He looked and sounded fantastic and was eating with appetite. The lung specialist dropped in, followed by the heart specialist, and we got the complete rundown about his condition and his prognosis, which is much better than originally thought.
He was indeed in critical condition when he came in last week, but they're thinking that was due to an acute condition--most likely lingering effects from the infection from his earlier angiogram a couple months back--rather than a sudden worsening of his chronic heart/lung troubles. When they did an echo cardiogram of his aortic valve on Monday, it showed that what had been a critical blockage of the opening circumference on Thursdays had returned to its previous "severe" blockage--with "severe" being leaps and bounds better than critical. It's still functioning at less than half normal, but it's manageable and what he was at before Thursday.
It's a degenerating condition, and they expect he'll need to go in for the angioplasty procedure in a year or so--and it's a variation of the standard angioplasty so needs to be done by specialist-specialists--where they'll knock off the accumulated calcium around the valve. The procedure only has an effectiveness of about six months, due to the nature of the disease--the calcium accumulates again very rapidly--but it can be repeated. There's 5-8% risk of stroke with the procedure due to danger of the dislodged calcium entering the bloodstream in addition to the other dangers with these sorts of procedures. But he's holding steady now, on more meds to improve his breathing capacity, on oxygen round the clock, and they expect he should be able to maintain this level of functionality for a year, until they need to re-visit the angioplasty option.
I almost burst into tears (again) of relief when I heard the news. (I've been fairly useless this whole trip.) I'm so, so happy at this turnabout.
Matthew and I brought DIL home yesterday, and we all had a nice dinner together and called it an early night. Matthew's brother swung by to get updated and caught up, and plans to come over again tonight. Matthew and I are running some chores for the in-folks today--grocery shopping and a trip to the hardware store--and we're cooking dinner. Trying to make sure that his mom, who is intent upon bustling about and doing the attentive hostess thing, doesn't, and instead takes it easy. And, of course, striving to ensure his DIL is comfy and doesn't overexert himself.
I feel like the monster-beastie that's been sitting on my chest for the last week has finally gotten off. A million hurrays.
- one no, one still pending, and one "this seems like more of a Weird Tales story so I passed it along to them" from Sean Wallace of Fantasy Magazine at 38-, 80-, and 79 days respectively.
- Contract from Jason Sizemore for "Nothing of Me" for Aegri Somnia.
- 48-day audio reprint SALE+contract of "The Storyteller's Wife" to MechMuse. On a serendipitous note, I burned to CD the MP3s of issue #1 of MechMuse for the drive to Illinois and listened to over half the stories in the car, so now I've had a chance to hear what sort of publication it is. And lemme say that I am very impressed. The actors they hire are excellent, and the stories I've heard have been top notch, especially the two by David Barr Kirtley (who also happens to be a fellow Phobos Winner). The editor informs me that "Storyteller's Wife" will be in the May '06 issue alongside a story by Kevin J. Anderson. Sweet.