Well, it’s finally the end of a really long and tiring day. Before I drop into bed, I wanted to say “thank you” to all of you have expressed your love and concern for my family, through comments, emails and phone calls…
We were able to see Grandpa very early this morning, before his surgery. Even Kinsley was able to see him, though we all had to be suited up and visit his nook of the ICU in pairs, at most. Grandpa seemed tired, but in good spirits overall, and still his feisty old self. Once, when I noticed his bare feet sticking out from the thin hospital blankets – thinking of how cold-natured Grandpa is – I reached to pull the covers over his toes, asking him if his feet were cold.
“Now don’t you be messin’ with stuff, y’hear?” he snapped. It was oddly comforting.
Kinsley was able to show him several drawings she lovingly prepared over the previous days, and Grandpa complemented them lavishly.
We had been instructed not to touch Grandpa, so when Grandma and I took our turn at his bedside, Grandma told him
“They say I caint kiss ya Jim. I caint touch you, even… but this is me kissing you” – and she blew a kiss as a tear slid down her cheek.
“Caint kiss me, Wanda Lee? Mmmm, that’s too bad…” was Grandpa’s weak response.
At 6:30 am, they began the prep for the surgery, an open heart affair which lasted for five hours. During this time, we had a regular old family reunion in the waiting room, with four generations being represented, including several relatives who haven’t been together in a long while. Caleb arrived about an hour late (his plane was detained due to snow and ice in Cleveland).
Around 12:30, we received that anxiously awaited phone call – Grandpa had come through what turned out to be a double bypass surgery, and had done very well.
Though the surgery went as well as could possibly be expected, his prognosis is still very uncertain, due to all the other underlying conditions. The doctors have concluded that he actually suffered three heart-attacks since Wednesday, and warn us that Grandpa’s heart is very weak and swollen, and still functioning on a very limited basis, even with this surgery helping it along.
At this point, he’s still under the effects of the anesthesia, and may not wake fully until tomorrow morning, and he’s still on a ventilator.
Grandma has agreed to come home and sleep tonight, which I think she badly needed. This ordeal has taken quite a toll on her, I’m afraid. She looked as if she’s already lost weight, and seemed to not notice things like hunger, insisting that she’s just fine. Once my aunt made her sit down with a plate of food, Grandma actually ate a good bit… I think that it may have been the first meal she’d consumed in a couple of days.
For now, we are grateful that Grandpa is temporarily relieved of some pain, and continue to wait. We are hopeful that no matter what the outcome, this day will have been beneficial in every possible way.