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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Hitting the Fan

It’s not just my father who’s not doing well. Jen’s Pop isn’t in good shape either. She wrote up a synopsis of his ongoing ordeal
In February Pop fell after Erin and my visit. He called Erin (who lives closer) 45 minutes after we left telling her he'd fallen and needed help getting up. Erin discovered him in a pool of blood, cut on the back of his head and in pain. He was checked into Plymouth Hospital for six days with three broken ribs and a concussion. MRI and Cat scans were done. The docs determined that his heart rhythm had gone out of whack causing him to lose consciousness. They implanted a pace maker hoping that would take care of any future issues.

On June 5th Pop called Erin on Saturday evening asking her to help him up off the floor and into bed, saying sometime after lunch he lost the ability to walk, and his limbs felt floppy. He had spent several hours on the floor waiting for his energy to return. We called an ambulance and went to Plymouth Hospital’s ER. The enzyme in his blood showed he might have had a heart attack. He checked into the hospital where he had a catheterization to look around his heart vessels.

On June 10th Plymouth Hospital performed another catheterization, discovering that Pop had a major blockage too complicated to fix there. He was transferred to Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston the following night.

June 11th.  Doctors viewed catheter results and decided a stent wouldn't be a good solution for the blockage because it's too complicated and the blockage is made of calcium — like a rock pile.  Bypass surgery was recommended but before they went ahead they wanted to figure out why he was still so weak. He hadn't been able to get up out of bed or a chair since June 5th. He was able to walk a little but needed two people assisting.
A neurologist did a complete exam of Pop and asked a lot of questions. He determined that it’is possible Pop has Parkinson’s disease. Further tests are needed, though there is no one definitive test that proves someone has Parkinson’s. The Doctors figures that out by looking at symptoms, blood tests, imaging tests and patient history. We’re still waiting more results.
Pop also had a brain/spine MRI which showed that he actually had a stroke within the last few weeks. Our best guess is that Pop’s stroke was on Saturday, June 5th.
Doctors determine that open heart surgery is a dangerous option for Pop right now and that the stent procedure would be a better option right now.  He had the stent procedure yesterday (it went very well) after which the stroke issue will be tackled as well as the possible Parkinson’s. The next step is getting Pop back on his feet.
One thing I’m wondering — how much closer to fine would he be if Plymouth Hospital had, from the get go, said ‘this is way over our heads’ and sent him to Beth Israel.

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