Thursday, April 28, 2005

Denial ...

My father is a retired marine ... a work horse of a man. He was putting in 14 hours a day in his tandum when he had his heart attack last September. Back then, his cardiologist said the damage was so extensive that we were simply buying him time ... and, looking back, I suppose the finality of that statement didn't quite register at the time.

Six months, four surgeries, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills later, he's back in the hospital and things don't look promising. His ejection fraction, which was 25% in January, is now down below 10%. He's got three to four liters of fluid on his stomach ... and has gone into something they're calling "end stage congestive heart failure." He looked better today ... pinker ... but I'm told that's because they've put him on Dobutimine. Unfortunately, Dobutimine is a short-term drug. It makes your heart pump harder (which is why his skin doesn't have that blue tint anymore) ... but the result is that your heart gives out quicker ... and his is already terribly weak to begin with.

The hospital mentioned the possibility of putting him on the heart transplant list yesterday; however, today the cardiologist said that not an option. He was a heavy smoker for 40+ years, he's a diabetic, and the heart disease has now caused liver damage. Basically, he's too far gone ... and, again, the cardiologist says, "we're buying him time."

I think my dad knows his time is wearing thin ... as he told me privately tonight to keep an eye on mom "after it happens." It feels like I'm swimming through jello ... or walking through a pool of water ... I move ... I think ... but it's exhausting.

If you're reading this, and you believe in this sort of thing, please say a prayer. I believe in my heart that when it's your time ... it's your time. I'm not asking for it not to be his time ... I'm just asking for him to feel peace ... and enjoy love if it really is the end.


  1. This is my first time here at your blog and I was sorry to read the sad news. My mother passed away just a few years ago at the ripe old age of 51. She had cancer and we knew it was coming. It was still hard. You have all my prayers and good thoughts (energy) for tonight. May the wind be against your father's back as he goes.

  2. Just saw your blog as I was researching Dobutamine. My husband,67, was just put on it and I am afraid ... we all need prayers now ... my best to you and your family.

    Judy in San Diego

  3. Judy ... I don't know if you'll come back to read this ... but I'm so sorry. It's hard ... but maybe things will turn around.

    In my Dad's case ... there was just too much damage. After smoking for 40 years, he just couldn't bounce back from such a massive heart attack.

    I'll say a prayer ... and ... as my Dad's hospice nurse told us ... enjoy the good days.