“You know, Geoffrey, if it wasn’t for Jerry I probably wouldn’t be alive today.”
Jerry is one of my father’s neighbors at the assisted living facility. It was Jerry who called 911 to get an ambulance. My dad just wanted to go back to his apartment.
“You’re sick, Harold.”
The decision was made for my dad… the right decision.
Thank you, Jerry. You did a mitzvah.
My dad’s upcoming procedure is called TAVR, transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Replacing heart valves isn’t new. Replacing them without cracking open the chest is. At nearly 90 my dad isn’t a candidate for anything truly invasive.
So far he has undergone one major prerequisite test with another to follow. The cardiac team is very conscious of my father’s already compromised kidneys. They’re allowing the dye used in the tests to be fully processed before moving on. We’re hoping the TAVR might take place this coming week.
He’ll also be getting a pacemaker somewhere in this process. Exactly when is unclear. My dad tries very hard but never hears all the words.
Let’s face it, just being 90 is a fulltime job!
I called a little while ago. He sounded great and why not? He has a fresh audience for all his jokes. He is surrounded by young people who call him by name and show him deserved respect. Meals are delivered. He’s got his iPad and WiFi.
Stef, who is with us today, got on the phone. He liked that too.
My dad isn’t in the hospital without great family support. My sister, Trudi, and brother-in-law Jeff have been there every day. They are the ones bearing most of the work. Having a parent in the hospital is a fulltime job too.
What’s going on is very delicate and dangerous work. We all understand the risk, no one more than my dad. And yet we’re all confident this is the right path and the outcome will be just what we wanted.
In the meantime, my dad’s got a captive audience.