Robert Carlson

First post: Nov 29, 2020 Latest post: Jan 14, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Hello everyone and thanks for visiting Dad’s site.  A couple of weeks ago I did not think that I would have to be writing for a Caringbridge site for my very healthy father, but life changes quickly.
 Last week my dad started complaining about his neck being very sore.  He had cleaned out the bottom of the dishwasher and thought he had pulled a muscle.  On Saturday November 21st the pain was so excruciating that Mary took him to the ER at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta GA. They did a CT scan and seeing nothing out of place sent him home on steroids and a muscle relaxer.  
On Sunday I spoke to him as he laid on the couch badmouthing the Green Bay Packers he was watching.  He told me the pain was a bit better.  Later that evening things got a great deal worse as Mary describes it.  He became so weak in his legs that he couldn’t walk.  911 was called and he was rushed back to SGMC where they admitted him to a general medical surgical floor.  
I spoke to him Monday morning at 6 am and he was in terrible pain down his back radiating into his hips.  Dad was almost crying on the phone until the nurse came in and gave him pain meds IV push.  At this point there were many doctors conferring on Dads care: his attending Dr Roberto Garcia, the neurology team and the infectious disease doctor.  
The first diagnosis we heard was that dad has septicemia, a bacterial infection in his blood and affecting all of his organs.  They took him for multiple scans on Monday and a lumbar puncture.  Monday night we waited on the test results and Dad was really tired from the day.  He was able to speak on the phone through that night.  
Tuesday was a terrifying day that drove many of us to our knees.  Dr Garcia called me and said that Dad has bacterial meningitis that is staph aureus.  He only has a 20% chance of survival.  Besides meningitis Dad also has endocarditis, which is an infection of his heart and the sepsis they originally feared.  
Dad had become unresponsive to any stimuli and they were moving quickly to get him to the ICU.   Mary was able to come and see him in the regular hospital room right before they moved him to the ICU.  We were terrified. 

For the next few days we prayed.  Prayed that Dad would survive and that the doctors and nurses would care for him.  A few times a day I would speak to the doctors and nurses for an update. Dad remained unresponsive but his vital signs remained strong.   We kept the faith.   Waiting for a sign that dad was improving.  Dr Garcia said that the only way to tell if the infection was relenting was Dad’s cognition.  
On Saturday morning with my morning update Greg, his ICU nurse, told us the wonderful news that in the middle of the night Dad started talking.  He was able to tell them his name and to follow commands during the neuro check   
I started this Caring Bridge to keep everyone updated as this is going to be a marathon and not a sprint   Dad has a long way to go to recovery.   With all of us praying and having faith we can be part of this journey.  Even if you visit and encourage Dad or Mary and our family it is a big help   
Staph Aureus is extremely rare as the bacteria in meningitis cases only affecting 1-6% of all cases.   This makes it harder for the doctors to treat.  Being 80 years old with a rare meningitis makes the start of his recovery even more miraculous. 
We love our dad and appreciate all the thoughts and prayers for him and our family! ❤️❤️ Laurel
 
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