A couple of weeks ago, I arrived home from work only to find that my dad needed me to take him to the emergency room. The culprit: Congestive Heart Failure due to a bad Aortic Valve.
Bad news continued to follow-he needs surgery, but if he is not a candidate for a special surgery, he is considered terminal and has less than a year. (We find out on Mar 27th). He has stage 5 kidney disease. He has atrial fibrillation.
I was so stressed out, that the thought of food made me ill. I dropped seven pounds in a week, simply because I could not eat. Here I am, 31 years old, faced with the possibility that I may lose my second parent (my mom died of cancer when I was 22). I sat in the heart cardiac unit for a week straight, eight hours a day, learning all there is to know about low sodium diets, low sugar diets, medications, and all the rest. It was mind-numbing.
After the week, my dad improved enough to come home, he met with two cardiologists, and I am somewhat cautiously optimistic about the outcome, but with the experience I had with my mom, I just can't fully believe that everything is going to be fine. I just can't.
I have a schedule down, work, make him three meals a day and make sure he gets all his meds and that I measure his sodium and fluid throughout the day. Physical exhaustion has turned into mental exhaustion; I'm able to eat again, but have decided to pretty much follow my dad's diet, minus his fluid requirements.
I've continued to lose weight this week, but now it is because of much lower sodium-you guys should check out the sodium in products. IT IS INSANE! I don't want any crap in my diet, because I turn and look at the sodium content and put it back down. I'm back to exercising ( I think I missed three days when I was stuck in a nasty motel during a snowstorm). After two weeks, I can literally smell sodium when it is cooking. My favorite wild rice soup is now disgusting to me, because all I can taste is salt in the broth.
My dad is feeling better so far, and he has to weigh himself everyday to find out if he is gaining fluid. So far so good. I ask for your thoughts or prayers when my dad goes back for all his tests. This has already been a really long month.