Rod had done it. He finally left his employer and got his own service truck. As a union plumber, it is something he had wanted to do for some time and he finally did it. Unfortunately, in July of 2017, while pulling a commode he began to feel dizzy. He started to sweat. Not feeling well, he thought he might have food poisoning. He went to an urgent care seeking medical assistance. They immediately sent him to the Emergency Room at Highline Hospital. Once at Highline, it was determined that Rod had Diverticulitis, and required emergency surgery. Rod says that this was the first of a series of surgeries and medical mishaps. It turns out, that once Rod had been closed up, he was found to still be bleeding internally, and had to be re-opened. He lost 5 units of blood. He states that he had bled so much that he required a transfusion, but reports that the hospital didn’t have his blood type. They gave him a saline solution in order to restore his blood pressure. It was during this first surgery that he had a heart attack.
He coded while in surgery and a crash cart was brought in. Once he was stable, they completed the surgery, and he was released from the hospital to return home.
Yet on September 18, 2017, he found himself back at Highline and heading into another abdominal surgery. This time, while in recovery, he was administered Dilaudid for pain. He immediately had an adverse reaction. Rod states he is highly allergic to Dilaudid. Rod maintains that he had noted that in his medical records. Once the care team realized he was having an adverse reaction, they transitioned his pain medication to morphine.
Still, his abdominal problem had not been solved. After being told that he needed yet a third abdominal surgery, Rod became concerned that he was not receiving the proper care. This time he sought care at Virginia Mason.
Finally, by December, he had recovered from his last abdominal surgeries, he still had his heart issues to deal with. He was on his way to having a coronary bypass performed, when it was learned that he also had a 90% blockage in his left carotid artery. So prior to performing his bypass operation, he underwent an Endarterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the atheromatous plaque in the lining of his carotid artery. Once that procedure was complete, he was then given a Quadruple Coronary Artery Bypass, (CABG x 4). He states that his surgeon, Dr. Patrick Ryan, was the absolute best.
Dr. Ryan used Rod’s left mammary artery to repair his Carotid Artery and took both of his Radial Arteries to complete his CABG. He had his open heart surgery performed on December 17, 2017, and was released from the hospital on December 24th, in time to spend the holiday at home with his family.
The year, 2017, was a year that Rod says he will always remember. It was a year of three abdominal surgeries, a neck surgery and an open heart. He was informed by Dr. Ryan that while he didn’t need a heart transplant as his cardiologist had originally thought, he had suffered permanent damage to the lower 20% of his heart muscle.