Saturday, May 19, 2012

My dad's health

I haven't really gone into detail too much about my family outside of my husband and kids.  But today I'm going to share a little bit about my dad.

I have mentioned a couple of times that he is in bad health, but I've never really shared on my blog the extent of his health issues.

My dad has been unable to return to the workforce since I was 9.  He was placed on a medical retirement after his second back surgery, which damaged the nerve endings in his back and promoted the growth of scar tissue all around his back nerves, left him unable to do activity for more than a few hours at a time without having to lay down for a couple of hours to recouperate.

As time went on his pain got worse.  He now suffers from chronic pain pretty much around the clock.  He ended up going from being able to be up for a good part of the day, and lay down for a couple of hours occasionally, to being in bed for a good part of the day, and only being up for a couple of hours occasionally.  Now he is in bed pretty much all the time.  He gets up to shower and use the restroom.  On a very good day he is able to go out with my mom for an hour or two, but pays for it by being in bed for the rest of the week.

I lost count of his back surgeries after number 6.  He has had an electric/magnet box implanted, then removed after it didn't work, he currently has a morphine pump implanted that pumps pain medication into his system on a continual basis.  It has malfunctioned and had to be repaired, as well as his body has had adverse reactions to a number of the medications, and he has gotten very sick.  It is a continual cycle of trying new things to try and make his life more enjoyable.

After one of his surgeries a few years back, he had a mild heart-attack.  Following this, during his hospital stay, they discovered blood clots on his lung.  After rehabilitating and being released from the hospital, he was having a hard time breathing, and feared that he may have another blood clot.

Instead we found he has asbestos disease.  He worked for our local gas company for many years, and was exposed to asbestos over the course of that occupation.  Due to his other health issues, he was told that surgery to try and reverse the condition would almost certainly be unsuccessful, and he very likely would not survive such a dangerous procedure.  So he lives with it.

My dad walks with a cane because of the chronic pain, and now complete exhaustion, and inability to get enough oxygen.  He is on oxygen, but still has a hard time breathing.

I believe we all have our trials in life, and Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us.  My mom's desire to be a stay at home mom was never to be, because she needed to stay in the workforce since my dad was unable to work.  But I know she is a stronger woman because of it.  And our family has grown through this trial.  But as much as I believe in God, and his plan for us - my heart is still gripped with fear whenever I think of the possible day that the diagnosis from my dad's check-up is not what we hope it will be.


Macey said...

Oh my goodness. I knew a lot of this but seeing it all written out...just wow. :(

Rebecca said...

so sorry to hear about your dad this is awful he has really been through a lot. wow just wow..hugs

Boulter trouble said...


Sheila said...

awww, so sorry to hear this!
So much of this story reminds me of MY dad. He hasn't been able to work since I was about 20, due to his back! He believes his back pain is related back to when he was in the Vietnam war. He is STILL dealing with attorney's, etc. to prove that he should be covered under disabled vetarns benefits!
Will be praying for your dad!

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

Your mom must be a very strong and brave woman. xoxo