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How long is to long?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Beef03, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    As I mentioned on here a couple of weeks ago my dad had a heart attack. An angiogram two days latter reveled one artery 100 per cent blocked, two arteries 90 per cent blocked and two arteries 70 per cent blocked. The doctor said the heart attack should have killed him, and now he was basically living off of 10 per cent of one artery. He has been on the waiting list for by-pass surgery (at least a triple likely a quintuple) for about a week now (had to wait for certian blood thinning medicines to run their course). We have just entered day 15 since he had the heart attack and he hasn't left the hospital since they shipped him to and from Edmonton for his angiogram by ambulance. Today my mom was in talking to him and the doctor had informed him that it will likely be ANOTHER TWO WEEKS before they can get him in for suregery. That will make it a full month from the time he had his heart atttack to the time he has his surgery. Do I have a right to be pissed off here? I mean the doctor says his situation is that without suregery he could last another five years, or he could die on his way out to the car from the hospital, which is why he hasn't been allowed to leave the hospital. The doctor calls him Dead Man Walking. To me that sounds pretty fucking severe, without adding my obvious biases. I have a great uncle in Illinois who has had two Quintuple bi-passes and I know he didn't have to wait a month for either of them. This is just absolutely rediculous.
    In closing for those of you who do pray, if you could include him in your prayers, that the surgery may come quicker, please every little bit helps.
  2. I'd like to know more about the blood-thinning regimen. It sounds like they're dotting i's and crossing t's. But it must suck to be your Dad. I'm sending one Up for him.
  3. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Sorry to hear about your father. My father, only 63, had an angioplasty in 1990, a sextuple bypass about five years later, and last year had a stent put into one of his bypasses.

    Yes, you have a right to be pissed off. I must say, one good thing I can say about the American health system is that each time my father was rushed right into surgery. (The third time, my dad went from the dog licking him in his heart-attack sweaty face to wake him up -- I'm not kidding -- to the ED in one hospital to the operating table at another heart hospital in 90 minutes, total). I mean, why wait two weeks? You might start pressing some people and asking some questions to see why the wait is so long. There's no way someone that sick should have to wait that long, no matter what his age. (And the older you get, the worse off you are -- and, by the way, the bigger a risk of stroke as a side effect of surgery -- that happened to an uncle of mine in his 80s).

    Good luck, and hope your dad pulls through.
  4. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    I'm not sure exactly the name of the blood thinning medicine, they put him on it when he came in with the heart attack, and then when they learned his exact condition they had to wait four days before the medicine ran its course and he could be placed on the waiting list.
  5. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    It looks like certainly a triple and two stents at a minimum. (I'm all too familiar with the situation since my family has a lot of heart disease.) As long as your father is resting comfortably and under care, he should make it OK. But damn, I feel your frustration. Your dad has my prayers. He will be A-OK once he gets out and will probably feel better than he had for years, once he recovers from the surgery.
  6. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    Ask questions. Be a pest. Harass people. Don't let them just put it aside.
    The squeaky wheel often gets the grease (it's not like they'll send him to the back of the line just because they're pissed at you).

    Don't stop. Read up. Try to get statistics on waiting times in your area, and information on the repercussions of the wait. Try to make an appointment with the head of the department. Make everyone so miserable that, even if it's just to shut you up, they take action.

    I'm amazed at the number of people who, when faced with medical professionals, are either intimidated to ask questions because of their seeming expertise, or just sit there and take it.

    Believe me, I respect the conditions most Canadian hospitals deal with. I'm dealing with it right now as my Dad may have cancer. But he's a grinder, and he gets things done. And a colonoscopy and scan that might have taken a week or two or three to schedule was done right away because his doctor got him checked into the hospital and right to the head of the line.

    Use those journalistic skills to build up some info.

    I mean, what do you have to lose?

    It's not like the people involved don't give a damn. Most are caring people with hearts. But they're understaffed and under-equipped, often. And sometimes you just have to scream bloody murder.
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Beef, I do not mean to scare you or bum you out. But as someone with family experience with this--my dad has had heart problems (quad bypass, then a stroke 10 years later, and then a risky stent procedure within the last half year because surgery likely would have killed him) and a brother-in-law who is a cardiologist, whom I have talked to quite about about these things, and a friend who is a heart surgeon, that sounds insane on the face of it. With that much blockage, typically around here they would be tripping all over themselves to get the guy right into surgery. You don't fuck around when it comes to significant blockage after a guy has an infarc. A lot depends on the actual arteries that are blocked, but yes, from what little you just told, you have a right to be pissed and concerned. I would press them and if possible get him somewhere else.
  8. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    I appreciate all of the support guys. I don't know how much my complaining locally will do. They can't do the surgery here, they have to take him by ambulence two hours away to the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton (One of the top rated hospitals in NA when dealing with these procedures). They are doing it this way because they don't have the beds available in Edmonton and so they have him shipped back to where he lives. Their excuse for him being so far down on the waiting list is that they are to busy dealing with people coming in off the street with heart problems. Which makes me very concerned that they will continue to put him off untill he has more heart problems and then they have to try to stabilize him on the way to Edmonton either by air or ambulance. However, they treat him very well where he is, so I don't want to suddenly become a thorn in their sides when really I'm not sure how much more they can do locally. My dad is a minster and has dealt with the dotors here for more than a decade, he's never been one afraid to ask questions or make a stink, especially considering his uncontrolable phobia of needles (they litterally have to knock him out to do simple things like draw blood). So I know my dad is asking the questions. We also have a long family history of heart disease, especially on my dad's side - which for him is that much more frustrating because he was born and raised in the states and all his family is still in the states, and he knows they didn't have to put up with this kind of shit. The only thing I can think of is writting a column on it.
  9. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    I figured I might as well update the situation.

    After my rant on here, not a whole lot changed over the next couple of days, until Friday when my dad had another angina attack. But we didn't we didn't hear anything else over the weekend in terms of improving his place on the waiting list. Then basically out of nowhere this morning the doctor came in and told us he had been bumped up to tomorrow. Great news, because he was starting to deteriorate health-wise and even spirit-wise. The surgery is for tomorrow, not sure what time, likely first thing in the morning. They have already shipped him in to Edmonton to begin prepping him. Thank you for those that prayed for him, and if I may ask if you could pray that everything goes well tomorrow, it would be very much appreciated. :)
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Good luck Beef. We'll be thinking of you.
  11. LiveStrong

    LiveStrong Active Member

    good luck beef
  12. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Your Dad and all your family are in my thoughts.
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