20 April 2013

One Foot In Front of The Other

I love the song from my friends, Building429

"That's how I'm going to discoverOne foot, one foot at a timeOne foot, one foot at a time"
The past few days have seen some ups and downs, brought a lot of questions with little answers and lots of prayers and tears.  Since my last post on Tues. a number of things have happened.

  1. Dad's MRSA infection is gone but his white count is still up and he's still losing blood somewhere. The ID (infectious disease) doc is still trying to figure out why. Yay for no more yellow coats and purple gloves! We don't know the state of his heart and whether or not it might be infected still.
  2. After days of confusion and very cloudy conversations, dad's finally having full thoughts and conversations, remembering most of the recent experiences and people that have stopped by.  The timeline is a little fluid, hours feel like days, days feel like weeks. Speech Therapy will be working to see how his higher cognitive abilities are working
  3. For a hot second, dad's heart converted from afib back to a normal sinus rhythm. Ok, a little longer than a hot second, more like five or six hours but sometime overnight went back to afib.  We were told by one of the cardiologist that if we can catch it again in sinus rhythm, they can chemically keep it steady, the trick is catching it when it does.
  4. Dad has been moved from ICU to CVStepDown (my mom's floor) again because his CT scan came back showing no more bleeding or other worry spots.  There are some residual effects that the ID doc said might have caused an unexpected fever spike last night (06.18.13) as well as the tiredness and confusion due to the stroke pattern appearing wedged shape (i wish i could see this?!) There are also some signs that, probably due to age, small sections of his brain probably aren't working.
Now, to give information about today.

  1. A test that the cardiologist tried to perform on Thursday but couldn't because my dad's neck was bothering him too much, will hopefully be performed on Tues (04.23.13) afternoon.  This test, a TEE (trans-esophageal echocardiogram) will give the doctors are very clear view of the status of my dad's heart.  What they are most interested in seeing is: first, is there any vegetation of the heart (how much, how bad) and, second, what is the status of the ruptured mitral valve and does it need immediate surgery or could it be postponed?
  2. The next part of treatment after the TEE is tricky and multifaceted.  If the heart is infected, the means in which to treat it is necessary before they can even consider doing any operations on my dad so finding the right antibiotic and dosage will be key.  After that is done and the heart needs to be repaired soon, a surgeon, as well as us, will have to take the risk of putting him under knife and blood thinner (which is necessary for open heart surgery because the blood is ran through the heart-lung machine) to repair the valve. This is risky because the blood thinner might cause another clot to break off and cause yet another stroke, one much worse than he had.  He hasn't been on blood thinner since the last major episode. If the heart isn't infected but the leak is bad, again, same as last - surgery. If the heart is infected but the valve doesn't look very bad, they will have to do surgery to fix the part that is infected - thinner is still involved.

    All this to write, the
    ultimate best case scenario: no infection, no vegetation, mitral valve has minimal damage.
    There outcomes to the others are either, stroke, heart attack or the end. the word i'm refusing to speak of because I'm choosing to be an optimist rather than my usual pessimistic self.

And so... this is where we are at the end of the day, er... morning.

Current Prayer Requests.
  1. stay stable for the TEE (on Tuesday)
  2. no more afib! catch the sinus rhythm and medically help it stay
  3. no infection of the heart
  4. mitral valve tear is minimal
  5. discover where he's losing blood
  6. start some PT as to get active
  7. start being more alert and awake
  8. Justin - he has to travel and get back to work on Sunday in Hawaii.
Thank you all for your continued prayer and support. It is incredible how the community has gathered around to pray for us and we hope that we can be a support to you all in your journey.  We feel the comfort of His grace around us.


DrFunnySocks said...

Praying for your dad, you & your family, and all the doctors & nurses involved. I'm a doc myself, so I fully understand how complicated this whole situation is, but I've seen God do some pretty amazing things over the years.

I have to give you credit for taking in all the detailed medical info and translating it into good, solid layman's terms. (Seems like the twins have helped prepare you.)

Keep praying, keep trusting, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Update as you can, and know that you are loved.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your dad. I thought I would stop after reading your post and let you know about the work of Microbiologist, Michelle Moore. She had her own resistant case of staph and out of necessity created her own, effective treatment protocol. I know it can be tough to get rid of, and I highly recommend looking into her work. I would if it was my dad :) Her information is at www.staph-infection-resources.com. God bless!