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Scaling A Wall

Hi All..

Just incase you all are wondering what’s up with us and my father, here’s the latest situation.

As you all know, he had his BKA (below the knee amputation) last Saturday, Aug 16th. I know that in my last email/post, I wrote below the ankle – that was a mistake, I was sleepy ;o). The surgery went uneventful, thank GOD. The doctor didn’t find it necessary to cut above the knee. According to him, the condition of his leg a couple of inches below the knee is okay.

So my father is now recovering. He was in pain only the day after the surgery. But he was given so much painkiller (Nubaine, Tramadol– both downers) that he felt comfortable, but totally in lala land. Hahahaa.. At one point, he was hallucinating.

My father’s surgical wound is looking good, but he’s not totally out of the woods yet. There’s another issue that the doctors are dealing with right now. Since having been admitted to the hospital Tuesday of last week (Aug 11th), he has had 3 blood transfusions. But inspite of this, his hematocrete level is still lower than normal. In simple terms, he is anemic—and his stool is dark. So the doctors suspect either of these two things:
1) that his ulcer is bleeding. He has been taking so many medications these past 9 months without proper solid intake that his stomach could be utterly irritated, thus the bleeding. Or; 2) that this bleeding has something to do with his colon cancer. He maybe developing another cyst/ tumor in his intestines somewhere that is causing the bleeding.

So today (Aug 19th), my father is going to have another colonoscopy. They would have wanted to do an endoscopy as well, but I just asked the doctor to do the more important one first as we have limited finances. The gastro-intestinal specialist thinks that it is more important to do a colonoscopy due to his CA history; and also because my father has no complaint about having stomach pains or heartburn. She said that having bleeding ulcers would cause a lot of pain in the upper area of the abdomen – and my father totally doesn’t feel any pain in that area whatsoever. So colonoscopy it is.

Since my father’s colon cancer was diagnosed on June 2007, and after the mass was taken out, we never really dealt with it. At that time my mother was fighting for her life as well due to breast cancer so it was more urgent to deal with her first. I refused to have both of them subjected to chemotheraphy and having both of them very weak at the same time. Also, at that timedoctor said my dad’s cancerous mass was localized and it was in its earlier stages so it was not urgent to give him chemo. But really, I didn’t (and still don’t) want to put him through chemotheraphy, seeing that my mother’s deterioration went faster after having been subjected to that chemical assassination.

As you can see, there is another mountain looming in our horizon. But the bible says that “He (the Lord) has trained by arms for battle and my fingers for war… and with His help I can advance against a troop and scale a wall!” (ps 144:1; Ps18:29) Intimidating as it is, I am holding fast to Jesus, my only hope in this situation.

If you would find it in your heart, please join me in my prayers for my father for a miracle of healing in his spirit, soul and body. Your intercession really helps me have the strength to speak to this mountain so that it shall be moved.

And it will, in Jesus’ name!

Thank you and till my next update.

God bless us all.

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EMERGENCY

It’s 3 a.m. now as I write this post. I cannot sleep yet, the adrenalin still pumping within me. I just had one of the biggest scares of my life. The girl (Marilyn) who is taking care of my father called to tell me that my Dad, who’s supposedly asleep, is no longer moving.

I was speaking with Marilyn earlier tonight (at 10pm Miami time), and she told me that my Dad was still in bed sleeping. Since sleep has been elusive to him, I just told Marilyn not to wake him up anymore and just to let him rest. I did ask her, however, to make sure that my father was still breathing, to which she was positive that he is.

But by 12:00 noon Philippine time, my father still had not gotten up from bed. This is very unusual for him. And so the girls (I’ve 2 caregiverss taking care of my father) went inside his room to wake him up but he wasn’t responding. They shook him hard. but my Dad still did not move. So Marilyn called a neighbor and my cousins who live closeby. They all came to the house and thought that my father must have had a mild heart attack while sleeping. (Philippines is not like here where you can call 911 immediately.)

Our phone rang a little after 12midnight Miami time, and it was Marilyn. Of course I freaked out when I heard what she had to tell me. I was close to getting hysterical. Memories of receiving the news about my mother’s passing away came back like a rushing wave over me. Everything’s still so fresh in my mind..and now my father??? “Lord, please, not yet” was the silent scream inside of me, while I broke into sobs. I don’t think I can handle this, so soon after my mother’s death. Joe was beside himself too, not knowing what to do. He just kept on saying to me “be strong”. He himself began praying to God.

And then, Marilyn called again to say that my father is breathing afterall. His stomach is rising up and down, however, there has been no other movement from him apart from this. My father’s eyes are closed, but his mouth is gaping open and a bit crooked – which caused speculation among my cousins that my dad had had a mild stroke.

After what seemed like an eternity, my cousin came back with an ambulance. He ran to the nearby hospital to call for one. So my father was rushed to the emergency. After an hour of torture of not knowing what is happening with my father, I finally got through the cellphone of my cousin who went to the hospital with him. It was found out that my Dad had hypoglycemia.

For those who are not aware – my father has not been eating well since his heel operation on October last year. And on top of that, he is also suffering from neuropathic pain – a condition whereby the damaged nerves (due to diabetes) are causing tremendous burning sensation and shooting pain in both his legs. Pain so terrible that he cannot even sleep on some nights. He has been taking pain medications since last year and it seems like those are not having an effect on him anymore.

But yesterday, the vascular surgeon my father started seeing not too long ago, gave him another pain reliever prescription, with the dosage a little higher than what he used to take. This seemed to be effective as, for the first time in 2 days, my father was was finally able to sleep. And I believe that his physical exhaustion due to sleeplessness, combined with the pain medication, knocked him out so much so that he slept longer than usual. And without food intake for about 7hrs (and he hasn’t been eating well to begin with), his blood sugar level dropped down so low that his body went into a shock. He would have eventually fallen into a coma had not Marilyn caught my father’s situation on time.

After an IV shot+ dextrose, my father recovered. The doctor sent him home with a strict instruction to have his blood sugar monitored several times during the day to prevent such incident from happening again. They wanted him to be admitted to the hospital but he refused.

Believe it or not, I am already packed, ready to go home. Joe was trying to book my ticket to the Philippines when we got the news that my father is, afterall, now doing OK. Infact, he is already back home and I just spoke with him. What a relief. What a night.

It’s 4:00am, and now I can go to bed.

Psalms 62: 2,
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken…..Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

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I feel like I am Peter in the bible… not the one who is walking
on water, but the one who is sinking in the water.

A tropical depression is once again brewing in the horizon of my life and I can only hope and pray that this will not become a full-fledged hurricane. (Do you think I’ve lived in South Florida long enough? LOL) Seriously though, looks like the stormy weather in my life is far from over.

My father has yet again another health issue that we need to deal with ASAP. If you recall in my previous blogs, I have mentioned that blood clotted on his heels and ankles which caused those part of his feet to be swollen. This has started shortly before my mother passed away. My father has seen his doctor once since then, who just gave him antibiotics to take. Well, the swelling has not subsided at all and instead has gotten worse, causing the skin to break out.

To make a long story short – I took my father to the Orthopedic surgeon today who then told us that my father needs an operation on both of his heels. The skin ulcers and swelling on his heels have apparently become gangrenous. The doctor needs to scrape off all the dead tissues and let all the puss out from there- a process that will leave a big hole in his heels which the doctor said might be difficult to patch up. But that’s not the major concern- the big one is whether or not my father will have to have his legs amputated. We don’t want the bacteria to reach his bloodstream causing a septic condition that is potentially fatal where it would be too late for us to do anything.

The procedure to be done on my father is considered a major operation since he’s going to have to be under general anesthesia. This means that he needs to be admitted to the hospital for a number of days!

Once again, I am faced with a life and death situation. I said in my earlier blogs that we discovered my father has a coronary triple vessel disease and any procedure done on him would be more dangerous than the average person of the same age. On the other hand, if we don’t have this surgery, my dad runs the risk of either leg amputation and developing the fatal septic condition.

I listened incredulously to the doctor as the full implication of what he was telling us hit me… another hospitalization, another health scare, another financial expense! It was at this month last year that we first learned of my mother’s breast cancer… and it seems to me that the process has begun all over again.

I am not doubting the Lord’s goodness nor for a second do I question His plans for us, but during a moment of weakness, and in all desperation, all I could utter was the question…. “Lord, is this ever going to end? Have you ever heard my prayers?”….. I am just being real, being “naked” before the Lord.

I was walking on water, but now I am sinking…. my eyes are on the winds and the waves in my life. All of us go through these weak moments. I am having mine right now.

To our friends and family, please continue to pray now for Papa’s healing and for us, as we need God’s wisdom, intervention, and provision to meet the needs that this new situation may present to us.

Thank you all for your continued support.

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