Paul Fjestad | CaringBridge

Paul Fjestad

First post: 1/1/2017 Latest post: 1/15/2017

Hi All,

We hope this site will serve as a convenient place for you to see updates on Dad's condition as he works to recover
from his serious bout with pneumonia and related complications.

On Monday December 12th Dad went into the clinic as he was not feeling well.  Diagnosed with "a touch of pneumonia" he was sent home with an
antibiotic and tried to rest.  Late in the evening on Wednesday, December 14th, Dad went to the emergency room as he was struggling with complications, and was immediately admitted to the ICU in Fergus Falls.

Dad remained in ICU for many days, finally moving to a regular room about Saturday the 24th, and was released from the hospital on Monday, December 26th.  While he wasn't fully over the pneumonia, he'd made sufficient progress to where the doctors felt he could continue his convalescence at home.

Dad's lungs were not able to provide sufficient oxygen, so part of his in-home therapy was to be on full-time oxygen which was anticipated to be a short-term therapy until he fully healed.

Clearly this was a difficult recovery for Dad considering how long he required hospitalization, but he was very happy to be home for the final stage (as were the rest of us!).

Unfortunately, 2 days later Dad's oxygen levels dropped significantly, and he was taken to Fargo's Essentia hospital and admitted to the critical care unit where he was shortly sedated and intubated so a ventilator could breath for him.

His right lung was very full of pneumonia, and his left lung found to have collapsed and contain several "blebs", a similar problem that lung suffered from this time last year.

Within 12 hours the family was advised to gather in Fargo as Dad's situation looked grave.  Fortunately, by the time we had all gathered in Fargo he had made a small step in improvement.  Since then, Dad has had ups and downs, and remains in a critical condition. 

The doctors have inserted a tube and successfully re-inflated his left lung, so that is a positive.

As of this morning, Mom and Pam will remain in Fargo while everyone else returns to work and school. We kids will take turns as needed as the days go by.  We are fortunate to have good friends to stay with in Moorhead.

Dad's right lung still has pneumonia in it, and hopefully that will clear out soon.   The doctors have taken blood cultures to check to see if there is some other illness at play, as the pneumonia itself has proven to be difficult to fix, more difficult than expected.  Dad's heart has struggled to maintain blood pressure and for the last few days has required drug assistance to keep the pressure at an adequate level but as of last night it looks like they are no longer needing to provide the drug assistance.

Dad's kidneys have not been functioning normally, which as been problematic as some of his organs have required more fluids to work correctly but then kidneys haven't managed the fluids in his body sufficiently.  Drugs have kept them working to a degree.  Today's goal is urine output as his kidneys took a hit when his blood pressure crashed early Friday morning. Dialysis is a possibility.

The doctors have removed the sedation as of yesterday, and since then Dad has occasionally had light responses to stimulation, but is not fully conscious or responding as of yet.   The doctors have given him some pain killers to help manage any pain and help keep him comfortable.

We thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers and will try to keep you posted daily as we are able.

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