Saturday, August 05, 2006

Just an update

Since I haven't written in a week or so, here is an update.
Dad was taken to the emergency room on July 24th due to problems breathing. His O2 saturation was around 65%, a dangerously low level. The ER doctors determined he was quite anemic and found blood in his stool, so they admitted him. Their thought was that he may have an ulcer or something of that nature and was bleeding internally, thus explaining the loss of blood. On the 25th an upper GI was performed with negative results. On the 26th, a colonoscopy was performed finding two polyps. One was removed that day but the doctor was afraid to remove the second due to their close proximity to each other and the fact that they may have been the source of the bleeding. On Thursday, the 26th, the second polyp was removed. To this point, dad's O2 sat dropped very low twice. It happened once again around 11pm on the 26th and it was decided to move him to CICU for closer observation and care. Due to the previous procedures he had not been able to eat anything and now that he was able to eat he could not keep anything down, not even water. These symptoms indicated some issues with his stomach or bowels. On Tuesday, August 1st, after 4 days in CICU they were able to perform a cat scan which indicated a possible blockage in the small intestine. The surgeon requested a meeting with me and the family on 8/02 to discuss the procedure and options.
Wednesday, August 2nd, 5:45 am -- the surgeon was hesitant to do the surgery without being absolutely sure there was a blockage and the surgery was absolutely necessary. It was decided that at least part of his intestines were not working properly so several tests were run and it was decided to try to remove some of the gas from dad's stomach and intestines and try to allow his intestines to begin working again. On Thursday, August 3rd, since things had not improved from the previous attempts, it was decided that the surgery may well be necessary. Dad was placed on a respirator early because the doctor felt he may stop breathing before they could do anything for his stomach issues. The surgery was performed around 10:30am and they found what is called paralytic ileum. It simply means that his intestines have gone to sleep and are not pushing food, nutrients, etc through the intestinal tract. The cure for this is normally walking, sitting up and general movement, things dad has been unable to do to any extent for quite some time. There is nothing else they can do except medical support to allow his incision to heal and get his strength back and hopefully his body will start to take over the normal intestinal functions again. Also, an even bigger concern is that he will have a difficult time coming off of the ventilator. At this time there are very few options except to pray and wait to see what God can do.


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