Dad just finished another successful spontaneous breathing trial, and now the respiratory specialist is doing some IPV (inter-pulmonary percussion ventilation) treatment with him. During IPV, saline is rhythmically pumped into the lungs in order to dislodge secretions, which are then removed with suction.
Dad's red blood cell count was down this morning, indicating that there is internal bleeding somewhere in his body. They immediately stopped giving him heparin (a blood thinner to address his blood clots) so that the bleeding would have a chance to coagulate. Because his inactivity puts him at risk for more blood clots, the doctors surgically implanted an IVC filter. This umbrella-shaped filter latches to the walls of the inferior vena cava (one of the major veins that supply blood to the heart) and prevents blood clots from passing.
His breathing is stable, his fever is gone, and he is sleeping soundly. In spite of the recent setbacks, Dad is doing well. Due to the combination of injuries he suffered, however, it is becoming clear that his recuperation will take longer than previously expected. I will try to keep everyone informed about changes in his health, but it may be the case that over the next weeks his health will change very little, or only very gradually. This also has obvious implications for the funeral services for Mom. Please know that as soon as we have some reliable idea of when Dad will be released from the hospital, we will schedule the services and publish them here for anyone interested in attending.
I mentioned to some friends today that the love and support that has been given to our family has exceeded our capacity to respond. I can extend that same sentiment to all of you. Thank you for the private emails, the calls, the visits, and the comments on this blog. We will not forget your kindness.