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9/18/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your prayers, thoughts, and words of encouragement!
Randy was admitted to Bryan LGH East in Lincoln on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016. Monica and Moriah brought him to Lincoln and he was admitted through the emergency room. Randy had been under the care of several wonderful outpatient medical professionals, however his health was continuing to decline, so we made the decision to seek a higher level of care.
The most significant concern upon admission to the hospital was that Randy was severely malnourished. He has a Zenker's diverticulum in his throat, which is a pocket that makes it difficult to swallow. Years of accumulation of food and pill particles caught in the pocket had made it so he was only eating and drinking very minimally. He had lost 33 pounds in 5-6 weeks. We found out that his body had started using muscle mass for nutrition, which was contributing to the overall weakness we had been observing for a few weeks. In addition to that, Randy was diagnosed with c. diff, which is an infection of the colon. He had this several times last winter, and it had returned. Randy's kidneys were also affected, only functioning at about 20%.
Over the next few days, several options were presented as far as trying to get Randy back on track. The option Randy and the family chose together was to undergo surgery to insert a feeding tube. This was the only way he could get the nutrition he needed to have a chance to recover. Over the weekend Moriah, Nathan, and Josh along with their significant others, joined Monica in Lincoln to spend time with Randy and provide him encouragement. Randy's sister Deanna was also able to come and got to visit with Randy prior to the surgery.
On Monday, September 12th, the feeding tube was inserted through his belly. He tolerated the surgery very well and was up the next day walking with a walker and doing his physical therapy. We got word that he was a candidate to go to the Bryan LGH West rehab floor, which requires three hours a day of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. We had been hoping for this, and were elated. That night Randy had a setback, and quite a bit of fluid was drained from his feeding tube. We learned on Thursday, September 14th, that Randy likely had multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer in the plasma cells of the bone marrow. A biopsy was taken, and the official results have come in, confirming he does have the multiple myeloma. This explains a lot regarding his anemia, kidney failure, fatigue, bone pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, confusion, vulnerability to infections, high calcium levels, etc.
On Thursday, September 15th, Randy started plasmapheresis, a type of hemodialysis that strips the blood of the "bad" plasma and returns the blood to the body with "good" donor plasma. He also started chemotherapy today, September 17th. On a positive note, the kidneys continue to improve some every day, and he is continuing to receive good wound care for the diabetic-related sores on his legs. The care we have received at Bryan LGH has been excellent, and he has had a wonderful team of medical professionals working together to treat all the various conditions with which he is presenting.
Randy is no longer a candidate for the Bryan LGH West rehab floor at this time, however we are hopeful that he will be admitted to the Bryan LGH West acute care/skilled nursing floor until he meets criteria for the rehab floor. The rehab is so important to prepare Randy for the surgery he needs to place stents in to increase his circulation. The stents are his only hope of avoiding amputation of his legs. We know he has a long road ahead, but with God's grace, he continues to fight. Our entire family is so grateful for the support and encouragement we have received. We are truly blessed with the best friends and family in the world! Please continue to pray!