Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Father-in-Law

I'm thinking about and praying for my father-in-law today - and have been for most of the week. Here's what's been going on.

Tuesday morning he was up at Scout Camp at Scofield Reservoir when he experienced tremendous chest pains. Another gentleman there had recently had a heart attack and knew they needed to get him to the hospital (first miracle). The camp first aid kit included oxygen that they were able to give him for the drive (another miracle). Then, they made the decision to go to the ER at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (Provo) instead of the slightly closer hospital in Price (another miracle because of the greater amount of medical technology/care in Provo).

They did an angiogram and they found that the arteries were only 50 percent blocked - so not enough blockage for a heart attack and certainly not enough to cause the chest pains. They did notice that the blood flow in the heart was slower than it should have been. Thinking the capillaries to the arteries might have blockage causing this, they continued giving him blood thinners and decided to just watch and see. I got an email from a friend in the Czech Republic asking me to put a name on the temple prayer roll for her. I called and put Doug's name on as well. (another miracle because I don't think I would have thought to do that otherwise since the status was wait and see)

About 5:30 p.m. Bill, Sandy, and I went to the hospital. Bill was able to give his dad a blessing with the assistance of his brother-in-law. It was a comforting blessing and Doug was promised that his doctors would be able to find the problem and he would be able to heal. Doug was still experiencing a great amount of pain and chills. While we were there, the doctor decided to order a CT scan. Concerned about Doug's pain, the doctor ordered the CT scan to make sure there wasn't a blood clot in his lung (another miracle because without the CT scan they wouldn't have found out what was wrong - and faith-inspiring that the dr didn't order the scan until after the blessing). We waited for the scan and wanted to wait for the results, but as Sandy started nearing her bedtime she started melting down and so we decided to leave.

On the way home we got a call that the CT scan results had come back and Doug's aorta was torn (I later found out this is called an acute type a dissection of the aorta, is extremely rare, and is often fatal because it is treated like a heart attack) and would require immediate surgery. As we continued our drive home, we helped make phone calls to notify family members. Bill has a brother serving a mission in Tennessee and we called his mission president. Bill has another brother living in Atlanta and we called him as well.

Bill dropped Sandy & I off, went to help a friend with his basement (he said the physical work would be a good distraction), and then returned to the hospital. Doug went into open heart surgery at 9 p.m. Bill stayed at the hospital waiting for news; his mom and many of his siblings were there as well.

Doug came out of surgery at 3 a.m. and they moved him to the ICU by 4 a.m. He was able to wake up enough to respond to his name and respond to simple directions like "Can you move your right arm?" He had trouble breathing on his own, though, so he spent all day on a ventilator.

Now he's still in the ICU but vitals look good. He is off the ventilator but still wearing a full face oxygen mask. If you want updates, there is a website:

1 comment:

K and M said...

I hope he's doing better now. I'd love an update.

I was intrigued to read your comment that Sandy gags herself, because Bella does that too. Benjamin only had weird habits that seemed to make him feel better, such as rubbing his forehead along the carpet, but Bella seems to really get a kick out of things that cause discomfort. I really hope it's not a bad sign of things to come.