Wow, has it really been almost a week since I last wrote??
Hopefully my lack of constant communication has lead you to believe that my dad has been relatively stable throughout this last week. While his various levels continue to fluctuate and effect him in different ways, he thankfully has not contracted any other major, life-threatening illnesses, diseases or infections! I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
His mental state seems to be clearly effected by certain blood levels being out of wack. His potassium and magnesium (I think??) were seriously low the other day... he was asking my mom to "move those noodles" (his bed rails) and to get him his medication from out of the clock! After receiving two units of potassium, he was making much more sense. There are also some issues with his electrolyte levels that I don't really understand. I'm not sure if things get unbalanced following dialysis or if it's after he hasn't had dialysis for a few days or if it's mainly to do with how little he's eating... likely it's several things combined.
In regards to his eating, he still has very little appetite and is only able to eat very small amounts, no more than 6 or 7 bites. It frustrates me that the staff at the hospital isn't more proactive in that department. They seem content to bring him his three meals a day and have him eat his 6 or 7 bites - and THAT'S IT. I don't know why they wouldn't/couldn't arrange for small meals to be brought up every 2-3 hours.
At any rate, this might all be changing soon...
Today around 3:30pm, my mom (and Heather and Joel I think) will be meeting with a social worker at the hospital to discuss plans for my dad's care. I'm assuming that they're planning on moving him from the hospital, although not home yet. He's no where near ready to be home, but it doesn't seem like he needs the acute care that a hospital is designed for. I'm anxious to hear what suggestions and options they have, what they consider to be realistic goals for him, and what he'll need to do to get there.
Personally, I think that barring some other catastrophic illness AND assuming he remains stable AND assuming he's able to get back to eating like a normal person AND assuming they're able to figure out what needs to be done in order to keep his various blood levels from wildly fluctuating and making him act like a crazy person... ASSUMING all those things, I don't think that it's unrealistic to hope/pray that he'll be able to return home at some point with some home care services in place. BUT he's still not eating enough or anywhere near strong enough for that to happen right now.
So please pray for strength for him, both literally and figuratively. Pray that the meeting today goes well and that he truly is ready for some sort of transitional care (and that this isn't motivated by the need for beds, etc).
Thanks again for all your care and support.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
my dad - part IV
I just sent this email out to family so I figured I'd just re-post it here. Plus I'm lazy.