There are not enough good uses for the word quintuple. Quintuplets are good, I suppose. But are there others? All I know is, quintuple bypass surgery is bad.
I’ve been in Wisconsin for the last week while my dad recovers from quintuple bypass surgery. That means that they took veins from his chest and leg and rerouted the blood through his heart in five different places. The surgery was unexpected. Sort of.
My dad hadn’t really told anyone until a couple weeks ago, but he had been having chest/arm pains for about a year. Last Friday the pain was keeping him from working, and his assistant at work looked up a doctor and forced him to call. He reluctantly did so – he hates doctors – and was prescribed some meds until they could do further tests on Tuesday, after the three-day weekend. Things got worse all weekend. By Sunday he was in constant pain. Early Monday morning he woke up in a sweat with severe pain. After two hours of constant pain, my mom took him to the emergency room.
They did some procedures to determine the extent of the blockages in his heart. First and primary artery (dubbed ‘the widowmaker’): 100% blocked. Second artery: 100% blocked. Third: 95%. Fourth and fifth: 70-80%. By now, surgery was inevitable. They say that once you reach 100% blockage in the main artery, many people simply collapse and their heart stops beating. He was basically operating without the left side of his heart. Amazingly, my dad’s heart had built new capillaries to distribute blood, which had kept some of his heart from shrivelling up and becoming useless.
So immediate qunituple bypass open heart surgery on Monday. He had been having an acute heart attack for six hours at this point. My dad, at 57, had already outlived his dad, who died of a heart attack, by a few years. With the surgery, he’ll outlive him a few more.
His recovery has been swift. He came home today, Saturday, which is sooner that expected. Full recuperation will take another 6-8 weeks. Nicole and I have been here all week, along with Tom and Katy (who went home yesterday and return Monday). Nicole and I will be returning to Minnesota either tomorrow or Monday, having missed a week of our regular routine. I’m looking forward to relying on that routine a bit for a few weeks, even as we shuttle back and forth to Wisconsin.
So that was my week.