Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Journey Continues at Home

Gary was paroled yesterday evening and is now resting pseudo comfortably at home. He is moderately uncomfortable. Somehow he got pseudo gout in his left elbow which is causing most of his discomfort. If I understand correctly it was probably caused from his kidney failure. So he is on pain medicines to help him control that pain. He really doesn't have much use of that left arm right now. So getting up from the bed, couch, or chair is difficult. He has a wound in his right butt cheek about the size of a lemon. It is healing nicely but is still very sore. We have a home health company coming in every day to dress the wound. I am actually getting pretty good at cleaning it up and changing the dressing. He is able to climb stairs and walk with the help of a walker. He loved sleeping in his own bed last night.

We have had many angels watching over us. Both here on earth and in heaven. Thanks to my family for their love and support. Dave has answered my every question and helped me make difficult decisions. Melissa has listened to my concerns and frustrations. Jim and Lisa have fed us multiple times and made many visits. Richard, Mom, and Dad we feel your love and prayers as well. Gary's family thanks for your love and support. We know you all have been concerned about Gary and wanting him to recover wholly. A few other angels are Joel Dall, Steve Crandall, Our Bishop, ward members, the Buds, and all the skilled medical staff at the hospital. We couldn't have made it without our strong children. They have been my rock through this whole thing. They make me proud. They each have their own way of dealing with the situation and helping with his recovery.

He will probably be working on recovering for the next 6 weeks. He is determined to get better and heal fully. It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I think we have all done some reflecting on what is really important in life.

The Journey Continues

Hello all,
First let me thank all of you for your love, prayers, and support. We had no idea Gary was so sick. We are so grateful that he is still alive. We could have very easily lost him this weekend. One more day and who knows what the outcome might have been.

He was in ICU from Sunday thru Wednesday. He was then moved to a surgical floor for a day. He has since been moved to PCU (Progressive Care Unit). He had a really good day today. His spirits were up and he was quite positive. He had a few setbacks today but overall things are improving. He isn't mobile yet. He needs lots of support to do anything that requires body movement. But he is able to wiggle his feet, slightly bend his legs, raise his hands over his head, and raise his head.

The best part of his day was taking a shower. I am sure that felt most awesome to him. It took several of us to help him but we were successful. He is eating now and drinks a lot. He is showing a lot of courage and suffering through great amounts of pain to fulfill his PT requirements. He wants to go home! It looks like he may be going to a rehab center before he can come home just because of the stairs in our house. His friend Joel Dall told him he now has an A hole and a B hole. LOL

Please keep praying for him. He feels all of your love. It is going to be months before he is healed fully. I will update you all again in a couple days. You can call him at the hospital if you want to give him some support. Love to all. Mary Ann

The Beginning of the Journey

This is long so only read if you want the details.

I just want to update you all on Gary. He was a pretty sick guy. Good news is he is on the mend. Here is the scoop on his illness.

He had a colonoscopy this summer. He continued to leak fluids from his behind for several weeks. He put up with it for awhile and then decided it was more than colonoscopy residue. We called the doctor to see what was going on. He sent Gary to a colorectal surgeon. There was a fistula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fistula) found near his colon. So on October 11th he went in for a fistulotomy. The surgery went well and he was on the road to recovery. He was feeling really great. He even did some home repairs around the house on Saturday October 20th. He really was doing well. Then on Friday the 26th he started having body aches, fever, chills, and overall feeling crappy. He thought he had the flu. So he rested, drank liquids, and just took it easy. By Monday he was feeling pretty miserable so he called the doctor and went in for a blood test. His blood work came back with high white blood cell count. She told him if he was still feeling awful that they could go back in to look for infection in the previous surgery. She was going to take him in on Thursday if he wanted the surgery. Well by Tuesday he couldn't take it anymore and called for a surgical appointment. She could take him on Tuesday the 30th. So he had surgery that night and spent the night in the hospital. The stitches had come out of the wound and it was pretty messy. So she fixed it up, restitched it and kept him there for the night. I took him home on Halloween so he could rest at home. On Thursday morning I took him in for another blood draw to see what his blood count was. Somehow this report never made it to the doctor, still not sure where it is. Anyway he continued to decline. He couldn't sit, lay, stand or generally move without pain. I called for stronger pain meds on Friday because he was fighting what we thought was post surgery pain. So he got on stronger meds and seemed to feel a bit better. Saturday went pretty well except he had no appetite and wasn't able to pee. He also wasn't sleeping well. Just couldn't get comfortable, had difficulty rolling in bed, and just not himself. So Sunday he layed on the couch and McKay stayed home with him. When I got home from church he said he was light headed and wanted to take his blood pressure. So we took it and it was very low. Had I looked at his buttocks I would have seen how red, swollen, and tight his right cheek was. But he just didn't think he was that sick. So I called my brother Dave to get his opinion and he told us to go to the ER. Once we got to the ER we were surrounded by medical personnel. They put a pic line in his shoulder and began to pump him with fluids. They tested his blood and ran several tests. His white cell count was extremely high and his blood pressure was extremely low. The blood work also showed that his kidneys had shut down. So they knew something was wrong. They did and EKG to check his heart and a CT scan to see where the infection was. There was an abscess in his bottom running parallel to his rectum. It was banana shape and filled with puss. We had to wait a little while for an operating room. Once we got the room they took him right away. The surgery took about an hour. Dr. Wouldron said it was full of puss. The quantity was about the size of a grapefruit. She isn't sure where the abscess started but is hopeful they got all of the infection and he will recover well. He has an opening on his back side that is about the size of a lime. It will remain open and heal from the inside out. He did have a minor heart attack during the night due to his low blood pressure. He was taken of intubation at about 2:30 and the stomach tube came out about 5:00. When I left him tonight he was sitting up, watching tv, off of almost all the meds except one blood pressure med. We have turned the corner and things are looking good. He will be in recovery for about 6 weeks. I am sure he will be tired of it by then. The good news is he isn't in as much pain and they found the abscess. We are thankful for all your love, prayers, and concern. Family is amazing. My children have been rocks through this whole thing. I have leaned on them a lot the past few weeks. I am sure it will continue in the weeks to come. We are blessed. It could have turned out a lot worse.