Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dad's Update

First off, I want to thank y'all for reading and following this blog. It's been a real joy for me to share so much of what has been going on in my life and in the world with you through this outlet. While I've been with Willie these last couple of days, we have been kicking around some ideas to freshen the look and feel of this site, so hopefully you'll start to see some of these changes in the next few days.

It's been really encouraging to be able to share the support that has been shown through comments on this blog, on my twitter, and on facebook. You have no idea what it means that I can share your encouraging words with the rest of the family, and that other friends can be encouraged by your thoughtful words and heartfelt prayers. God has blessed us beyond measure.

Alright, now I want to update you on the last few hours. They have been INCREDIBLE. Since yesterday, dad has made significant progress, and we've had quite a few visitors. He was taken off the ventilator yesterday around 6.50PM. So this was right after people started praying. He was still fighting the anesthetic and fatigue, but he stayed awake and was able to have the tube removed on his first thirty minute test. (If you remember, he had to remain conscious and breathe on his own for a thirty minute period before they could take the tube out. Pretty amazing.

He's still on 20% supplemental oxygen but he doesn't need it. This is more of a standard procedure for the location, but he's on the minimum amount they give. While unnecessary, the rich oxygen content helps him to heal and recover more quickly so it's a good thing.

His breathing is phenomenal, and so are his kidneys. Most complications with heart operations occur with kidneys or lungs. He's released most of the fluid taken on through his two rounds of anesthetics (still has a little bit to go though), and he is breathing better than most folks I know in terms of depth and robustness of his breaths.

His blood pressure is nearly perfect, but his pulse is a little high. The high pulse is as a result of the trauma of the surgery. If you or I ran a marathon yesterday, we would have an elevated pulse rate and pretty high sense of fatigue for the next couple of days--even in peak condition. (But I don't anticipate Dad running an actual marathon for a couple of weeks.

He's able to lift his arm to scratch itches on his face, and that's pretty huge considering he had his chest cracked open just a day ago.

I'm so grateful to be able to give such positive news over this last 24 hours, I attribute this overwhelmingly positive news to three things. First and foremost, your prayers and our God. I could talk about this at length but I won't for now, the details would be too many for a blog entry that is quickly growing long. Secondly, the staff at CAMC have been incredible. I can't say enough about the quality of care at this facility. Thirdly, my dad's healthy lifestyle. Until last week, he walked an average of 12.5 miles/day. He's nearly 68 years old. I don't know many 28 year olds who could keep up with him (and now that this blockage is removed, I'm sure even more people will struggle to keep up with him).

One last note on number three. Of course this is common sense, and strongly supported by healthcare data, but seeing my dad's challenges and recovery thus far, I am deciding to get more serious and proactive in monitoring my diet and becoming more disciplined in my own physical fitness, and you should too! Find some people who will do it with you and encourage each other to stay with it.

Thanks again for taking the time to read, to pray, and to encourage. I hope I can share another really positive update with you later on.

PS I know this sounds weird, but I think my dad actually looks younger now than he did in the above photo from a year ago. In spite of his fatigue from the surgery, the removal of blockage has literally breathed new life into him.


T@R@ said...

SO glad to hear your dad is doing so well! We serve and amazing God and I am thankful for not only His healing but His presence there with you all. Praying for your dad's continued recovery!

Kim Reaser said...

Billy, We love you and your family and will be lifting Charlie up in prayer. Kim

Nathan & Sarah said...

Billy, I'm so glad to hear your Dad is recovering nicely and doing so well. I wanted you to know that I've been thinking about you and your family since I heard. I'll continue to keep you all in my prayers.


BigMama said...

Glad to hear that your dad is recovering well. We continue to lift your family in our prayers!

David Story said...

Wow. Our God is incredible. I'm glad that your dad is recovering so quickly. I will continue praying for him, for you, and the rest of your family. To God be the glory!