Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doctor's Report

Diagnosis: pneumonia

Usual treatment plan: 2 antibiotic pills per day for 6 or 7 days

Actual treatment plan: relieve fever, give cough medicine

Prognosis: death by suffocation, not necessarily soon


Anonymous said...

I am relieved to hear that you have a diagnosis. Prayers for a good recovery.

As for the prognosis, will the antibiotics be able to heal him before this? This seems like an odd question, but my grandfather had pneumonia several times in the years before he passed away (he was also in a nursing home). And it was not the cause of his death; he literally "fell asleep in the Lord" one night.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Thank you. I wish with all my heart it were going to be that way with my father. But please notice I made a distinction between the usual treatment plan and the actual one.

To put it more bluntly, Dad isn't going to be getting any antibiotics.

Tony said...

You know I've just realized I'm in the area - I live in Hampton Roads, which is just about two hours from Richmond or so. Is there any thing I can do at all?

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

You're doing it already, Tony-allen, by your prayers, for which I'm extremely grateful.

Anonymous said...

My Husband had bulbar-onset ALS (a form of Lou Gehrig's disease). He died, three years ago, at the age of 50. He died in Hospice and had only palliative care given him. I and my Adult Daughters had been prepared for his death by one of two things: respiratory failure at as a result of his inability to breathe because of the ALS or aspiration pneumonia because he could no longer swallow and had a feeding tube. The ALS Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic as well as the ALS Society were wonderful; patient, helpful, and understanding towards us all.

My Husband fell asleep in the Lord after 8 days of pneumonia. It was calm, peaceful, and a testimony of God's grace and mercy towards us...when we least expect it.

My Husband, for his part, never stopped living his life in the Lord, regardless of his circumstances.

I pray that He will have mercy on you and your Family, especially your Mother. And may your Father, as well, be blessed with a good night's sleep...

Kyrie eleison.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Laura, thank you very much for sharing your family's story. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear husband at such an early age.

I shall ponder what you say.

Your husband was clearly terminal and clearly going to continue suffering greatly even if he had been successfully treated for the pneumonia. Neither of these is necessarily the case with my father. He might continue to live as well as we all said he did before, if he were to recover from the pneumonia, and might last quite some time.

In fact - a ray of good news - my husband, who is a doctor, says there's a fair chance my Dad may actually recover from this, even without antibiotics. Wouldn't that be something?

Anonymous said...

Praise God! We will pray that His Healing fall upon your Father!

What I wanted to share most, was a sense that God can and does release us from our final struggles with peace and gentleness. Yes, Rick was terminal right from the beginning. We all knew this. But Rick chose not to be treated for his pneumonia. Even though he had been in in-home Hospice care for 7 weeks prior to this, he could have still chosen, with his doctor, to be treated for the pneumonia. Opting out of end-of-life palliative care would have given him the antibiotics he needed for his pneumonia. Rather, he placed his trust in God to heal Him. Which He did. There are few who recognise death as healing...

My experience with Hospice was that we all worked together to get Rick what he needed...my Daughters were included in conversations with the Hospice Staff. We adjusted his care as needed and our input was both needed and appreciated. Perhaps, when you are able, a visit to the Director will ensure better communication with your Father's care-givers and opting out of end-of-life palliative care is a choice you all can pray about and discuss. I should think, at that point, the antibiotics would be prescribed...

I deeply apologise if I have somehow added to your burden with my comment. Please forgive me. I only wished to share my experience so to encourage you. The death of a Parent is hard. Both my Parents have already died...my Father in 1999, and my Mother in 2001. Thank you for your kindness in thought. My prayers are and will be with you.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Dear Laura,

What you say in no way has (or could) add to my burdens. And I so regret inadvertently giving you any qualms on that score. I'm just grateful to you. And sorrowful for you and all of us.

Yes, God uses death as the ultimate healing, not only from sickness but also from sin. And yes, He grants His own a peaceful release; I saw that when my sister died in March. So be assured, you've indeed carried your main points. Excellent points they are, too, and so important.

My dad, unlike your husband, cannot participate in the decisions about his treatment, or lack thereof. He is demented. His living will probably stipulates no heroic measures, but 2 pills a day for a week hardly qualify as that, I should have thought.

The prayerful discussion you so rightly recommend isn't an option now. The decision has already been made, unilaterally. As I am not the one who holds the medical power of attorney, all I can do is try to accept what I cannot change. And I have very little idea how to do that.

But what you say seems to help some.

Thank you very, very much for your prayers, which right now, especially, mean the world to me.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I don't know how it happened. I didn't delete anything. But the 4-post exchange between Laura Short and me has mysteriously disappeared from this post...

Sorry, Laura. It's nothing intentional!