The heart of the matter

My dad had angioplasty and a couple of stents placed yesterday. Was it just yesterday? It feels like forever ago already.

I drove to Chicago Wednesday afternoon, and came back today around two. My goal was simple: just be there for Dad. No visits, no goofing around, no nothing. All business. And that was what I did.

Dad had been having swelling in his ankles, shortness of breath, intolerance of exercise, and some chest discomfort (which he minimized) for the past few months. He had had a ‘hard winter.’ He went for a stress test last week, and was told he probably had a blockage.

His interventional cardiologist was good. He was confident and experienced. He was challenged by my dad’s case. One of Dad’s coronary arteries was exceptionally hard to find due an anomaly in his anatomy. But after many tries, the doctor found it. He opened up the blockages and Dad’s recovery was uneventful.

Today Dad is home, and will be starting cardiac rehab in a week or two. In the meantime, he has also been put on a diet. Low sodium, 1800 calorie ADA. Not fun for anyone, but especially for my Dad. The man loves his food. That’s where I get it from.

I know this will be a very hard change for him, so I decided that I will make some lifestyle changes too. I don’t think that I will be able to adhere strictly to the prescribed diet, but I am going to do my best. Any change is a good change, and I really need to lose weight.

Especially since I now have a first-degree relative with heart disease.

Hopefully, Dad and I can give each other some support, and make acceptance of our new lifestyle easier. I know once he starts cardiac rehab, he’ll love it. I think he’ll be surprised how good he feels now that his arteries are clean.

It’s all good. And now it’s going to be even better.