They say that bad events come in threes. In our family, the bad stuff just keeps coming. The month of November has tried our souls. Nerves are frayed and our faith has been sorely tested.
Just days before Thanksgiving, my Dad fell twice when attempting to get into bed. He developed excruciating pain in his back, which we assumed was a result of the falls. The night of the second fall, an ambulance was summoned, and we unfortunately decided to have him taken to our local Ellijay hospital.
He was quickly diagnosed with strep pneumonia & sepsis (a result of the pneumonia). After 4 days, he was released from the hospital, without prescriptions for antibiotics, pain medicine, or directions for ongoing care. (Yes, we will present the hospital with a lawsuit in the near future.)
No surprise! Two days after being released from our “keystone cops hospital”, an ambulance was called, and Dad was taken to Piedmont Hospital in Jasper (16 miles south of Ellijay). Dad still had pneumonia, and an abscess was found on an MRI of his back. After several days in the Jasper ICU, on Wednesday, Nov. 25th, the decision was made to transfer him to the main campus of Piedmont Hospital in downtown Atlanta. We were not informed that he was experiencing major organ failure at that time.
Needless to say, our Thanksgiving was neither restful nor was it festive. We spent the day in Knoxville with Greg’s patents, and then raced back to a hotel in downtown Atlanta, so we could be near Dad for the remainder of the weekend.
Dad had team of about 6 doctors, including several infectious disease specialists. They were fabulous, and left no stone unturned in diagnosing his issues. Miraculously, he recovered enough to come home on 12/3. He is still in a great deal of pain. To eradicate the abscesses (which are not operable), we administer daily antibiotic IVs through a PICC line; those will continue for the next 5-7 weeks.
Every day he seems to be making improvements, so it looks like the doctors got his treatment plan right. Home health care nurses and therapists visit him on an almost daily basis. The general consensus from all medical professionals on his case is disbelief that an 88-year old has been been able to survive an infection that would have killed most. Thank God for his hard Italian head, & an incredible will to overcome one of life’s worst trials!
More good news: Greg’s 90-year old Dad is making good progress in recovering from his heart & lung problems, thanks to a new, more empathetic & caring, cardiac specialist. The new doctor installed a pacemaker and started his Dad on heart meds that are controlling his heart rate, and thus preventing fluid collection in his lungs.
But then, a couple of days after Thanksgiving, Greg’s nephew, who has a history of neck & spine issues, herniated 2 disks so badly that the doctors were not sure he would make it through surgery. If he did survive the ordeal, they feared he would become quadriplegic! He made it through surgery just fine, but last week, developed pneumonia, as well as blood clots around his lungs. The latest news is a that further surgery will not be required, and he is finally on the road to recovery.
There’s an old saying that God never gives you more than you can handle. I hope he remembers who he is dealing with. We are all ready to yell “Uncle”!!!
Oh yeah…Christmas is coming. Leanne & Faith came over while Dad was hospitalized and decorated our tree. They did a fabulous job. Pictures of this year’s pared-down decorations will follow in the next post (which, I promise, will not lag far behind this one).
If you have a chance, please pray for my Dad. He is having a bad day today; the pain is overwhelming. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind thoughts & prayers.