Tag Archives: hospital

Dad’s Progress

healing therapy

For the many people who have asked….just a quick update on dad. He is doing much better.  He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for shortness of breath, nausea and excessive sweating. Of course the first thought was his heart – he had a quadruple bypass in 2005 – but fortunately all of the tests on his heart came back clear.

After hearing a lot of wheezing, ER doctors decided to give him a chest x-ray. Diagnosis… and it sounds much worse than it is… “Congestive Heart Failure.” It sounds terrible, but fortunately, after being put on medication he is doing much better and should be home by Wednesday.

When dad, who rarely complains, calls one of us and mentions that “he might need to go the the ER” you know something is up. The awesome Maplewood Fire Department medics and the police officer who arrive at his house were terrific and helped calm his nerves, getting him to the hospital in no time at all. The staff in the emergency room was great and it was oddly quiet while we were there allowing for quick treatment and he got admitted a room in record time!

So…thanks for all the well wishes. He appreciates it and my brothers, sister and I do too.

He should be home in time for the duck race!

Ice Storm

Blurred Backgrounds is the prompt for today.  Although I don’t like it much, snow and ice are some of my favorite things to photograph because they make for such beautiful photos. I was worried about having my camera out for too long today because of the frozen rain, but I still took a lot of them.  I have a bunch of favorites, including one that Drew took of my hair frozen into icicles. Since I didn’t actually take that photo though, I chose this one instead.

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School was canceled again which gave Dave and me time to get ourselves up to the hospital to visit my dad.  He was just on his way out for a bone scan so we had a lunch “date” in the hospital cafeteria while we waited.  We stayed with dad for a few hours but still no results from the scan so we left because the roads were really getting unsafe.  He’s in good spirits and the antibiotics are working on his pneumonia which is a good thing.  Hopefully a few more days of healing at the hospital and he will be on his way home.

Cranky

small steps

Dad has reached that point.  He wants to leave the hospital.  He is done and ready to go home…at least he feels that way.  Unfortunately his doctors do not agree.  He has gotten his hemoglobin levels to stay in the 9’s and that is okay but he has been attached to oxygen for the last few days and every time they take it off, his saturation levels drop too low for them to feel that he can leave safely.

He was not happy when I got there after school today.  He wanted answers from his doctors!  I was able to speak to two of them on the phone.  Both were very helpful to me but when I relayed their information to my dad, he wasn’t satisfied. It doesn’t help that now he also has a stiff neck making him miserable. Not sure where this is coming from.  Being in bed for a week?  A symptom from something else??  I told him he must tell the doctors and nurses about it though because if he doesn’t tell them, hoping that it gets him released sooner, he’s just going to wind up back there again.  I think he will listen…I hope he will!

One of his doctors was so incredibly kind to me on the phone.  I told him how dad was at his wits end.  The first week was honestly pretty smooth…very little complaints from him.  He was following doctors and nurses orders doing everything EXCEPT for walking around.  So now, his legs aren’t working well again.  This was what has kept him in rehab from the last time he was in the hospital.  Hopefully it won’t put him too far behind in his progress.  The doctor told me to remind him that he has to walk.  When he leaves, he will be going home with oxygen. He has to use it.  If he doesn’t he will wind up back in the hospital.  We have to keep reminding him of that.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow we get good news and he is able to go home.  If not, he will not be happy but they wouldn’t be keeping him there if there isn’t a reason for it.  We just have to convince him of that!

Dad is Home

good to be home

My dad came home today.  After four weeks in the hospital and rehabilitation home, I know he was thrilled to be home.  My brother Tim picked him up after his final physical therapy session.  He came home with things that they feel will make him more comfortable.  He has a walker and a special shower seat but was using just a cane when Dave and I went to see him this afternoon.  Dave ran to the grocery store to pick up some things for him.  He doesn’t cook for himself.  Usually he eats with my grandmother or one of us so he just needed the basics.  I don’t think he plans on leaving the house for a few days.  Tonight, Grammy and her caretaker are at his house making dinner.  My sister Kathi and I will each take a day as well.  As soon as he is ready and can drive on his own, I am sure he will head back to his store and get out more.

Kathi and her family have been keeping his dog with them this whole time.  She brought her back today and dad was so happy to see her.  He was going through the stack of bills and mail that accumulated all month.  That should take him awhile!  Kathi and I have things to do tonight and can’t join them for dinner but my brothers will be there.  He is okay to be alone for the night.  He is getting along better than we all expected.  My brothers will stay till he heads up to bed and then tomorrow, a caretaker will come by to figure out his schedule for more therapy.

I am sure he will be happy to sleep in his own bed tonight.  Coming home after time away always feels so good!

Here we go again…

coincidence

Dave was able to get my dad to the doctor today.  It was suggested that he return to the hospital because he was running a fever again.  Dave stayed with him all day – in the emergency room because there were no available rooms.  They did more scans to check his brain,  vascular test to look for blood clots and a few more.  Fortunately all came back negative but his white bl0od count is high so they are keeping him there.  Dave said my dad wouldn’t stop saying that he made a mistake and left too early.  He thinks everyone is going to be mad at him.  No one is mad.  We are all relieved that he is back in the hospital getting the care he needs.  It is truly the best place for him right now.

They spent HOURS in the ER.  I had an doctor’s appointment for myself after school and after that, I went up to see him.  He was still in the ER and waiting for a room.  I recognized one of the nurses, MJ was her name.  She had been my mom’s nurse while she was there.  Dad thought that was a good sign.   He was charming to all of the nurses – quite the different mood from when he was begging to leave on Wednesday.  A few minutes after I got there, his transport arrived for his room.  Dad said, I must have been the lucky charm.   Maybe….

The real “sign” we noticed, as they wheeled him into his new room was one hanging on the wall.

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That’s my grandma!  The room was dedicated to her sister, our Aunt Dee!  What an incredible coincidence.   I know that made dad feel good.  He called grandma to tell her about it.  Now, we have to convince him to stay until the doctors and nurses think he is ready to leave – and not any earlier!  I think he will listen this time!  🙂

Maya Angelou

Upon hearing that Maya Angelou passed away today, I could not help but recall one of my favorite quotes of hers.

maya angelou 2

What I didn’t realize, was, that it was only a part of a much longer quote and now, I love it even more.

may angelou I've learned

I think it is a good one to keep in the back of my mind.  This has been a long, tiring week dealing with my dad – who is still in the hospital.  My siblings and I don’t all see eye to eye on his health care and it is causing a lot of friction!!  I had a frustrating day and had to miss an awards ceremony at DJ’s high school tonight.  He wound up getting three awards for his work on the television production work he has been working on all year.  I am so proud of him!  I was so sad to miss seeing it in person, but knew that I needed to be at the hospital with my dad, speaking to his doctors and nurses to find out the next steps in his health care.  We all have to make decisions and in the end, we have to believe in our hearts that we have made the right one.

Rest in peace Maya Angelou.  You were an inspiration to so many people.  Thank you for your words.  They have touched so many people.

Still There

restless2

Not enough time for a long blog today.After a busy day at school, I am meeting up with Dale and Kathi to go see Grease at The Papermill Playhouse.  We are using my dad’s tickets.  Unfortunately, my dad is still in the hospital and not coming home like he thought.  He was in great spirits yesterday thinking that at some point today he’d be back in his house.  Dave and Dale were “on call” for his pick up today, just waiting for the call saying he could leave.  When I spoke to him early this morning I wasn’t so sure because he had run another fever during the night.  He still seemed optimistic, but after seeing several doctors during the day, including the infectious disease specialist, they decided another day was needed.

Needless to say, he is NOT happy about it.  That alone tells me that he’s feeling better though. It took until the seventh day for him to complain and start arguing about staying any longer.  I haven’t spoken to any of his doctors.  I can never get there and time it to meet up with one.  Today, he was taken for an echocardiogram.  I am still unclear why, but since he had a quadruple bypass years ago, I assume they were checking to make sure no damage was done to his heart after the blood infection and high fevers.

I am hoping that those results come back soon.  So is dad!  He just wants to get out of there.  I know he doesn’t want to hear it, but I am happy that they are checking everything out, even if it means staying a bit longer.  At least this way, we will know he’s all clear to go home and won’t have to worry about him relapsing at home.  Better to get all better now than have to go back to the hospital!!

Once again, thanks for all the good wishes.  He can’t wait to get home to thank you all personally~

Mom

mom hug

Tonight is time  for me to look at gratitude. Last night, my mom, who has been struggling with COPD for many years now, suffered her worst set back yet.  She was in the car with my dad when he heard her make a funny sound.  He turned to her, knew immediately something was wrong and being only a few miles from the hospital, he got her there more quickly than an ambulance could have. When he arrived, she was not breathing and doctors administered CPR  to “bring her back”.  It has been determined that she had been without oxygen to her brain for seven minutes.  The prognosis is grim.  She is attached to a respirator, is in a medicated coma to keep her completely sedated and is suffering seizures.  The doctors have told us to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst.  Of course I am hoping for the best but I am also trying to be realistic.

At 42 years old, I have been fortunate enough to have not had to deal with death often.  My grandpa died when I was a teenager, and some older great aunts and uncles have passed away, but no one that is this close to me has died and I have not really had to deal with this reality. There is no single way to tell someone how to cope with a tragic illness and the death of a loved one and I know that my family and I are all going to deal with it differently.  I know that right now we are going to handle it one minute at a time.  We will all show our grief differently.  It is going to be the most devastating thing that my brothers, sister, father and I will have gone through.  My parents have been together for nearly 50 years.

My mom has been battling COPD so hard and I know that it is time for her body to have a break from it.   We are going to have to take her illness one day at a time and remember all of the good times we spent together.  We are already doing that as we sit in her room or in the waiting room sharing stories about her.  These stories are what are going to get us through the next few days, weeks, months…however long it takes for her to wake up….or not.   What all of the stories have in common is her love and generosity.  Over the last few years she has gotten so tired and old, but the thing is, she’s not old.  She is only 67, but this illness has really aged her quickly.  She was such a funny, giving generous woman.  Her spirit is still there, she is just not as able to share it as she was in the past but what we need to focus on is the time when she was healthy, happy and full of life.  Nothing is going to prepare is for when the moment arrives. I know that we will all go on.  We all have one another not only to take care of, but to take care of us.

Her love for us is what is going to pull us all through this.  Her love for her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her mother-in-law, her sisters and brothers-in-laws, nieces, nephews and the many, many, many people whose lives have been touched by her.  The positive we can all take from this is to reflect on all of the wonderful things she did for others.  She is always putting her family, friends and community before herself and now it is the perfect time for us to think about how she has affected our lives and then apply that towards doing something worthy ourselves.  I know that this would be what would make her the happiest now.  Knowing that everyone who is praying for her right now, is thinking of the positive affect she has had on them and doing something positive in return.