Sunday, October 7, 2012

Joel's Father Syd gives ua a scare

Hello all,
We're back in PA after a few really scary days. We almost lost Syd this week. He was admitted to the hospital Monday with problems breathing and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Then he had heart, respiratory and kidney failure and had to be put in an intermediate care unit with a BiPap machine (a full face oxygen mask that looks like something from a space project). 
When we got called on Wednesday, it was the Doctor basically saying 'get here now.' We drove down as quickly as possible and began camping out in Syd's apartment. Fortunately for all involved, it's just a few blocks from the hospital so getting over to see him was easy. Syd looked awful and it was tough for the two of us to see him that way. He was aware of us there, but couldn't do much.
The next day, we were able to communicate with pad and paper. He was telling us stuff he wanted us to get, which included things he wanted for the apartment, which we took as a good sign. If he wanted things for his place, it meant he still thought he was going to go home. However, the doctor also met with us and gave us the big "quality of life/end of life" talk, which shook us all up.
It must have really done a number on Syd, because the next day he was breathing well enough to get the Dr's to remove the BiPap mask and place him on a regular nose/nostril feed for his oxygen. By Friday afternoon, he was talking again and no longer needed the notepad. He was also doing well enough to want to watch the baseball playoffs Friday night.
On Saturday, the younger granddaughter (Miriam) took the train from Philadelphia and spent the day with us. The Doctor told us that his kidneys were improving their function due to medications, and were no longer the greatest problem Syd was facing. He was VERY happy to see Miriam, and also pleased that he could still watch baseball. His lady friend, Nan, was there on and off, and she has been a big help. 
However, Syd still tires very quickly. We were limited in visits to about 90 minutes/ two hours before he would become too worn out and we'd leave for lunch/dinner/errands. The Doctors seem to think that his next step will be a rehab center and then, maybe, he'll be back in his apartment after a few weeks. Given where he was Wednesday night, this is a serious turnaround. We drove back late in the evening with Miriam after spending a little more time with Syd and being kicked out of the hospital because of the hour (and a test they needed to run on a patient in the next bed). 
Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes.

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