Monday, June 9, 2008

My Dad: Thank you for praying

Dear Family and Friends, June 9 at 7:00 pm

Thank you again for your prayers today for my Dad. We just cannot thank people enough. Mom has had lots of support today at the hospital as well - two of my aunts were here, a good friend of my Mom's, Dad and Mom's pastor, and Dan and I and the kids. The time passed quickly as we played games and talked.

The outcome of Dad's surgery is good. The surgeon said that the heart surgery went well and Dad is now in ICU. He had a triple bypass using two veins from his left thigh and one artery which are now connected to his heart to bypass the three blockages. The surgeon said that they are keeping a close eye on his kidney as the creatin level is up to 1.8. If the kidney has trouble, they will put Dad on dialysis for a couple of days, but he will not need to continue this long term. We do not know how severe the blockage to his left kidney is, but they said that it is starting to develop scar tissue which is not a good sign. A stent will be used to open up this artery which will happen at a date yet to be determined. We went in to see him this afternoon and he is hooked up to lots of wires and tubes. He is still on the ventilator which he will hopefully get off soon and be able to breathe himself again. He is also hooked up to a pace maker to regulate his heartbeat. This too, will be disconnected when he leaves ICU. He actually has good color which we did not expect.

Dan took the kids to my parent's house (about 45 min. away) and plans to move the wood that Dad was using to build the deck into the machine shed so that Dad does not have to look at that when he gets home (which would drive him crazy!). Mom and I had some time to talk about the kidney that he lost. She too, is frustrated about this. Something occurred to me as we were talking and I said, "Mom, I think we are grieving Dad's deceased kidney." Thinking back to the stages of grief and loss, I remember that one of the stages is anger/blaming and that this is a normal part of the grieving process. This God-given thought gave me peace as I recognize that we do not have to feel guilty about the anger, nor do we need to act on it - we just need to work through it and move on to the next stages of grief. Your prayers for all of us in this are appreciated. I know that my Dad was struggling with grief prior to surgery as well. Thank you!

Well, I will close now again with a HUGE thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, concern, emails, and phone calls. We may not ever know exactly how many people were praying for Dad and involved with us in this labor of prayer. But, we experienced the peace and comfort that comes when we are lifted in prayer. Thank you so much for being a part of this with us!

Lisa (Dan, Rebekah, Will, Dad, and Mom Riebkes)