upset, saying that they told him she was dead and she wasn’t coming for him.
The thought of my poor gentle daddy drugged in restraints is so upsetting to me I can’t even put it into words. Yes he can yell and get upset but he doesn’t DO anything.
I went to see him last night after work and asked him how he was. His succinct answer? “It was awful.”
My mom said she will NEVER ever put him through that again. He’s already fighting his diet changes, fighting taking more medicine (she started last Friday with all that). She says 1-2 years and he’ll have “the big one” and that will be it. She switched his salad dressing with low fat (put low fat in the other bottle) because we’ll never be able to get him to stop drinking it. She’s going to switch his cookies to low-fat too, but she said he reads the package so it will be my job to buy low-fat cookies and empty the package into the cookie jar. He refuses to eat the baked potato chips (she’s already tried) so it will be no potato chips for him.
Living with Bob and "Al"
4 hours ago