Today’s post is in current time.
It is Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Kathi and I have been stationary at Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX since November 2014. We are helping take care of Kathi’s younger brother, Larry Clark who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant to overcome acute myeloid leukemia. While we are stationary, I have been writing posts about our past travels. So far I have related events from August 2003 to May 2007. I will return to the travels in my next post, but today an update on Larry.
Larry has been at the Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital in Webster for two weeks now. His progress has been erratic at best. When everything is going as planned, he does physical therapy and occupational therapy six days a week. Three days a week he has dialysis. The meds to recover from the bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy have damaged his kidneys, making dialysis necessary.
We really like the doctor he has now. His name is Lewis Clarke and he is an MD with a PhD in bio-medicine. He and his physician’s assistant have been great. The physical therapists have been great. Larry also gets respiratory therapy. He has a persistent cough that has been with him for several months. The nursing staff is excellent, but like in many hospitals, they have more work to do than they can keep up with on some days.
There is a standing order if Larry’s red blood count gets below 8.0 he is supposed to be given blood. Last Friday his blood count was below this threshold and we assumed he was given the blood Friday night. He was very weak over the weekend and into Monday, so we started asking questions and found out he never got the blood he needed until we asked about it. He finally was given two units of blood Tuesday morning of this week.
Andrea was with Larry yesterday afternoon and she was very concerned about his condition, so I took Kathi to the hospital to sit with the two of them while they talked to Dr. Clarke. They determined Larry was suffering from congestive heart failure, so they called in a dialysis team for Tuesday night to try and remove some fluid and help clear the lungs. The fluid in his lungs is not new, but it has been stable.
This morning Larry was able to do physical therapy before dialysis, but after dialysis he was weak and did not feel good. I took Kathi back to the hospital to be with Andrea and help where she could. Often after dialysis his blood pressure goes too low and I suspect this is the problem tonight. Andrea and Kathi are on the case.
For insurance purposes Larry is being discharged to another facility on Monday. Medicare is interesting and moving from hospital to hospital seems to be the work around – stupid, but true.
It may sound worse than it is and this may be another temporary setback. That is the theory. Our goal is to get Larry functional and home. We will get there. We will not quit.