Archives for: February 2010


Permalink 04:38:11 pm, by John Email , 103 words, 803 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 32 - Afternoon Update

I spoke with Dad's nurse and Roger this afternoon. They both said that Dad is doing very well. He is breathing easily and his blood pressure is good. Roger said that he and Dad were having a good conversation, as best as can when Dad can only answer Yes or No. He is trying to speak, but is hard to understand. I am sure that will get better with time. The nurse said that they will keep upping the amount he gets through the feeding tube and as soon as they determine he is handling it well, they will move him back upstairs.


Permalink 02:35:14 pm, by John Email , 56 words, 829 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 31 - Afternoon

They removed the breathing tube this morning. Dad is doing well. His blood pressure is up slightly, but not much and he is back on the medicine. So far everything seems to be going well. The doctors said it would take a couple of days to know if he will do well off of the ventilator.


Permalink 04:12:24 pm, by John Email , 355 words, 667 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 30 - Afternoon Update

It's hard to believe that it has been thirty days since I first got the call about Dad. Today has been sort of a turning point. Roger, Dad's nurse, and a Doctor all spoke with Dad this morning regarding the tracheostomy procedure. Dad was very alert, and seemed to understand everything. He declined it once with all of them there, and again later when Roger asked after the others had left. His wishes are now known to all the staff and I have confirmation of what I believed his wishes to be. I spoke with his attending a few minutes ago. He also spoke with Dad and believes this to be his desire. He has high hopes that Dad will do fine with the tube removed. They have turned off the ventilator completely and he is doing OK like that, although his blood pressure increased some. The plan is to extubate in the morning. They will not re-intubate or do an emergency tracheostomy if he does not do well or crashes as we all agree he does not want that. By all reports he has a lot of strength now, knows what is going on, hates being where he is, has tried to escape, tried to extubate himself, and is letting everyone who sees him know he is not happy about things as they are. I told the doctor of my concerns about moving him back to the 6th floor since they let him get so dehydrated. He seems to be aware of that, and was very understanding. I think they will be much more aware of things this time. I am sort of in a pickle though. My second daughter is to be born 11 days from today (unless she comes early) and I have a lot to do to get ready for her arrival. I also would like to be in Nashville to be with Dad. I would ask that all who pray, please say extra prayers for Dad during the next few days. It is sink or swim time for him, at his request, and I ask that the Lord helps him swim.

Permalink 08:42:44 am, by John Email , 117 words, 778 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 30 - Morning Update

I spoke with Dad's nurse this morning. She said that he is alert and lucid and at least seems to understand what she tells him. She said that he is now fighting them when they are trying to do oral care and such. She said he tried to pull the vent tube last night with his right hand. That seems to be working better for him and he seems to be getting his strength back. If he is as alert as the nurse is telling me he is, then I am hoping that he can tell Roger if he wants the tracheostomy or not. Roger and I both think he will not, but he may surprise us.


Permalink 04:06:59 pm, by John Email , 167 words, 791 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 29 - Afternoon Update

I spoke with Dad's nurse as well as the attending physician today. The pulmonologist is wanting to do the tracheostomy again. I am waiting to speak to him about it. The nurse said it might be permanent and the attending said he couldn't say for sure. I do know that Dad would absolutely not want it if it was going to be a permanent, or even long term thing. They have him sedated somewhat on a morphine based sedative and so he is not as lucid as he was before. Roger has said that the seemed to be really out of it. The doctors and nurses said that he is responding to commands and seems to understand them. However, the doctor said that they reduce the sedative in the morning, so he may be more lucid then. Please pray that the Lord guide me in making the decision about the tracheostomy. I am trying to follow Dad's stated wishes balanced with the aspects he never thought of.


Permalink 06:09:24 pm, by John Email , 75 words, 646 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 28 Evening update

Dad's nurse said he did well today on the CPAP and his blood pressure has been stable all day. He is still doing well with the feeding tube. She said he was answering questions b y nodding appropriately and that he looked really good. He is still on the ventilator, but I am sure that will change soon. Thank you all for the prayers and concern and please keep him lifted up in your prayers.

Permalink 10:59:19 am, by John Email , 130 words, 641 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Day 28 - Midday Update

I spoke with Dad's nurse a few minutes ago. He is alert and doing well. He has been on the CPAP setting on the vent all morning again and is doing well with it. He is also doing well on the feeding tube and his blood pressure is stable and at a good level. He may be extubated today or tomorrow. They are still treating the infection that he has in his lungs and have changed the antibiotic. I have heard nothing further regarding rehab/nursing homes that will accept him. Please pray that a decent facility close to Nashville or Memphis will accept him. It is very important that he have visitors every day in the facility to help make sure he gets the best care from the staff.


Permalink 09:18:17 pm, by John Email , 141 words, 662 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday Evening Update

I just spoke with Dad's night nurse. She said he is doing very well. He has been on the CPAP setting on the vent all day. That means he has been doing the work of breathing and the machine just makes sure it happens (like a safety). He may get off of the vent all together tomorrow. He is tolerating nourishment through the tube pretty well. Prior to last night, he had not had any calorie intake since Tuesday. He is staying hydrated and is moving his right arm. His blood pressure is still up when he is awake and they are working to get it controlled with medication. The nurse said he is getting mad that they have not taken the tube out yet. I guess that is a good thing as he is getting back to his old self.

Permalink 08:50:18 am, by John Email , 131 words, 748 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday Morning Update

I am back in Memphis now. I spoke with Dad's doctor this morning. He was dehydrated when he got into the ICU Friday night. The doctor has done some tests to see why he had trouble breathing and why he dehydrated. Turns out he has a nasty infection in his lungs that is most likely the root cause. He said it happens sometimes to people that have been in the hospital and on antibiotics as long as Dad has been. They are treating the infection and also starting nourishment through the tube. His blood pressure is going up as well and they are treating it to try and stabilize it. Dad is fully awake and coherent. Please pray that the infection does not spread and that they can successfully treat it.


Permalink 10:44:56 am, by John Email , 183 words, 711 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Sunday Morning Update

Dad is doing well this morning. He is still slightly sedated so he falls asleep a lot. However, he can follow commands, nods appropriately when asked questions, and seems to be reasonably coherent. The IV nourishment will start this evening about 6. I know he will feel a lot better once he gets some calories in him. They are treating him for pneumonia since an x-ray showed some fluid buildup in one lung. He was dehydrated when he got into the ICU, but seems to be much better now. The nurses and doctors are very happy with his progress. For those that want to visit him while he is in the ICU, the visiting hours are 9-11 AM, 1-5PM, and 8-9PM. Anyone is allowed to visit, they just ask for some reasonable limitations on the number of people at one time and the length of time. They don't seem to be very strict about it unless the patient is getting worn out. Thank you everyone for your prayers and concern. The prayers seem to be making a difference. Please keep them coming.


Permalink 11:01:57 pm, by John Email , 71 words, 670 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday Night Update

I have been at the hospital most of the day. Dad is doing pretty well. I spoke with his doctor this afternoon and he had a very positive outlook for Dad's recovery. He said had been doing very well until the episode last night. He said that he is recovering very well from last night and he hoped he could get him off of the vent in a day or two.

Permalink 02:25:41 pm, by John Email , 205 words, 799 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday Midday Update

I made it in town for the end of the first visitation session and am back for the afternoon session. Dad is resting now. He seems alert but groggy. I still don't have any official word on why he started to have trouble breathing. He is on a vent now, but seems to be doing well. His blood pressure has been pretty stable and the nurse said he is following commands. The nurse said that they would not pull the vent today, and probably not tomorrow. I am hoping that they start giving him some nourishment through the feeding tube soon as I know he has got to be hungry. I am downstairs from his room right now letting him get some rest. Even though he is on the vent, he looks better than the last time I saw him. I will speak with his nurse (and hopefully doctor) when i go back upstairs and see what the latest is. Please pray that whatever caused this condition was temporary and that it caused no additional permanent harm, that he continues to recover and maintains good spirits, and that we are able to locate a good facility for him to go to once he is released.

Permalink 06:46:16 am, by John Email , 75 words, 638 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday Morning Update

I am about to head out for Nashville. I just spoke with the ICU nurse to check on Dad. He is back on the ventilator and sedated. She said that he is stable right now and resting. They do not know what caused the issues. They did a CT scan already today and it came back showing no new bleeds. They are going to be doing more tests today to see what caused the issue.


Permalink 11:19:07 pm, by John Email , 96 words, 692 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday night update

The Dr. just called and Dad is back in ICU due to trouble breathing and being unresponsive. They have had to reintubate him and put him back on the vent. They are not sure what is causing all of this. CT and CXR were clear yesterday for any answers and CT showed his initial hemorrhage was smaller. I am heading back to Nashville in the morning to see how he is. Please continue to pray for him and for God to guide me in any decisions I will have to make on his behalf! Thank you!

Permalink 11:00:46 am, by John Email , 91 words, 625 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday Morning Update

I just spoke with the nurse. Things have not changed since yesterday. His breathing is still accelerated. The CT scan did not show anything. They are going to try to use the feeding tube today. I have left a message for the doctor to call me so that I can try to get more information as the nurse is not very helpful today. Some nurses are very helpful and seem to care a lot, and others seem like they are just trying to do the minimum to get through the day.


Permalink 10:19:12 am, by John Email , 121 words, 661 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday Mid Morning Update

I just spoke with Dad's primary doctor in the hospital. He has taken a step backwards, his breathing is accelerated, and he isn't speaking as much today. He is looking into why that has happened. The accelerated breathing is putting too much pressure on the feeding tube for them to be able to use it. The doctor said that he would not be released until his blood pressure is stabilized and he is good on the tube. He said the initial (if everything went as expected) plan was for him to be released tomorrow, but that is out the window right now. Please pray that they can get his breathing controlled and that there is nothing major that is causing it.

Permalink 07:00:16 am, by John Email , 142 words, 659 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday early morning update

I tried to post this last night, but for some reason I couldn't get it to save. Dad's nurse said he is doing better. She has been his nurse for the last 3 nights and saw him some last week. She said it is a big improvement. He is speaking a bit more and can be understood, but still only a few words at a time. His blood pressure is still not where they want it on a consistent basis. They are still adjusting the medication to try to get it to stop spiking up. They will start using the feeding tube today and see how well he adjusts. If he does well with the tube, he could be released to another facility as early as tomorrow. I am going to work on getting him in a facility closer to Nashville or Memphis.

Permalink 06:55:59 am, by John Email , 5 words, 643 views   English (US)
Categories: News


Testing the blog posting system


Permalink 11:40:28 am, by John Email , 162 words, 710 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Wednesday Morning Update

I have spoken with Dad's case worker and nurse this morning. The nurse said that he is very alert today. She said he is in some pain from the surgery and has given him some pain medication. His blood pressure is still up at 170/90. They seem to still be having trouble getting it controlled. The nurse said that they will start using the feeding tube tomorrow. The case worker said that once they determine he is doing OK with the tube they will transfer him to a rehab facility. She thinks that will be as early as Friday. The facility he appears to be going to is in Palmyra, TN. The facility appears to be about an hour and a half from Nashville. I am disappointed that they could not find a facility that was closer as it will be difficult for people to visit him. If any one knows anything about Palmyra Healthcare Center, I would like to hear about it.


Permalink 09:19:34 pm, by John Email , 63 words, 753 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday Late Evening Update

The surgeon called about 8:45 and said that everything went well. He said in a day or two that they could start using the tube. If the recent past serves as a guide, Dad will be very groggy and disoriented for a day or two after being given a sedative. Hopefully this will speed his recovery as he will now get some real nutrition.

Permalink 07:46:25 pm, by John Email , 99 words, 657 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday Evening update

Dad is supposed to have his feeding tube put in today. As of 5 PM he had been taken down to the surgery area, but the surgery had not started. They are supposed to call me and let me know how it went when they get done. Dad was up in a chair today and Roger said he looked better than he has any other day since he went in to the joint. I will post once I hear from the doctor. Please pray that the surgery goes well and there are no complications.

UPDATE: Surgery started at 8PM central.


Permalink 10:25:13 pm, by John Email , 109 words, 785 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday Evening Update

Dad's nurse said that he is doing well. She said that he is speaking a bit more and that he seems to know what is going on. He will be getting the feeding tube put in tomorrow. They are still working on getting him off of blood pressure medicine. The hope is that once he is using the tube, they will get it under control with regular oral meds after that. It appears that he will have to go to a rehab facility for a period of time to continue aggressive therapy. Please pray that he does well during the surgery and that he recovers quickly from the anesthesia.

Permalink 09:22:15 am, by John Email , 134 words, 692 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday Morning Update

I just got a report (thanks Mom). Dad's nurse for the night has been with him for several days. She said that he has improved a lot. He can speak pretty well now and is able to swallow some. They have gotten him out of bed and standing. She said that he has done so well that the therapists are working with him more. They are still having to use IV blood pressure medicine and it still spikes at times. The nurse said he is very alert and understands what is going on around him and can follow directions. Things are looking better. Thank you Lord for answering our prayers. Please pray for his continued recovery, that his swallowing improves enough that he does not need a feeding tube, and for his care givers.


Permalink 01:53:24 pm, by John Email , 158 words, 766 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Sunday early afternoon update

I just spoke with Roger again. Dad is much better today. It must have been the sedative that they gave him. Roger said Dad's speech is better today, he recognized him and his first words were "Roger Maxwell, get me out of here!". Sounds like Dad is back to his old self. I also spoke with Dad's nurse. She said that his blood pressure is better today and that he was much better than yesterday. The surgeon that will be doing the feeding tube also called and said it would probably be Tuesday when they do the surgery. I am not sure if Dad will give his consent. I asked that the doctors go in and explain the situation to him. It is iffy if I have to consent or if he has to in his current state. Overall, I am very happy with the reports I have gotten today. The prayers are working. Please keep them coming.


Permalink 12:36:02 pm, by John Email , 238 words, 642 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday Midday Update

I just spoke to one of Dad's doctors. He was the one that was going to put in the feeding tube. He said that the biopsy came back negative for cancer. He did say that it is hard to biopsy that area and there is a chance that it still could be. In the meantime, he suggested a surgical placement of the tube. I agree and think Dad would as well since he agreed to it in the first place and it is still not a permanent thing. He thinks that Dad will be able to swallow with therapy and that once he has recovered more, they can take a look at addressing the esophageal issue. I am expecting to hear from the surgeon today about the surgery. I just spoke with Roger and with Dads nurse. Dad's blood pressure is going up and has peaked at over 200. I have been told that he is no longer coherent and does not seem to recognize people. This is a big change backward. This started yesterday after they attempted to place the feeding tube. This could be from the sedation, I hope. I have left a message for the neurologist to call me so that I can get his opinion on Dad's long term recovery outlook. He seemed to be getting better so quickly and for the last week seems to have stabilized and now seems to have gone backwards.


Permalink 12:59:40 pm, by John Email , 167 words, 695 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday Midday Update

The doctor that was going to place the feeding tube called with some not so good news. There is an abnormal growth where the esophagus meets the stomach. He also had some sort of hernia that caused his stomach to be pushed up into his chest instead of his abdomen. Because of these issues, they were not able to put in the tube the normal way. The doctor biopsied the growth and will know more about it tomorrow. He is also having a surgeon come in and take a look at Dad to see if a surgical tube placement is possible. The risks increase quite a bit if the do it surgically due to the hemorrhage. So at this point, we don't know what can be done. The doctor will call me when the biopsy results come in and let me know what he and the surgeon decided. Please pray that the results are negative for cancer, and that they can get a tube placed without complication.

Permalink 11:11:39 am, by John Email , 138 words, 848 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday Morning Update

I spoke with Dad's nurse a few minutes ago. he has not had the tube placed yet and she did not know what time that will happen. She said it is scheduled for today though. She said that speech therapy will not work with him today because of the tube being put in and that the other therapists had not been up to see him yet. I asked if he had been up and around any, and she said he had not been. I suspect he will be more confused and tired for about a day after they place the tube due to the sedatives. His blood pressure is still a bit elevated, but slowly coming down. Please pray that everything goes well with the tube placement and that they can continue to get his blood pressure down.


Permalink 01:19:50 pm, by John Email , 92 words, 737 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday Midday Update UPDATED!

Roger Maxwell went and spoke with Dad about the feeding tube. A doctor was present and Dad understood the procedure and what it would entail and agreed to have it done. The doctor was satisfied tat Dad understood well enough to give his consent. I called and consented also, just in case. The tube should be put in tomorrow. Roger also said that Dad looked much better today and was trying to get out of bed. He's a fighter for sure. Thank you for all of your prayers. Please keep them coming.

Permalink 11:27:12 am, by John Email , 185 words, 630 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday Midday Update

Dad's primary doctor called me this morning to discuss putting in a feeding tube. He said that Dad is unable to swallow correctly at all and that it will take weeks of therapy to get him to be able to swallow. The tube he pulled out is only intended to be used for days, not weeks. The feeding tube is tolerated by most people pretty well, better than the nsasl tube he did have. I know that Dad would not want the tube, but there are really no alternatives to get him nutrition and medication. If they don't place the tube, he will most likely have food go into his lungs and that can cause a lot of bad things. If they place the tube, they will also be able to look to see if there is anything physical that is causing him to have issues swallowing. He is still unable to speak where he can be understood. I had hoped that would be better by now. Please pray for guidance for me as decisions come up and for a full neurological recovery for Dad.


Permalink 11:00:55 pm, by John Email , 150 words, 619 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Wednesday Night Update

Dad is now in a private room and out of ICU. The nurse said he was doing pretty well. His blood pressure was up this evening and they were getting some more meds to try to get it down. He will be starting therapy tomorrow. He managed to get the mitt of of one of his hands and pulled the tube that they were using to feed him and give him meds. The doctor will evaluate in the morning whether or not to put it back in. I am not sure what they would do if they don't put it back in since he can't swallow yet. In the meantime, they are giving him IV blood pressure medication. The nurse said that a few of the words he says can be understood. Please pray that he cooperates with the doctors, that his swallowing improves, and that the therapy is successful.

Permalink 10:33:07 am, by John Email , 120 words, 744 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Wednesday Morning Update

Good news! I got a call from Dad's nurse a few minutes ago. He is moving out of ICU and into a room. He will be in room 608 at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, TN. He was able to stay off of the IV blood pressure medicine last night and has improved a good bit. The therapists are starting to work with him to get his strength back up. He could even be walking around in the next day or two. He is still hard to understand when he speaks, but we still hope that will clear up soon. Please continue to pray for his recovery, that the swallowing issue can be resolved and that he does well in therapy.


Permalink 09:19:39 pm, by John Email , 99 words, 665 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday evening update

I spoke with Dad's nurse a few minutes ago. She said that he is pretty much the same as last night. He is off of the IV blood pressure medicine for now, and they hope he can go the night without it. She has orders for 'as needed' blood pressure meds to try to keep him off of the drip. She said his speech is a little better and that he is getting a bit stronger. It is my understanding that he will be evaluated to determine what his rehab needs will be once he is out of ICU.

Permalink 10:17:56 am, by John Email , 157 words, 617 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday morning update

Dad had to be put back on the Cardene IV drip for his blood pressure last night. He is off of it again this morning and they are trying a different oral medication. He cannot be moved from the ICU until they can control his blood pressure without the IV drip. They are giving him the oral meds and nutrition through the nasogastric tube that they got in yesterday. He did fail the swallow test and so I am sure that there will be some rehabilitation associated with getting that cleared up. He is still trying to pull out all of the tubes and leave. The nurse said that he is moving his right arm much more and is still trying to speak a lot. Please pray that he can get the swallowing issues corrected, that he stops trying to remove all of the tubes and rests, and that they can get his blood pressure under control.


Permalink 09:20:40 pm, by John Email , 127 words, 649 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday evening update

Spoke to Dads nurse tonight.She said that he is doing well. They got the tube placed so that they could give him the oral medications. She did not see any results from a CT or swallow study. She said he is much stronger and is almost able to get out of bed. His voice isn't back yet, so he is hard to understand. He is off of the IV blood pressure medicine. If he stays off of it tonight, then he will probably be moved to a room tomorrow. Please continue to pray that he is able to swallow, he continues to improve, he allows himself to get better instead of fighting to get out of the hospital, and that there is no permanent brain injury.

Permalink 10:43:34 am, by John Email , 98 words, 620 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday midday update

Just spoke to Dads nurse. He is about the same as yesterday. She had him sitting in an upright position and only on a nasal oxygen feed, no mask. They have not done the swallowing evaluation yet and have also not done the CT. She said that they are going to go to radiology sometime today to place the tube through his nose to his stomach so that they can give him some meds and nutrition outside of the IV. She said that they will do the CT will he is in radiology. Should know more this afternoon.

Permalink 06:50:44 am, by John Email , 128 words, 632 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday early morning update

There was nothing additional to report yesterday afternoon or last night. I am back in Memphis. Made it just in time, we have several inches of snow already with predictions of up to 8 inches. I will call the hospital later this morning after the doctors have made the rounds and after the CT results come back and report what I hear from them. There is a good chance he will be moved from ICU today. They did have him off of the IV blood pressure medicine yesterday afternoon, but had to put him back on overnight. The two biggest medical concerns right now seem to be the blood pressure, and the swallowing. Please pray that the doctors are able to resolve both quickly and without any additional surgery.


Permalink 10:17:27 am, by John Email , 378 words, 659 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Sunday morning update

Dad is looking better again today. He seems to be as alert and coherent now as he was before the hemorrhage. He does seem to be having some issues with short term memory. I think it is just the "hospital fog" as I call it. Once he is out of here and back into a more normal routine, I suspect it will get better. We may even see improvement when he gets transferred out of ICU. Dr. Rentuza (the hospitalist) thinks he will be ready to move out of ICU to the step down room tomorrow. They are still going to do a swallow study, but they have been able to give him oral meds by crushing the pills and mixing them with water into a slurry. Dad is still trying to escape, so they have his hands in mitts so he cannot pull out the IVs and such. He is talking, but his vocal chords have not recovered from the trauma of the the tube yet. He should be able to speak and be understood in a day or two. His long term memory seems fine. He recognizes people and voices, and seems to know acknowledge that he knows who I am talking about when I tell him about the nice notes and calls I have gotten. His blood pressure is still an issue as they have not really been able to get it stabilized the way they would like. I have not doubt that they will get it under control. I think once he is able to swallow the pills whole, he will be off of the IV blood pressure medicine for good. He is doing great off of the respirator. He wore the BiPAP all night, but had on a "tent" when I came in this morning. The "tent" is a very open face mask and really seems to just be there to increase the moisture in the air he is breathing to help his vocal chords and also help loosen any gunk in his lungs.
Please pray that his blood pressure gets controlled, that the swallowing issue can be resolved without surgery, that his short term memory improves, and for guidance and blessings for the wonderful staff that have been taking care of him.


Permalink 03:44:12 pm, by John Email , 147 words, 673 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday afternoon update

Dad was off of the BiPAP for good while today. He is back on it as he was getting worn out. They are still having trouble getting the line down his nose that will allow them to give him non IV meds. They are going to have to have radiology do it. Still not sure if he is going to have to have a PEG tube (feeding tube) put in. He seems to be having swallowing problems. A speech therapist will evaluate him Monday to see what he is going to need. He is getting stronger and stronger everyday. Please pray that he does not need the PEG tube, he continues to do well without the ventilator, and that he stops trying to pull everything out to get out of bed. He needs to rest right now and let the doctors get him back on his feet.

Permalink 10:15:42 am, by John Email , 194 words, 643 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Saturday morning update

Dad is progressing well. They did not have to put the tube back in overnight. He is breathing normally on normal air now without assistance. He is trying to talk, but after being on the vent that long it may take him a little while before he is able to speak. He keeps trying to break out of this joint. I told the nurses that they would have to keep a close eye on him, or they may see the backside of an open gown as he runs down the hall trying to escape. He really does hate being here. Seriously though, he is getting stronger although he is still pretty weak. He is moving his right arm much more. He is still having issues with his blood pressure and they are working to control it. They are also a bit worried about his ability to swallow. None of the doctors have been in to see him this morning, but after evaluation, they may decide that they will have to put in a feeding tube temporarily until he can swallow. It appears that given enough time, he is going to make a full recovery.


Permalink 09:55:02 pm, by John Email , 101 words, 625 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday night update

I didn't go to the hospital tonight as I wanted to let Dad get some rest. I didn't leave the afternoon visit until after six because of the tube removal and blood pressure spike. I spoke with his nurse a few minutes ago. He was doing well on the BPAP machine and his blood pressure was coming down. She was gradually reducing the dosage of the blood pressure medicine and monitoring for any increases. She said that he seemed relaxed and had been nodding his head appropriately to questions. I think this may be a big step forward in his recovery.

Permalink 07:31:52 pm, by John Email , 203 words, 615 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday evening update

As of now, Dad is no longer on a vent and has had the tubes pulled from his throat. It was a pretty exciting/scary thing. His BP shot out the roof and he had a lot of trouble breathing at first. They gave him several breathing treatments which included epinephrine. He is on a BPAP now and seems to be adjusting to it OK. He fought hard with the first masks that they put on him while they were giving him the treatments. I was holding his arms down while they tried to control his BP and give him the breathing treatments to open his airways. His BP went over 200. The nurse put him back on IV BP medicine at a pretty high rate and it is coming down. There is a chance that they will have to put the tube back in if his vitals start to go down. Please pray that he continues to adjust to being off of the ventilator well and will not have to go back on. Also please pray that his Blood Pressure is able to be controlled with oral meds, he has no trouble swallowing or speaking, and continues to improve at a speedy pace.

Permalink 03:51:40 pm, by John Email , 75 words, 570 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday afternoon quick update

The doctors reevaluated him this afternoon and decided to try to remove the vent tubes. The pulmonologist seemed to think it was worth a try before doing the tracheotomy. They are doing the procedure as I type this. If you read this in the next few minutes, please say a quick prayer that the procedure is successful. It would be great for him to be off the tube and not have to have a tracheotomy.

Permalink 11:53:16 am, by John Email , 222 words, 609 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Friday morning update

Dad is doing well. He is very alert and seems coherent. I have not spoken or seen any of his doctors today. The nurse said that the neurologist is on board for the tracheotomy as well. So that means all three of his doctors are suggesting we do that. I have not been able to get an answer from him if he is OK with that. I will have his good friend Roger ask at the next visiting session as Dad seems to respond to him better. I think he may be tired of me pestering him about it. I did find out something new I had not been told before. They are giving him insulin because his blood sugar was not regulating correctly. Nurse said he was borderline diabetic. I am sure he had no idea about that. The respiratory tech came by and said that they were going to try him on the T-piece again. That means completely disconnecting him from the ventilator and letting him do it completely on his own. They should have done that by the time I get back up there for the 1PM visiting session. Thank you for all of the prayers and please keep them coming. I am sure that the Lord is working in this situation and that the prayers are being answered.


Permalink 10:20:31 pm, by John Email , 93 words, 635 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday evening update

Dad still seems to be doing better every time I go to see him. He seemed more awake tonight than anytime in the past. The visitation was short and so there is not a lot to report. I did find out that he seems to be over the staff infection. He is still on antibiotics, but the last culture didn't grow anything. Tomorrow will probably be the most trying day for me since this all happened. Please pray that I make the correct decisions for Dad as well as for his continued recovery.

Permalink 03:39:04 pm, by John Email , 201 words, 632 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday afternoon update

Dad seems much more coherent this afternoon. I have explained what the doctors want to do and told him to just think about it. He moved his right arm more than I have seen since last Thursday night. All of the staff here have been really great with the exception of one very pessimistic doctor. His blood pressure had gone up pretty high over the lunch break. They are working to try to control it without an IV, but they may have to go back to it. He is answering most Yes/No questions now and seems to understand everything I talk to him about. He even nodded that he new who was going to be playing in the Super Bowl. I told him he would have to hurry up and get better so he could watch it. I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and concern for my father. I need prayers for God to guide my decisions and his decisions as we go forward. Please continue to pray for his healing, his ability to return to a mostly normal life style and work, the staff taking care of him, and for my families safety and well being.

Permalink 12:01:49 pm, by John Email , 287 words, 675 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Thursday morning update

Dad was off the ventilator when I got in this morning at 9. His blood pressure was up. They had taken him off of the IV blood pressure medicine. He is more alert today than I have seen him. The pulmonoligist came in while I was visiting and adjusted the tube and that got Dad worked up enough that they had to hook the ventilator back up. I think that it will be a short term thing. They are still trying to control the blood pressure with oral meds. we will see if they can get it under control with those or if they will have to put him back on the IV. The pulmonologist wants to do the tracheotomy and said that it would help him get back on his feet quicker. However, if it has to stay in for any length of time, Dad will not be able to get into a rehab facility to help him with the respiratory issues and any physical therapy he may need. My hope is that he is alert enough to make that decision himself tonight or tomorrow. If the tracheotomy could be guaranteed to be a short term thing, then the decision is obvious as it would help him recover the quickest. However, if for some reason, it is not a short term thing (they won't guarantee it) then it will actually prolong his recovery time. I know he would not want it if it was going to be there for any length of time. But short term, who knows? Please pray for God's will to be evident to me and for Dad's continued quick recovery. I will be there for the afternoon visiting session and post after that.


Permalink 10:12:55 pm, by John Email , 166 words, 640 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Wednesday late evening update

I spoke with the neurologist this evening. He is pleased with Dad's progress. He said that he will need some aggressive physical therapy once he gets out of the hospital. He felt that Dad moving his right hand was a very encouraging sign. He is still on the ventilator, but it is only helping him breathe instead of breathing for him. There is still some talk of a tracheotomy. If the doctors remove the breathing tube and he can't breathe on his own, they will have to do a tracheotomy. I don't think that they will remove the tube until he is much more awake. I am hoping that he is more awake tomorrow and can stay of the ventilator all day. That will be a big step towards getting out of the hospital. His ability to breathe on his own seems to be the biggest concern right now. Please pray that he can keep his airway clear and that he will not need a tracheotomy.

Permalink 06:45:58 pm, by John Email , 185 words, 776 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Wednesday early evening update

Sorry for the late update. It has been a very hectic day traveling and taking care of some personal business in Nashville. Dad is more awake. He was off of the ventilator for several hours today. The nurses did have to put him back on it while I was visiting this afternoon because he did start to have some trouble breathing. The nurses did not seem to think it was an issue and were happy with the amount of time he was able to breathe on his own. His is still very groggy from the sedative. The doctors will not remove the breathing tube until he is fully awake. They did another CT scan this morning and the size of the hemorrhage has decreased indicating that it is breaking down. That is a good thing as it means the swelling in his head will be decreasing. They are still treating the infection with IV antibiotics. His blood pressure is still having to be controlled by an IV drug, but they have been able to reduce the amount substantially. I will post another update later tonight.


Permalink 05:50:19 pm, by John Email , 224 words, 637 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday evening update

Dad is staying awake more and for longer periods of time. He is nodding appropriately when asked questions. The nurse said that he squeezed one of the doctors hands with his right hand today. The right arm is swollen and they think there may be a clot. They are doing an ultrasound of that arm tonight to see. That is the arm he hasn't been moving since Thursday night. They are still wanting to do a tracheotomy, but I am just not sure about that and all of the baggage that will entail. I will see what the doctors have to say tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for him to continue to heal, to not need a tracheotomy, and that the issue with the right arm can be cleared up easily and is not a result of damage to the brain. Also please pray for safe trip for me and that my family is safe in my absence.

UPDATE: His nurse called and said that the ultrasound results came back. He has a clot in his right elbow and that is most likely why he isn't moving that arm much. They cannot put him on a blood thinner to get rid of it due to the brain hemorrhage. They have elevated the arm and are hoping that the clot will dissolve on it's own.

Permalink 12:17:02 pm, by John Email , 261 words, 812 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday mid day update

Just spoke to Dad's nurse in ICU. Dad is doing well. He is nearly fully awake, follows people with his eyes and moves everything but his right arm. She is going to talk to the doctors about doing an x-ray or ultrasound to check for damage or maybe a clot in that arm that could be causing him to not move it. He has been on the CPAP all day and is doing well with it. The blood pressure is still having to be controlled through IV drip but they are still trying to get oral medication to control it. His good friend Roger Maxwell visited him this morning and reported that Dad recognized him and wanted to communicate, but couldn't due to the vent tubes. Please continue to pray for a full recovery and also for the Doctors and Nurses that are taking care of him.

Now that I have gotten my wife back home to watch over our 6 year old daughter and taken care of things at work so that I can be gone a few more days, I am heading back to Nashville first thing in the morning. I should be in town in time for the morning visitation. Roger has graciously offered to open his home for me to stay in while I am in town.

The ICU allows visitors and I know Dad would enjoy seeing his friends, but please try to keep it to two at a time for no more than 30 minutes. He is in the Surgical ICU at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage.

Permalink 07:17:25 am, by John Email , 41 words, 645 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Tuesday early morning update

Dad is awake now. He is still unable to move his right side. Doctors had not been in to seem him yet. I will call and get another update around lunch after the doctors have had a chance to evaluate him.


Permalink 09:21:34 pm, by John Email , 290 words, 791 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday evening update

We are back in Memphis. Dad was a bit more responsive this afternoon. He opened his eyes to look at us a couple of times and would squeeze my hand again when I asked him to. He was moving his left arm higher and faster than he had before. The neurologist called as we were driving back to Memphis. He had a pretty positive outlook on Dads condition and thought he had a pretty good chance of making a nearly full recovery. He said that there will be some deficiencies, but that he expects that a lot of what we are seeing now will gradually go away as the swelling goes down in his head. I was worried that it was taking Dad so long to wake up from the sedative. He seemed to think that was nothing to be worried about at this time. He also suggested (which I had already decided) to hold off on the tracheotomy for a few more days to see if it will really be needed. He thinks that once the sedative completely wears off, that Dad will not require a protected airway. Dad does have a staff infection that is being treated with Vancomycin which explains the temperature and congestion.
I plan to update this site twice a day as I call and get updates on Dad's condition. I will return to Nashville as I am needed. Dad has some really great friends there that are helping out a lot with things in my absence. I wish I could stay until this has all been played out, but we seldom get to do everything we wish. Please pray for the sedative to wear off quickly, and for a quick reduction in the swelling.

Permalink 11:14:12 am, by John Email , 209 words, 780 views   English (US)
Categories: News

Monday morning update

Dad is still not awake. He did open his eyes a couple of times while we were there. We spoke to the pulmonoligist and he is wanting to do a tracheotomy to get him off of the ventilator. However, that can have a lot of longer term issues involved, so we are going to hold off making that decision until we can speak with the neurologist and get a better feel for his recovery. It may not be necessary if he can wake up and breathe on his own. He was responsive, he would try to open his eyes when we told him to and he would very lightly squeeze my hand when I asked him. He has been off of the sedative for 24 hours+ now. The doctors and nurses seem a bit conflicted if he should be awake yet or not. One will say yes, and another will say it could take days. He is still not using his right arm. He was using it when he got to the hospital, so we don't know if there has been additional damage to his brain since he got to the hospital. We will decide about the tracheotomy until we are sure of his abilities upon waking from the sedative.

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