my dad

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tag716

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I have a question about my dad. He is 79, had triple bypass and a mitral valve replacement on June 6 (previous quadruple bypass in 1987), and is having problems. He did have a problem with O2 saturation that seems to be under control now and did go into ventricular fibrillation once. He was back on the ventilator for awhile because of respiratory distress/failure. However, the big problem now is that he can't keep any food down, not even pureed. Liquids have to be thickened because he is aspirating them. They had a feeding tube in and then took it out thinking he was better. He's not. If anything, he's worse. He is extremely weak. They are going to start IV feeding today (there was some medical reason they didn't want to do it but I'm not sure what it is) and still try to feed him small amounts and hope he keeps it down. The nurse told me they are bringing the neurologist back in for another consult because my dad can't seem to hold his head up and that she thinks the GI doc will order an x-ray today to look for obstruction, ileus, etc. It's about time! His potassium is slightly low today (3.3, normal range starts at 3.5) but basically electrolytes are fine. He had an irregular heart beat yesterday and they added digoxin. Earlier in the week they thought he could leave and go to rehab (nursing care was lacking earlier in week), but now it's really touch and go whether he can come back from this.

I have a medical background so I was looking up some of his drugs to see if they could cause the GI problems (Cardizem, digoxin must be used cautiously together). The morphine he had postsurgically may have added to this too. Is anyone familiar with this complication? Do you know anyone who had it and got better? My dad's age is against him. And he's so weak. Any ideas on what we should ask about or what can be done? I did ask yesterday about giving him something to help heal the esophagus from all the tubes (one theory is that this is all due to esophageal irritation from tubes, ventilator, vomiting, etc.). I can't understand why they didn't think of it before. They had him on Prilosec but stopped because of his low platelets. But platelets are up now. Anyway, if anyone has any ideas, please post or e-mail me. And please pray for my dad.

Thanks.
Traci
 

Nancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Hi Traci-

I will be thinking about your father often. It sounds as if they're investigating all the avenues to find answers. I'm sure help will be available for your dad.

My husband has had serious irritation from breathing tubes, transducers and who knows what after having had several thoracic surgeries. His voice is quite hoarse and there have been times when he has had some problems swallowing, but I'm talking about pieces of meat and other hard foods. He's actually had a couple of choking episodes.

He also is retaining fluid from a leaking valve and that backs up into the veins (arteries?) in his neck exacerbating the problem. He is scheduled for surgery July 18 to correct the valve problem.

The choking episodes have not come as often lately, which I am very glad for.

After surgery I'll be very interested in how much improvement there is in his voice. I'm hoping there is no permanent damage to his vocal chords.

I know this only mildly relates to your father's problems, but there is ample opportunity to have some temporary serious irritation in the throat area.

Please wish your father the very best and tell him to never give up. The body has great powers of healing.

Nancy
 

hensylee

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Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
I think all of us who have had this major surgery are "off our feed" for awhile and we lose weight, although the appetite returns with time. Hope your father's problem is found and corrected. You are having a rough time of it, I know, and you are to be commended for searching for answers for him. I pray they can find his problem and fix it. God bless
 
J

Jean

Guest
Traci's Dad

Traci's Dad

I know my experiences are any way near your dad's problems, but it did ring a bell with me. I had vavle replacement in Jan. 2000. Immediately afterwards...well as soon as I started drinking and eating (day1 or 2 afterwards--I'm a little fuzzy when), I was so thirsty and hungry, but as soon as I started eating or drinking, I didn't want any more...just a feeling. I also had big juicy burps immediately after trying to eat or drink. They said it was due to the morphine which I was off of late day 2. By day 4 I wasn't burping up gunk, but still would lose any desire to eat after about 3 or 4 bites or sips. However, it all came back fairly quickly.

I'll send my prayers for your dad along with the others . Take care of yourself too.
 
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