11.12.2013

Dad

I'm going to do a bit of a timeline here just for my own purposes.
11/7/13 
The other day my dad was vomiting but we thought it was a stomach flu so it wasn't too much of a concern. Then, yesterday, he complained of feeling short of breath and dizzy so my mom took him to the ER. They discovered a heart murmur and a stomach infection so they decided to keep him overnight. At 5 a.m. my mom got a call that he needed to be transferred to ICU because he was dizzy when he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and they wanted him to be more closely monitored. At 7 a.m., they called to tell her that dad was going in for surgery for a bowel obstruction. His potassium levels were high so they were getting that stabilized before surgery. He's dehydrated so it's affecting his liver.
***
My dad is in terrible shape. His kidneys have failed and he is on a respirator because his lungs are failing. His intestines - where he had his surgery - have shut down. They are trying medicine but they only are giving him a 10% chance of survival. Curtis, Frances, Brad, Mom and I were just at the hospital and have all had a chance to tell him we love him. We are not optimistic. 

11/8/13
I called the ICU since I am up and the nurse said he has no fever and his blood pressure is improving. His kidneys seem to be responding well to the dialysis. He's still in critical condition and is sedated and using a breathing tube.  
***
He's produced urine
The dark bile has turned lighter.
They've almost weaned him off the blood pressure medicine.
He's still sedated.
The doctor is impressed by these improvements but things are still critical
.

***
I went to see dad this morning at about 10 and he is improving. We are "cautiously optimistic" but he still remains heavily sedated. They are moving a tube from his groin area to his chest and this will be used once (if) they decide to give him nutrients. There is less chance of infection in that spot, however, infection can happen anywhere.
His oxygen saturation is being lowered which is good but he still requires a respirator. They are weaning him off of the blood pressure meds because that is stabilizing. He has not had a fever today. The stuff they are pumping out of his stomach is now what you would normally get out of a healthy stomach instead of that black stuff. They are not getting much out of his lungs which is actually a good sign. They might lighten his sedation so he can hear us better when we visit with him. 

11/9/13
I went to see dad at 5 pm yesterday and he was only needing 25% oxygen whereas earlier he was at 60%. He had completely been weaned off the blood pressure medicine. He was still sedated but had at one point squeezed the nurse's hand and at another my mom spoke to him and he turned and opened his eyes.
My mom called just about a half hour ago and is there with him and he is off sedation. He is awake. His levels (like ph balance, etc) are good and his vitals are stable. They are hopeful they can remove his breathing tube today. Next step, getting out of ICU.
I never believed in miracles before today but now I do.

 ***
Well I've seen it with my own eyes. I went in shortly after this email and dad's eyes were open and he smiled at me. I got to kiss him and he told me he loved me and it's just the best thing ever. The doctor came in and said they'd try to move him out of the bed today to a chair. The breathing tube is out so dad wants to talk more but can't really but that is ok. He has NO IDEA how close he came to leaving us and had NO IDEA he has been sleeping for the last several days. This is a blessing in and of itself. If things continue on this path, he'll be out of the ICU within a day or two. We are still taking things ONE DAY AT A TIME but things are looking so much better than we were given hope to expect. We are so happy.

11/10/13
It's three o'clock here on Sunday afternoon and I realize I haven't updated you! Today dad has made even more progress. He got out of bed with assistance. They were waiting for his tummy to grumble, another milestone, and it did so they were thinking he might have some applesauce this evening. The doctor figures he'll be in the hospital another week at least and then probably will have to spend some time in a convalescent hospital recuperating and having therapy.
Hopefully tomorrow they will move him out of ICU. We saw him last night and he was able to lift his hands up off the bed on his own but not much more than that. He was irritated he couldn't reach the remote to turn off the tv. I guess he also made the nurses move him quite a bit so he could be comfortable. I take this surliness as a good sign.

11/11/13
As fun as this is, dad had a bowel movement. That means his intestines are working again. This is a very big improvement.

11/12/13
Dad had been steadily improving but had a minor setback this morning. He seems to have slight pneumonia which is not at all out of the ordinary. They're going to do a scope of his lungs at some point today and have put him back on the respirator. This means he's likely not getting out of the ICU as quickly as we had thought but that's ok. He's where he should be. He's on some good drugs so seems a little disoriented but is awake. I saw him this morning and fed him Jello and gave him some juice and we chatted a bit. His voice was shaky and he had a cough but he's still better than he was. We are all remaining positive and optimistic but obviously any setback is concerning.  
***
Dad is intubated again. Will have a bronchoscopy. Nurse said this setback is "not good but not as horrible as it can be." Doc sent mom home as there is not much she can do there.

11/13/13
Called the ICU this morning. Dad has internal bleeding in his abdomen and will require a transfusion today. He is sedated and comfortable. I will have more information after 11am. Hospital requested a break on visitors.
***
Mary at ICU said the bleeding has slowed and they are doing the transfusion. At 12:30 the gastro-person will come in to do a scope to make sure the bleeding stops. They may have to cauterize the wound. His blood pressure is low but she hopes the transfusion will help that. He is awake and alert but medicated. I should know more around 2.
***
He has an ischemia in the abdomen. A biopsy is being done.

11/14/13
Saw Dad last night at about 4pm and he had a ventilator in him but he was awake and alert. Mom, Curtis and I were all in the room together with him and it sure is nice to know our family is so close and being so strong. Dad wanted to talk but it's hard to do with a tube down your throat. He had a slight fever but otherwise seemed good. This morning they took the ventilator out but he has an oxygen mask because his levels are at about 90 and they should be closer to 93, so that's not too terrible. Whatever they did as far as that scope yesterday didn't stop the bleeding so there will be more done today, just not sure what as of right now. The blood is not red so that means it is "old" but it's still not good. Mom was happy to have some good news on her birthday as far as him being off the ventilator and is with him now.
***
Turns out the bleeding was caused by an ulcer! It is currently being treated. Dad's fever is down. He is awake and alert and talking. He had a blood transfusion. Sounds like he's off the majority of the tubes. He still needs an oxygen mask. His intestines seem to be working (don't want to give you too much information here!) and everyone seems to be quite pleased with his current state. It would be nice if he could stop freaking us all out and because we're so nice, we're accusing him of just wanting attention.

11/15/13
Mom called last night and the nurses told her the bleeding has stopped! This is certainly good news. They also think he looks really good. Now we just need about 24 hours without any dang complications and just maybe he'll be ready to move out of the ICU.
***
Unfortunately they have discovered my dad has another case of pneumonia. They are currently treating him with antibiotics. It feels cruel to update you with good news in the morning and bad news in the evening and it is definitely taking its toll on all of us.
Dad is very weak and having trouble breathing. He wants badly to be able to talk but simply can't. He's frustrated with us when we tell him to remain quiet and simply rest.

11/16/13
As of this morning Dad had stable vitals and temperature. I called just now and shock of shocks he is in a room! 2110! No more ICU! Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come and no more G-damn road blocks.

11/17/13
I didn't have a chance to see Dad yesterday. My mom did in the evening and she didn't see much improvement. This morning she received a phone call and dad's breathing is shallow and rapid which is not a good sign. Frankly, I don't think they expect him to survive the day. He's currently on morphine.
I'm sorry for the false hope we were all given yesterday with the room change.
***
This will likely be the last update I send until the final news. I went to see Dad this morning and there simply is no more fight left in him. The doctor said anything else would simply prolong his suffering and that there really was no hope of recovery. Per my dad's final wishes, there will be no further medical intervention. He has been taken off of nutrition (which his body was no longer absorbing) and he is no longer receiving antibiotics to fight the pneumonia which wasn't showing signs of improving. He is now sedated and on a continuous morphine drip. When I left at 1, he was being moved into a suite on the 4th floor, 4110 I believe.
I appreciate your encouragement and your support. It's good to know you all have hope for miracles but this is simply the way it is. I more than anyone am so sorry this is how it's ending.

11/18/13
I took the morning off of work to be with dad and got to the hospital just after 8. His breathing was extremely labored. I left for an hour to pack up some of Gran's things with mom. By the time we returned, the nurse was telling us it was dad's last breaths. Mom, Husband and I held his hand until he passed away. Time of death 11:22 a.m.

2 comments:

Lurker Girl said...

Hi Randy--this is an excellent idea for you to keep track of things. My father suffered a massive stroke on the 2nd and I have been keeping very detailed notes from each set of "rounds", tests, results, daily activities etc. I pray for your father's recovery--sounds like he is doing better. My dad will not be so lucky. He prognosis is poor and he is not really responding to therapy and his immediate term memory is pretty much gone. We are hoping for a miracle at this point. I hope for much better results for you! Hugs!

Hung said...

Sending positive thoughts from us!