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Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Dad Is Having Emergency Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Next Week

Hey everybody! Yes, Christine and I are still in Florida having a GREAT visit with my brother Kevin, sister Beverly and our mom this week on our vacation. We've had a good time together so far spending quality fun time with each other (mostly playing Texas Hold 'Em and we're planning going out for karaoke on Friday night) and I'm so glad we've been able to do this. Kevin looks and sounds great right now (although it's probably the morphine the hospice nurse has stocked him up on!), so it's like nothing is wrong with him. But we know his time could be coming up soon.

THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed for us during this time. Beverly said Kevin is down to just one functioning artery and when it becomes completely clogged, well...you know the rest. While our hearts and emotions about this are heavy, it's good to know we are able to be with Kevin in a joyful way during these potentially final days of his life. He's still the same ole big lug brother I grew up with and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I wasn't planning on being online much or at all during my visit to Florida this week, but I just got a telephone call from my stepmother Faye in Tennessee who said my dad is going in for an emergency QUINTUPLE heart bypass surgery next Tuesday. The doctor recently did a heart cath and said three of his arteries are over 90% blocked and the fourth one is 80% blocked. It's not a good situation at all, but they seem to think they can help him. He's had a couple of heart attacks before, so this isn't completely unprecedented. On top of what's happening Kevin, this is a bit much to take right now.

We're deciding whether we are gonna make that trip up to Tennessee and when because we want to be there for him. Our original plan was to drive back home to Spartanburg, South Carolina on Tuesday and we'll probably just go straight to Bolivar, Tennessee from Florida--likely on Sunday. His surgery will be taking place in Jackson, so we may just meet the family there on the day of the surgery on Tuesday. He's expected to be in ICU for several days although he told my stepmom he'd be out in a regular room the next day (YEAH RIGHT--that's my dad!).

I don't know how it's gonna happen with all that's going on right now, but I want to be there for my dad through this. He's only 59 years old which is too young to be dealing with this. But it's a solemn reminder that we just never know when our health is gonna kick us in the tail. Dad and Kevin have both made choices to be in the position they are in right now, but that doesn't make what they are going through any easier to deal with.

Right now, it's unfathomable to think about the worst case scenario of losing both my brother and my dad this year. But I'm hoping for the best in both situations right now and I know that God holds both of these men in my life in His Hands to do as He wills for them. Whatever that is, I'm just thankful for the opportunity to call J.D. my dad and Kevin my brother. They are two remarkable people that I had the privilege of growing up with and loving during my life.

THANKS so much for your prayers for Kevin and my father.

Oh, by the way, I am aware of this July 17, 2008 issue of New England Journal of Medicine with that study that is ALL OVER THE MEDIA right now and I was even interviewed and quoted in this Wall Street Journal column in today's paper. This was awesome POSITIVE coverage for livin' la vida low-carb (although Dr. Dean Ornish got in his digs despite his assertion that we all agree on diet)--I think they purposely planned to release it knowing I was gonna be gone. Just kidding! :)

I'll update again when I get a chance...I appreciate your support!

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21 Comments:

Blogger Kent said...

Sorry to hear about your dad, and your family will continue in mine's prayers. Keep the faith that all things are indeed in God's hands.

My only qualms is how they did the Atkins Diet. In one of the researchers comments,
"However, a low-carb approach is consistent with heart-association guidelines so long as there are limitations on the fats consumed in the Atkins diet, Eckel said." They still don't get it in other words. Throughout the study they focused on doing a vegetarian Atkins with little red meat. Atkins is about high fat (50-65% at least of Caloric intake on Induction) -- how else do you fuel your body?

So as much as I am encouraged low carb in general has been validated, and continues to be evaluated by scholars. I am frustrated that the researches did not go far enough to prove once and for all the link low cholesterol and low carb eating -- whatever fats you chose to consume (sat or mono).

7/17/2008 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dad and Kevin have both made choices to be in the position they are in right now, but that doesn't make what they are going through any easier to deal with."

To a certain extent they have made choices, but as you are aware, gaining weight establishes a vicious metabolic circle that vigorously resists weight loss strategies. Moreover, the seeds of disease may even be planted in the womb as the mother's health and eating habits influence the genes of the unborn child who, after birth, is raised on the awful SAD. People who struggle with weight and health issues deserve only empathy and support, not judgmentalism, and I can only offer your family my wish that you will bear your crosses with strength and courage.

"This was awesome POSITIVE coverage for livin' la vida low-carb (although Dr. Dean Ornish got in his digs"

Actually, if you look at media coverage of the study, the headlines were mixed. Some declared low-carb the winner while others cited the Mediterranean diet because of the mixed results from the mostly men and handful of women who participated. Experts have noted that overall, none of the diets was highly successful and the low-carb and low-fat diets weren't really either - the low-carb increased the maximum carb allowance to 120 grams after a couple months and the low-fat permitted 30% fat calories, far higher than the 10% recommended by Ornish and Esselstyn. One should not applaud a published research study of questionable value just because the conclusion supports what one already believes. Fundamentalism is not a good thing. I eat a diet very low in refined carbs and don't count fat calories. However, I believe in continous scientific inquiry and am open to changing my beliefs and practices.

7/17/2008 1:41 PM  
Blogger Cindy Moore said...

Oh Jimmy, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad! A lot to handle on top of your brother!

you'll be in my prayers! I hope all goes well! your dad's positive attitude can only be a good thing!

7/17/2008 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What heartbreaking news, Jimmy. :( I'm sorry that life has dealt you such tough blows, one after another. But, there is hope. I'm thankful that you see that as a possibility.

I also know that your presence, and that of Christine's, must be doing a world of good for your brother (and your father, when you visit).

Apart from the obvious closeness that you all share, you also inspire hope - in the challenges that you've overcome and continue to work on.

If God allows your brother and father another shot, perhaps this time they will learn from your accomplishments.

I know that's not an easy thing to do. To change, after living most of one's life in an unhealthy manner. I struggle with this myself and I know many others do as well.

Have faith. Continue to love and lead by example. And just know that you and your family have a whole lot of people pulling for y'all.

I wish you all, all the best.

Harry

7/17/2008 5:46 PM  
OpenID danielle-blog said...

Lots of Love, positive thoughts and prayers headed your way!

~Danielle

7/17/2008 6:18 PM  
Anonymous bill said...

What about getting a hold of the book the optimal diet by DR Jan Kwasniewski from poland.He has reversed heart disiese, cured some cancer, and diabetes.http://homodiet.netfirms.com/ .heres the web site.

god bless Bill

7/17/2008 10:35 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Sorry to hear about your dad. I will be sending good thoughts your way.

Krista

7/18/2008 11:50 AM  
Blogger Gary J said...

Peace to you, Jimmy.

7/18/2008 12:38 PM  
Blogger lisa32989 said...

Oh Jimmy, how heartbreaking! I'm so glad that you've taken the responsibility for your own health. As we know, if we don't nobody else will!

When all of the heartbreak from these two horribly sad family events calms down, please do yourself, your family, and all of us a favor and have a consult with Dr Davis. With this much heart disease in the family, we want to make sure you are as healthy as you can possibly be!

7/18/2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new on this blog, a lurker for sure, but I am disturbed by the laissez-faire attitude or certitude, I guess, that your brother is definitely going to die soon and that there is nothing to be done. Actually, it's sort of appalling to have a family standing around waiting for the event. This may sound cruel, and I'm sure your fans will dismiss this, but as long as your brother is still alive, as long as one artery is still open, his other arteries can be healed if action is taken soon. If hospice can give your brother morphine, he certainly could receive massive doses of vitamin C, CoQ10, a variety of B vitamins, and all sorts of other alternative therapies, intravenously, that have been shown to "unclog" and heal coronary artery disease. Of course, if you all sit around and pray and don't take any action, he'll die. Oh well. He did it to himself, right? HE has to want it, right? He's had enough chances. Time is up. Buzzer sounds. How many chances would Jesus give him?? It's NOT too late.

7/18/2008 5:31 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Jimmy,

Again, my heart breaks for your family... As I've mentioned before, I lost my grandmother and mother within 3 weeks of each other and their deaths were totally due to poor lifestyle choices.

It really hurts no less.

What you are doing here is such a ministry. Many of us are going to avoid early deaths due to our new lifestyles, and you have had a hand in these choices!

7/18/2008 5:40 PM  
Blogger Didirina said...

I agree with Kent. This is no cause for celebration, since nothing was really proven. I'm disappointed with one more "Atkins-like" diet study. Vegetarian sources of protein and fat?? Blech. The participants lost little weight. They didn't study the effects of saturated fats on the body vs. the low-fat, and monounsaturated fat Mediterranean plan. And depending on how they did the Med. plan, that sounded like low-carb too! There was too much waffling here, to much ambiguity. With no clear-cut guidelines, what did they actually discover. Phooey.

7/18/2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Thanks anonymous and I appreciate your comments. Since you are new, I can understand why you feel the way you do. But I'm not treating this with a flippant attitude--it's dead serious to me (which is why I've blogged about it so much).

Kevin gave up on himself a long time ago. He's seen my success, read my book, and "knows" what to do--but he refuses to change. While I lovingly have tried to help him and even had world-class medical doctors and fitness experts offer their services for free and Kevin had refused.

While your position as an outsider sounds good on the surface, the fact is you don't realize all that has been done already and it hasn't stuck. That's frustrating considering all I've been through with this in my life.

Kevin had had 3/4 of his heart cut out because it's dead. And the one artery he has left is 95% clogged. If there was genuine hope for Kevin to turn his health around, that day passed many years ago. If a series of heart attacks in 1999 didn't wake him up then nothing will.

Again, thanks for your comments, but what would you suggest me and my family do differently? I'm sincerely interested in what you have to say about this.

7/18/2008 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Steve L. said...

Jimmy,

I'm sorry to hear about your Dad's urgent surgery, especially coming as it does along with your brother's circumstances.

In case it can help a little bit, I'll pass along the main thing I learned from my Mother-in-law's recent bypass surgery at a nationally recognized heart hospital, which is this: nursing care is very stretched these days in many hospitals (even those with the best reputation, we found out). Having someone there constantly after surgery to call nurses, monitor vitals, provide a check on medications, doses, test results, making sure ordered therapy is performed, etc. we found was very necessary, and also comforting to the patient, who is in no position to do these things for himself, particularly early on after the surgery. All of that goes double for the wee hours of the late night/early morning and on weekends. That said, they can do amazing things these days for the heart, so I'll be among the many hoping for the best outcome for your Dad.

Steve L.

7/18/2008 8:47 PM  
Blogger Didirina said...

Jimmy,

Anonymous #3 is just like some of those folks who want to blame parents for everything that is wrong with, or has gone wrong with, their children. I know lots of nice, law-abiding parents whose children decided as teenagers to get involved with drugs or criminal activities of some sort, and some prosecutors want to arrest the parents! Or, in the case of overweight individuals (adults here, children usually don't buy their own food!), those who go on and on about how their parents made them eat this or that don't realize that it doesn't have to continue to be that way. Yes, habits are difficult to break, but it can be done, as you so well know. This country only permits relations to put folks in mental hospitals against their wills, and then only for a short time. We can't commit our relatives to hospitals or weight clinics for treatment. You know you've done all you can for your brother, and he knows it as well. May you have peace and joy while visiting Kevin now, and most definitely go and be with your dad for his ordeal.

7/18/2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger swatkins said...

Jimmy,

Keeping your family in our prayers. Sorry so much is happening at once. Stay strong and lean on Christine, she may be little, but I bet those are some strong shoulders when you need one.

Shari

7/20/2008 9:36 PM  
Blogger Midnight Mama said...

Jimmy,
Prayers to you and your family for courage and strength during this trying time.

The Lord is leading your life right now, as always.

Trust in God, He will speak to you through your heart.

7/23/2008 3:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Sorry to hear about your dad too. Poor Jimmy!

Agree on all the thoughts re the Atkins-like study vs the other two diets.

7/23/2008 9:17 AM  
Blogger quotidianlight said...

I honestly can't think of anything else to say. I am just thinking of you both and hope your dad comes out okay.

7/23/2008 6:32 PM  
Blogger Betty001 said...

How odd to send a message to a complete stranger. I googled 'quintuple bypass' as my partner has just had one and yours was the first link.
After reading all the posts I just wanted to send love to you, Kevin, your father and your family. I hope you are ok and coping with whatever life is throwing your way.
Betty

8/06/2008 6:52 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Betty! My dad is doing pretty good right now all things considered and is well on his way to recovering from surgery. Kevin is living his life which is admirable despite his situation. Come visit me at my new blog at WordPress which I just moved to this week. :D

8/06/2008 7:12 PM  

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