Monday, November 5, 2012

Dick's health: day 3

Technically it wasn't a heart attack, but a ruptured aneurysm and leaky valve. The surgery took longer than they'd predicted, over 6 hours. He went into shock just before the surgery began, so they had to deal with that before continuing. He received "massive amounts" of blood and blood product, a new pig valve, and a woven dacron graft where the aorta had torn. When I was allowed into ICU, there were 5 nurses working on him at once, he was losing a lot of blood and received 2 units there. I was told things could go either way. Very slowly, the bleeding subsided and there was a ray of hope. Greg arrived are out 10:30 from San Francisco. Around 11:30, we went back to his hotel and slept for a few hours.

This morning, the nurses stopped the sedation so he could "wake up" and the tube going down his throat could be removed. But he was very slow to wake and never was able to respond to commands (squeeze my finger) or keep his eyes open. Both legs and his left arm began moving, not his right. He had a CT scan at noon which came back negative for neurological damage, so we're hopeful the right arm is just slow to get with the program. However the jostling started the bleeding again, but not to the point of needing more blood, and subsided fairly quickly. They decided to sedate him again. Mike arrived from Boulder CO around 2 pm. Both boys are with him now so I could leave the hospital for a bit.

Very little change from yesterday and there's not much to report. The sedation medication was changed to a lighter version, to keep him calm but not totally out of it. Soon after, he "woke up" and recognized Greg and Mike, tears flowed. This is the first piece of good news we've gotten since Friday. He also pulled back his right arm when the nurse pinched him. He is now having an MRI to check for neurological damage (resulting from a stroke), but the results won't come back until tomorrow. As they wheeled him away, I'm pretty sure he smiled at me with his eyes. I want that to be true anyway.

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