Thank You All in Thirty-Five

  • April 3, 2021, 12:28 p.m.
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  • Public

My dad and I are home in Tucson. We got back on Wednesday afternoon. Lots to unpack here but not really.

So backtracking a while. My dad worked at the mine here for 28 years. He was a Diesel mechanic who worked on the giant machines at the copper mine.

In 2002 he got laid off because the price of copper had plummeted and so he decided to go back to school. One of the days he was at class he suffered a severe thyroid storm (what they called it) basically his thyroid just failed.

He spent some time in the hospital. They found out then that he was dealing with some serious heart issues and had at one point had a heart attack. He had been working for about 2 years with “a cold”.

Turns out he was suffering from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). So he had a procedure the first week of August and they found out he needed a triple bypass.

I missed the first week of my senior year of high school because he had his surgery that week.

Two months later on Halloween my mom had to take him to the ER because there was a lot of puss coming from his incision. It didn’t hurt him or anything but when he got to the hospital things started to decline.

He was put on a med flight to Abq with a 101° temp. 50 minutes later when they got to the hospital it was 106.6°.

He was in the hospital then for a week with his chest open and packed with basically bleach soaked gauze. He Hates the smell of bleach now.

So after that things got better and he was doing well. He’s had some issues. But then in 2018 we went to Philly for my brother’s wedding and when we came back he almost didn’t make it to the next plane because he couldn’t breathe.

A couple weeks later he ended up in the ER again. That time they flew him down to Las Cruces where he ended up having a Stent put in one of his valves that had started to get blocked. They told him that his bypasses looked great then.

Over the last couple years he’s just been dealing with breathing issues and lots of heart rhythm problems so in June of last year he had a pacemaker /defibrillator put in. He had been doing well since then with his Oxygen and all of that.

Well this past year he has been doing way too much for the 18% his heart is functioning at.

I was angry because he was NOT supposed to be doing anything for my aunt (taking her to her appts in Abq) because he had already had one incident where he almost passed out.

Well he didn’t let anyone know he was going to be there (he won’t tell me now) so yeah it was a surprise that he was even up there.

Thankfully my cousins live there and they rushed over to the VA (where aunts appt was) and stayed with my aunt while my dad was in the ER there.

So without him being a veteran, they had to transfer him to another hospital. Luckily they sent him to the Heart Hospital where he had his bypass and recovered from the infection in 2002.

Here’s where it gets wonky.

So apparently what he remembered and what my aunt told us, is they got there, got into their room, and my dad was bringing everything in (my aunt is basically in a wheelchair). So he went back out to get his oxygen machine and Luckily he had it on when he passed out.

He came into the room, set stuff down and like leaned over onto the bed to catch his breath and that’s when he passed out. My aunt called 911 right away and they got people over there but it took 20 minutes. She said he was breathing the whole time but still out. If he hadn’t had his oxygen on, He probably wouldn’t have made it.

So the paramedics got there and had to perform CPR, and then had to shock him twice because his heart had stopped.

So that happened he woke up in the ER at the VA and they got him awake and alert. He doesn’t remember anything from when he got into the room until he woke up in the ER. Which is good. He literally died twice.

I was at physical therapy when everyone called me. Finally got a message from my bro saying what had kind of happened, what we knew at that point.

So after much debate, my bro and I decided to drive up Friday morning.

We left about 730 finally. I slept 0.

We had been talking to him and stuff. He sounded awful thursday night when I talked to him. I was pretty good until the end and right as I was hanging up I completely lost it. Ugh. I wanted to teleport there immediately.

So I got laundry going and just kind of did nothing all night.

Dad got moved to the HH around 2am. Matt and I got to Abq about 2:30 that following afternoon, had some food and then went to the hotel where my aunt was staying. She had had her infusion that morning so my Nina Margaret and Patricia (cousins) had gone on to pick up my aunt and take her to the hotel. They went in my dads car because my aunts was in the shop or something.

Anyway so my brother left to the HH because visiting hours were from 2-8 and they were only letting one person in per day. So since Matt had planned on going home Saturday he went.

I got to drive for the first time since January, in Albuquerque. Ugh. Lol. I had to go to Walmart to get deodorant, shampoo, and some stuff to take my makeup off lol.

I always forget. Anywho so did that. Matt came back from the hospital and we kinda just hung out. Saturday we got up and hung out since I couldn’t go until 2.

My Nino brought us breakfast burritos from Blake’s and we had some coffee. They just pretty much hung out and then went and had dinner and brought me something back.

So what we found out.... Is basically nothing.. they have some theories. But that’s about it.

So they ended up doing a catheterization and that showed absolutely nothing. Everything looks perfectly fine in there. They tested his lungs and those were cleared as well.

So yeah I really do not know what happened or why his heart stopped.

Their Theory is that he overstressed himself by carrying everything in and when he leaned over onto the bed he may have cut off the connection to his vagus nerve. They said that that nerve runs from your neck all the way to your asshole pretty much and that’s the reason why they tell you not to forced to poop basically because that nerve will make your heart rate drop. If it’s compressed or affected in any way.

My brother mentioned that the kind of pain you get in your shoulder when you have gas is that nerve being compressed. So that’s their only Theory. So I left from there about 7:30 if I could go back to my Ninos eat since I hadn’t eaten since about 10 that morning. While I was there I video chatted with my brother Andrew and then my Ninos and Patricia.

Sunday Matt was planning on leaving so we hung out for a bit and he left about 10:30 or 11 to come back to Tucson. My dad ended up walking like four hallways for physical therapy and his breathing and all that was good just some weakness in his legs. Then about 12:30 he said that they were going to adjust his pacemaker to add another program to it to help with whatever issue he might be having now. And then an hour or so later he said that they’re releasing him that afternoon.

So I left the house around 1:30 so I can get there about 2 and they came in and did all the necessary stuff and we were headed back to my Nino’s about 4. They had gotten some dinner from Dion’s so I had a giant salad. Well half of it anyway. We just kind of hung out the rest of the evening watching basketball. My Dad tried to sleep in the bed but it wasn’t the hospital bed so he wasn’t really able to do it. He ended up sleeping on the couch.

I slept probably only about 2 hours that night. Just super worried about him the whole night. Monday we got up, I got a shower, my nina came home early from work, around 12:30 and we headed out around 1. I had to stop at Dion’s and get some salad dressing. My Nina had gone to the New Mexico Pinon Coffee Co. to get me a sampler of pods.

We stopped at Sonic and got some drinks and then headed to Petland where I was able to get the dogs some Pig ears. They are so hard to find here. I’ve had to get fresh ears from the Asian Grocery store and make them myself. Which is fine, but they’re just more convenient to buy already made lol.

After that we headed on down to Hurley. Stopped a couple of times to get some other necessary new mexico items (red chili chips) and once in Hatch so I could use the bathroom and we made it back to my dads about 5:30 or so. Just relaxed all night.

Tuesday we didn’t have anything going on, so I went to Silver at one point and got us some food. We watched Basketball and stuff. Wednesday we got up and went to his appointment in Silver at 9:15. The dr was just as baffled as the rest of the drs. He took a picture of all of his bruises blah! He’s almost completely purple now. Jeez. He’s on blood thinners thats why the bruising is so bad.

But yeah so he has to see them again next Thursday, so we’ll be making a quick down and back trip with him. He’ll be staying here with us for a while. For various reasons.

On top of him being sick, and needing help to get around and stuff, he’ll be staying because we won’t have a car for a while. Ours is going to take about $1400 to fix everything that would make it safe to drive again.

So yeah, he will be here for a bit. I will have to take him back and forth to NM for his appointments but it is what it is.

Dice got sick again too. We think he may have been stressed out though. I left pretty quickly Friday morning, and I was crying and stuff Thursday night, so with that and not coming back for five days, he may have just been feeling Randy’s emotions also.

This was a scary trip, for a lot of reasons. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to watch my dad die just a few short steps from where my mom died or what was going to happen. Plus, this is the first time I left Randy to his own devices since November. So he was pretty stressed out himself. Also not having a car was a big thing also.

So when I got back on Wednesday Dice was not doing well. He was weak again, and not eating. I finally got him to eat something though, which was good. We got him into a vet on Thursday and his glucose was high, but the Fructosamine they did (which is essentially like a Human A1C test) showed that his glucose had not been high for the last couple of weeks, so therefore he was having a spike.

They did some other blood tests to check his kidneys and stuff, and all that was good. They gave him some fluid which absorbed into his skin after a few short minutes. Then they sent him home with a Glycobalance food from Royal Canin. I ended up paying $136 that day and will have to pay another $136 every month starting in May through July. Can’t really complain about that. My friend Cynthia let me know about this place that takes payments so that was awesome.

I gotta get him a Freestyle Libre device to have them put it on so we can monitor his glucose levels better. I also have to refill his insulin and then in a week or two take him back to get the device put on him. Then it’ll be another week or so when I have to call them to gather the data from the device and see if we need to adjust. They did also give him a 10 day regimen of antibiotics in case that sugar is getting into his urine, so he doesn’t end up with a UTI.

Otherwise he seems to be doing better. He’s eating the food they gave him and he’s not excessively drinking water anymore.

They did also mention that we could get his eyes worked on to remove the cataracts, just to give him back some of his quality of life, you know, being able to see again, but it’s like $1500 per eye. Soooo we’ll be saving up for that. He does seem pretty depressed about life because he can’t see. So, I’ll be doing a series of paintings JUST to raise money for that.

Not that my paintings have gotten any traction with anyone but my dad and mother in law.

But, it’s what I have to work with these days, so I gotta make the best of what I can do.

Le Sigh.

So yeah, that is where we are at. Randy got his first vaccine yesterday. I have to go through the process of getting my insurance cards updated and re-ordering my Peebs ID, because I lost that the night Randy tried to kill himself. I think the officer might have kept it.

Anyway, so yeah. He got registered right away because of his stroke and strokes are a side effect of COVID. Soo we don’t want that happening again.

I have botox next Thursday. I need to cancel all of my physical therapies after monday. I’ll go Monday, but I have to cancel the rest. I do not want to burn myself out. I’m already there, honestly. I am exhausted beyond belief. But I have two humans, two dogs and 12 rats to take care of so I don’t have a break.

I don’t have any backup. Its just me. I’m gonna break soon. But I need to make sure my dad is taken care of. Just send help in any way you can. Thanks.

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