Thursday, February 26, 2009

Finally! Some progress!

Chelsea and I arrived at the meeting today at 2:30. My dad's sister (my aunt Linda) and my dad's close friend (Danny) were there with my mom.

We met with Dr Code, Jennifer (head nurse), and Dr Code's head resident. They walked us through the series of events as they knew it.

My dad arrived at the hospital with a bug from Toronto. Even though stool tests didn't show he had an infection, he was still treated as if he had a bug. This treatment worked to clear up his symptoms. However, just as he things were starting to look up, the doctors think that the infection reared its head for another onslaught.

Eventually, the infection passed, though my dad will remain on antibiotics for the remainder of the month.

During my dad's stay, his kidney function has been affected negatively. His urine output has decreased. And they are sure that its the kidney's as he has a catheter draining urine directly from the bladder. Furthermore, they think he may have a bowel obstruction or a 'lazy bowel'. His liver levels seem alright - but the Ottawa team would feel more comfortable at this point if he were assessed in Toronto. Sooo...

Dad will be on his way back to Toronto in the next day or so. He's just waiting for a bed. We're all happy about this - except for dad. He's somewhat okay with it... but he's insisting that it be limited to just a week or so.

So dad's definitely back at square one - except with a new lever.


We found out today that a friend of a friend recently gave birth to a child who was born with liver failure. It was necessary for the newborn to receive a liver transplant. The father gave a small piece of his own liver for his child - in the same hospital as dad and I. The new born is recovering at Sick Kids. Please keep that baby in your prayers.

It was cool to hear the story for 2 reasons. A) Our friend let us know how encouraging our blog was - especially when it came to hearing about how well the Toronto General Hospital treated dad and I. It really gave her a boast in confidence that she could pass on to her friend. B) It was encouraging to hear that if this new born baby can fight for its life, how much more so should my dad be able to!?!?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts. So many phenomenal suggestions keep coming in. Please, the more the better!

Good news - I called Dr Code today and left a message. A few hours later, I received a call from a nurse who has set up a meeting with Dr Code, a resident doctor, herself, my dad, my mom and I. Finally - the appointment we've been waiting for! I'll update the blog as soon as I get back from the meeting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I visited dad on Sunday. He called me crying - saying that no one had visited him that day.

When I got there, my dad was in rough shape. Physically, it seems like his Kidney's may be in trouble. And emotionally/spiritually, my dad is fully ready to give up.

I was pretty gong ho when I saw him. I was encouraging him and telling him I'd help take care of him and get him better.

I pulled a nurse aside and asked her some questions about my dad's situation. She gave me some valuable advice and the name/number of a the staff doctor. She suggested I call the staff doctor and address all my concerns about my dad.

Its so frustrating because it seems like random doctors come visit my dad at random times and just treat my dad's symptoms. They don't look at my dad's health as a whole and try to assess him from there. They continue to prescribe the same medications when its obvious they aren't working.

Anyway - I should have called that doctor by now.

I visited dad today. Mom and James were already there. The room was so heavy. Man - it was the most depressing visit yet. It was almost like no-one in the room believed dad was going to make it out of this... at least thats how I felt.

Lord! I don't know what to do! Blast! I'm so frustrated and broken. I gave all I can to help dad... but its not enough! Lord - its not up to me at this point anymore. I've done what I can. And you know what, I'm willing to admit that up until now I believed that earthly medicine would resolve my dad's situation with your guiding hand. But its obvious to me now that we need more than just your guidance - we need your healing power. Lord - I need your miracle working power. I need your crazy-ass, supernatural, unexplainable, Divine, undeserved, healing power.

Lord - literally... you're my only hope. Your my dad's only hope.

Please people - more than ever - pray! I've never seen my dad this sick in the past 12 months he's been sick. I never seen my family this hopeless.

Visit and call my dad! Encourage him. 613 798 5555 x12283. He's room A534, 5th Floor, Ottawa Civic Hospital.

So, here's a rough break down of what I'm going to discuss with the doctor. If anyone out there has any medical ideas/advice, please fire away.

Current meds my dad is on (I don't know the exact drugs):
- pain medication
- anti-rejection drugs (suppressing his immune system)
- anti-depressant (efexor?)

Current Condition:
- fluid only diet
- can't keep food down
- very weak
- very depressed
- all liver levels are fine

- urine is very dark and far less than his fluid input
- water retention in his legs and abdomen
- pig-tail catheter in his abdomen to drain fluid
- dehydration
- can't keep food down
- diarrhea
- elevated blood pressure

Treatments that haven't worked:
- albumen
- urine catheter

Friday, February 20, 2009

Where are yah!?

Just called dad to check up on him. He's losing his mind again. I didn't even recognize his voice. Here's the convo:

Me - "Umm... Is Brian there?"

Dad - "Yeah - what?"

Me - "Dad? Its Josh."

Dad - "Where are you?!?!"

Me - "I'm at home?!"

Dad - "Yah ars! I thought were getting me a wheel chair?"

Me - "Hahaha! Dad - I'm at home!"

Dad - "I thought you were down the hall getting a wheel chair, though!"

Me - "Dad - what drugs are you on that your confused again?"

Dad - "So, whats your plan?"

Me - "Plan?"

Dad - "Yeah - when you coming in?"

Me - "First thing in the morning ok?"

Dad - "No"

Me - "You want breakfast?"

Dad - "No"

Me - "I can bring a fruit cup."

Dad - "Ok... well... we'll see... I'll call yah."

Me - "Alright, well I'll talk to you later."

Dad - "K..."

I was kind of amused... am I a jerk for finding stuff like that funny?

In reality though, I was hurting inside. Its seems like we're back to square one. And I'm not upset because he has my liver and I'm not afraid the transplant didn't work... I'm just so tired of seeing dad sick and tired. I just want this to be over.

My emotions may be a little amplified given some other life stresses at the moment. I may look back at these posts in a few months and regret feeling this way... I don't know...

In an ideal world, I'd love to know beyond a shadow of a doubt the my family in Ottawa are doing all they can for dad. That includes regular visits, keeping his spirits up, reminding him of the promises God has for his life, and, most importantly, keeping up with dad's medical condition. I'm convinced that no-one is paying attention to what the doctors are doing. At one point, the doctors in Ottawa reduced my dad's anit-rejection drugs by 50%. I'm sure they know what they are doing - but no one knows why they did it... and no one is asking questions. Is it so difficult?

I'd love to be the one who jumps in and saves the day... again. But frig - I feel like I'm at the end of my rope here. I can only handle so much of this. And I feel like I've already given so much. Man - I thought the transplant decision was heavy... this whole thing is way over my head.

Lord - restore my peace. Restore my faith. Be my rest.

You know what - the reality is is that God will take care of this situation. I have no idea why its going down like this. But I only get one shot at loving Dad. I only get one shot at this. And I'm not going to spend the rest of my life regretting that I was ridiculously selfish while my dad was dying... too selfish to care about how much anit-rejection drugs he's on... or how the cuts on his legs or his bed soars will be affected by his diabetes. I gotta find time to be the person I'm expecting everyone else to be. I don't want to - and maybe I shouldn't have to - but neither of those arguments will bring any peace if the unthinkable happens.

No regrets.

What did Jesus do when he was hanging on Earth? He served. He selfless gave himself every day for the poor, the sick, the hungry... and never complained. He found his strength in God the Father. Even when he had a perfect excuse not to serve (while he was dying on the cross), he still took time and ministered to both men on the crosses beside him.

I want to serve regardless of my circumstances.

God - I'm so weak. But that's awesome! Because your word says that in my weakness, you are strong! So make me weaker! Less of me and more of your strength!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family day blues

Heads up - this is a very candid blog about my frustration regarding dad's recovery and his attitude... if I you don't think you can handle it, just skip over it.

What a freakin crappy day.

I woke up to a pretty depressing call from my mom saying that dad had taken another bad turn. Last I heard, he was overcoming this bug and on his way back to recovering. But now dad's started throwing up again and having bowel issues.

My mom told me that at this point, my dad is ready to give up. He's already planned his funeral and crap like that. I don't know why he gets down so damn easily. And you'd think that if your son gave you a piece of his liver for you, you would try everything in your power not to get down - not to give up - but to keep a positive attitude till the bitter end.

If someone gave me their liver, I'd think that I don't have the right to feel defeated... I'd have to fight - for the donors sake... for my sake!

Sorry for the rando vent - but its whats on my heart.

Anyhow, dad had his stomach and bowels drained and the fluid in his abdomen is scheduled to be drained soon.

The good news is that both his Liver and Kidney's are working incredibly well. Nothing that is happening to my dad right now is a result of Hep-C or the transplant. This means that its overcomeable.

Lord - Give dad a freakin supernatural boast of holy spirit encouragement. Renew his strength. Renew his will to get better and live out his life dreams and your will for his life!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Dad's ok. He's not going to die. But his condition is getting worse.

Apparently its all because of this bug he came back with from Toronto. He's in isolation now being treated for the bug. This bug will bring my dad back to the point he was at when he got out of surgery. Any progress he had made is out the window. He's back to square one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sorry for the delay, everyone.

Dad got home safely last Thursday (February 5). More info on that later.

Just got a call from mom. She's called an ambulance because she thinks something is wrong with dad. Please pray.

Chelsea and I have been scepticle that it was too early for dad to leave Toronto. But my parents insist that the doctors were ok with it.

I'll keep you all posted.