Summertime... and the living sure ain't easy.
This has been probably the most interesting summer of my life. Everything has changed so much. I do welcome new challenges, so this has been very interesting.
I started this season out very optimistic. Things were finally looking up for my dad healthwise. I had just moved into a great new place. The summer was full of promise. I was working on rekindling a lost romance with someone from my past. Things ended amicably between us, but he moved away and stayed there. He had been entertaining the idea of moving back to the Twin Cities and it seemed he wanted me to convince him. Talking, texting, emailing with him was so fun and it made me feel like I was 19 again. I had never been happier. Then tragedy struck. Not with him, but with my father. He had finally been put on the transplant list for a new liver. He had just had all of the tests to make sure the rest of his organs in his body could support a new liver. Then things quickly went downhill. About five weeks ago he started getting the hiccups and they wouldn't go away. My mom took him to the ER after about five days of hiccuping. They admitted him and weren't sure what was causing it. After about 3 days at United, I noticed he had a lump on his clavicle. He was scheduled to start his chemoembilization on the tumor on his liver on July 23 at U of M - Fairview, but when he was transferred there, he was instead put into the ICU. He had excess fluid on his knees and his lungs and this fluid was teeming with bacteria. The bacteria was staph, and if anyone knows... staph infections are generally external. One of the doctors explained that once a staph infection gets inside, it's like a bull in a china shop. It had infected his knees and lungs and also went into his collar bone. That's why the bump was there.
He had the fluid drained from his knees. The x-rays of his lungs showed that he had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS. This usually happens to people when they have some sort of trauma to their lungs or chest, like if they were in a car accident. ARDS patients all heal in different ways and the doctor explained that while this was once a death sentence, mortality rate from this has significantly dropped to about 20%. Then they discovered that the infection had gone deep into his collar bone. So much so that he had to have part of it removed. After the surgery, one of the surgeons met with my mom and I and told us that he was doing great. He kept using the word "great" over and over again. It came as a shock the next day when they said that his lungs were weakening and his kidney function was starting to slip away. They said that all we could do was wait, and they said that if his heart started to fail, he was basically a goner. The doctor got the okay from my mom for the DNR, and my sisters and mom and I just sat in his room and cried.
Skip forward two days. They started taking him off the sedation medication. Took the breathing tube out. His lungs were starting to clear. He was still very confused and didn't know where he was or why he was there. He had to be reminded over and over where he was and the reason. His lungs were getting stronger, but his kidneys weaker. Started dialysis. That seemed to help some with the confusion. Moved out of the ICU. Kept up with the dialysis. Feeding tube gone. Eating soft foods. Eating solid foods. Confusion still there, but lessening. Doctor tells him that he needs to sleep more. Hah! Now today he's being moved from Fairview over to Riverside for transitional care. He'll have to have physical and occupational therapy, as well as still have an IV of antibiotics to fight the infection. The kidneys are functioning better and as a result of all of this, when he is unsuspended from the transplant list, he'll be higher up on it.
In the mean time, while I've been dealing with all of this, faraway boy came into town. Never realized he was such a mama's boy. How insulting and insensitive he is. What terrible taste in music he has... Katy Perry, Hinder, Breaking Benjamin... excuse me while I barf. Glad he's away again. Stay there, please.
So as this summer is winding down, life is getting back to normal. Hanging out with friends more. Yay! Got drunk and crazy with Heather last week for her birthday. When I say crazy, I mean CRA-ZY. Fun times were had, until some feelings and feet got hurt. It made me put things into perspective about how much I consume. Maybe drinking myself stupid isn't a great idea. Not saying that I'm going to give up drinking. Just slow down some.
Aah. I can't wait for fall to get here.