Our story begins like this: Dad has not been feeling well for several years. But then, Squeak, being Squeak, was worried about my very ill mother, and put his own feelings aside. When we lost my mother in 2015, dad put his own health completely aside and missed her. But, we had begun to notice - the weight loss, the inability to digest food or sit and not be able to stop hiccupping, burping and then of course there was the vomiting. (And of course, we began to notice the beer drinking and visiting with his friends had all but stopped, so we knew there was trouble.)
Finally, they took out his gallbladder in October of 2016. He began to feel better and we saw some weight come back on. (When dad retired he was 240 lbs. - when he had his gallbladder out he was in the 150's) Then, the burping and hiccupping came back as well as the vomiting. He would have his good days where he could eat and other days when nothing could go down but broth and jello (thank you aunties and gramma for the goodies-you kept him going).
Recently, nothing could stay down and we began to make trips back and forth to Fargo to look at an existing stint in his bile duct to see if that is the cause and continued CT scans. After a long one day stay in the ER last week to have his potassium replenished, he felt good and we thought things were going fine. However, a day later dad began to experiencing excruciating pain in his back and could not breathe, so off to the ER we go in our pajamas at 30 below. Thank God we did. From all of this extensive vomiting and hiccupping, a hole had formed in his esophagus and his lungs were quickly filling with gastric fluid. Dad got a ride to HCMC via helicopter and was immediately put in surgery to put a stint in his esophagus. The surgeon tells us this a new procedure and as long that it stays dry in there and the esophagus doesn't try to swallow the stint, we can begin to heal and maybe someday deal with the lower bowel problem that started it all!
So, here we are at HCMC Surgical ICU 2 Room 7-741 where we have been since Thursday, January 5, and may be here for quite some time.