Thank you for stopping by to check in on my dad! I (Krista) have been so overwhelmed with people wanting to know how my dad is doing so THANK YOU! I figured that starting a website would be the easiest to keep up to date with his condition because I honestly have days where I don't want to even pick my phone up. So here we go...
Early October 2020 my dad had a fall in his home after he got off of work. Unfortunately he was laying at the bottom of the stairs through the night. I knew something was wrong when he wasn't answering his phone the next morning and called Jensen's to see if maybe his ancient flip phone has finally given up. They told me he wasn't at work but they sent people over there right away and found him. He was taken to the emergency room in Mobridge. He stayed in the hospital a few days for mostly dehydration. If you know my dad, you know how hard of a worker he is so in some ways I wasn't surprised. I was thankful that he was able to get some rest. Matti, my now husband, and I decided that he needed to come and stay with us in Enumclaw, WA after our wedding on December 30th, 2020. My dad reluctantly agreed to that.
Things took a turn for the worse mid-December. His home health care provider sent me a text saying that he was falling asleep and was sweating profusely while she was cleaning which is out of character for him since he loves a good conversation. We ended up calling the ambulance and after being reviewed at the Mobridge hospital, they sent him on to Bismarck, ND due to low blood pressure and Congestive Heart Failure that went undiagnosed for quite some time apparently. They were able to stabilize him in Bismarck and they found that he has a stiff aortic valve meaning that it leaks so his heart is unable to pump blood properly. The official diagnosis is Aortic Stenosis. Matti and I flew into Bismarck and spent Christmas with him in the hospital. Thank God they let us in! He was then discharged a couple days before my wedding so we drove him back to Mobridge to pack up a couple suitcases for Washington. We then drove to the Black Hills since that's where I got married and we were close to the VA hospital in Sturgis in case he needed anything. My dad's situation was beyond what Matti and I could do for him. Meanwhile we were trying to get ready for this wedding so we clearly needed help. I tried going through the VA to activate another home health provider but they were unable to help in short notice. Thankfully we ended up finding a company called Home Instead out of Rapid City that provided us with nurses to help my dad the day before and the day of the wedding. Some how we pulled off a flawless wedding and my dad was able to walk me down the isle and dance with me! It is a memory that I will truly cherish forever.
The day after the wedding, I took my dad to the VA Emergency Room because it was clear that I wasn't able to take care of him on my own. At first, he was doing really well with walking and getting fluid off of his legs. They then discovered an infection in his blood so he was put on antibiotics. Then he developed a bacterial infection in his gut which is a reaction to the antibiotics. It's called C.Diff Colitis it causes diarrhea, belly pain, and fever. So he has been battling 2 different types of infections and he is on fluid restrictions for the heart failure so it has been a tricky balance for the doctors. The infection in is blood is a strep infection which tends to be sticky so it looks for new hosts like another organ to cling onto. They recently discovered a small ball of infection that has stuck to his heart. This means a longer duration of antibiotics and a reevaluation of what type of heart surgery he is a candidate for. The good news is that they believe that the source of the infection is his teeth so tomorrow 2-23-21 he will be getting all of his teeth removed. Even though this doesn't sound fun, it is a big step in getting him closer to heart surgery! They have been worried about him eating since he wasn't able to chew very well so they put in a feeding tube through his nose so hopefully that means he is finally getting proper nutrition to gain his strength.
It seems like it has been one thing after another but I haven't let go of hope and I know you won't either. Even though I can't physically be with my dad at this time, I am able to schedule FaceTime calls with him so I get to see him way more often than I normally do! If this is something that you would like to schedule, let me know and I can get you a phone number. Due to the infections and heart condition, he isn't his normal talkative self. He remembers people but isn't the Marv we all know and love right now. The doctors think he should be back to normal after these infections clear up. Please keep your prayers coming! Thank you all for the support during these uncertain times.
Hello all! I have some positive updates. My dad has been improving slowly but surely the past few weeks. The last time I was able to FaceTime with them was about 3 weeks ago when he was in the ICU. He was fresh out of open heart surgery and brain surgery so he didn't look or sound like my dad as to be expected. He improved enough to be moved out of the ICU into a regular hospital bed which is a good thing! The only downfall is that they are understaffed so every time I tried to set up a call, no one would call me back. Of course that was frustrating but at least I was getting updates about his progress so that offered a peace of mind. He has had a lot of nausea since his surgeries so he hasn't had an appetite. In order for him to heal properly, he of course needs proper nutrition. A couple days ago they put in a feeding tube through is abdomen so they can guarantee that he's getting the nutrition he needs. Of course this isn't an ideal situation but it is nice to know that this is a temporary situation until the nausea goes away. I was able to talk to. him on the phone today and I think I am still in shock! He seemed almost back to himself which is so wild to me! Throughout the rollercoaster ride of this process, I began to fear that I would never have my dad back again physically or mentally. He definitely still has a lot of healing to do physically but to hear his voice on the phone cracking jokes and asking me to go to church with him when he gets out, is an absolute dream come true. I talked to his social worker out of Minneapolis today and he will be traveling back to Fort Meade in Sturgis, SD on Thursday morning. They have a bed there for him on a floor that focuses on physical therapy and speech therapy. This is all good news! Thank you all again for the support and prayers during these events. God bless all of you!