Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!


I just got back from Arby's to get myself a Reuben sandwich....to make sure I would get my official "corned beef and sauerkraut" in for New Year's Eve! I have to say it was delicious and is already gone!

I am going to nap until a bit later.....so I can stay up to see the ball fall.....

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

rocking and waiting....

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my son Noah waiting outside of Cracker Barrel restaurant....when he was 3-4 years old.  He just turned 10 yesterday.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gorgeous sunset out my back window December 28, 2008

I wish I had time to jump in the car and drive to an open area to capture better shots.  I happened to look outside my back window when I was talking on the phone and saw the sky lit up with the most amazing colors...I knew it would be a gorgeous sunset.  We have had a couple of these the last few days..they are spectacular to watch but they go very fast...changing in colors before disappearing altogether over the horizon or behind clouds.  These are not ideal shots as I snapped them through my window....but this gives you an idea of what I saw.....

 

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Friday, December 19, 2008

DAD comes home today...Friday the 19th....

they pulled the tube. Both docs said he could come home...they also told him ..if this happens again....they will have to bring him back and stick another tube in him. There is nothing else they can do for him.

So I think they said that the last time...and then they did stick the tube in again....but also sprayed his lung twice....so maybe that is the max number of times? I don't know. Hopefully will find out more later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dad update......Thursday, December 18

P1140245 Dad got moved to a new room today.  He had a couple of visitors and some phone calls.

They did NOT remove the chest tube.  The doctor wants to do that in the morning. 

Hopefully it will go well.

That is all I know for tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I called dad and talked to him tonight.......Wed. December 17



(sunset June 2008 - click to see full size)

He was very talkative.....but I think I finally talked him out because all of a sudden he said "I think I'm going to hang up Melinda," and he sounded like he could fall asleep.

He got up and walked around the hospital floor 3 times today.....and he told some hilarious stories that got me and him both laughing so hard he had a coughing spell. (I will let him decide if he wants to share them with you all, but knowing dad....he will one day whether we all want to hear them or not!) haha

Before discharge they will be moving him to another room as the floor he is on is going to be remodeled. So in the next day or so he will go to another floor and another room.

The "procedure" today was so/so. Some of the stuff apparently squirted out all over the bed and nurse when the doctor was pushing it into the tube in his lung....as the tube had been cut at an angle and the stuff was not flowing in as good as it did the first time. BUT they think they got it covered pretty well. Dad said it did not bother him much this time round.

He is anxiously awaiting tube removal and he hopes they might do it tomorrow. They have to check his x-rays first to make sure his lung is inflated.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday morning update on Dad.....


The chest tube will NOT be removed today. The surgeon wants to come in and perform another TALC procedure Wednesday to try to make sure the lung will be covered completely this time and they have not missed any spots....

so that is scheduled for Wednesday....no idea when the tube will come out. Maybe the day after or Friday. No idea when he will come home...and a nurse told dad this morning she did not want to alarm him but when they pull the chest tube ...that can sometimes cause the lung to collapse again.

I went to see Dad Monday afternoon......

and he seemed in good spirits.  He was very surprised to see me and my son Noah as he did not think anyone would be down to see him because of pending possible bad weather.  BUT when it looked like there was not going to be any bad weather we decided to head on down for a visit.  He was very talkative....and was happy the second TALC procedure had been performed before he had time to think about it and it was over with.  He does not know for sure but is hoping they remove his chest tube tomorrow and maybe......MAYBE if that is successful....maybe he might come home later this week.

Of course when I asked him if the DOCTOR TOLD HIM THIS.....he said NO.  It was HIM hoping that would be how things would pan out. 

So considering all he has been through he seemed more like himself.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest on dad as of this morning.....

Well dad called mom and said "you're not going to believe this but they did that TALC procedure already."  Mom thought he meant the surgical one....and he said NO.  Apparently though they gave him options the surgeon just does NOT want to perform that surgery on dad.  SO they did the same procedure they did about 2 weeks ago where they go in and blow that stuff directly into his lung via the tubes I think already there. 

He told Mom it did not hurt near as bad this time as before....and I am sure that is because he had some of that stuff in there already and some had also caused scar tissue to form which would probably dull the pain from the TALC this time.

I told Mom they should ASK the surgeon WHY he is so adamant about NOT performing the other type of surgery.....and make him give a reason.  MAYBE he did with Dad this morning.....I have not yet talked with Dad so I don't know for sure.   Maybe the surgeon does not think Dad could tolerate the surgery?  I do know he has said even WITH the surgery there would be NO guarantee this could happen again. 

So perhaps he figures if there is no guarantee anyway....a double dose of that sticky stuff might do the trick just as well and be less invasive and stressful on the body for Dad.

That is the latest as we know it now.  AND now for your viewing pleasure.....a couple of shots of ornaments from my Christmas tree....

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The tree stands so tall I cannot get up there to put our lighted star at the top as I have no ladder...and I have not hung any icicles or tinsel yet...I try to make a very old-fashioned children's type tree....

aglow at night......

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Talked to dad Sunday evening....



and to be honest......he just doesn't have any real good options left to choose from.

He has so many blebs (bubbles) on his lungs that they cannot go in and remove/fix them all. If they did it would remove most of the lung tissue.

They cannot remove the lung that has collapsed three times because his remaining lung is not much better than the one that has collapsed three times.

So it sounds like he is down to 2 choices....doing nothing and pretty much being guaranteed this lung will collapse again and perhaps multiple times....or having that surgery laparoscopically (where instead of cutting you wide open they go in with about 3-4 smaller incisions and use scopes...etc)....where they blow in more of that talc/sticky stuff. Dad said the surgeon told him they basically take the lung and move it all around while in there to make sure they completely cover it.

BUT they also told dad if they did that he would be in a lot of pain for at least 4 days afterwards.....as they put so much of that stuff in your chest cavity and lung ...but they could control the pain with medication after the surgery. AND there is still no guarantee though I suppose the odds are better than not doing the surgery.

Regardless of what he finally decides to do....one thing is for sure....his lifestyle will change...as I am sure he will have to be less active. I can understand he would always be worried his lung would or could collapse again at any moment....even with a sneeze or cough....or just sitting around. I imagine in time the longer one goes without it collapsing the more one would start to forget about the threat hanging over one's head...but I know his lung capacity is probably never going to be the same and it was not great to begin with.

I will probably go see dad tomorrow...no...I guess it would actually be later on today. He sounded pretty good on the phone tonight.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update on Dad.........

I talked to him this afternoon......he sounded so much better than he did last night! He is still most likely going to have to have some sort of surgery. What they are thinking about possibly doing is going in laparoscopically and spraying that sticky stuff all over inside his chest cavity....all over the outside of his lung and inside......etc....while he is under general anesthesia...so they can actually see this time where they are spraying it and making sure all areas are covered. The doctor said dad has so many of those blebs (bubbles) all over his lungs that even if they removed part of it that had burst.....there were too many other blebs that would remain that could still burst so that would not really fix the problem. So it sounds like maybe the best thing next will be to try spraying that stuff all over inside via open incisions and scopes...etc...so they can see where it is going and make sure all areas are covered!

When dad arrived at the hospital his lung was collapsed 30%.....and then soon it was 50%......and finally he moved or something and it collapsed completely. So they had to do a new chest tube....in a new location.....an even BIGGER tube....and this time it is bothering him a lot more than last time. He is still coughing up stuff and afraid to cough as he is afraid his lung will collapse again but they told him to cough up the stuff and now that he has a chest tube in he should not fear his lung will collapse. The tubing to his lung got a kink in it once and cut off the suction and he could not breathe much at all which caused all the ICU team and staff to rush to his room to figure out quickly what was wrong. They finally discovered a kink in the tubing and got that worked out and all was well again.

The tube will be in at least until Monday and soon they will talk about the next step which is probably going to be that procedure in surgery. IF all goes well Dad asked if he might be back home in time for Christmas and the doctor said if all went well and nothing unforeseen happened he should be back home for Christmas.

Dad sounded very thankful he could breathe again and to be honest that he was alive....and I know he as well as all of us appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Keep mom in your prayers too as she is worn out. I swear when she called me real early this morning and her voice was cracking and she said "you are not going to believe this but..." that I did think the worst news was coming next from her mouth to me over the phone but that was not the case. It has been a mix of emotions and strangeness to say the least the last 24-48 hours and mom I am sure is about exhausted.

Dad's lung collapsed again!

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I could not believe it.  Today was a bad day for him.....I called my mom and was talking to her to tell her I was going to bring her mom (my grandma) and son over tomorrow to see dad.....and she said it may not be a good time.  She said that dad had a bad day......was having a hard time breathing again and had a bad cough.  He had just been to the doctor on Wednesday and they said his lungs were clear.....sounded good....etc. 

Today they called the home health nurse and she came out and she said his lungs sounded okay too.....and his oxygen saturations were good....but when I talked to mom and then dad......there is NO WAY his lungs could be clear or his saturations okay.  I asked him what his saturations were......and this is WITH oxygen...and they were only about 90 to 92%.  That is not great especially if you have oxygen....and he had a coughing spell and it sounded like his lungs/chest was full of crap....I mean it was nasty sounding......worse than I have heard and I have worked in a pulmonary clinic with kids with cystic fibrosis! 

Dad was not able to get up most of the day to do anything......could no longer make it to the bathroom or really even stand up without becoming very breathless......and almost falling down. 

I told dad that I thought he should not wait around.....I asked him how long he wanted to go on like that?  That I knew he did not want to go to the hospital again but I felt he SHOULD go...as they could make him more comfortable......breathe easier......and give him a breathing treatment if needed which I felt he needed....increase his oxygen which I felt he also needed......and they could make sure nothing was wrong inside his chest.....as it sounded to me like he might have fluid building up.  We all could not imagine his lung could possibly have collapsed again.

Mom at first I think just thought dad was anxious and panicky a bit....and that was making his breathing worse.  Which it would....but after I talked to him I told her that he did not sound panicky to me....he sounded like he just could not get air in and his lungs were full of crap.  I told her too that I thought he should go to the hospital ....and I told dad that numerous times.

She finally decided to call the after hours and home health nurse and I told her they would all tell her to call 911 if he was at that point...and have him be taken back to the hospital.

So she did.....they took him...mom just called.......and guess what?  HIS LUNG HAS COLLAPSED AGAIN!!!!!!!! THE SAME ONE......and now they are faced with all the crap I wanted them to PRESS those doctors for answers on......WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO NOW?  THEY told dad originally they would NOT put another chest tube in.....but that is what they are doing right now.  They also said they would not operate....but this being the THIRD TIME that lung has collapsed....I BET they will HAVE to do surgery now.....to either resect the bad portion off or remove that lung entirely.  How well he will do then will depend a lot on the remaining lung and the condition it is in.

SO dad will be sedated for the chest tube....and in the hospital probably this time for awhile.....and maybe over another holiday?  NOT sure yet about that or what will happen but ANY AND ALL prayers are appreciated!

I till try to keep everyone updated or my mom will on dad's blog or her blog.....

Monday, December 1, 2008