Dale’s Point of View

Monday February 22nd 2016

8:00 AM — At hospital for outpatient heart cath procedure

10:30 AM — 2 mm cath unable to go through aortic valve (bad news)

11:30 AM — Rhonda and I talk to Dr.Raines about what to do. I can have a mechanical valve and have to be on blood thinners the rest of my life (no thank you )or have a cow valve which would be dead tissue so my body cant reject it (Might have to monitor grass intake now). We decided to go with the cow valve. I asked Doc when we could do it. He said we would do it the next morning.

Tuesday February 23rd 2016

6:00 AM — Brian is in my room (His family drove all night from Denver to be here for this)I haven’t been given any drugs yet. Brian stays till they take me to operating room around 7:30 AM.

7:30 AM — I’m already. I have an IV in my left arm. Staring at light wondering when they will put me to sleep?

1:30 PM — I hear someone saying “Dale Dale” but sleep feels to good. I’m not waking up yet. They can say Dale Dale all they want.

2:00 PM — “Dale Dale Wake up” Okay fine. If they insist.

2:30 PM — Brian, Rhonda, Shelby and I think Kim are here. At least I think they were.

5:00 PM — To the best of my foggy brain Rhonda, Brian, Kim, Shelby and maybe Haylea are here. I have to lay flat on my back but I have no pain. I think I have two nurses, one of them is with me all the time. Still feel pretty out of it.

7:00 PM — Rhonda says shes pretty tired and going to go home and go to bed… Anyways I think that’s what she said. Brian and Kim also really tired. They also decide to go back to our house and get some sleep. I’m not sure on the time frame still feel out of it.

Wednesday February 24th 2016

4:00 AM — Day starts with a vitals and insulin check and all the other checks they do.

7:30 AM — Brian and Kim there when I wake up. Didn’t realize I was asleep but it was nice to wake up and see familiar faces. No to very little pain.

9:30 AM — Doctor comes in to take out drain tubes. Took dressing off of incision. Took the IV out of my neck as well. Then said lets go for a walk. We walked out my door to the nurses station and back. Must have been 20 feet. Now time to lay down and go to sleep. Man I’m tired after that walk. Brian and Kim go to eat…. I think

1:00 PM — Vital check again. Another walk to nurses station and back. Have only taken two pain pills.

4:00 PM — Nurses say its time to move to a new room. Room 13 Oh boy! I have felt good all day. Have been advised to take pain pills every 4–6 hours.

6:00 PM — Rhonda, Shelby, Brian, Kim, Abby, and Haylea are in room. I talked to them for a while. I must have went to sleep for a while, I woke up and they were talking but I don’t remember going to sleep. Maybe slept about one hour.

8:00 PM — Rhonda and the rest are planning to go home. My heart started going wild. Nurses called Doctor and he said to start giving different IV medicine but I don’t know what it is.

10:00 PM — Things start to settle down so all can go home.

Thursday February 25th 2016

3:00 AM — Chest hurts. Nurses said I’m getting IV of something. Doesn’t seem to help much. Still doing pain pills every 4–6 hours. Gave me calcium. Man do I have that stuff it makes me sick to my stomach. I’m hot from my head to my toes.

8:00 AM — Brian here. I’m glad he is here but don’t give a damn my chest still hurts. They decide to do a chest x-ray and ultra sound. The nurses want me to walk.. That’s not happening till I feel better. Breakfast doesn’t taste or look good.

2:00 PM — Nurses walk to walk again.. and again I tell them to leave me alone till I feel better. Time to go do a CT Scan. Had to stop along the way I think I’m going to get sick.

6:00 PM — Start giving me two pints of blood. Hope to have both in by midnight.

Friday February 26th 2016

3:00 AM — Vitals once again. I feel good though. No pain.

8:00 AM — Breakfast time. I try to eat but no appetite I ate very little.

9:00 AM — Doctor came in. He takes out my electric wires from heart. It tickles when he pulls them out. There are four wires for the external heart pacer. One more thing gone. I feel good. Time to go for walk. Brain, Kim, Abby, and Haylea are here.

12:00 PM — Brian, Kim, and Abby go home. Nurses bring in dinner. Still no appetite.. I eat very little. Brian said the hot water heater quit at home so Rhonda wont be in till this evening she has to deal with Girl Scout cookie pick ups and getting the new hot water heater installed. When it rains it pours I guess.

1:30 PM — Nurses said lets walk! We went for a long walk almost 200 feet. I have a nurse follow with a wheel chair. We walked about 100 feet then I sit and rest and walked back to room.

5:00 PM — I feel good. Still no pain. Time for another long walk. Walked 200 feet this time before sitting to rest then walked back to room so close to 400 feet that time. Rhonda, Shelby, Leonard,and Haylea are here.

9:00 PM — Everyone goes home. While laying in bed I need help to drink water but I am limited to 1500 CC. Doctor said I have some fluid around my heart and they want to get rid of that fluid.

Saturday February 27th 2016

4:00 AM — Nurses let me sleep an extra hour! Then they come to do the vitals checks again. They have been doing vitals about every four hours. All day. All night. Every day.

9:00 AM — Walk 400–500 feet. They follow with wheel chair again. I’m feeling very good. No pain.

12:00 PM — Dinner time. Still no appetite so I eat very little. Haylea stops in.

3:00 PM — Haylea heads out.

5:30 PM — Rhonda and Haylea come up around supper time.

9:00 PM — Everyone heads home for the night.

Sunday February 28th 2016

4:00 AM — Time for vitals again.

8:00 AM — Breakfast time. They gave me cream of wheat it tastes pretty good this morning. Time for another walk. I feel good. I don’t think I have had a pain pill since sometime Friday afternoon.

9:00 AM — Rhonda, Shelby, and Leonard are here. Doctor comes in. I asked him about what happened Thursday. He said I was low on blood and they had to fill me back up. He thinks I will get out Monday. Time for a walk. We are going on long walks but still have the wheel chair follow just in case, plus when I get tired I can sit down then walk back to my room.

Monday February 29th 2016

3:00 AM — Day starts. Vitals again. Nurses said its a good chance I will go home today.

7:00 AM — Angie, One of the nurses from right after surgery is back, she said when she got there and saw my name she made sure to put her name on my room. Works for me shes a good nurse I like her.

8:30 AM — Two doctors come in and ask if I want to go home… Could they ask a dumber question? They said first I had to shower and dress myself.

9:30 AM — Well that’s a done deal. Talked with therapy. Angie came in and talked me through my meds for home.

10:30 AM — Called Rhonda and said come get me. Haylea is here to help move me out.

11:00 AM — Angie put me in wheel chair so I thought we were good to go. Not the case. Everyone had to say good-bye first.

To the best of my knowledge this is the way my stay in the hospital was most of the time I think. Just thought you folks would like to know what it was like.

It is now March 9th and I feel good. I’m walking 2–3 blocks daily but still limited to 5 pounds lifting.

Dale Hopkins