A full update on my dad

I thought I’d write up a full update on what’s been going on with dad this week (for those of you who don’t know, Robert Cadman is my dad, Jonell Cadman is my mom. I’ve been asked that this week, you see. Just to keep things clear).

Anyhow, dad came down with a virus last week–the normal “hey it’s fall!” virus you get, with the dry cough and the general malaise that goes with it. He, as all in our family tend to do, kept on working though the sickness, and mom doped him up with lots of herbs. Strangely the herbs didn’t work as quickly as normal, and they had to turn to Tussin to stop the cough so dad could sleep. At some point dad had a bad pain in his back (around his kidney area) and mom took him to the emergency clinic. They diagnosed a pulled muscle from stifling the cough and sent him home.

Over the weekend, dad got worse, and was having a hard time breathing. He also had some pain in his chest and whatnot, so he had to sleep in his recliner on Saturday night. On Sunday things got even worse, and dad ended up collapsing and passing out at home. Mom called an ambulance, and the paramedics could not get his blood pressure up. It was around 80/40 (I’m pretty sure that’s what mom told me, anyhow–it was an upsetting phone call for all involved).

I talked to mom as she was watching dad be taken from the ambulance into the emergency room. She was her usual controlled self in these situations, and asked me to make sure everyone knew what was happening. The emergency room worked to get dad’s blood pressure back up, and then they admitted him to the ICU (or Critical Care Unit, as it’s called at St. Jude’s).

Once in the CCU, the staff had to do an emergency procedure at 4 am to bust open clots that had lodged in his heart and lungs.They wanted to treat things medically rather than surgically. Apparently he had been throwing clots from behind his knee and they finally came to rest two places you really don’t want clots to be. He was on blood thinners and super high oxygen because his breathing was erratic. At this point he was too weak to talk or move on his own. That was a very, very scary night. I think we came very close to losing him.

The next day he was a bit better, and was able to eat some breakfast. That made the nurse very happy. The doctors informed mom that dad had been close to organ failure–his kidneys were shutting down, his pancreas wasn’t working, and his system in general was going all to hell. They had dialysis on stand by, but were hoping to treat things medically. Sometime on Monday his kidneys began to function again, and the doctors were pleased. They were supporting his system with a turbo drip of things, including insulin, and dad was sleeping a lot. By Monday evening they had removed the oxygen mask and had him on a nasal cannula. That was some good news. Mom was sent home by a very concerned nurse to get some much needed rest.

On Tuesday morning I got a text from mom saying they were moving dad out of the CCU. YAAAAY! His system was coming back, there was no evidence of clots in his heart, and he was able to sit up with some assistance. He also ate a big dinner, which made the nurses very happy. They had him on 5% oxygen, and tests were looking normal. Mom and dad spent the day dozing as the hospital waited for another room to open up. Mom has gotten very good at sleeping in the rocking chair by the hospital bed.

Mom called me on Tuesday evening (my time) for an update, and she sounded exhausted. She said that she slept a lot, but it wasn’t a restorative sleep. Then I got to talk to my daddy! He sounded just like dad for the first 30 seconds, which made me cry (again. There’s been lots of crying these past few days), and he even joked about his hospital vacation. Food just shows up! He doesn’t even have to move on his own! Everyone should do this! After a minute or so he went down hill, and he got so winded he couldn’t speak anymore. He told me to study hard and had to get off the phone. It was wonderful to hear him talk, but worrisome that he couldn’t breath well afterward.

Mom said that was much better than he’s been able to do, so he’s recovering. They moved him to a new room late last night, and he is resting well. Mom told me that he loves the outpouring of support and good wishes, but he can’t speak to anyone yet, so cards are much appreciated.

I want to thank everyone for keeping us in their thoughts. It’s been a very rough few days, and it’s not quite over yet. I tried to keep everyone informed about his status, so if you know someone who wants to know what is going on, just point them to this note. The doctors are talking to mom about what needs to be done when dad goes home, and those are the best words in the world. I’ve already sent a thank you note to the doctors and nurses who saved his life on Sunday, and I’ll be donating to their foundation probably forever.

Please keep thinking of mom and dad–they are really going to need you over the next few weeks. If you’d like to send a card or wishes to dad in the hospital, he’s at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton:

St. Jude Medical Center
101 E. Valencia Mesa Dr.
Fullerton, CA 92835
(714) 871-3280

If you want to contact mom or send wishes to the house instead, you can send them to:

Bob and Jonell Cadman
763 Stephens Ave
Fullerton, CA 92833

I also want to make sure mom is taken care of. She’s spent days at the hospital, and is being plagued by the allergy inducing winds to boot. Will someone please make sure she’s eating? And has food in the house? She gets weekly deliveries at home from Schwann’s (http://www.schwans.com/), so I might send her some pre-made meals from there. If you need her cell phone, send me a message and I’ll get it to you. She doesn’t have her phone on in the hospital, though, and she’s so tired when she gets home at night that she’s unable to make many phone calls.

Well, that’s what’s happening now. I’ll update this as I get more information. Once again, thank you all for all of your thoughts and prayers. Someone hug my dad for me, since I can’t be there to do it myself.

Update: My sister Erin just saw mom and the doctors are now saying dad may be home this weekend. Hazaah! Best news yet. Mom should be home napping soon. Maybe she’ll get some well-deserved rest.



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