Friday, June 17, 2011

It's pouring again.

I'm sitting in the hospital in my hometown next to my father's bed. Ya'll might remember that he had a heart attack in 2008, during my internship. Thursday night, he started having severe chest pain that worsened to the point of inability to walk or talk. He was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with worsening coronary artery disease. He did not have a heart attack per se but a serious attack of angina. A cardiac angiogram showed significant worsening of his heart disease. His right main coronary artery is 99% occluded. He also has significant occlusion of other vessels throughout the heart.

The cardiologist is recommending a quintuple bypass surgery. From what I can tell in a brief literature search (and from what the cardiologist himself said) - outcome between more aggressive medical management (i.e. increasing his current Plavix, aspirin regimen and adding on nitrates) and surgical management is the same. The difference is in quality of life.

I'm trying to do a good literature search on Pubmed, but I haven't been able to narrow my search efficiently enough.

At any rate, my dad is stable and watching Quantum of Solace in the hospital as we speak.

To make matters more stressful, about 2 hours after we left home to drive here, our neighbor called to let us know that our outdoor kitty (Porch Kitty) was lying in her backyard, extremely lethargic and weak. She's been AWOL for 5 days or more. This isn't surprising - she often goes off for short periods of time, then reappears. She adopted us in Chattanooga, and she's been our cat ever since. We tried to make her an indoor kitty, but she was having none of that - hating our other cats, hiding in the bathroom sink, and generally being miserable. So we gave her back her outdoor life (although I do not like outdoor cats).

At any rate, my wonderful office manager went and looked her over - finding a cat with white gums, labored breathing, and abdominal distention. She took her straight to our local excellent referral hospital where she was diagnosed with severe, severe anemia and a belly full of blood. All other testing was totally normal. She wasn't having trouble clotting her blood, all of her bloodwork was normal, and she didn't have external signs of trauma. So, WTH??

She is now at my ER getting a blood transfusion, and we're hoping for the best. She is a sweet kitty who lives on the lap of the 85 year old neighbor who is dying from kidney failure. She will sit there for hours with this lady, and I would hate for her to lose her companion. Keep you fingers crossed that Porch Kitty will fight the good fight.

And keep my dad in your thoughts, please. My mom is under a lot of stress right now, as we all are.


Robin Rankin said...

I will think good thoughts for both of them.

Elizabeth said...

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and hoping for a great outcome for both of them!