As I start a new post on my dad's condition I find it most important to note that he is wearing fake, costume teeth in this photo. I hate to think people that don't know him will think he's got a gnarly grill.
Having gotten the important stuff out of the way, let's get on with the update. *Kidding.* The important stuff is that we have our dad and we are a lucky, blessed and grateful family.
Yesterday afternoon Veet was taken via ambulance to Yale New Haven. As predicted, the ambulance ride was pretty terrible for both dad and mom. Mom followed behind in her car with GPS but started to notice the ambulance going off route–when she noticed that they made a turn off into the entrance of–get this–a Cemetery/Crematorium she knew something was off! Their poor directions added about an extra 30 minutes onto an already 1 1/2 hour trip. Poor Veet's stomach couldn't hack it.
Since the ambulance arrived late they whisked him right in for his procedure immediately at some point after 4 pm. We were told the procedure would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours plus some prep time.
We chose to take Vito to Yale, not only for it's excellent reputation but because our cousin Jaideep Talwalkar is a staff physician there. (If only all doctors could have the sincere compassion, patience and know-how that Jaideep does…what a sense of comfort it was to know that he was nearby, not only for dad's sake, but just easing all of our minds.) Two doctors performed the cardiac catheterization–Dr. Rebecca Scandrit and Dr. Carlos Mayna (sp?) who is Jaideep's friend.
At around 7 pm we saw an exhausted Vito come wheeling by our room and Dr. Scandrit followed immediately with a report. She informed us that being there when we were was of tremendous important–the heart showed a significant amount of coronary disease. In more blunt terms, Dr. Mayna told us that if he didn't come when he did, and doesn't begin a strict medication regiment that he WILL have a massive heart attack. The doctors placed 4 stents on three of the main ligaments of his heart. They might have considered bypass surgery, but one of the arteries that is typically used was smaller in Vito than they like it to be for that procedure. Fortunately, they feel they were able to achieve a positive result with the four drug-coated stents alone. Other than severe nausea and some vomiting during the procedure everything went smoothly with no complications.
Dad remained in the hospital overnight and mom stayed over at my cousin's house–thank you to the Talwalkars for taking such good care of us. This morning, docs will perform an EKG and a heart ultrasound to make sure things are all doing what they should. Barring any complications from the removal of the catheter he will hopefully be allowed to come home today…with a hefty pile of prescription drugs in hand. The medication regimen is paramount, as stents tend to build up plaque faster then our natural arteries–the meds will help to keep the stents clear, and doing their job. He'll have to take it pretty easy for the next two weeks–no lifting over 10 lbs., no excessive exertion, but not remain bedbound either.
Yesterday I talked about perspective. Today's word is gratitude. To all of our family's wonderful friends who have called, and wrote and checked in and offered their hands and hearts to help us…to my cousin Kristen and her wonderful husband Jaideep for doing the little things that made our stay at the hospital tolerable…to the excellent doctors at Yale who know just what to do for my stubborn dad…and to the universe and God in every formation that He appears, for giving our family this lesson, this opportunity for growth–and another day with our dad.