Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bloggers, meet Felix

I'm posting from my dad's home computer, which has spotty internet service. When it connects, though, it's fast! Fast and unreliable works for me, at least this week when I haven't had much time to park my ass in front of a monitor.

Dad's still in ICU, but - as the title of this post implies - making a pretty good recovery. Turns out he has pneumonia. In someone with compromised health, pneumonia is life-threatening. The first system that shut down was the renal. His kidneys no longer produced or filtered urine, and all the normal medications he was taking started building up in and poisoning his system.

So, pneumonia followed by medication toxicity on top of heart problems and you've got the geriatric trifecta. The health care team figured it out pretty quickly, got his kidneys working again (three rounds of dialysis) and started him on three different antibiotics.

The lingering problem is low blood pressure. He's on an IV medicine to keep it in the normal range, but they want him off of it. When they try to wean him off, his BP drops dangerously low. Next step is a temporary pacemaker, the theory being that if his heart rate were higher (it's now in the 50s, they want it to be 70-80), his BP would rise as well. The temporary one will be in place for 24 to 48 hours, to see if it does what they want it to do. If so, a permanent one will be the next step and he should be good to go.

He has sooooo many problems, nearly all are complications of Type II diabetes, which is, if not completely preventable at least mostly preventable and certainly treatable. I'm not sure if he thought he was invincible or what, but it's all catching up with him now. Even if the pacemaker works, he has ongoing foot and leg pain that is excruciating and prevents him from doing so many things he used to enjoy. Just before this hospitalization, he joined the "Scooter Generation," walking the dog while riding on one of those cool little scooter chairs.

I hope he'll be out walking the dog again soon. Even if it is on a scooter. Your good thoughts and wishes and, especially, your prayers are working. Thank you all.

Felix and Debbi


altopower said...

Thanks for the update on your dad. Having good, smart, responsive medical folks caring for him is sooo important. Having so many things go wrong at once is hard on the body and the spirit. I'm glad you're there and will continue to keep you in my prayers.

D said...

Your dad is amazingly resilient. Sending continued healthy thoughts your way...