So my dad had a massive cardiac event happen last Friday, and a 10 hour surgery to try and repair it. What he had is very hard to recover from, and we knew going in that he isn't the healthiest person so already slim chances were even slimmer.
On Friday, they spent about three hours trying to stabilize him after the surgery, and it was looking very grim. I spoke to his critical care doctor and made the choice to put in one more chest tube to see if that would help, and if he didn't stabilize... he wasn't going to stabilize. They left me in consult room for about an hour before the charge nurse found me and was basically like 'He's stable, you can go home and sleep in actual bed.'
...uh, what. Last I heard he was basically about to die and we were talking organ donations and DNR and what to do after death, and now 'he's ok, go home'? Hello emotional whiplash!
I've talked to the nurses a lot on the phone, and been in a few times to check on them. Most of the RN's have been very nice, and understanding of how crappy the situation is- I'm 24 and my mom lives on the east coast, so until Christmas I was dealing with this on my own and making the decisions basically on my own. We all knew how bleak the future will be, but they made note to tell me about the progress he was making. My mom came on Christmas to be with me, we went to see my dad, and this was the first time my mom had seen him and it's not an easy thing. We talk to the RN and basically the first thing she said to my mom was 'Well, he's in real trouble and it's not looking good for recovery.'
My mom is THE LAST PERSON YOU BREAK NEWS TO LIKE THAT. And, I know different people, different perspectives on recovery, but... holy bedside manner Batman.
(She has been a very nice RN and other than that 'WHY WHY WHY DID YOU SAY IT LIKE THAT' moment, she's been very kind and supportive... I just wish she worded it a bit differently for my mom's sake)
I got a call from the social worker yesterday, saying that the doctors had had a consult with neuro and all them wanted to talk about prognosis and next steps- which to us sounded like it was going to be a very hard day and we were going to be making tough choices, so yesterday was a fun night. We get to the hospital about 30 minutes early-10:30, talk with the dialysis doctor and nurse- my dad's kidneys are not functioning so he's on dialysis, his fingers and toes are necrotic and some will probably have to be removed, his right lung collapsed and he had several strokes. (Fortunately, he is in a coma and they are managing his pain. By all indications he's comfortable)
The surgeon comes at 10:55, we go to a consult room and this is basically a summarized version of the meeting-
Surgeon: Well, his organs are improving, so if we keep him on the ventilator, he could recover but he'd need more time
Me: ...but his kidneys are failing
S: But his other organs are improving! With more time, eventually, he might turn around it's too early to tell, and they won't be able to see his cognitive function until he wakes up and that means he needs more time.
M: But if he had multiple strokes, then he might never wake up, and if he does... there may not be much of a quality of life.
S: Well, we need more time to determine to let his body recover.
And then he left. At 11:00. When the meeting was supposed to begin.
We talked to a social worker, the RN, two other doctors who were all way less optimistic and more descriptive about the complications that are occurring with my dad, and what the quality of 'life' will be if he ever managed to get past these obstacles.
Just a very frustrating day. A bunch of people with completely different opinions on a very bleak thing to begin with. Maybe not a suck-suck in that, my dad is still getting good care and as far as I can tell, they are doing what they can (honestly, it's amazing he's still alive right now) but... holy bedside manner batman!