hospital week update

May 23, 2008 at 9:22 am 3 comments

Okay…here’s the Reader’s Digest version of this week we’ve just come most of the way through:


Friday May 16th: My Daddy had brain surgery to install a shunt to alleviate symptoms caused by fluid on the brain. Following surgery they removed the breathing tube too early. His breathing was not strong enough to breathe on his own yet. His blood pressure sky rocketed, and they had to reintubate (reinsert the breathing tube).  Due to the fact that he had begun coming out from under the anesthesia, he fought the reintubation. Lost two front teeth in process.


Saturday: Daddy seemed to be doing well, considering.


Sunday: Daddy was released from the hospital. Upon arrival at home he was confused, disoriented, and hallucinating.


Monday: See Sunday’s symptoms…(ditto)


Tuesday:  See Sunday’s symptoms, but worse. There were times when he could get some words out. And, there were times when his speech sounded like somebody hit fast forward on a tape. I called the hospital and asked that they have whoever was on call with the neurosurgery group to call us so we could determine if these ever increasing symptoms were normal. They called us back and said we should bring him to ER. Upon arrival at ER, they did a cat scan, an EKG, took lots of blood and hooked him up to lots of different machines. His oxygen was low. His blood pressure was 201/57. They admitted him to ICU but they didn’t have an ICU room waiting until 4:30am on Wednesday. Mama and I checked into a hotel down the street at 4:45am Wednesday.


Wednesday: Still in ICU. All the same symptoms as listed previously. Add jerking and twitching. He had not slept much at all since surgery. Well, he probably didn’t sleep great the week leading up to surgery either. But, on Wednesday Daddy slept all day. He barely opened his eyes. They tried to feed him once, and he could not swallow. He didn’t say anything comprehensible all day that I recall. Still hallucinating, even in his sleep. At one point while Daddy was swatting at bugs he was hallucinating, my sister said to him, “Daddy, there aren’t any bugs in here. You’re just hallucinating.” Daddy replied, “I know. Hhhhhhhhhh. Maybe there won’t be any bugs anymore when I get to Heaven.”   (That comment sent me over the edge, y’all.)


Thursday: STILL in ICU. Daddy was much more lucid, and he was able to swallow and speak.  And all he really had to say is that he had to get out of there. He just wants to go home.  That will most likely be a continued issue. (Daddy is NOT a good hospital patient.  Never has been. But, I’ll admit, he’s done pretty well under the circumstances.) He is so frustrated and impatient and aggravated and upset and angry…(Have I left anything out?) Still hallucinating. Still jerking and twitching. But not as badly as they day before. Last night around 8:45pm he was finally transferred out of ICU and into a regular room for the evening. Mama slept on the couch in Daddy’s room, and I went home around 11pm and slept in my bed for the first time in many days.


Friday: Daddy will be transported to a skilled nursing center affiliated with the local branch of the hospital this afternoon. The neurosurgeon said he could be expected to be there a week or two.


I decided to work this morning. Our office only works a half day on Friday. I usually stay til three on Fridays. But, I will just go to the hospital whenever Mama calls and says they’re discharging Daddy.  When they’re ready to move Daddy, I’ll head to the hospital and take Mama to the next facility.  The hospital says she’s not allowed to ride in the ambulance with him, and the hospital regulations insist that Daddy be transferred by ambulance to the other hospital skilled nursing center in our hometown.  Daddy will be getting physical therapy and speech therapy while in the skilled nursing facility so that he’ll be able to manage better.  There’s no way Mama can take care of him in his current state. He’s better, but that’s a relative term. Mama’s got horrible back problems. Well, I mean…she always has. But, additionally, she broke her back last summer. So, she’s got to not do anything that’s gonna mess that up, otherwise we’ll have BOTH parents unable to do for themselves.


So now you’re up to date.  Thank you to everyone for the many prayers. Please don’t stop!  We’re farrrrrrrr from out of the woods.  Much improvement is needed before my Dad will be able to go home.  Again, thank you. And please keep them in your prayers!






Just had to throw this in: I’ve finally broken through my diet plateau. You know I’ve been at a weightloss stand still for about five weeks? Well, I’ve dropped two pounds for a total of 23.5lbs lost now. I told Terry that when he came to the hospital yesterday, and he commented, “Welllllll! Now you’re just one family trauma away from your goal weight!”   (If you’ve seen the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”, you may find that line especially funny.)  If you haven’t…not so much.

Entry filed under: emotional episodes, mindless babble.

my rendition of a Van Gogh masterpiece reporting on J.R.’s physical therapy: “Daddy Daily”; volume 1

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pcase  |  May 25, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Praying like crazy for your daddy. I have not forgotten about him while we have been in the midst of Chelsea’s graduation. I am officially in a “new state of mind” ready for what is next. the celebration part of graduation was about all I could take. I am pooped… but not without keeping your family in our prayers sweet friend.

    Love you


  • 2. Aprille  |  May 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    We’ll definitely keep praying, I’m sorry things are so difficult right now for your daddy and for all of you. Love you!


  • 3. jeterfam6  |  May 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for the update. I will not stop praying, hoping, and waiting for the good news that he is on his way home, which I am sure will not be long. Wish I could give you a hug in person.. love you bunches!


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