Monday night, July 18, dad was experiencing loss of breath and pain. He could not speak or catch his breath. The ambulance came, put a breathing tube down his throat through his mouth, and took him to Emergency where they transferred him to ICU in Silverdale. The diagnosis was Congestive Heart Failure and Fluid in the Lungs. From there the plan was to insert stents to relieve some blockage in the arteries. Similar to a semi-simple procedure he had done in March. However, this time he was too critical.
I was hesitant on coming up because my family already had plans and paid tickets for traveling to Washington for two weeks, August 14 - August 28. Due to his critical state, I decided to fly up to be with mom and help her with what she needs. All this time, dad was unable to communicate because of the breathing tube, however, he was able to write to her, "I was close to 'home', but will not go yet, I love you."
Sunday, July 24, they graciously allowed me to accompany mom to see dad. He was responsive and still has a sense of humor as he laughed at a couple of my comments. After almost a week of watching him very closely at the ICU in Silverdale because of feverish conditions, they decided he needed open heart surgery and would be transferred to Swedish Hospital in Seattle, but would have to wait until Wednesday because no beds were available. That night, we received a call they were transferring him to the University of Washington Medical Center for treatment at their ICU since they had availability.
We waited until Tuesday to see him so they would be able to do all the tests they needed. When we arrived, we found out he was struggling even more. By Tuesday afternoon, they were able to locate a severe infection in his abdominal area. We were told they needed to do emergency surgery and that it had a very high mortality rate. We asked if we could wait until my sister who was out of town could arrive. The experienced surgeon said yes, the other doctors told us he might not make it through the night.
He made it through the night, and his condition improved. By Friday, they had said he improved so much that there was no need for abdominal surgery, nor open heart! His fever was gone and he was stable, but still very critical.
Sunday they placed two stents in his arteries and he did very well. When we saw him on Monday, he was not very alert due to the medicine so we stayed only a couple hours. Before we left, they informed us of their plans to wean him from a balloon pump in his heart (which was placed there in Silverdale), in order to finally take out the breathing tube (it's been two weeks!). He is breathing on his own, but they are unable to take the tube out with the balloon still there.
Today, Tuesday August 2, the plan is to take the balloon pump out in the morning and perform a tracheotomy in the late afternoon in order to remove the tube from his mouth. Apparently, this is easier and safer to recover from than having the tube in his mouth.
Because of some of his responses and facial expressions regarding "end of life" talk, we believe Dad is not finished. This may change, but it's what we know now.
Verses that we are believing:
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."
"I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the LORD."
"...and with his stripes we are healed."
Current general prayer requests:
A complete miraculous healing would be preferred so he doesn't have to go through prolonged rehabilitation.
His heart to be strengthened and be able to function well without the balloon.
His lungs to discharge fluids and be strengthened.
His blood counts to be normalized.
Ability for him to be able to communicate with us.
Quick recovery from all of this.
Strength for us as we travel to Seattle each day.
Strength and wisdom for my mom.
Today's (8/2) specific requests:
Healthy response from the heart as they take out the balloon.
Controlled blood flow during the tentatively scheduled tracheotomy late afternoon.
Healing in his mouth from the affects of having the tube.
Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you so much for all of you who are praying. Thank you for the comments below, we appreciate you.
Dad did well after having the balloon pump taken out yesterday morning. His heart has improved. However, after four hours, his blood pressure dropped and doctors do not know the reason yet. The tracheotomy will wait. They say he has a number of things going on and the problem in his abdomen apparently didn't go away. The nurse who came in just before we left says she doesn't think he'll make it out of ICU. This was certainly a surprise to us as many have been expressing hope and improvement in him. It was a really hard evening.
Today's (8/3) prayer requests:
A clear mind, peace, and wisdom for all of us--my mom, my sister and her family, and myself and my family.
For all the different doctors attending him and communicating with us to have wisdom and come to agreement.
According to his Living Will, he is at the point of transitioning him into "comfort care". Eternity is just around the corner for dad. Thank you for your prayers. As many of you know who have gone through this, it is difficult.