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4/1/2016 Latest post:
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Dad has been caring for Mom since her stroke 6 years ago when she lost her short term memory. The first 4 years he cared for her at home
In July 2014 he had to put Mom in a nursing home as her condition had worsened to a point she needed professional care in the memory unit of the nursing home. Mom is still in Hillcrest Nursing Home in Dubuque.
While attending a family wedding in July 2014, he was not feeling well and was short of breath. Within a week after he returned home he was hospitalized for pneumonia.
Since his first bought with pneumonia, Dad has been battling shortness of breath for the past 2 years. He was hospitalized again in Jan 2016 for pneumonia. He was sent home after a few days and put on antibiotics.
The first week of March / 2016 he again was having difficulty in breathing and was easily out of breath. He again was diagnosed with pneumonia and this time was to be treated at home. An appointment was setup with a lung specialist for March 23.
They identified that dad had about 1 ½ liters of pleural fluid compressing his right lung. They would first attempt at removing the fluid with a needle. This was unsuccessfull so thoracotomy surgery was scheduled for Wed March 30.
The surgeon explained the procedure using an orange as an example. If the orange is the lung, the orange peel is the tissue that has surrounded the lung preventing the lung from expanding. The lung peel will remove this 2 centimeter outer coating. They will make an incision from his side and also remove a rib for room to work. This is a very invasive surgery
The thoracotomy surgery on Wed March 30 went very well. It was about a 5 hour procedure to do the lung peel. He will remain in ICU thru Sat April 2 and then moved to skilled nursing floor in the hospital for 2-3 weeks.