Monday, February 15, 2010

Come celebrate his life...

Come join us in the celebration of the life of Marshall H. Kosoff (also know as Grandpa Marshmallow) on Sunday, February 21, 2010. Memorial service at 3pm at the Lakeland Hills Community Center at 5801 Lakeland Hills Way, Auburn, WA 98092.

We will have a "Marshall-style" BBQ following the service including steak, baked potato and salad. Kordell is in charge of beverages.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

He's gone.

We love you Dad! We will miss you!

It's time to let him go...

After an incredible fight, Dad has decided to turn the machines off tonight.

It's so hard to let him go. Hospice will make it peaceful.

Please pray for his comfort.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surgery on the artery

This morning Dad has surgery. It went well and he came out ok. They went through his stomach which means he is going to be in a lot of pain once he wakes up. There is good news and bad news. The good news is the artery that was bleeding a few days ago is no longer bleeding, the bad news is the artery that was bleeding a few days ago is no longer bleeding. Which means the source of the internal bleeding is unknown. For now they will watch him closely, keep him comfortable and hope his blood count goes up over the next 24 hours. If it does not correct itself then they will do a Colonoscopy. We will update the blog as soon as we know more. Thanks again for all of your prayers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy 67th Birthday DAD!

With balloons, two colorful birthday banners and jazz music blaring in the background we celebrate Dad's 67th birthday here in ICU. You can hear the music from down the hall, but no one is brave enough to tell us to turn it down. We are determined to make this a great day for Dad regardless of how disobedient his body is being.

They have been watching him closely the last 48 hours. He had a decent night with no major incidents. His blood count went slightly up which pleased the doctors. As for now they will continue to watch his blood count and as long as it is the same or a little higher they will not do the surgery. We will keep you posted.

We are trying to keep his spirits high. He had a lot of calls from people wishing him a Happy Birthday. The nurse was trying to cheer him up when she put water on a swab and told him to imagine it was cupcake flavor. She said she didn't think he was amused. I guess it was the thought that counts.

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not out of the woods yet, but better!

He is much more alert today which is great to see. His coloring is so much better. Yesterday he was white as a ghost and his eyes looked so distant. His vitals are back to where they should be. Hallelujah! His kidneys are better, but not quite where they need to be. But at least he is stable. His blood tests show there is still internal bleeding. They decided to avoid the coil procedure and move forward with the surgery. This morning they asked his permission to do surgery on the artery if they have to. We will know more later today.

Our biggest concern was how aware he truly is. The nurse said they did a brain function test on him and he was able to blink correct answers that indicate he is still totally coherent of everything. He is one stubborn guy, obviously not willing to give up!

I will update when we know more. Thanks again for your prayers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's time to PRAY again!

Just got an update from the nurse...

We were told Dad was going to be transferred last night at 4pm. We were sad to hear at the last minute he was not going to be transferred to Rainier Vista because they had not had a final signature from the doctors. What a blessing that ended up to be. This morning at 4am Dad's blood pressure and heart rate went dangerously low. They discovered he was bleeding internally which presented itself through his rectal tube (sorry for the details). It was pretty scary for several hours. They put another camera down his throat to determine it is an artery that is bleeding. They used epinephrine to close the artery. They will watch him closely to see if that is enough to stop the bleeding permanently. If he begins to bleed again they will do a procedure where they put a coil in the artery. Unfortunately this procedure has only a 50% chance of success. If this does not work they will do a more invasive surgery to repair the artery. Since he is not a good candidate for surgery we need to PRAY the epinephrine stops the bleeding.

Again, what a blessing he was not transferred to the nursing home last night.

He has had 3 units of blood already and they are planning on one more. He is stable but still critical. On top of everything else his kidneys are not working. Let's pray he has a better night tonight! Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keeping him comfortable

The last few days Dad has been requesting more and more morphine. We want him to be comfortable, the only problem is he pretty much sleeps the majority of the day now. I admit it is nice to see him resting peacefully, I just miss playing charades with him.

They tried the speaking valve a couple of times yesterday. He began to feel anxious saying it was hard to breathe. I don't think Dad realized that even when they hooked the vent back on they didn't turn it on so he was still breathing on his own. Hopefully over time he will get more confident with the speaking valve on and the vent off.

It looks like he will be transferred to Rainier Vista either today or tomorrow. We will keep you posted.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hurray for the Saints!

Sunday was a relaxing day for Dad. He was really tired from going all day Saturday off the ventilator. Our cousing Angela (Zan's wife) visited Dad in the early morning and Vicky and Devan hungout before the game. Kordell and Nancy came to watch the game with Dad, but he fell asleep before halftime. Uncle Larry called before the game and made a bet with Dad. Even though they both really wanted the Saints to win Uncle Larry wanted to bet Dad $5. So Uncle Larry took the Colts. Lo and behold Dad is 5 bucks richer. He was happy to hear the Saints won this morning.

The doctors have decided not to do another procedure on Dad. I hope it's the right decision. He will be discharged in the next few days to Rainier Vista Care Center. It is the best long term care facility in Western Washington.

It sure has been nice having my sister Vicky here. I know Dad has enjoyed seeing more of all of us. What is amazing is how a tradgedy like this can really bring a family closer. Next time you think you are too busy for your mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or cousin remember there may not be a tomorrow and to MAKE TIME!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The best day so far!

Saturday was a great day in many ways. Dad was able to be off the ventilator for just over 9 hours. On top of that he used the speaking valve the entire time which takes a lot of work. Just hearing his voice, even if just above a wisper, makes us all feel so good. Not to mention it takes away most of the frusration of not being able to tell us what he needs.

He was able to not only tell us what he needed to make him more comfortable, but he told us how great the nurses have been (except one) and he wanted to know where Nancy (my brothers girlfriend) had been. She's had a cold and didn't want to give it to him. He used a few choice words, which I had no idea, but apparently Dad has always spoken like that when I wasn't around. I guess if I were in his situation I might want to say a few choice words too. On a much sweeter note, he was able to ask Susan if she would stay with him until he fell asleep. She is being so strong for him. I know going home to an empty house with just the dog Shamess is absolute torture for her. What we would both give to go back to the first 3 days when we just thought it was a R-side stroke. Then at least he could go home.

Dad is still very much in pain. The new bed he got is a better bed to help with bed sores, but not good for back pain. Even on the morphine he still hurts. It's so unfair that the paralysis doesn't just take the pain away. It really is the worst of both worlds.

The results from the G.I. test on Friday came back and they didn't find what they needed. Which means they may need to go back in (from the other end if you now what I mean). I guess it means he will get to stay in the hospital a few more days. We should know more tomorrow.

Kordell, Nancy, Vicky and Devan are going to watch the Super Bowl with Dad today. We asked him who he wants to win and he said plain as day, "The Saints!"

Thank you to all the family in town who came to see Dad:
Daughter, Vicky from Idaho
Grandson, Devan from Oregon
Nephew, Keith from Rhode Island

Friday, February 5, 2010

G.I. Procedure

The G.I. procedure went well. They cauterized an ulcer to prevent any further bleeding. Hopefully this is his last procedure at the Hospital. Now we wait for his final discharge date. He slept most of the day.

Vicky and her daughter flew in from Boise lastnight and her son Devan came up from Portland. It is nice to have them here.

Dad appreciates all of the comments and visitors. Thanks again for all the prayers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It was good day...

Although Dad was too tired to be off the ventilator for any length of time today, it was still a good day. It's getting easier to read his lips and take care of his basic needs.
He did ask to use the speaking valve for an hour or so. Each time he uses the valve he has to be taken off the ventilator. Today he requested the usual water in his mouth, ice packs to help cool him off, reposition his head and then he reminded me to call Sue and tell her to sign some paper work. Very cute. He told me his eyes are bothering him. Double vision is part of a brain stem stroke. That may explain why he isn't that interested in the T.V. It was time to find Dad a nursing home, which brakes our hearts. We wish so badly he could go home. Unfortunately he requires special 24 hour care with ventilator capabilities. There are only 6 nursing homes in the State equipped to take patients on a ventilator. We looked very carefully at the two within an hour drive and chose the one in Puyallup. It is right in between Sue, Kordell and I. We are expecting him to be released early next week. We are still working through some other issues such as an ulcer that is bleeding. He will have a procedure done tomorrow to scope his GI. Hopefully this will be his final procedure and he can be discharged. Personally, I like him being in the Hospital where he has his very own nurse. But, it would be great to start some PT, OT, Speech and other rehab that they will begin once he arrives at the nursing home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Christopher's visit

Dad, Christopher and Sue

Dad was pretty tired from practicing with his breathing valve yesterday. They waited to put the valve on until just before Chris arrived. We all knew going into it that this may be the last time he sees our Dad, but of course we pray it's not. We raised $325 to pay for this emotional 2 hour visit. He was accompanied by two very polite armed guards.

Dad's final words to Chris was to "Be good and take care of your Mom." Then before he asked to be put back on the ventilator he said, "Goodbye Christopher." That pretty much killed us all.

A special thank you to all who gave donations to make this visit happen!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Miracle #2 - Speaking Valve

We are all beginning to feel like we are bipolar. We're up, we're down, we're up, we're down. It's like the never ending roller coaster ride. Today is another great day. Dad started his third breathing trial today. It went so well they took him off completely with just oxygen put through his Trach. Then they decided to put the speaking valve on. It works! Although it is as quiet as a whisper, you can hear him! I half expected his first words to be "Give me a beer." Much to my delight he simply said, "Put water on my face." After 3 or 4 times he had me put a wash cloth on his face and just leave it there for a couple of minutes. When I was done he said, "Thank you." It was pretty awesome.

It takes time to learn to use the valve. You take a breath and say one or two words and then take another breath and say one or two words. They said once his lungs get stronger he will be able to speak louder through the valve but for now we take the whisper.

You can tell he is getting tired. This is the longest he's been off the ventilator. It would be like you or me on a treadmill for hours on end. They will probably put him back on soon just to give him a little break. Like any muscle the lungs should get stronger over time if he keeps practicing until they wean him completely off the ventilator.

The real trick now is making sure he doesn't get pneumonia or any other major infection. As if the bed sores aren't enough to worry about. His internal thermometer seems a little better. He hasn't requested to take his clothes off today. Yes, he literally demanded Sue take all of his clothes off. He was NOT happy when they said, "Marshall, that is not allowed." My Dad is not normally that kind of guy so he must have been really hot! Actually it's the nerve sensitivity that causes pain like when your foot is asleep and it becomes prickly. We believe that is what makes him so uncomfortable at the end of the day. Unfortunately Dad has the worst of both worlds, he is paralyzed from the neck down but can still feel the pain.

Well, our goal is to have more than one great day in a row. We hope tomorrow brings us more miracles! One day at a time!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A smile for Roni!

Today was a quiet day. Dad was still tired from yesterday's excitement. He was 45 minutes into his 2nd breathing trial without the ventilator when he told the nurse with his lips that he wanted to "GO HOME!" He apologized to Dad saying he wouldn't be able to go home and Dad got mad at him. Because he became very anxious they had to give him some medicine to calm him down. When I got there he was sleeping and he pretty much slept for 3-4 hours. He was waking up a bit just before I had to head home to get the boys off the bus. I asked him if I could take this picture for Roni (Kordell's daughter). We all miss his smiling face!