Dad got taken off the ventilator around lunch time today. I rang at tea time and they said he was alert, doing well so I asked if it was ok to visit. I'm just back from visiting. Not an easy place to find Critical Care in the new hospital complex, I'd headed off in one direction, only having to re-trace my steps as the lift I'd found didn't go to lower ground 2. I re-read the signs in the entrance area again and headed off in a different direction. Got into the lift with a lady and her daughter and they asked which floor and we were going the same. When I got out the lift they asked where I was heading and I said Critical Care and they were. I said my Dad is in Pod 2 and so was their Dad. I said my Dad is in bed 14 and she said mine is in 13, and as they'd visited a few times they took me straight to my Dad! That was a relief as I'm sure I'd have got lost trying to find the place on my own.
I'm not sure what I expected really. I knew he wouldn't be sitting up in bed drinking a cup of tea but I don't suppose I was really prepared for what being in Critical Care really meant. Dad was hooked to LOTS of tubes and electrical gadgets. There was equipment all around his bed, monitoring and administering various stuff. Dad had tubes from his neck and hand and sticky things all over him. Even part of his new scar was on show ! Apparently they pump the body full of fluid so his hands and arms were quite swollen. Dad was very drowsy and I'm not sure if he'll remember me visiting. The first thing he said to me is what day is it. I only stayed about three quarters of an hour as it was obvious he wanted to sleep. I gave him a drink of water (through a straw) and I told him to pretend it was beer as it was a Friday night ... that managed a smile ! I did ask him if it felt worse than a really bad hangover and he said he didn't feel that bad !
I asked the nurse what they had done during surgery and they'd repaired the valve and grafted one artery. They said he'll be back on his bike in no time ! I did ask Dad if he wanted me to bring in his bike so he could cycle home and he said no ! He must be feeling rough !
They said he is doing real well and they couldn't believe he was 80! Hopefully tomorrow he'll be back on a normal ward.