Dad's Hospital Visit - Nov '13
On the morning of November 10th, Al complained of flu-like symptoms and seemed disoriented. His temperature was taken and measured 105 on a home thermometer; he was immediately taken to the Emergency Room at Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
Al has developed an infection from a wound on his calf which has progressed into sepsis. He was immediately placed on antibiotics, given light sedation and pain medication, and admitted to the med-surge unit at the hospital.
[Monday 11/11/13 7PM] Al spent the day resting in med-surg and received another course of antibiotics. The results on the culture came back and it was confirmed that he has a staph infection.
[Tuesday 11/12/13 7PM] The infection and sepsis are causing complications including showing signs of confusion, and chest congestion and difficulty breathing. Antibiotic treatment continues.
[Wedsday 11/13/13 7PM] At 3AM, Al was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit after having a respiratory incident and complications from septic shock. He was placed on a ventilator and sedated. But he began spontaneously breathing on his own late in the morning. X-rays came back negative for pneumonia. The staff is hopeful that the respirator could be removed tomorrow. More antibiotics.
[Thursday 11/14/13 8PM] Al continues to breathe on his own, but remains on the ventilator as a precaution. Doctors are working to stabilize his vital signs as his body fights the infection and sepsis. The doctors have diagnosed a pulmonary embolism and are monitoring the situation closely, prescribing blood thinner. Despite the end of sedation this morning, Al is currently unresponsive to verbal stimuli.
[Friday 11/15/13 6:50PM] Al remains on the ventilator, but breathing on his own. His vital signs have stabilized somewhat and we're waiting for lab results to determine the status of the infection. His temperature is normal and he slept for the first half of the day today. But in mid-afternoon he managed to open his eyes for a short time in response to loud verbal stimuli. Antibiotics continue. The doctors believe his stay will last several weeks. We're hopeful we can have him home for Thanksgiving.
[Saturday 11/16/13 6:30PM] Not much change today, though Al was slightly more responsive. His vital signs remain stable, but Al is still not coming out from under the sedation as quickly as doctors would like. A CT scan ruled out a stroke or brain injury from his respiratory incident or from a pulmonary embolism. His major organs are all working fine, except his liver, which is sluggish and is having trouble processing the various medications used to treat the infection and pain. Despite this complication, Al is making small steps towards recovery.
[Sunday 11/17/13 7:00PM] Al had a very busy day today. He is more responsive to voices and was able to squeeze my hand on command. At noon, he was taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own. He is having some difficulty with swallowing. With the aid of respiratory therapists, his airway is clear and he is breathing comfortably. He had his first physical therapy during the afternoon. His liver continues to slowly process the sedatives. The antibiotics for the infections(s) have run their course.
[Monday 11/18/13 9:15PM] Another busy day, today. Physical therapy, x-rays and speech therapy made for a lot of activity. Physical therapy is keeping him moving. The x-rays have been negative for pneumonia and pulmonary edema. But speech therapy is concerned about his swallowing. His liver continues to process the sedatives and each day seems to bring an increasing level of consciousness. Today he was speaking with us, aware of his surroundings and very anxious to go home.
[Tuesday 11/19/13 6:45PM] Physical therapy, x-rays and speech therapy were on Al's agenda again today. His Physical Therapist Al had him sitting up at the side of his bed for a few minutes. And speech therapy continues to show concern about his swallowing, not releasing him for any food or drink. His liver continues to work to process the sedatives and like yesterday he showed an increasing level of consciousness. Unfortunately his circumstance doesn't allow for much sleep, which only adds to his challenges. He is still in the ICU and not ready for visitors.
[Wednesday 11/20/13 8:30PM] Not much to report today. It's day 10 and Al remains in the ICU. He seemed to be a bit more restful. Doctors continue to iterate that he'll come out of this; it's just going to be a long, slow recovery.
[Thursday 11/21/13 9:00PM] Another light day, today. Al is still in the intensive care unit at UVMC and spent most of the day resting. He had physical therapy and speech therapy. Though progress seems slow, doctors are encouraged. He's still not ready for visitors.
[Friday 11/22/13 6:45AM] Al has already had a very difficult day. Early this morning we received a call from the hospital that Al's breathing had become labored and his blood pressure crashed. He was put back onto the ventilator which is breathing for him. The doctor reported that he is going through organ failure related to the sepsis.
[Update 6:45PM] The vigil continues. Al's prognosis is grave. His kidneys are not functioning and he has developed pneumonia. The doctor received his latest labs this evening, described the numbers as devastating and suggested that at this point we need a miracle. Please keep Al in your thoughts and prayers.
[Saturday 11/23/13 8:00AM] Despite the best efforts of medical professionals at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, our vigil ended this morning when Al passed away in the loving company of family and friends. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support, the cards, the prayers, and the many calls and messages wishing Al a speedy healing recovery. Arrangements are posted here.