Again, thank you all so much for your incredible support. This has actually helped me, believe it or not. Reading others' stories and what they've gone through as well.
My dad (sadly to say) is still on the Vent. His settings are now up to 55%. Still no actual diagnosis(except that the doctors strongly believe he has an underlying lung disease...a CT scan that revealed a mass on his left kidney...but this can't be addressed until after or if he gets off the vent) All cultures from sputum, blood work, and urine have showed up negative, and they have discontinued his Antibiotics since they couldn't find any bacteria. They did say they would continue to do cultures until or if they find anything. He is keeping a fever...ranging from 100-102.9...which they are treating with tylenol. His blood sugars have been running high...about 200-260 which they are treating with a sliding scale insulin...Lantus I believe. He is on a feeding of Pulmocare at 30cc/hr and he is FINALLY starting to have regular bowel movements. (Where is Dr. House when you need him? Sorry, I had to throw in a little joke there. I love watching that show).
My mother did get a second opinion from a different Pulmonologist, and neither of us liked what we heard. He talked to my mother over the phone. Asked her a ton of questions about my dad...how long has he smoked (he started in his 20's and just stopped smoking 4 years ago...he is 60 now), when he walks, how long does it take for him to get out of breath... etc. He didn't actually see my dad I don't think, but he was looking through his charts. He told my mom that if it was him he would just take my dad off the Vent and let him go peacefully. He said it sounds like he has emphysema and lung scarring and he wouldn't put him through all that with the tracheostomy, etc. My mom remained calm on the phone with this other doctor and asked to speak back with his nurse. After the nurse got back on the phone, my mom told her that she didn't want this doctor taking over his case at all. She wanted his old Pulmonologist back, the one that actually hasn't given up on him yet! After she got off the phone with this "mean" doctor, she burst into tears and said she just can't make that call right now. We both cried for the rest of our Saturday after this doctors opinion.
It's not as if he's in a coma or anything. His vent setting is at 55%, not 100%...and when his Diprovan (sedative) is running low, he knows exactly what's going on. When asked if he wanted to fight to get better, he nodded his head yes. I just can't believe that other doctor said that. Maybe he was just being truthful with his opinion...but his opinion hurt deeply. We are not ready to give up on my father yet!!!
Tonight, at 5:30pm...my uncles preacher came in to pray for him. They would only let 2 at a time go in to the CCU, so it was the preacher and my mother. I don't know what was prayed but when the preacher came out he told me that my dad did want to go to heaven. This of course made me cry a little. (They had decreased his Diprovan for a short time per my mothers request so he could see the preacher). My dad is, by no means, a religious man (or at least openly religious). But, my mother told me the #1 thing on his last years New Resolutions List was to get closer with God. When I came in to see him, he was wide awake. I unstrapped his restraints (I was close by of course) and kept telling him he has to get better. When asked if he was going to fight to get better, he nodded his head. I hugged him and cried on his belly while he hugged me as tight as he could. I saw a tear coming down from his eye and this broke my heart! I tried to keep my tears in but seeing him awake like that just upset me...he couldn't talk but was trying to. He is too weak to try and write on a clip board. When I asked him if he wanted to write, he shook his head no. He did nod yes when I asked him if he wanted to get better. I don't think he wants to give up. I believe he still has some fight left left in him!!! He's as stubborn as I am! I know if it was me laying there, with a Ventilator, I would want the doctors and nurses to do everything they could to save my life. I don't think he's ready to give up just yet...and the only thing that doctor with the second opinion made me feel like is that we were just making him suffer!!!
After we left, my mother and I requested that they increase the Diprovan so he could get some rest. It makes me feel better to see that he's resting when I visit rather than being awake and agitated (but he didn't seem agitated with our visit today, thank goodness). He did keep trying to throw his leg over the bed as if to say, "I'm ready to get outta here".
I actually do plan on going to work tomorrow. It's going to be very, very hard on me but I think it will help keep my mind busier! I just hope I don't start busting out crying while at work. I work 2nd shift, and my mom works 1st shift, so I told her to keep me updated by leaving me messages on my cell.
And to the poster that thought they offended me by suggesting I seek a counselor or physcologist. You didn't offend me at all!!! I think anyone who's going through what I'm going through now should most definitely do that! I just have to find one that my insurance will accept, and find time between work, visiting my dad at the hospital, etc. I've actually thought about that. I guess my #1 concern is my dad and I want to be there "in case anything happens" and for support. I plan on visiting him at noon before going to work at 3pm.
Thank you again for all of your encouragement, kind words, sharing your similiar experiences, and advice!!!
Post Edited (raindrop) : 1/25/2009 10:49:09 PM (GMT-7)