progress report from the 3rd week in icu

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 3:30 PM
We just found out that they will be operating on dad tomorrow, January 3 first thing in the morning, to repair his pelvis and possibly to repair his arm and leg.  He is not really stable enough for the surgery(s), but the window to repair his pelvis is quickly closing.  If they could have, they would have done it as soon as he came to the hospital, but it just wasn't possible at that time.  Dr. Hasty will be doing the surgery; he is the orthopedic surgeon that did the original surgery to place pins in his arm and leg.  Again, this surgery is going to be very difficult on dad, and he will likely take a major down-turn afterwards, but we'll have to wait and see, as well as say lots of prayers that everything works out OK. 

Dad also has a collapsed lung, we believe.  They are going to do a bronchoscopy, going in through his trachea to suction out the fluid that is in his lungs and will do a culture on this fluid.  Dad is unable to cough anything up right now, so the fluid just stays in his lungs.

The hemoglobin count is still very low, and dad's oxygen level has come down significantly.  It is supposed to be up at 100%, and he got down to about 88% this morning.  They turned up the oxygen on his respirator to bring this back up.  The long term fix for both is to give him more blood (to increase the oxygen in his system), which they began doing 1st thing this morning.  They don't think at this time that he is bleeding internally, so we pray that the blood will help this.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 8:30 AM
We found out this morning that dad's hemoglobin levels are down to a "Panic Level."  My mom called and talked to the nurse, he said that he had taken the sample in a small vile instead of the normal size to take a smaller sample (he's got some of the nicest nurses...), so they took a 2nd normal sized sample and the levels were the same.  They called these "Panic Levels" because they have dropped so much since yesterday.  We're not sure exactly what this means, but this does signal that he is bleeding internally again.   

We should know more a little bit later (mom may be able to talk to the doctors before noon), and I'll try to update again as soon as I can.

Monday, January 1, 2007 3:30 PM
There hasn't been much change over the last 2 days, although I hear that he made "goo-goo eyes" at mom.  Gross.  Sometimes when we go in to visit dad he doesn't give us much communication at all, sometimes he is very alert and is able to answer "Yes" and "No" questions by nodding/shaking his head or blinking his eyes. 

We turned the Cotton Bowl on (Nebraska vs. Auburn) for dad this morning and the nurse turned his bed 90 degrees so he could face the TV.  Too bad Nebraska lost (sorry if any AU fans are reading this) but it was a pretty good game.  Most of you know that both dad and I are HUGE cornhusker fans.  Matter-of-fact, when mom was pregnant with Becky, I was 4 years old and dad asked if I wanted a boy or a girl, and my reply was simply "I want a Cornhusker!"  We plan on going to the Wake Forest vs. Nebraska game this coming September in Winston Salem, and when I mentioned that to dad he smiled and nodded his head.  

Dad's CK level has gotten so low that they're not even checking it anymore.  His BUN and Creatinine levels continue to climb, but they're still not too concerned about it since his kidneys seem to be functioning properly and there haven’t really been any other signs of failure.  His white blood cell count is also coming down, it was at 15 today (it was 19 yesterday, I think below 10 is normal).

They are still working on getting him off the respirator to make him breathe on his own.  We think the next step will be for dad to go into surgery to repair his pelvis (and his arm and leg, probably later).  At this point dad will more than likely take a major down-turn as far as his recovery.  The surgery will be very hard on him and obviously on all of us too.  Again, we don't know when this will happen or even how bad it will be on him, but we will certainly keep everyone updated on it.

Most of the kids have to go back to work tomorrow so we won't be visiting Dad as often as we have been.  I guess if this had to happen at any time, this is probably the best time it could have happened since most of us had a lot of time off work.  Mom will be staying here all day every day for a while, so if you're out and about in the Greenville area I'm sure she would love to see everyone.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 3:15 PM

This is the most alert we have seen him in the past 2 1/2 weeks, it's so unbelievable!  I doubt he can actually see us since his vision is terrible (thanks Dad, I inherited that from you), but we'll bring his glasses in for him later.  He certainly knows who we are and where we are; he turns his head every time someone talks to him.  We showed him some pictures of himself "winning" the 85 mile beach ride, several pictures of him riding, a picture of him at the top of Grandfather Mountain after a grueling 100 mile ride up....When we told him that Mike Haney was going to put him on the back of the tandem to help get him back in riding condition he smiled, then we asked if that's what he wanted to do and he nodded his head yes! 

Dr. Schenarts felt very positive about everything that was going on, and even though his BUN and creatinine levels continue to increase they think his kidneys are going to be OK.  His fever is down below 101, and his white blood cell count is coming down still.  His CK level is somewhere below 2000, the lowest it's been since the original 25,000 scare.  Ahh, the power of prayer.  

This has been a rollercoaster of emotions.  Thank you to everyone that has stuck with us through this, given us support, listened to us complain, held our hands, rubbed our back, and especially those that have given us anything other than hospital food.  We love each and every one of you!

The Dave Galloway Family

Friday, December 29, 2006 6:40 PM
I (Nick) wasn't able to make it to Greenville today to see Dad, but Mom, Missy, and Becky were all there to support him.  I hope I didn't miss too much. 

Dr. Schenarts has been very positive about dad's recovery since he got into the hospital, and said that he was more responsive today than he had ever seen him.  Everyone that saw him said he was more alert today than yesterday, so that's very good news.

They are trying to get him completely off of the respirator, and dad fought any changes yesterday so they have sedated him again to try one more time.  He is mostly breathing on his own, but he seemed to get scared when they stepped him down yesterday.

They did a 2nd CT scan of his abdomen yesterday to see if they had missed something since his white blood cell count remains high and his kidneys continue to show signs of failure. They only used the oral contrast this time since they thing the IV contrast may be what started the problems with his kidneys (the contrast is very toxic, and when it's given through an IV it requires the kidneys to filter this).  They still did not see anything except for some fluid in his abdomen that should correct itself.  They began antibiotics for an intestinal infection just in case, because Schenarts believes that he does have one.  His white blood cell count went up slightly to 27, and his BUN and creatinine levels continue to climb.  They called in a Nephrologist yesterday to make sure they had not missed anything with his kidneys and to make sure there was nothing else that could be done right now, but they did not see anything.

Mom saw the x-rays of dad's pelvis.  It is sprung, where both sides of the pelvis are separated completely at the bottom and both sides appear to be broken at the top, each side broken in at least 2 places (consider a lifesaver, where you can't make only 1 break in the circle, it has to be broken in at least 2 places).  This will probably require plates and screws to repair, but they won't even consider doing this until he is free of all other infections.

We have continued to receive tremendous support from everyone during the past 2 weeks.  Wow, it doesn't seem like it's been that long, I guess time flies when you're having fun, or something like that.  I hope that putting the updates on the website has been as convenient for everyone as it has been for me.  The guestbook seems to be doing very well, I open it and look at it several times a day; anytime I need support or just want to smile at the amazing number of friends or the strength of the friendships that my dad has made.  

Our family is so lucky to have Dave Galloway for a husband/father/grandfather; I can't imagine what we would ever do without him.  Missy and Becky continue to support mom, and my wife and their husbands continue to support all of us.  God has been great in bringing us this far over the past 2 weeks.  Although the past few days have been difficult because we seem to keep stepping backwards, we are thankful that He gave us signs of hope very early on to keep us so strong.

Again, we appreciate all of the support we have received.  We love you all!

The Galloways

Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:30 AM
We saw dad's eyes open for the first time today, although it's hard to tell if he actually could see us or not.  He has always slept with his eyes open; boy did that make it hard to sneak out of the house!  Maybe that started with his days in Security Police... 

He seems even more alert than he did 2 days ago.  Some of his numbers are going the right way, but some (the kidney numbers) are still going the wrong way.  We have started a prayer chain for these.

The current numbers are:  BUN = 65 (should be below 20), Creatinine = 2.4 (should be about 1.0), white blood cell = 26 (should be below 12, was up to 29), CK Level = 2000 (should be 10-20, was up to 25,000).  The BUN and Creatinine are the levels in his kidney that signal renal failure, but the ultrasound of his kidneys yesterday didn't show anything.  They talked about doing another CT scan of his abdomen to see if they missed something, but his kidneys could not handle the contrast required for the CT.  Also they have cut back on one of his antibiotics that didn't seem to be working; this may help to bring these numbers back in the right direction.

Dad has been running a fever for the past few days and the Tylenol doesn't seem to be working as well as it should be.  They are going to begin switching back and forth between ibuprofen and acetaminophen to see if this works.  His temperature is between 101 and 104 constantly.