Apr 20, 2017 Latest post:
May 10, 2017
Hi Family and Friends- I decided to begin this site to keep everyone updated on Dad's current health situation. I am going to start with a little history and then move onto where things stand currently.
How it all began
- 25 or so years ago Dad was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes...he did an ok job of managing it until about 5 years ago. - In 2009, Dad's heart started to give him trouble so he underwent open heart surgery (triple bypass). He met with his cardiologist and endocrinologist regularly but he was not the best patient. His desire to eat whatever he wanted often went against doctors orders. - Fast forward to 2012 when another cardiac situation landed him in the hospital and he was officially diagnosed with an advanced form of Congestive Heart Failure. Couple that with uncontrolled diabetes and the situation is never good. - The few years that followed he was very "spotty" with whether or not he would take meds and be a good patient or not. - Early 2016 another cardiac event, another hospital admission, this time a toe was amputated and many procedures performed to get him back on track... - That "track" was never found. By April of 2016 Dad started having issues with his memory. By July-his blood sugars were off the charts (650+) and he had effectively stopped all medications.
- He began losing weight like crazy as his body was being starved of insulin...he lost 63 pounds (from 271 lbs to 208 lbs) all while not changing his diet at all. Where we are now
It was October 2016 when Mom sent a text that he had officially lost 40 pounds (in a very unhealthy manner) that a family meeting with Hospice was called. I was naive to all the services that they offered their patients. I'll be honest I really just thought they were the people that assisted those dying from Cancer or old age...well, they're not just there for 'those' patients. Dad was officially admitted as a hospice patient on 10/25/2016. I was thankful that once a week Dad would have a nurse check on his ornery butt and we would have people that we could call for support. He made it clear no more meds so they were the right choice to at least help with comfort care. Oxygen was at the ready-although he refused to use it.
Since October Dad has progressively gotten worse. The dementia, while it is an ugly beast, has shielded him from realizing just how ill he is. To hear him say it (in his jovial southern drawl) he's just fine. We did finally get him back on some insulin and he began gaining weight (up to about 234 lbs). He is very sedentary, he rarely leaves the house-not even for church anymore.
In early April we took him to his hometown of Hazard, Kentucky for a long weekend. He did well, overall. That was the one thing that he kept saying he wanted to do was visit home again. We returned back home on a Tuesday with great memories, lots of love and stories, pictures too. Wednesday he began having trouble breathing and begrudgingly began using oxygen also allowing a morphine/lorazapam combo to assist with breathing.
While we do not know what is in store for Dad in the coming weeks and months we do know that we are spending lot's and lot's of time with him...loving him!