My dad has had a challenging life these past few years...heart issues, broken neck and now his latest has started with a broken ankle.
A few weeks ago dad broke his ankle while he was in a parking lot. It was an icy and cold day and he was in a handicapped spot (he does have the sticker for that), fell down and tried to get up but just couldn't. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He eventually had a halo put on his ankle and was staying at the Thompkins Center in Fort Dodge. The plan was to let him stay there for about 6 to 8 weeks to help him get better since he wasn't able to walk or move on his own. This time frame would put him to come home sometime late April.
Dad also has a rash type of thing on his groin area and has had it for about a year. It has gotten worse though at different times and he has been to see doctors for this previously. He had portions of this taken off and were looked at by Mayo Clinic in Rochester because Fort Dodge wasn't able to diagnose the problem.
Last week he developed a fever and infection and was put into back into the hospital this past Wednesday. They took one of the rods out of his foot because they thought that was a source of infection but it turns out that it wasn't. As the days progressed he wasn't getting better and was diagnosed with a few different things and we were all finally told the details of what his illnesses were. Dad was told that he has Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Pilonidal Femoral disease. Dad is diabetic and his blood sugars vary quite a bit...everything from about a 40 to 160. He has been sick several times as well throwing up and just not being able to eat. He did also have a blood transfusion but that didn't provide the results that the doctors were looking for.
As dad was in the hospital these past few days he was also told that he has a MRSA infection. Because of this infection, only those that are over 18 are allowed ot see him and we aren't able to touch him or the items in his room. If we did want to touch him we would need to gown up...most of us just chose the option of not touching anything. He is being treated for this infection along with these other issues but is being transfered as we speak to the hospital at the University of Iowa. The hospital in Fort Dodge doesn't feel like they can take care of him as best as he should be taken care of at this point.
Yesterday, dad also had several hours that were very touch and go for him. He was having a lot of chest pain and having a hard time breathing. He was put on oxygen and also had a lot of tests done to check his heart but those have turned out ok. The doctor is guessing that he probably has a blood clot somewhere but isn't sure where at this point. They would do further tests but his kidneys are pretty weak and if they ran a CT (I believe is what he said) he most likely wouldn't make it through that because of the conditions his kidneys are currently in at the moment.
Dad did call me this morning and let me know that he was going to be leaving this afternoon. I took the kids with me and Jordan before we went to church and we stopped by to say bye to him before he left. Mom met up with us as well there and she and I got to speak with the doctor a little bit too.
The doctor did tell us that dad is still very touch and go. He was pretty alert today when I saw him and in pretty good spirits with me but his body is fighting quite a bit right now and he is on a few different medicines to help him with this battle. Once he does get to the University of Iowa, he will be getting some tests done to check on the issue with the possible blood clot and then also will be getting a bone marrow biopsy. The doctor this morning said that my dad has had blood tests done to see if cancer is involved at that has been negative, however, he really feels that there is something going on and that is why the recommendation has been given to do the tests on the bone marrow. The doctor is very aware of the family history with caner also and wants this to be checked.
As many know, there are 5 kids here at home and mom is a Kindergarten teacher. Mom has been given the ok to go and be with dad tomorrow and be there as the results will be given on a few different tests that will be done once he gets there today. I will be here with the kids and help them get off to school and will be here too to get them to Iowa City in case there is a need to be there with the family.
I am also going to be the link for communication for many that want details. My mom is very stressed at the moment and is dealing with a lot. This is a very sad and hard time for her and for all the kids as there are a lot of questions and much of this is a reminder to when dad was in the hospital for his heart issues as well as when Jaclyn was sick and was hospitalized many times.
To help mom out, I have talked with dad and he is going to call me with updates, I will post those updates here on the blog so family and friends can look here to get updates. Please pass this on to help my mom. She feels like she needs to return everyone's calls, work, be at church for different events and also be a mom and wife too. She can't do it all and shouldn't right now so we are trying to help her say "no" to different things by actually not saying "no" but communicate that to people for her through here. So, if you expect my mom to be somewhere this week...please tell her that she doesn't need to and that you don't expect her to show up and will just send her home if she does :) As soon as I get a call, I will post the update on here. I will try to post something everyday by 5pm so you all know what is going on too.
If you want to do anything else to help out...just pray. Iowa City is about 3 hours away from Fort Dodge so it is a bit of a drive to see dad and to be there for him when he needs us.