Saturday, January 16, 2010

Grandpa update

Things remain in a kind of roller coaster of events, re Grandpa. They determined he has a massive strep infection, that has gone to the core of the hip replacement parts, and the infection is bodywide. They have him on 3 different big gun antibiotics & waiting on cultures to come back to make sure they are using the right meds to target the infection.
they want to go back into the hip replacement and flush out the area-- which means a very invasive surgery w a large incision.

On Thursday, Grandpa said no to more surgery. He was still in a rehab facility 2.5 months after the hip break surgery, and does not want more surgery.
By Friday, Grandma seemed to have talked him into having the surgery- but they had to get his blood clotting properly to do the surgery.

Surgery was on for Saturday, today.

But the blood is not clotting properly, so surgery is off for today.

Grandpa remains in ICU.

Grandma's heart continues with the A Fib, and she's looking at having an ablation done, soon, if Grandpa is stable.

The whole thing is very unstable. Emotional. Even more difficult because the immediate family is spread out all over the country. There is concern Grandpa's wish for no more surgery is not being honored, but it is a delicate balance. Before all this happened, Grandpa's quality of life was very compromised... a vibrant active guy.... in his 70's rode his bike 10 miles a day on the rails to trails path.... I had a hard time keeping up with him!

Another thing about Grandpa--- he was present for the MLK "I have a Dream" speech, march on Washington, back in the day. He said he was a tiny speck, back in the crowd-- but we'd always ask him what that was like. Grandpa had some very interesting stories about the civil rights movement-- including taking textbooks being replaced w new ones from the rich school districts, and physically delivering them to the deep/segregated south, at great personal risk.
He also took Mr. Ramblings to the huge March in Washington, against the Vietnam war.

Even in his 80's he went to the weekly Peace vigil & remained an active activist, to the best of his ability. Grandpa Mac is more like a father to me, as my Dad passed away when I was 17.

Tough times right now. Grandpa is to celebrate his 83rd birthday in February.


nonnie9999 said...

hopefully, the docs will figure out the best antibiotic combo, and then, if he's feeling better because the infection is under control, he'll be more open to having the surgery.

Christopher said...

Sometimes folks feel peppier and more inclined to fight when some of the underlying issues like fatigue from infection and pain from an injury unable to heal due to an infection is brought under control.

Hopefully, this will be the case with your grandfather.

What is an "ablation?" I would ask Jim but where is he? Why at the fucking hospital -- where else? I just love being alone on a Saturday night.

Fran said...

I don't know Nonnie.... he's been through so much.

Christopher.... An ablation is a surgical procedure

Sounds like there are 3 different types of ablation procedures.... and they all coe with risks. The Rx meds they have for it have some major side effects.... so one way or the other there are risks.

I imaging it is riskier for someone who is 87 years old.

Sorry Jim is working on a Saturday night.
Bummer. But now you can tell him you know what a coronary ablation is!
He'll be thrilled, I'm sure.

Spadoman said...

Thinking of you, Fran, and the family.


Christopher said...

Thanks, Fran. I've learned more about medical things now that Jim's an RN than I ever thought possible.

Yeah, good Ole' New York, contrary to popular perception is about 30 years behind the rest of the country on so many issues. From Early Voting to how RN schedules are arranged. This is not a modern state.

One more reason why we can't wait to get the hell out of here and back to California. Hell, even Texas is more progressive when it comes to Early Voting and RN scheduling.

New York should be ashamed.

Fran said...

Thanks Spado.... the latest word is that the surgery is on for tomorrow- Monday.
This will be a real springboard for conversation- if down the road I say no more surgery, I want that respected. I know grandma is trying to keep hope alive, but may in fact, inadvertently be prolonging suffering.
None of us has a crystal ball. But Grandpa is wise, and he has every right to assess his quality of life or lack thereof. Grandpa & his son & I are very close & often find ourselves on the same page. Now I am siting here wondering what his written medical directive is & who besides his wife has a copy.
Damn! Should not have waited till now to have that discussion. I know he has it in place.... but more than one person should have a copy- especially since his wife, age 87 has serious health issues. There should be a back up power of attorney for medical decisions & such.

Christopher ~ It is amazing how things vary from State to State & every State has their issues.... no matter how "progressive" like for instance how the hell did California wind up w Ahrnnnold for Guv? A man w no experience, and look at the devastating results!

Since CA is an agricultural state, if they would only legalize the growing of medical marijuana they might be a wealthy state!

Oregon is fairly progressive-- we have Death w dignity (physician assisted suicide), early voting... yet our corporate tax amount has not changed since 1931.
Nobody noticed that for 79 years? WTF?

We have an election in Jan 26 to change that.
I hope it passes w flying colors.

Locally, the city police are taser happy.
They recently tased a Chinese exchange student who was in an apartment he had just rented. The landord has a lack of communication & he was reported as an intruder. Never mind the student did not speak english & had no idea what the officer was saying & vise-a-versa-- yet the officer tased him. Here we are in a Blue state, in a liberal college town & we have this kind of garbage happening. Well now the city police will have a lawsuit on their hands.
They have already had a few taser related lawsuits & have still not learned their lesson- in fact they want to expand the taser program.