This terrible picture of a beautiful person was taken with my cell phone. Normally it takes better pictures than this, but "someone" had overindulged in strong coffee this morning and had the shakes. Since cell phones are verbodden in the ICU, I was only able to take a few photos.
This is Dale's nurse, Carol. She and Peggy are Dale's favorite caretakers (shhhh, don't tell the others). He thinks the world of them and they seem to feel the same about him. He says he's the luckiest man in the universe to be in their care and I wholeheartedly agree. It is comforting to know that they are there for Dale and that they care so much for him.
Dale is about the same today, although a little more confused than he has been. Carol said it's probably because of the toxins in his system. It's not uncommon when the liver is compromised. They are doing everything in their power to help him, and that is all we can ask.
As always, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
We love you all.
According to Darek, Dales dear friend from Billings, Dale is having a very good day today. He is having no difficulty breathing and is doing well with his various therapies. He is very upbeat and asks that his next visitor from Billings bring him a tub of his CD's! A few days ago, Dale was barely interested in his music CD's at all and now he wants a tub of them! I have to think that is a very good sign!
Dale's feeling a bit better today. He is breathing without the help of the mask and his oxygen levels look good. The main priority now is to keep him motivated. He has been lying around for so long that it is difficult for him to move.
He's hooked up to so many things that every movement has the potential to kink a line or block off his dialysis, but the benefits outweigh the risks so I spent most of this afternoon urging him to work his fingers and toes and squeeze washrags.
It's an uphill battle, but I think I'm up to the task. He might not like me very much for awhile, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
I didn't see Shirley or the kids today, but I did step in to see Bob. He is still on the ventilator and looks quite peaceful. I'd like to think he isn't suffering.
As always your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated, as are suggestions on how best to motivate Dale.
We love you all.
Dale has had a setback. Because his kidneys aren't working very well, he has a lot of fluid built up in his lungs. This has caused him to develop pulmonary edema. He is still breathing on his own (Yay!) with the help of a mask and they suction him out on a regular basis. He isn't as alert as yesterday, but still smiles at me and tells me he loves me.
His nurse today was Peggy, from a few days ago. She requested to be put with Dale again and I am so thankful that she did. All of the nurses he's had have been wonderful, but Peggy, in my opinion, is the best of the best. She goes through the test results with Dale and I and makes it her mission to pull off as much fluid through dialysis as she can. She never, ever says anything negative to Dale about his health in earshot and encourages him in every way. I absolutely adore her and tell her so often.
The good news is that Dale's dear friend Darek is here from Billings. He spent quite a bit of time with Dale today and will spend the morning with him tomorrow. They are going to a baseball game at 1 pm so I will take the afternoon "shift". I could tell that Dale was happy to see Darek, although he wasn't really able to communicate it very well.
In other news, I sat with Shirley, while Dale was being hooked back up to dialysis. Bob hasn't been taken off of the ventilator because they wanted to give him more time to rally if he could. If things haven't improved for him by Tuesday morning, they will disconnect then. We talked about a lot of things, including what she will do if he doesn't survive. She really is an incredibly strong woman.
I hope you all know how much we appreciate your thoughts and prayers. You really are amazing and we love you all.
Dale, Wolf and Laurie
This update isn't so much about Dale, it's about Bob and Shirley.
I heard a sigh and looked over to see a beautiful woman about the age my mom was when she passed away. Her face was a mask of tension and her hands were trembling. I didn't think, I just reached over and placed my hand on hers. She turned to face me and her eyes filled with tears. "I can't let the boys see me cry." she said, and dissolved into tears.
One of Dale's co-workers will be arriving tomorrow and will spend several days here. Dale, of course, is very excited to see him. The ICU room is small, so that means I will probably not be spending much time with Dale for awhile, but one of his favorite nurses will be taking care of him Sunday-Tuesday, and she will keep me posted on his condition. I am so happy for Dale.
Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. We love you all.
For those of you wishing to send a card, the address is:
Thanks to all that have sent cards, photos and letters. It means the world to us. A special thanks to Thomas for the CD. It really hit the spot!
Dale had a liver biopsy today. They fed an instrument through a vein in his neck and down into his liver. What they learn from it will determine the course of treatment they follow for the next several weeks. They have been trying to get him stable enough to do it for over a week and today was the big day. As I expected, he came through it swimmingly. When he got back to the room and settled in, he turned to me and said, "Dale has many blessings" and then he smiled. He's an amazing man.
I'll know more tomorrow and I will update you then.
Until then, thank you for caring.
Peggy, his wonderful ICU nurse, held pressure on it for quite awhile and then I was allowed to help out and did the same for 45 minutes or so while they waited for platelets to arrive from another hospital. Apparently there is such a shortage of donors, that this is a frequent problem. So in the mean time, Dale soaked dozens of gauze pads and washcloths even while we were applying constant pressure. I've donated double platelets twice in the week I've been here and I'm scheduled to do so again tomorrow morning, but the need far outweighs the supply, so patients bleed and wait.
The platelets finally arrived and Peggy started them in his IV. Within a few minutes, the wound stopped bleeding. When she changed the dressing you could see that a huge clot had formed. It was like magic. Pure magic. I've never seen anything like it.
I know I've said it before, and I am not one to harp (OK, my son might disagree) but please find out if you are eligible to give blood products and if you are (around 60% of the population IS and of that 60%, only 5% actually donate) please schedule an appointment to donate. You can give platelets twice a week, up to 24 times per year, plasma 12 times per year and whole blood every 56 days. It's painless and only takes a little while.
Please donate blood, it truly is the gift of life. I've seen it first hand and it's beautiful.