It turned out that Uncle Don had an aortic aneurysm, a pretty large one, which is why he was life-flighted to the hospital where he had his heart surgery. He ended up having three surgeries, including repairing the aneurysm, and two bypasses, in the space of 36 hours. When we went to see him last night the nurse told us 50% of the people diagnosed with the aortic aneurysm do not make it to the OR, so he’s lucky he’s made it so far. Which is terrifying.
Anyway, some of us went to see him last night, and I had prepared for the worst, which is best for me when I go to see sick people. I sort of imagined that his chest would be wide open and there’d be a ton of machines attached to him. I knew he’d be on the ventilator still so I imagined it would be very large and invasive. Like an iron lung. And it was a lot better than that! Well, “a lot” is maybe not the best way to describe it, but at least his chest was all closed up, and the ventilator was not the size of an iron lung. He was clearly very uncomfortable, and hated not being able to talk and ask questions, and it was really hard for me to see him like that. I hope he doesn’t remember much of what’s happening right now.
It’s going to be a long recovery for him. It’s been a rough couple of days, and while they’ve got his breathing under control, there are a number of things they have to address before he can move to the next step. They’re hopeful they can get the breathing tube out today, and sit him up, and I think once they do those two things, it will start to feel like he’s improving. I’ll go back to see him again tomorrow.
Now I’m going to take advantage of my good health to go outside and run. Unlike some people I don’t mind running in the cold. I actually prefer it!