Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Praising Jesus Through the Pain



I took this photo of my dad on April 17th during our Passover Seder meal in Morgantown. I realize April 17th wasn't Passover, but we typically celebrate a little different than the norm. During the evening, my dad was tired, and was dealing with some chest pain, and I took this photo of him as he was worshiping God in the middle of that fatigue. It was during this weekend that we talked about him going to see his doctor about his fatigue and his chest pain.

After three visits to the emergency room in Parkersburg along with a multitude of tests, it was finally determined that my dad had something going on with his heart. When he heard that he might need a heart catheterization, he asked if he could move to the Charleston Area Medical Center, because they have some of the best heart surgeons in the region, and specialize in these procedures.

We're all really glad he made that decision. After an ambulance ride from one hospital to the other saturday evening, he got settled in and was given a stress test early sunday morning, it was determined that a heart catheterization would be a good idea. Last night around 7PM the procedure was done. He had several blockages, among them was an artery with 99% blockage. 99%! That's virtually closed. In fact, it is believed that a small blood clot from the catheterization is what provoked what came next. My dad had a massive heart attack. He was taken back into surgery, and the doctor had to attempt a quadruple bypass in order to make sure dad could be stabilized.

To further complicate things, it was noticed that dad had blockage in his neck as well. While attempting to care for the heart blockage, there was a possibility that the blockage in my dad's neck could cause a stroke. Thankfully, that did not happen. In fact the doctor told us this afternoon that Dad's heart is fully recovered from yesterday's attack and subsequent surgery.

But, we aren't out of the woods yet. What my sister was told is that these next 24-48 hours are the most critical. My dad's recovery from surgery has been slowed slightly because he is still bleeding pretty badly. For some reason his blood isn't coagulating like it should. So, while you are reading, would you mind taking about a minute and praying for my dad to 1) have a speedy recovery. 2) Not be afraid, discouraged, or depressed as he regains consciousness in the recovery room.

Two years ago, my mom was on similar apparatus (ventilator and heavy sedation), and I'm sure this recalls memories for him of that space. My sister said it was incredibly hard for her the first time she went back because it brought up memories for her. While we were able to praise God through the difficult times with my mom, it's always hard to see a loved one in a weakened state.

As a kid, my dad was my hero. He was the coolest, the strongest, the funniest, and the most supportive dad in the whole world. He still is all of those things. He's incredibly tough. Last fall, he climbed a 7% grade for four miles on a bicycle. There aren't too many 68 year olds who can do that. (or 18 year olds for that matter). I think that's part of the difficulty with the whole thing. My dad had all of this blockage, and he could still out-do most people walking or riding a bike.

But now he's in a tough spot. His body is trying to heal from surgery and he is bleeding a bit more than the doctor would like to see. So again, take a minute and pray for him. Thanks so much!

5 comments:

Meghan Baird said...

Hey Billy, I've praying for your Dad since this morning. I hope that tomorrow he'll take me to Denny's for a Grand Slam breakfast! ;)

Janine said...

praying from Cali for you and your fam! God is so big! Proud of you and your family for your incredible faith.

Amanda said...

definitely prayin!!!

Steve said...

Praying for your Dad and for your whole family.

jasonsheffstall said...

Bill,
Just prayed for your dad! I know how precious your Dad is to you. There is definitely something special about every Dad! God Bless!