Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gus is in the VA Hospital

I thought I would put the 'Gus news' here, with the newest info on top.

Cards and letters:
Ralph Johansen
Veteran's Hospital
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis , MN 55417

I heard from Lois at the hospital that Gus is not as confused.  Lora is there with Lois and Glenn & Kathy were heading down as well.

When Lois talked to the nurse this morning she was told that Gus is less confused and seemed to be able to rest.  

ICU rules for only, 2 at a time, short visits.  No visits during shift change hours.

Lois talked to the nurse, not much change from this afternoon.  No dialysis until his IVs for the dialysis can be replaced as there was clotting with the ports placed yesterday.  Ryan and family spent the afternoon with Gus.

Late Afternoon
Lois talked to the ICU nurse...Gus is still stable.  But he has had alot of pain in his thighs from swelling.  They think he is dehydrated and the fluid he has is pooling in legs.  They have been giving  him IV hydration hoping it will balance out and move into his upper body.  The fluids are done at 8,  they will reevaluate then, and see if they can do dialysis tonight.  There is concern the line would collapse because of the dehydration.  He dies get relief from the pain with medication,  so we are glad for that.  Ryan and family spent several hours with Gus today.

Lois talked to ICU nurse this morning.  Gus continues to be stable.  Another round of dialysis is planned for today.  Lois and I staying home to rest and recharge.  Lois will call the nurse this afternoon for an update.  Ryan and Cam are planning to go today for a few minutes.  ICU is busy, and no visits during dialysis.


Just after midnight.
Gus tolerated the dialysis well.  He is stable and getting lots of good care.  Lois and I came home.  Lois talked to the nurse  after arriving home and was told Gus was sleeping. Time for us to do the same.

830pm. Lois was able to see Gus briefly. The dialysis is in progress.  The ICU crew is busy caring for him. We hope to hear more in 30 minutes or so.

No news here as of 7pm. We saw dialysis machine go by awhile ago.  No one has talked to us yet.

Gus has been moved to ICU to better support him.  He will get dialysis in his ICU room.  A few delays in getting procedures done today which can be frustrating.

Lois and I are here at the VA with Gus.  He's quite weak and really pretty miserable.  
He has signed the consent for kidney dialysis and that is planned for today, no exact schedule but we are hoping soon.   
I conveyed your greetings and he said to Thank you.

Things are better here today.  He's much more alert and the doctor wants to wait to do dialysis tomorrow. The plan is to put the ports in tomorrow morning so he's ready for dialysis by afternoon.

So,  we went from practically planning a funeral to joking and laughing.   Go figure.

He's still very sick but we feel more optimistic.  Today is going to be about letting the anti fungal medication work and letting him get some rest.

Angie & family,  Kyle,  & Ryan were there today along with Lois and I & Glenn.  Gus visited with all.   Many doctors coming and going of course.  He ate a bit and that seemed to go okay.

Those of us affected with the obsessive compulsive gene finished a jigsaw puzzle in the waiting room before heading home.

Cards and letters:
Ralph Johansen
Veteran's Hospital
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis , MN 55417

Thanks for all the good vibrations!

Dear family and friends,

A quick update. As of tonight, Gus is in very serious but stable condition at the VA in the cities.  The fungal candida infection in his kidneys, bladder and ureters, along with his other medical history, has caused him to begin renal failure.  The doctors are unsure as to why his kidney function has diminished do quickly. The plan is to start dialysis tomorrow.  He has been moved into step down care and if required will go to ICU.  The doctor said that in terms of medical history complexity, Gus would score 10 out of 10, which makes trying to figure out what to do next very difficult.  He is on medication for the fungal infection, as well as his other many medicines.  He has no appetite.

 Lois and I & Ryan were there this afternoon, his condition is much worse than the day before.

We came home tonight but will go back early tomorrow and will be prepared to stay as long as needed. The nurses were concerned about us leaving tonight, but Lois needed her heart medicine and nothing we could do would change what may happen overnight.  A CAT scan was to be done yet tonight as one Dr. was wondering about an infection source yet unidentified.  Lois has not heard back on those results yet. He told us that kidneys are followers.  When the kidneys start shutting down it us usually because something else in the body is very haywire.

Gus is very weak and this afternoon could barely answer simple questions.  There is also some altered mental state.  He told the doctor that he could speak Ojibwa, which, of course, made us laugh.

We are hoping for the best, the doctors were quite grave in their assessment, but also said that improving kidney function would not be a surprise, but then neither would continued failure.

Gus thanked us for coming as we said our goodbyes and then seemed to be sleeping fairly comfortably when we left.

I'll let you know when I know more.

Gus has had many medical challenges over the last 5-6 years.  He has polycythemia, an abnormally increased concentration of hemoglobin in the blood. His medical team has struggled to keep him balanced, and prevent him from clotting or bleeding over the last few years.  Two years ago, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  He has been dealing with the many challenges that cancer brings ever since.  He has had many infections, and several hospitalizations over the last few years. Last week, he was hospitalized to treat a kidney infection, which proved to be more severe than others that he has had. They quickly discovered that  that his kidney function was declining. He has remained at the VA, in Minneapolis ever since. 

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