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Feb 3, 2017 Latest post:
Apr 11, 2017
Written by Jodi (oldest daughter) -
This all started back in November when my dad discovered he had Shingles. He and Mom understood what it was almost right away, so he was treated right away, and feeling great enough to do some good volunteer work! This was Lutefisk dinner time at church when many were pitching in to help prepare some of the meal ahead, including my Mom and Dad. They had the rutabaga and carrot peeling detail, standing on the cement floor of the kitchen. So my Dad's back went out and he went by ambulance to Maple Grove Hospital for a several day stay. Since his time in the hospital in November, he has been through a great many things. He started with off and on chills and fever, off and on functioning of his back, his right shoulder started to really scream at him again, and then the fever breaks, he feels great, and goes back to work for a few days, until the cycle starts again...
This last Saturday the 28th of January - Dad started experiencing a terrible shortness of oxygen, along with fever of 102+ , and chills that actually rattled him so hard Mom thought his teeth would fall out! After an attempt at using his emergency inhaler (Dad has severe asthma) and still not getting enough oxygen, Mom called 911 and they took him to North Memorial ER. He had low oxygen, very high blood pressure, fever, and chills. They checked him for pneumonia from the flu at first, until we told them most of his symptoms had been with him since his November hospital stay, then they finally got serious...
He has been through about a million and one tests. They finally discovered that bacteria had settled into a leaky valve in his heart, and with each pump of his heart, some of the bacteria has been breaking away and going off into his body, making him very sick. He has been on an antibiotic drip since, and once the bacteria is gone, then they will do surgery (in 6-8 weeks approximately) to give him a pig's valve to replace his leaky one.
All of us were very happy that we finally had an answer to his mysterious illness. So - with a new PICC line installed in his chest, and a plan for outpatient visits to the hospital for IV antibiotics once a day until better, he was set to be released today (Feb. 2nd.)
I went to pick Mom up from the hospital last night. One of the many spectacular nurses he has had helping him has the name of Blessing. She is from Nigeria. Her shift finally done, she went in to say goodbye to Dad and Mom, thinking he would be going home the next day. When Dad stood up to give her a hug, I remember thinking something was odd about his body shape. Then she left to go home. And he took a breathe of his inhaler because he was having a hard time breathing. It took me a couple of minutes mulling this over (yes - coming in by slow freight) to realize that he was severely swollen. Shiny skin on his legs and knees, and true to size Popeye-style arms, with his wedding ring disappearing down into his fingers. I brought it to Mom's attention, and then we called for help. The poor nurse that had just arrived for her shift had to start by grilling Dad for all symptoms, and calling the on-call doctor for authorization on a chest x-ray, stat! If Blessing hadn't arrived when I did, I would have never seen Dad's limbs from under his blanket, and Mom and I would have gone home, and left him to burst overnight! Blessing was truly a blessing!
Now, instead of going home today, he was sent through more tests, with a blood thinner added on to the pile. They discovered he has a blood clot in his left leg, towards the top, and possibly one in his right arm, up near his shoulder. And kidneys that reacted badly to the contrast given him for the second MRI he'd had done in two days. They just keep working on it though, and he has a doctor who is monitoring his medications very carefully, keeping everything straight.
Dad remains optimistic because so far they have been working constantly and found the weird spot were the infection landed in the first place. The Aortic valve? Who would have ever thought...