Friday, April 26, 2013


For those of you following along, Dad passed away one week ago today, very early in the morning.

I have been trying to figure out how to write about what the last week has been like for me, but right now I can't.  I want to get it written down (more for myself than necessarily sharing this story) but I don't know how.

I thought maybe if I just started typing, it would flow, but it's not.

I think I'm kind of struggling with what is appropriate to share, and what I'm comfortable sharing.  I don't know how I'm supposed to act, how I'm supposed to feel, or what I'm supposed to write.

So for right now, I won't write about it.

I do want to say thank you to every single person who has hugged me, called me, texted, Facebooked, Tweeted, or written to me, and also to those that have just thought of me and my family.  I'm overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I've felt over the past week (well, months really) from all of you.  In case you didn't know, I'm a total hugger.  If you see me, please hug me.  Don't feel weird about it, just bring it on.

Maybe I'll try writing more about it tomorrow.

I think I was probably about 6-8 months old in this picture.  See that curl on his forhead?  That's where it came from, folks.

I miss you Dad, and I think about you every single day.  I hope you are dancing to Frank Sinatra, have an endless supply of strawberry shakes, and never cross paths with a physical therapist again.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

We're Movin' on up!

To the east side!

It might not be a deluxe apartment in the sky, but it's floor 8.  Not floor 7.

Floor 7 = ICU.  Floor 8 = NOT ICU.

Today was a good day.

Love you Dad!!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Verona, WI

Maybe some day in this lifetime I'll be able to tell you about my weekend sooner than on Wednesday.  Maybe not.

So, I had great intentions of taking tons of great pictures this past weekend on our trip down to Verona to visit my sister and her family, so I could finally blog about something other than Dad's status (which I will do at the end of the post).  I finally got the camera hooked up to the computer today on my lunch break, and am laughing hysterically at the crappy pictures I took!  Every one of them was either totally blurry, photobombed, or had people looking off in every different direction.  Oh well.  If anyone needs a few laughs right now, it's my family. :)

Photobomb #1.  I think TJ lives to say "touche" and to photobomb pictures.  Poor Cleo.  It was her First Communion day, and she has to put up with a brother like this, with a mop of hair on that head.

Photobomb #2.  Trying to get a decent picture of all of the cousins that were present, and "Ethel" (just kidding, I have no idea what her name is) felt the need to be one of the cousins, I guess.  And TJ clearly loves being there.  Also, why don't you ever realize how crooked your own son's glasses are until you are looking at the pictures four days after they were taken???

Photobomb #3.  Thank you TJ.

Finally, a good one!  I really do love this picture!  :)

Here are some others from my phone from various points in the weekend:

Yes this happened.  For real money.  No, not mine, Morgan's.  My kids are awesome.

We stopped for gas and this life size dinosaur almost ate my whole car.

We went thrifing and found some cooooool stuff.  My sissies are awesome.
(do bunny ears count as a photobomb??)

Then we went to Costco on a Saturday afternoon.  That was quite an experience.  There were a LOT of people there.  It was busy.

And then the Angels sang to me so sweetly that they earned the capital A in the word Angel that I just typed.  Twice.  This beer was very cold, and very delicious.  Leini's new Canoe Paddle.

I love these two!  :)

Congrats on your First Communion, Cleo.  Thanks for letting us come and stay with you and be there for it!

So, not much is new on Dad's status.  He's still in ICU, and still grouchy.  They keep telling him that it should just be one more day in ICU.  Just one more day.  But no such luck.  He finally got to have a strawberry shake yesterday (praise Jesus!), but his blood sugar is still too high from the steriods that he's on, so I guess they are waiting for that to stabilize more.  The poor guy has to have his blood checked every hour.  His fingers are so poked up that I'm surprised they still have blood left in them to check.  He had the staples removed from his surgery finally, and the incisions are looking pretty good, just a little draining from one, which they are watching and taking care of.  I finally figured out that he was asking me for a shake the day I visited him and he was intubated.  He was making the drinking motion, and all I could guess was water or Diet Coke, but he was shaking his head that those weren't right.  I couldn't figure out what he was asking for.  Sorry Dad.  It would have been a little difficult to drink a shake while intubated anyways.  :)

That's it for this time.  I get to get away this coming weekend too, with my BFF Angela and I absolutely can't wait.  I'll try to tell you about my weekend before next Wednesday, too.



Sunday, April 7, 2013


Dad's ventilator tube and feeding tube were both removed yesterday (yay!) and he has shown some improvements.  He wanted a strawberry shake waiting for him, which was there, but sadly he hasn't been able to drink it yet due to unstable blood sugar levels.

He is going between the external ventilator (Danielle, what is that called?) and just the oxygen tube to his nose.  They were hoping to move him out of ICU by this evening, but he has had some wacky oxygen and blood pressure readings, so until those stabilize a little better, it looks like he will be staying put.  Honestly, that's ok with me because it's nice to have ONE doctor overseeing his entire case.

I just got back from a quick trip to Madison to attend my niece/goddaughter's first communion, so I haven't been to visit Dad in a few days.  I will go see him tomorrow after work.  The word on the street is that he's still pretty cranky.  Pretty sure I would be too.

Thanks again everyone for your comments, thoughts, and prayers!  We all appreciate every single one of them!



Saturday, April 6, 2013


Well the ventilator tube didn't come out yesterday. He weaned for 3 hours successfully but the doc felt he'd benefit from one more day.

The text I got from mom a little while said that it would be coming out shortly and he wanted a shake waiting! :)



Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Good Day.

This morning when I woke up, I decided it was going to be a good day.  I put the bobby pin with the flower on it in my hair.  I really wanted to wear my owl earrings but I couldn't find them.  No, I wasn't going to give up on those owl earrings.  I finished getting dressed and all the other "upstairs" stuff I had to do.  I figured I'd give the side table one more quick look before heading downstairs.  Low and behold, they were sort of under and behind the alarm clock. 

I tackled the average day at work and was looking forward to the evening where I would get to rhinestone some more dance costumes, and go visit Dad.

He really had a great day today!  They have basically eliminated the sedation medication.  When attempting to wean him from the ventilator, he did awesome and was breathing on his own for four whole hours.  PT had him sitting upright in his chair for 2 hours.  The blood pressure dipped a few times, but usually only when he was being moved too much or doing anything strenuous.  He absolutely hates that tube (who can blame him) and went after it a time or two to try and get it out, so he has to be watched.  But with any luck, it will be out tomorrow!

He has a very hard time communicating, but while I was there tonight, he was able to make it clear to me that he wanted his laptop.  I got him all hooked up and back on his Slotomania.  He had the Twins on TV (with a win!), Slotomania on the laptop, and the only thing missing was his McDonald's Strawberry shake.

He's certainly not out of the woods, and still has quite a long road ahead of him.  I am expecting days ahead that will be tough again.  But for me, today, right now?  I'm going to hang on to this good day, and sleep well tonight.

Maybe I'll wear my owl earrings again tomorrow...



Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Last night at about 10:45 my cell phone rang.  The caller ID was the hospital and my stomach flipped.  It was Dad's ICU doc.  He wasn't able to reach mom, so went down the list of our numbers that he had.

He was calling to let me know that Dad had been having some difficulty getting rid of the amount of carbon dioxide that he needed to.  His breathing was pretty shallow, and he wasn't taking deep enough breaths, or exhaling enough.  He had put Dad on a mask of sorts - I think someone told me that it was similar to the breathing mask that a person who suffers from sleep apnea wears (CPAP).  This was forcing the oxygen into his lungs, and in turn forcing him to exhale and get rid of that carbon dioxide.  If this non-invasive method wasn't helping enough, they would consider intubating to help him with his breathing.  I asked him how his spirits were, and if he thought I should come in.  He said the choice was mine, but he didn't think it was necessary.  I thanked him for calling and tried to reach my mom just to let her know what was going on.  She didn't answer the home phone or her cell phone.  Before I could decide what to do next, the doc called back and said that Dad was asking for family to be there, especially Mom.  I told him I'd be there right away.

I was able to reach Dan by text (thank goodness!) so he was going to go wake up mom and meet me at the hospital.

I am glad I got to spend some time with Dad alone for a little while.  As much as I didn't want to be in that room with all the beeps and tubes and unfamiliar sounds, I knew I was providing a tiny bit of relief to him by just being there to hold his hand.  He fell asleep just a few minutes later, and I wasn't sure if he had been having trouble with sleep, but I'm gonna go with the thought that I helped him with that little snooze. 

I think Mom and Dan got there about 20 minutes later.  We just sat with him for a while and various nurses and aides came in and poked and prodded and checked numbers and adjusted doses.  The doc came in a little bit later and said that he advised moving forward with the intubation.  The mask wasn't doing exactly what they had hoped, which was pretty much expected with the pneumonia thrown in there on top of everything else.  If they intubated, Dad would be sedated for a few days, allowing his body to relax and not work so hard to heal.  The antibiotics would have a better chance to work, which is what he needs.

I finally got a hold of John at this point and he and Erin were on their way now.  We moved down the hall to the waiting room while the procedure was happening, and Danielle came in to chat with us for a bit.  It is so so so awesome to have her explain stuff to us in a way we can understand. 

She said it's pretty rare to have someone admitted to ICU with low blood pressure issues who doesn't also have the breathing issues requiring intubation right from the start.  Also, this intubation wasn't a necessity for him, it was a suggestion to allow him a little ease in his healing.  So even though an intubation tube and sedation seems drastic and a huge change in status for him, it's not necessarily a step backwards.  She is 100% awesome, and knows what she's talking about.  She's not going to sugar coat anything, and will tell us if there are concerns.  Now she's off for a week (waaaah!) but she deserves her time off. 

We got to go back in and see Dad after he was intubated.  It is not easy to see your dad that way.  No matter how much you prepare yourself for it.  He did look more restful, but the extra tubes are not what you want to see.  I had to keep repeating Danielle's words in my head.  This is NOT a step backwards.

Eventually we all headed home to get some much needed sleep.

I didn't go for a visit with him today, but I did call in and talk with his nurse tonight.  She said that even though he's still pretty sedated, PT came in today to work with him a little, and keep his joints moving, and they also slid him into a chair that could sit him upright for a while.  This really surprised me.  Just not what I expected, I guess.  They did try to decrease the sedation meds and the power on the breathing tube, but he didn't really have a great response to that, so they put the levels back to what they were and will try again tomorrow.

That's really all for today.  We are in yet another holding pattern until he can show some improvements, which Miss Danielle is very optimistic will happen soon.

My nephew set up a Caring Bridge site, which you can visit HERE if you'd like to leave a comment, or get an update.  I think my blog posts will be copied over there, but he may be adding smaller updates as they are available also.

Thank you all so much for the kind words of encouragement that we have gotten from you so far.  I love hearing from you all!  Please continue to keep Dad in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.

Today is my parents' 48th wedding anniversary.  Isn't that just simply awesome?  I love you both very much!



Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Dad is still fighting the fight.  He has good days, and bad. 

On Saturday he was doing his PT and was getting very winded and light headed.  His nurses said he needed to go to the ER to get some help getting his blood pressure back up, so transport was called and he was brought in.  His first blood pressure reading was rediculously low, only 50/30 :( so they put him immediately on IV fluids and medication to squeeze his vessels to bring the pressure back up.  They did a chest X-ray to check for a blood clot or other abnormalities and tried to find a vein where they could take some blood to test.  After a few hours of watching the blood pressure rise and fall, and another med to bring the potassium level down, they found pneumonia on top of the existing MRSA.  His BP was finally up to 108/72, and he was transferred upstairs to the ICU, where he is still today.

I feel very fortunate to have nurse friends that help explain stuff to me.  A fellow hockey mom was a nurse on his floor right after his surgery, and now Morgan's solo teacher is a nurse in his ICU.  It's such a good feeling to have someone you know even just in the vicinity. 

He continues to be on medication to constrict the vessels and keep the BP up, but they have now lowered the dosage, which is good news.  His sugar level got a little wacky yesterday, so they started an insulin drip along with the constant IV fluids and pain management.  So right now we are in a holding pattern watching all sorts of levels, making sure nothing goes too high or too low.

I don't know the requirements for moving him out of ICU, so I'm not sure when that will happen.  Thankn goodness they allow him to have his laptop in there so he can still play Slotomania.  I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you sent him some coins if you play.

So that's the update for today.  I'm sure he'll never want to have PT again, since that's when the blood pressure went so low.  Hopefully he comes out of this slump soon and can get back to his workouts!

Thank you all for the thoughts, prayers, and comments.  Keep em coming!  Love to you all!