Thursday, June 02, 2011

here i am

Sorry for not doing my own typing yesterday...but thanks for understanding :-)

Here's the general gist with dad at the moment:

They have ruled out the more common and obvious things, and they are now on to testing him for strange and unusual “syndromes” (leave it to my dad to keep things simple). They are presently testing him for auto-immune disorders that affect both the kidneys and the lungs, or the blood vessels. Apparently this type of blood work takes a few days to do, but given the symptoms he is experiencing and the more superficial test results that are already coming in positive, they now want to do a biopsy of his kidneys so they have more refined information. Obtaining the biopsy results is going to take another several days, too. Meanwhile, they have given dad a little bit of This-And-That to stop the bleeding in his lungs, and because it’s helping, and because he’s been stable, most of yesterday was spent getting dad ready to be on less support (ie remove the ventilator).

Yesterday morning, by the way, I arrived at the hospital under the most beautiful of rainbows.

Complete strangers in the parking lot were talking to each other about it, and it just felt like one fat good omen.

When I got upstairs into the ICU, dad was looking great. They had decreased his sedation, so dad was able to nod his head yes or no if you asked him questions. The respiratory crew began to ween him off the ventilator, and he was responding fabulously. They wanted to have him spend the day with the vent still in place and "on low", so to speak, but with him doing most of “the breathing work”. Then the plan was to give him a rest at night having the vent take on a bit more of the work and re-upping the sedation….and then in the morning, they’d drop everything down again, and if he did well the 2dn time, they’d take him off the next morning (that being today).

Well. Unfortunately, Dad is not much for going with "the plan". I know it's not nice of me to speak ill of my elders, but that man is one horrible patient. He always is. He hates being in the hospital, and when he's there and he's on enough meds, he gets this kookie idea that is family is "committing" him or something, and all he wants is to go home. He sits there being all polite and nice-nice, but if you watch him, you can really see that what is he is doing is looking at what he's hooked up to, and where his clothes and the nearest door are. The second you turn your back, he tries to make a break for it.

We warned them.

At at 1 a.m. I got the call MrHoudini had ripped out the ventilator tubes and got the whole nursing staff into a tizzy.

I was so pissed. I had spent the whole friggin' afternoon yesterday with dad because mom had called and said he was agitated and she had to leave to take care of some things....and meanwhile, I was not taking care of my own important things (like, *ahem*, a birfday). I didn't mind one bit though, actually....because dad and I had a great time! He was so alert that we watched a couple of hours of CashCab and he would use a thumbs up or down if he had guessed right, and he smiled and tried to laugh a couple of times. It was great.

But I leave, and once I do, my mom goes back and he's treating her like she's part of some conspiracy to keep him in a hospital, and then when she goes, he's unplugging himself from everything!

I went back this morning and kinda wanted to bop him in the kisser (not really, just...well, you know what I mean)....and he looks right at me and says, "Hi! Look! They took me off the ventilator last night!" Then he asks me to open the door to the closet because he's just "wondering what's in there," and then is like, "Where's my clothes!!" Once again, plotting his escape.


Well, this afternoon he had the biopsy. I think now that that's done, he can have some solid food, and physical therapists are testing his strength and whatnot. I think in terms of the immediate situation, things are looking up. But if he has what they think he has, well....

We'll just cross that road when we get there.


Janice in GA said...

Much sympathy. A couple of times when my dad was ill and in the hospital, he wanted to get up and leave too, in the middle of the night. The hospital was so far out of his normal experience that it really disoriented him. He kept telling me he had to go home and take care of the dog.

Continuing good wishes for you and your dad.

painting with fire said...

Boy you guys are having a wild ride! Am glad he's doing better and hope the trend continues!

Gina said...

I think men, especially the ones of our dads' generation, have a particularly hard time with being sick and not in control. My dad did the same thing when he was going thru treatment for cancer. Once he got my mom's car keys and took her brand new car for an extended tour of the UCLA Med Center parking garage - while totally looped on pain meds. No harm done but - well, the imagination does wander.

Good luck to you, your dad, and the rest of the family. I hope there is a happy conclusion to this episode very, very soon.

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

I have to say, if he's feeling well enough to plot and execute an escape plan than he must be feeling better which is always a blessing.

I hope that y'all finally learn what you are dealing with soon - it always seems a bit less scary when you can name what you're facing.