April 11, 2010

The past week brought with it some difficult circumstances where my dad's health is concerned.  Last fall he had been having some problems and was told that his kidneys were functioning at about 25%.  Not good at all.  About a month ago, he was also diagnosed with diabetes.  Not good at all.  The diabetes diagnosis did manage to get dad's attention and he quickly became serious about changing his diet.  He lost about 15 pounds in the three weeks prior to Easter and I thought he looked pretty good last Sunday.

Well, to get to the point, Monday afternoon he was in the ER and Tuesday morning he received a call from his nephrologist  and Wednesday morning he was being admitted to the hospital to begin dialysis.  Wow.  At this point, his kidneys are functioning at 10%.  At 10%, protocol says begin dialysis or receive a donor kidney or die.  Wow.  So here we are.  In addition to the kidney issue, his gout flared Wednesday in his wrist.  The pain was nearly unbearable.  The morphine the nurses were giving him through his port weren't even touching the pain.  We surmised that the flare up was so bad due to his kidneys not flushing the uric acid from his system.  That's under control now and dialysis is running smoothly, which puts Dad in a holding pattern until Tuesday when he has a kidney biopsy.  The biopsy should diagnose exactly why his kidneys are failing (although we do know that this condition looks to run in the family).  It should also tell us whether or not he is a candidate for transplant.  

All this serious business has gotten me to thinking.  My dad has never been a mushy, emotion-sharing, lovey-dovey kind of dad.  He is a man of few words.  His love language has to be acts of service because he just takes care of things.  When I started driving in high school, his routine was to take all the cars (his, mom's, mine), fill them up, check the oil, and wash them if needed every Sunday morning.  Even after I married and moved out, he continued to check my oil almost every time my car was parked at their house.  I have never been able to maintain a vehicle to Dad's specifications!  

Anyway, I love my dad and I pray that not only will he make it physically through this tough time, but that spiritually he will survive.  It has to be hard to get older, especially for someone who has always enjoyed being on the go and being able to do everything for himself and everyone else.  

This photo was taken right before the original kidney diagnosis.  Dad had evidently been losing blood for some time and needed a transfusion just a couple of weeks after our family pictures were taken.  I remember previewing the photos and remarking about how pale he looked.    

Please keep my dad and my mom in your prayers.  Our family has been blessed with generally good health, so in many ways this is new territory for us.  But, we know Who is in control of this and we trust that He has this handled.
Photo credit:  Shannon Oliver, Wink Photography

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  1. jennifer, i will definitely keep this on my prayer list & add to my church's prayer list as well. just reading this brought tears to my eyes...just remember, God doesn't make mistakes, we have to trust Him :)

  2. I am praying for your dad. How is doing since this post??


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