January 01, 2010

Dad Pulled Through

2009 did not start out how I expected (finding out just a couple weeks into the new year that we had no confirmed chromosomally normal embryos from our Nov. 08 cycle), nor did it end how I expected (hanging out with my dad in the hospital for the last two weeks of the year).

Amazingly, he is still with us. He actually got to be released from the hospital and go home on New Year's Eve, which I am very thankful for.

It seems that what caused his sudden turn for the worse was an adverse reaction to mor.ph.ine and Ata.va.n, not just the leukemia taking its natural progression. After we jumped on the plane and got out there, he didn't take any more pain meds for 8 days. When he did (on Dec. 21), they gave him the mo.rph.ine again but no Ata.va.n, and again his respiratory system started to crash, but not quite as badly as the day we flew out there.

The next morning, one of the nurses coming on for her shift said, "Oh, yeah, that can happen because of the mor.ph.ine. Why don't we give him something else next time?"

Uh, yeah, why don't we? No one else mentioned that to us - he's in a small hospital, and information doesn't seem to always get communicated well. So the next time he wanted pain meds, which was a few days later, they gave him something else. He slept, his pain eased, and his breathing remained normal.

He started to improve on Christmas Eve, and every day we noticed a bit more improvement. He's still in some pain, because he developed sores on his arms. We're not quite sure what caused them - could be the leukemia, could be all the medications they were pumping in to him, could just be a virus since he doesn't have much of an immune system. Basically his left arm looks like it's been badly burned from a few inches below the shoulder to a few inches above his wrist. His right arm isn't quite so bad. But he's been prescribed some cream that seems to be working amazingly well.

I came home on Dec. 29, and R and I celebrated our 14th anniversary the next day.

While he is home and continuing to improve, it's still very much a day by day thing. So we're just taking a wait and see approach; I don't know that our FET is going to happen as we had tentatively planned for the end of February. But that's okay for now. It will be 7 years TTC in February, so at this point what's a couple more months?

I'm sorry I haven't posted on many blogs lately. I had my work computer with me while I was with dad, and for some reason, it would let me post on my blog but it wouldn't let me comment on any blogs. I'm trying to catch up from missing the last two weeks at home, work, etc. (R and I haven't even exchanged Christmas gifts yet), but I will try to get back on track over the next couple of weeks.

Here's hoping for a better 2010 for all of us still fighting the IF fight...


Kate said...

Glad to hear he's home again. Can't believe it took them so long to figure out the drugs were making him worse though!
Congrats on the 14th anniversary!

Angie said...

Congrats on your anniversary!!!! And happy to hear your dad is home. Ditto on the IF fight! Hoping 2010 is your year to conquer it!

lastchanceivf said...

I can't believe no one figured out the morphine issue earlier--geez! But I am glad your Dad is home.

I am excited for you for your upcoming FET even though it has to be delayed a little bit.

MrsSpock said...

That's fantastic that you've gotten more time with your Dad.

I gave a lot of morphine and ativan in ICU, and the elderly/folks with reduced kidney function take a bigger hit when they receive those meds. Does he have a palliative care/pain specialist onboard to manage those meds? Pain meds are very important with cancer pain, but often need a well-practiced hand.

kayjay said...

Glad to hear that your Dad is doing better and being at home must be so much better for him. After such a frantic flight to get to him it must be such a relief to have him with you still.

Linda said...

Sorry to hear about your dad's health problem, but glad that he could spend New Year's Eve at home. I don't react well to morphine either; my body did better on dilaudid. I hope 2010 is the year that miracles happen for you and your family!

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