Monday, November 24, 2008

Update on Papa Joe

Last week included several tests for Papa Joe. Tuesday we met with the cardiologist, and they were able to do a chemical stress test later that day. Thursday and Friday they did a thiamine test to help determine how much viable muscle tissue there is in his heart.

The results came back in on Friday afternoon, and they weren't favorable for bypass surgery. Papa Joe doesn't have enough live muscle tissue in his heart to make bypass surgery an option. They scheduled an appointment with a different cardiologist to discuss a defibrillator for Dec. 16th.

Per the doctor's recommendation, we have had someone staying with Papa Joe since he's been home from the hospital. He spent two nights here with us, Angie (Shannon's cousin) stayed with him at his house one night, Alex and Jack spent Thursday night there, and Carrie (Shannon's sister) had weekend duty. Alex and Jack were back again with him Sunday night. Tonight Barry is staying with him. We're trying to convince him to come live with us. He hasn't made up his mind that he wants to do that, yet.

Today Shannon received a call from the Iowa Heart Center that they would like to move Papa Joe's appointment up to tomorrow morning at 8:00am. Shortly after that, they called back and asked if we could be there at 3:30 this afternoon. Barry (Shannon's uncle) and I were able to drive him to Ames for this appointment.

Dr. Sorrentino was quite blunt with us, and explained that last year his heart was functioning at a normal level of 55 (%?), but is now at 35, which is categorized as "weak". Even if they could bypass the clogged arteries, it wouldn't do any good because the heart isn't functioning well enough to pump the blood through the new vessels.

She is willing to attempt to implant a defibrillator for his heart. This would "jump start" his heart if it should stop beating again. We have this procedure scheduled for Monday at 12:30pm. We would appreciate your prayers for the surgeons and Papa Joe.

Shannon's brother, John, is making plans to come visit soon. He lives in Virginia.

Papa Joe is feeling well. He is okay with not being able to drive for awhile. The boys went grocery shopping for him today. He needs to reduce his sodium intake, but otherwise can proceed with life as usual, while limiting his physical activity. He's planning a trip to the casino with his buddies tomorrow night.

His Lifeline was installed Saturday. Hudson was kind enough to test it out by pressing the "Help" button twice yesterday while we were visiting. At least we know it works!

"For as he thinks in his heart, so he is..." Proverbs 23:7a

1 comment:

Beckysblog said...

Praying for Papa Joe. What a scary time.