Wednesday, February 06, 2008
My dad's had health problems for a while now; he actually rattled them off for me over the break—hyperlipidemia, diabetes, tachycardia, an enlarged prostate... I don't know what his blood pressure's like, but I do know that his father died of heart disease when my dad was just a teen.
What always confused me was that I never found out when my dad got diabetes--I was always told he was borderline, borderline, borderline, then all of a sudden, he was just popping back all these pills everyday (although he claims half of them are vitamins, which in my mind is just as bad.)
It's not that I don't want to help my dad out, it's just that our schedules are so busy that I don't have the time to sit down and really do a tally of what he eats. He eats out a lot (for Chinese food, mostly) and rarely exercises, so all I've been telling him really is just to find time to exercise because that's already going to make a difference.
Anyway, near the end of last week, my dad suffered what I think was an angina (I'm unsure only because my mom explained this to me in Chinese), which caused him to feel sick and so he went to see the doctor. The doctor told him to go to the hospital, where he got some EKGs done and the doctor there recommended angioplasty (I'm not sure if he also got a stent.) He's fine now and sneakily called my mom on his cell phone to tell him so, but now he can't fly for three months so he can't come back to Canada to visit me (He's in Hong Kong right now) and my mom is now there for two weeks to take care of him.
But the revelation: the doctor at the hospital stopped his meds while he was there, but after being fed low-sodium, low-sugar foods at the hospital for a few days, my dad saw that his blood sugar was normal—5.4—without them and he realized that he did not need his meds to control his blood sugar. He just needs to eat better! And move more! So I told my mom to see if he can get a referral to a dietitian in Hong Kong (something his doctor should've done in the very beginning instead of stuffing him with all those meds), and hopefully good things will happen. I don't think my mom fully grasps that I'm not offering to do it not because I don't want to, but because the logistics of it just don't make sense right now (I'm sure emailing back and forth will just be completely awkward.) However, I have made the RASH decision of asking my clinical coordinator to see if she can give me an internship placement in Hong Kong next semester--something that I have yet to talk to my parents about.
So yeah, I hope that things will work out for my dad on that end and that he won't wind up in the hospital in the near future. This whole thing has just made me value my family a lot more and I really miss them.