Ronald Rist

First post: Dec 16, 2020 Latest post: May 21, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website.

My dad started having terrible ear/head pain April 2020.  He has been to multiple doctors and appointments since then.  After much investigation, a suspicious lesion in his left nasal pharyngeal space was found.  In June he had 2 different biopsies taken of the lesion.  Results were inconclusive, yet his pain lingered on.  Because of the location of this lesion, this pain is most likely trigeminal neuralgia.  Over time the pain has increased, even while on narcotic pain medications.   We have explored other types of pain management such as Baclofen, Gabapentin and Lyrica which had ill effects on his overall health and well being.    Some medications are not an option for my dad since he is diabetic, on blood thinners, and has stage 4 kidney failure, meaning he will eventually require dialysis.  The doctors are trying to hold off on starting dialysis for as long as possible.  While waiting for a second opinion at the U of MN, he had a few hospital stays, due to other medical conditions such as dehydration and lethargy from medications.  With the combination of his blood disorder(MDS) and his kidney condition, he has required blood transfusions recently as well.  His health this past year has gotten quite complex.  Through it all he has tried his best to stay positive and upbeat despite setback after setback.  My Mom has been his full time nurse through all of this.  She has done a fantastic job filling this new role.  She takes his vital signs, monitors his blood sugars and administers his medications to ensure he is staying on track.  My Brother and I are always there when my parents need anything, involved in taking to Dr. appointments, managing medications, getting groceries, attending to home repairs ( a shout out to my Bro there) I can’t leave out the grandkids either, they have helped so much with their needs, including yard work and snow removal, ect. My dad gets wonderful support from his siblings, Ted and Barb, as well. Together we are ensuring my parents have our support 24/7.  Although this is not something new, it has just been highlighted these past 8 months.   I am so grateful for my family.

So, recently he has seen a team of physicians at the U of MN including a neurosurgeon and ENT specialist.  They have recommended a more invasive biopsy to further investigate the lesion. The procedure is called an endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach to the middle fossa for tumor stealth.   Sounds simple right?  It will take approximately 6-8 hours.  The Neurosurgeon thinks it could be an inflammatory process, infection, or cancer.  It is also possible that the result will be inconclusive.  Without this biopsy being performed they unable to try any further treatments.  On Friday December 11, he met(on line) with the neurosurgeon to discuss the procedure and the risk involved.  He has decided to move forward with this procedure despite the risks involved.  His pain has really been the focus of each day.  He is not enjoying his life as he did before this pain began.  He no longer drives.  His pain medications have caused him to be really sleepy at times, but yet he is still in a great amount of pain.  If his pain is well controlled, it is for a very short period of time.  He doesn't want to complain, so he often does not share how bad the pain is.  He pushes through the pain to still get up and around in the house.    His surgery is scheduled Thursday, December 17th in the AM.  Projected hospital stay is a 2-5 days.  My dad is very strong willed and has a positive outlook that this surgery will give him some much needed answers.  This can guide his care to get to the root of this unwanted pain.  We are hopeful that he can be pain free again.  Thank you for visiting this site.  Any well wishes, positive vibes and prayers sent his way would be SO greatly appreciated!

 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.