A few more prayers for your father . . .
- Hi, Jim!
I was glad to hear from you. My first impression was that CHF was going to
be the diagnosis for your father.
The mother of a close friend of mine (who is in the same age range as your
father) had similar symptoms a few years ago, which she kept a secret from her
family. Just by chance, she was taken to the ER because of a serious infection
and a sharp young intern noticed that she mentioned being short of breath and
light-headed lately. Her son (who lives with her and sees her every day) was
really upset to find out that this had been going on for quite a few weeks,
and possibly even months. Her explanation was the she "didn't want to bother
him." . . . Talk about guilt trips! This revelation prompted a quick
prescription for antibiotics and then a very different kind of examination. She was
admitted and immediately scheduled for delivery of a pacemaker.
The bright side of this story is that she is doing very well; I take her for
her pacemaker checks and visits to her cardiologist whenever she needs
transportation. On the other hand, she complains to this day about the inconvenience
of having a pacemaker, and claims that, if she had kept her mouth shut, she
wouldn't have to put up with all of the inconvenience of regular office visits.
This is probably the only time in her life that she has had regular medical
I know how hard it is to be at a distance at this critical time. You
probably have lots of questions that you would like to ask your father's doctor. If
I were in your place, I don't think I would hesitate for a second before
calling the doctor directly. I know from personal experience that information
delivered by another family member can be incomplete. When my own father died
very suddenly of a massive heart attack, I received the news on the phone while I
was at work. Up to this time, no one from the family who was closer
geographically to him had ever mentioned that he might be at risk. I'll never know
whether they didn't think it was important to let me know, or were never told by
his doctor. My stepmother did not really understand much of what was told to
her, and consistently misinterpreted almost all of the information that was
given to her. On the other hand, she seriously resented me having any direct
communications with my father's doctors. This experience has left lingering
regrets that will not go away.
I will pray for you and your family that all of you still have some time left
to be together with your father. I hope you have a chance to visit him soon
to let him know in person that you care for all he has been for you.
Be sure to stay in touch.
B. J. Licko-Keel (BJLK@...)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]