I know I have discussed the health issues facing my parents here on the Nexus before, and I really appreciate the support and love everyone has given me here concerning these issues.
I was talking with my Mom late Friday morning, and I'm afraid I have some pretty tough news concerning my Dad.
For background, my dad has been in declining health for the past several years, mostly Parkinson's disease. AFAWK, much of it was brought on because of his alcohol abuse over the years while he was working in the steel mills of our hometown. It was part of the culture when we were growing up in the 60s and 70s there - you worked hard in the mill all day (or whenever your shift was) and then went afterwards and drank in the many corner bars harder.
As the disease as progressed, his swallowing capacity has been steadily reduced and because of previously clogged arteries in his neck, he has been prone to fainting spells and has fallen many, many times. Fortunately, no bones have been broken in these falls, but he has been cut up pretty bad (though, in fairness, the bleeding has looked much worse than it really was because of blood thinners he's been taking). He requires a walker to get around and can barely talk.
He spends most of his days watching TV, particularly sports - baseball, football, golf, college basketball and some hockey and soccer. The amount of care he's had to have, plus some other factors, have forced my parents to move to a semi-independent living community near where they had been living on the Illinois side of St. Louis.
Anyway, back to the phone call with mom: She told me that he had to take a swallowing test this morning at the doctor, the latest in a series of tests he's taken over the years.
Mom indicated that dad will have to have a feeding tube inserted into him, and that procedure is set to take place in the next couple of days. He went into a hospital in my hometown (Granite City, IL) Monday, and from all indications, when he swallows, it's not going into his stomach, but into his lungs instead. Obviously, that's not a good thing.
I talked to my mom and my sister today and from what I've been told, he'll have the tube inserted into his stomach and then go to a long-term rehab facility in Edwardsville, IL.
As always, we've offered to help in any way possible, and mom told me this morning that she knows that and really appreciates it, even if we can't do a whole lot. I told her that we're here for them anytime they need us.
Just wanted to let everyone know the latest and any advice or support you can give to my brother Colin and I, as well as the rest of the family, is greatly appreciated.
No doubt, this is going to be tough, but like the recent problems we faced after we got back home from a trip we took to Nevada, we will fight our way through this and we will be strong.
Thanks everyone. Much love from Colin and I...