New here looking for information

Avatar for roadsideis
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
New here looking for information
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:10am
Hi everyone, I'm new to this board and was looking for info on rehabilatation after open heart surgery. Here is the background on what is going on (sorry if this gets long) My dad just had triple bypass surgery on April 1st, he went into this surgery with a multitude of problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, kerotid arteries in his neck and colon cancer. Mentally my dad had not been doing well for some time but the nuerologist said it was not dementia or alzheimers but in fact due to the lack of blood flow to his brain, which we were told after surgery this would probably improve even though it is normal after surgery for this to get worse before it gets better especially with all the other issues going on. After the surgery my dad was in ICU for a week before he started to breath on his own and the breathing tube really hurt his throat and at this time is still not eating solid foods and is being fed through the peg in his stomach. He had fevers and blockages from feeding as well. He was in the hospital until yesterday when he was released to the rehabilitation center. At the hospital they did very little rehab with him because mentally he seems unable to participate in his own care, and the longer he stays in bed the weaker he gets. I am going today to visit and I was wondering if anyone knows what his rehabilitation should include, I am afraid with his menal state they may have difficulty and not be effective in helping him. Does anyone know what questions we should ask and also how do we insure that they do the best job possible to help him recover since we can not be there 24 hours a day with him. Also what can we do as his family to help him along. I've been searching online and haven't really come across any info on the after care of someone in my dads condition. Any help and info would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Karen

Avatar for cl_themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 5:27pm
Hi, Karen..........and welcome to the board!

Your Dad has been through a lot! So has your family! When you saw him today, was he any better than in the hospital?

With any type of cardiac rehab, there's a certain set of protocols and certain goals, that the doctors wish their patients to reach. Because your father has many physical problems in addition to his recent cardiac surgery, I'm sure that what HIS cardiac rehab will consist of will be something (diet, exercises, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and councelling) that the doctor and rehab hospital will tailor to fit you father's needs. This tailor-made rehab program is not unusual, actually. Most rehabs are tailored to their patients.......your father's varyious problems will simply be taken into account when his rehab schedule is devised! Please sit down with his doctors and the folks at the rehab hospital....explain to them that you'd like to know exactly what your fathers rehab will consist of, and how they all expect to carry this plan out (once a day, once a week, twice a day...etc.!). Also ask that your father be evaluated by a nutritionist while he's at the rehab hospital. This is normally done anyway for all patients, but your father has some mitigating circumstances, so his nutritional guidelines will be, perhaps, a bit different! Ask for a consult with the nutritionist to see exactly what eating program they will recommend for you father!

Basically, I guess, you should be pro-active in your father's care.....since he appears to be unable to do this for himself! Ask his doctors what their immediate and long-term goals are for your father. Ask the nutrionist at the rehab hospital exactly how his dietary needs will be met. Ask lots of questions regarding your father's daily schedule. And ask his doctors for as much information as they can give you! Since rehab is usually tailored to a particular person, and since your father has other medical problems that will be addressed as well in the rehab hospital, I think the best thing you can do....and the best information you can to talk with your father's doctors and have them tell you exactly what their plan for your father is going to be....both short-term and long-term!

Good luck....keep us posted on how your father is doing, okay?

Welcoming (((hugs))),