Things aren't really better
, but they're not exactly worse
Ryan's dad is finally breathing completely on his own, and the tracheotomy was removed. After being incapacitated for a month, he lost eighty
pounds. Unfortunately, being incapacitated also meant that he had to receive nutrients through an IV. The nutrients were pretty much purely glucose, and he ended up developing Diabetes. My mom used to be a nurse, and she said that sometimes that can happen, and that it can be temporary. I sure hope it's temporary. He also had some fairly horrendous bed sores. Ryan said there was talk of calling in a plastic surgeon or a wound doctor to fix them because they had gotten so bad.
After some pleading from his doctors, the insurance company is going to continue to cover Ryan's dad--however--he is no longer at the hospital, but at a rehabilitation center. He still has blood clots, though, and I'm not sure what will be done about them now that he's no longer in the hospital. He seems to be getting back to his old self. He had his first hot meal since he's woken up, and according to Ryan, it looked like he was the most grateful man on Earth. I can only imagine how wonderful a nice, hot plate of food must have been after a month of not being able to eat. Ryan says that his dad has made a lot of progress in the time he was in Alabama. Ryan left for Georgia yesterday to visit some old friends, but his dad was thrilled to have been able to see him. We hope that once he's well enough to leave, he will be able to move to Florida to be with his wife and kids, where he wants to be. It's really a miracle that he's been able to come this far after dying
in surgery. God's got a plan for this man, and he's not ready to be called Home yet. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Your support has been very encouraging, and it's greatly appreciated. Previous Updates
I had to fly out of town suddenly last night, and I left my laptop at home. Ryan's dad is in the hospital in critical condition, and we flew out to Alabama late yesterday. They weren't sure he was going to make it through the night. He died on the surgery table, but they brought him back, and he's doing much better. He still has blood clots, and he'll still have to go back into surgery to remove the clots, but they have to wait for him to stabilize. I won't be able to respond to my messages very quickly, and I don't know how long I'm going to be away from Florida, so please be patient. Keep Ryan's dad in your prayers, please.UPDATE I
Things are getting better. Ryan's dad has been taken off the paralytic and the sedative, and he's awake and aware now. He's still on a respirator, and his dependence on it is fluctuating. As we speak, he's 60% dependent on the respirator, and breathing 40% on his own. He's stabilizing, and he can finally communicate to us through sign language, writing, and typing. Spirits are high, and we're hoping for the best. We aren't out of the woods yet, but things are looking up.
Short update, because it's very difficult to type on Ryan's phone. Doctors have told us that we can no longer visit Ryan's dad. The visits excite him too much, and slow his healing progress. He is back on a paralytic, is sedated once again, and is on a double dose of blood-thinners. It hurts to know that in our eagerness to be with him, and comfort him, that we are harming him more than we are helping. It's apparent that his condition is going to be one Hell of a rollercoaster.
After ten grueling, consecutive hours of driving, we finally made it back to Florida on Easter Sunday. I'm relieved to be home. It was tough to leave Ryan's dad, but there was nothing we could do to help him by staying. His lungs are still heavily compromised, and there are still clots in his lungs and heart. He'll have to undergo a tracheotomy, and the large respirator tube will be removed. Hopefully, this will help him, because he's been fighting the tube the entire time it's been in his throat. The one time he woke up, it was tragic that the only thing he could say to his family was "I'm sorry," as if this was his fault. No one saw this coming, and he's been under a lot of stress, and he's been away from his family, which is the thing most dear to him. It hurt to know that such a usually big, strong, hearty man is now so helpless. His body is refusing the feeding tube, and he will have to have nutrients pumped into him through an IV instead. The blood pressure medication is causing his toes to turn purple, and we're afraid that if he doesn't come off the medication soon (the medication is keeping him stable at this point)
, he may lose a few toes. But in the grand scheme of things, what's a few toes so long as you make it out alive? We would all rather have him here sans a couple toes, than not have him here at all.
I love Florida, and I only realize just how much I do when I have to leave it. Alabama was terrible as far as weather was concerned. It was literally freezing during the night, and burning up the very next day. I had to medicate myself heavily to avoid catching a cold. But the people were amazing. Ryan's family was so hospitable, and though I've only met them all once or twice, they act like I'm already in the family (well, considering I'll be engaged soon, I pretty much AM family, lol)
. The number of family friends that stepped up to help us out was absolutely moving. Neighbors and old friends cooked us hot, homemade meals like chicken and dumplings, a whole honeybaked ham, and spaghetti while we waited in the hospital, church members brought us healthy snacks by the basket-full to keep us energized and well, and someone even set up a fund to support Ryan's mom while her husband is ill. You will never understand "southern hospitality" until you go through something like this. We have a lot of "thank you" cards to write up, and even that feels like it falls short of just how grateful we are.
I'm unbelievably tired, and my body is suffering due to lack of sleep, and I'm just generally exhausted. I could barely make it up the stairs yesterday, and I was dreading having to come back into work today. It was a terror to log in to deviantART only to be greeted by upwards of 300+ messages. It was even worse to have to sort through them all. Probably won't be very active until I feel I have my strength back. Contest is still going, and I'm eager to see some more entries. Until next time, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We've been praying a lot lately, and it's nice to know that other people are thinking of Ryan's dad, too.
Ryan is headed back to Alabama this week to see his dad. The latest news we've received is pretty grim. It appears that Ryan's dad has suffered multiple mini-strokes, and that there is extensive nerve damage to his legs. We fear that he may not walk again. Worse yet, his insurance company is fighting to not have to pay for him to continue being treated. I'm not sure how that will be sorted out, but it doesn't look good. It sounds as though he could be discharged from the hospital soon, despite the fact that he still can't feed himself, still has blood clots, and still has a tracheotomy. He can't get better if he can't be in the hospital, and none of us have any money to keep him there. This helpless feeling is sickening. Watching Ryan have to suffer through this uncertain time really hurts. This whole situation is hurting everyone. It's difficult not to just sit and break down, thinking about it. I've been trying my best to stay strong, at least for him, but it's just getting harder as time goes on. I've never been one to crack under pressure, but this is just too much.