Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

My Dad called last Sunday night, leaving a message on our home voicemail. We didn't return home until late so I returned his call from work Monday morning. He started with his usual banter about how everything's okay, the repairman fixed his lift chair so that he could sleep at night (since he hasn't slept in the bed for more than 10 years), telling me about how much he dislikes my brother's unkempt beard, and so on, being his usual, jovial self. Then, he mentioned his doctor.

"Well," he said slowly, "the doctor heard some rattling in my chest and thinks I've got the beginnings of congestive heart failure."

My thoughts stopped for a few moments with those three words.

When my brain eventually re-started, "Are you sure?"

"He seems to think so." My Dad spoke so nonchalantly about it, as if it were just par for the course. Here was my Dad, who'd survived four major heart attacks, prostate cancer, and an horrific head trauma, telling me that he has an incurable disease. Correction: he may have an incurable disease"You know how my ankles and feet are always swollen. Even the water pills don't seem to do much. He thinks that's a symptom, and the rattling pushed him closer to it."

"But he's not sure?"

"Well, I have to go in for more tests, but he's probably right." I heard him sigh. "Growing old is terrible."


Jess said...

Damn, that sucks. But at least the doctor seems to be on the track to nailing down a diagnosis. There are treatments, and this sure beats it going undiagnosed.

We just found out this week that Marc's brother, who had multiple medical issues already, had congestive heart failure. I say "had" because we found out from the coroner. The first sign was a fatal heart attack Monday morning. The funeral is today. Maybe if his doctor had diagnosed it a while back, he'd still be alive today.

So yes, it sucks, but at least they can try to treat what they know is there. I wish your dad great health to a degree that surprises you and him!

BTW, it may do your dad some good to go to one of the best heart hospitals, even if it means traveling. I know from my professional experience that it does make a difference where you're treated!

Wishing him (and you) all the best!

Mind Of Mine said...

I think its naturally ingrained in fathers to make less of serious health issues. My dad is having some serious asthma troubles but he is insisting that it is nothing.

Erik Rubright said...

Sending positive thoughts to you and your family.

Greg said...

Thanks for the thoughts and comments. My Dad sees the cardiologist tomorrow to go over the full details of what's going on and what we need to do.