Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where to begin?

Last time I posted I was on the Space Coast of Florida, shuttling between the hospital and my dad’s house. “Felix” – aka John – was improving but we still couldn’t figure out the low blood pressure. In addition to the low BP, his heart rate was mostly in the mid-40s.

I’ve talked to more health care professionals in the past week than I have in all my previous years, I think. After several conversations, I learned that in addition to digoxin, Dad had been taking another heart drug called Cordarone, and he had practically every side effect listed in the product information sheet for that drug. Once they took him off both those drugs, improvement was swift and dramatic.

Cordarone is long-acting and will stay in his system for about 10 more weeks, but already his heart rate has made it to the 60s. He was released from ICU to a regular room last Tuesday and was released to a rehabilitation hospital Wednesday. Dad, his wife and I had turkey and trimmings together at the rehab dining room (Dad calls it the mess hall).

It was one of the best Thanksgivings we’ve ever had.

I made it to the beach one afternoon while I was in Florida, and took about 20 pictures of this bird. No one down there could tell me what it was, other than it’s “some kind of crane.” Anyone know? He wasn’t shy at all and, in fact, was pretty aggressive with someone fishing on the beach.

The most exercise I got all week was walking from the parking lot to the hospital entrance. I made sure to park as far away as I could after the first couple of days. I made up for the lack of exercise by eating very little – some days all I had was breakfast. It’s quite amazing how little appetite I had while I was there.

Hope to get back to a more normal routine soon. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep in my own bed.



altopower said...

Isn't it funny how sometimes a patient has no side effects and other times they have several? Your dad hit the jackpot - and so did you and the health care folks for finally figuring out at least part of what was wrong.

I'm so glad he's better and that you had a great Thanksgiving together.

I have no clue what the crane is but having lots of pictures of it makes sense to me!

denise said...

Great news that things are looking up for your Dad. Sounds like you had an extra helping of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

MARLA said...

Yeah, I definitely throw my vote in for "some kind of crane."

So glad your Dad's had so much improvement!

Greenmama said...

i know this bird - its a Great Blue Heron. they like marshes, oceans, rivers... usually found in Canada, BC and Ontario. he's waiting for extras from the fisherman and is fine with cameras (usually they are shy and almost always live in solitude)

i also know this beach, i think - on the west side of florida near sarasota. very white sand. i think i took 30 pics of the same bird last year when visiting.

its a small world after all...