Sunday, October 5, 2008

Operation: Front of the Line

As mentioned in the previous post, Chelsea and I have been swamped the past week. We felt terrible that we wouldn't be able to visit my dad on Saturday as a close friend was getting married. We thought we'd stop by on Friday night (Oct 3) and drop off flowers, some photos, and lots of fruit (his favorite) to last him 'till Sunday.

When we arrived, my dad was acting quite strange. He's usually weak and lathargic. This time, he was panicy... energetic and scared. It was really disturbing to see. Kicking the bed. Grabbing his hair. Yelling that he can't breathe. At first, I thought it was very legitamite. I started to panic as well. I quickly realized something wasn't right when his vitals were reading completely normally. It turns out that the toxins that should be making there way out of his body in the bathroom are instead collecting in his brain. Furthermore, the high doses of narcotic pain medications and lack of sleep for over 3 days wasn't helping his situation.

I couldn't do much. I just sat at the end of his bed singing Amazing Grace - gently massaging his legs while he paniced. He finally started to calm down.

He sat up and cried on my shoulders. He's so scared. He apologized for scaring me. He scared himself. He's not sure why he panics like that... but aparently its just another symptom of his liver failure.

I was so glad he had calmed down. It got much better when some relatives drove from Sault St Marie (the Dempsters) to pay my dad a visit. His spirits were lifted by their visit! It was so good to hear my dad laugh - see him smile.

But it wasn't long after they left that things started to go down hill again. Almost as soon as he layed back down in his bed, he was panicing again. It got much worse. It got very messy (enough said). Chelsea was really upset by the situation. She asked how I wasn't crying - how I could be so strong. I didn't really have an answer.

One x-ray, 3 nurses, and 1 doctor later, my dad finally calmed down. It was great to see him laying still and calm. I kissed him on the forehead, prayed, and told him he needed to sleep. I knew I wouldn't see him 'till Sunday, so I decided to tell my dad I was leaving, but stick around in the lobby to make sure he actually did get to sleep.

I walked in 15min later and he was still awake... but very eager to sleep. He convinced me he was just about to sleep. I turned off a few extra lights in the room and made sure he was comfy and I left.

I didn't want to leave. At all. I was so nervous he was going to have another panic attack and no family would be there for him.


I showed up at the hospital today just to visit. I walked into my dad's room and someone else was in his bed. That through my for a loop. I walked down the hall and was greeted by my mom who looked like she had been crying, sitting infront of the acute care unit. "Dad's taken a turn..."

Turns out that last night, while I was partying at my buddy's wedding, my dad had another panic attack - complaining that he can't breathe. The doctors decided to drain 500 units of the fluid from his chest. So, some idiot nurse opened the valve to drain my dad and left the room. My dad quickly realized that the 500 units had drained... and much, much more. After 3000 units, the fluid started overflowing onto the floor. (Draining too much fluid at once can have adverse affects on your respiratory system). After repeatedly pressing the call button next to his bed and yelling for a nurse, my dad got up, and walked to the door of his room dragging his chest tube and overflowing fluid receptical behind him! After that, my dad somehow ended up back in his bed, covered in fluid and blood... and that's all he remembers.

When reciting what he remembers, he says, "I was covered in fluid... and... now your telling me its noon on Sunday!"

My dad is currently in the acute care unit A, floor 5, bed 1. His speach is stuttered and slurred. When I left, the nurses where trying desperately to find a vein to use for an IV because my dad is desperately low in something - I'm not sure what. I just couldn't handle it. I left to update the blog, square up some side-project work, and sleep so I can get back to focusing on spending time with dad and encouraging him through this tough time.

While visiting my dad, one of the lead doctors was able to visit with him and help answer some questions. I found out that I have an appointment Nov 12 at noon in Toronto to discuss transplanting my liver. We also found out that Toronto is having a hard time making room for my dad through a hospital-to-hospital transfer. The doctor then went on to layout a great plan to get my dad into the Toronto General ASAP... Operation: Front of the Line.

The goal is to get my dad well enough that he can leave the hospital for 5-10 hours. In that 5-10hrs, I will drive my dad to Toronto just to drop him off again in ER of the Toronto General. Once in the ER, Toronto General will have to except him as a patient - whether they like it or not.

So, for the next week, Chel and I will be waiting for that opportunity.

No comments: