My Dad's Surgery


Roll With It
What a stressful couple of days. My folks tried real hard, esp my dad, to tell both bro and I that we didn't have to be there for the surgery or to visit a lot before he came home. There was NO chance that my mom was going to sit there alone waiting to hear if her husband was going to make it through the operation. Bro felt the same way.

I got to the hospital about five min before they took Dad back to surgery. Apparently that was a minor miracle because they changed the start time four different times in the 24 hours before the operation, each change was an hour or two one way or another. The nurses and doctors were quite worried about my mom being there all alone during this. Mom esp had tried to assure them that it wasn't a big deal, of course. What my mom didn't know is that apparently there are MANY heart docs who will not do major surgery unless there is a support structure for the patient. I saw an episode of NY medication (show about what goes on at a hospital, was online somewhere NOT on reg tv - was an ABC show that aired a couple of years ago)a few mos ago where Dr. Oz was talking with a patient about this. Seems the prognosis is not good if there isn't support from family/friends. So having just the patient's wife be there at the hospital is a bad sign, and having me show up and then bro show up was a very good thing. They didn't want my mom to end up a patient because she had all the stress of my dad's surgery taking a toll on her. One of the nurses mentioned this to me later in the day when I was going to get something for my mom.

Anyway, seems my mom truly thought that only a triple bypass was needed and the chance of a quadruple was rather low. I had NO idea she thought this as dad told me that it was a quadruple days before he went in. I didn't even know only doing a triple was a possibility and mom thought it was a probability. So when the nurse talked to us (via phone from the OR during the operation) and said they were doing a quintuple bypass, it REALLY shook my mom. BAD.

The surgery started at 8 and took until 2:30. That is a LONG time. Then the doctor said that things were BAD in there, and that if lifestyle changes don't happen the surgery won't do much to help, well, it was hard for my mom to hear. Then the doctor REALLY shocked her by telling her my dad is diabetic. Wait, what???? Seems they only see hearts that bad in diabetic patients who don't take care of themselves well.

My dad is tested for diabetes at least once a year and usually every 6 mos because it runs in his family. His bro is diabetic and so were several other relatives. His results were sometimes borderline but never high enough that the docs indicated that ANY treatment was needed. My mom knows because she has permission to have the docs tell her everything they tell my dad, and vice versa. My mom keeps much better track of these things than my dad does, so she knows that he has NEVER been told he is diabetic until now. She was really upset over this, over him having damage done because the testing didn't indicate this.

He looked HORRIBLE the first day. I stayed overnight with my mom in her hotel in spite of not taking clothes with me. Wearing an outfit 2 days in a row was more a bother to my mom than to me and a terribly teeny thing compared to being there for her during this. I am going down tomorrow to be there again, and will plan on staying overnight again. She has an extended stay hotel with a kitchen to stay until he comes home. It has been a HUGE blessing to have, for her and the rest of us.

Gfgbro and I are there to support her and there is no drama between us during this. I won't allow it. I won't discuss it. It simply is not there. We have to pull together for our folks, period. After we first saw dad we were pretty shook, it was hard to see him so vulnerable.

By the next morning he was doing a LOT better. He was grumpy and overdirecting every little thing, which means he was back to more of himself. Jessie didn't call him "Grumpa" for years as a toddler for no reason, lol. She adored him, and that was her special name for him, and it fit so perfectly. He was also loopy as all heck, The oxygen tubing kept bugging him. The nurses kept wanting to tape it on his neck and he was having NONE of that. so he had me tape it to his ears, his neck, the back of his head, etc... the tape didn't stick well, and when he talked it came loose, and it was just something for him to focus on. I once had to move the tape roll four times to get it where he wanted it on the table. I only moved it an inch or less each time, but he was determined it be in some specific spot. It was kinda cute, in a 'my dad' sort of way, and very reassuring because it was such a 'him' thing, lol.

I left after a while because it became apparent that he was NOT going to sleep if someone was there. I made one last check on my mom at the hotel because my dad wanted her to bring something to him, and then went home. He is making good progress, and mom says his color is better today than it has been in more than a year.

That is the update. This is the hardest thing we have ever been through. I hate it, and he BETTER make the lifestyle changes he needs to make. Otherwise I think my mom will literally kick his tushie to the moon.


Well-Known Member
Im glad to hear that your dad is through the operation and now in the recovery phase. I so remember back when my dad had an abdominal aortic anyurism (sp) surgery done. He was really quite funny after the second day. He kept wanting to show me the incision which ran from his chest to his...ummm....private parts! Well maybe 2 inches above that. It didnt matter a whit to him that every time he pulled the sheet off to show it to me he flashed me! There are some things I really didnt want to see and one of those was my dad's penis!!!!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Thanks for the update Susie.

Your dad will continue to be in my prayers that his recovery be uneventful and quick. I know this is hard on all of you.



Well-Known Member
Susie, thanks for the update. You are a good girl looking after your mom like that. Sounds like your father is doing well. My father had a quadruple bypass at 66 years old, and lived a good life after that for over 20 years, but I do remember the first couple of days which were very difficult for him, and therefore for us. I seem to remember he got a bit depressed for a few days, but once he was on the road to recovery it was uphill all the way. I wish your father a speedy and complete recovery, and hope he will be able to take the doctors' advice vis-a-vis lifestyle.

Love, Esther


Well-Known Member
I'm so glad that you arrived in time. Your a Mother, lol!
Of course she wouldn't say that she needed support. I remember it well when my parents were ill and then history repeated itself when easy child/difficult child had emergency brain surgery. I "didn't need anyone" and "promised to call if I did" etc......THEN at 4 AM my easy child showed up to be at my side. Brings tears just thinking about it. Her husband got her to the Atlanta airport asap and like magic she was with me. Her presence and computer access to the CD family made it doable.

Many caring hugs intransit to your family. Esther is completely right, by the way, about the depression and personality change that very often follows heart procedures. Make sure your Mom is aware so she isn't blindsided. Fingers crossed it goes 100% aok. DDD


Well-Known Member
Prayers for your father. My grandfather had depression after his heart surgery so I agree with above advice of forewarning your mother! Hopefully he'll heal well and easily!