Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Morning Report

We met the GI team today. They are still confident and patient. They said that Clark’s liver is actively failing. We noticed this more today in his slurred speech, poor vision, weak and tired, confusion, edema, and short term memory loss. He will continue to be confused but this is not so much a problem as the kidneys. As the kidneys temperarily fail to work to their full capacity, other areas in the body begin to suffer. The brain will stop telling the other organs to do their job. The kidneys will turn around again after the transplant, at this point they are doing well. As his condition worsens before a liver has been located, the doctors will get more aggressive about protecting his brain. He is already wearing a breathing mask at night. They may have to put a breathing tube into his lungs if he has too much swelling of the brain. They would also put him in a medically induced comma and keep him inhibated while they wait. What they call a bullet would be inserted into his brain. Then they could monitor the pressure and would regulate it medically if needed to prevent permanent damage. They will lean on the aggressively cautious side but said they may never get to this stage. He is sick but is doing very well for as sick as he is. If he reaches the stage of needing temporary life support, it will not affect his recovery. As the Dr. left the room she looked at Clark and said, “Keep up your good work and we will keep up ours.”

They had a couple offers on a liver over the weekend and passed on both because they were poor quality. They feel they have another week to wait. They don’t want to be hasty and put in a liver that is only going to last him a couple years. They said, “We want to do it once right and have him die at a happy old age of 95.” The doctor said “the liver is a big dumb organ, unlike the kidneys or heart. They are a lot smarter. But the liver doesn’t need a lot of anti rejection drugs” for a successful transplant. These would taper off over a couple years.

At this point we are anxious to receive the phone call that a liver is available because we know he will be on his way to recovery. However, it’s hard to wish for someone else to die. Clark made a comment that it’s weird. The doctor said it may be weird but it is helpful for the other family to know their passing is helping someone else to live. We are also nervous! It will be a long wait while he’s in surgery, from 5-12 hours. We have a lot of confidence in the facilities and staff and know that Clark is under excellent care.
Since Clark was put on a water restriction, his mouth is dry and he is getting soars on his tongue. They gave us a swab that we can wet his mouth with to help.
After a loving hug from Mom, Clark turned away and said, "I know you're working, but next time you come, could you not wear cologne." Good thing we find some humor even at times like these.


Taylor Gardner said...

We're routing for you, Clark, and pray that the call will come soon. Next time you see your doctor, be sure to make the correction that while 95 is good for most, 100 is more like it for Larson blood!

Susi said...

You hang onto that sense of humor! It's very important. When Adriann was so very ill she kept asking, "Does this hotel have a pool?" We walked away with a miraculously healed daughter...and several funny stories to tell. I'm sure there were probably times that the Tulsa doctors wondered about these South Dakota people! When Clark's health has been restored, we'll sit down, spend some time together and share some laughter.

linda sogn said...

Last night we went to Summit and ate at The County Line. Jennifer was telling us about Clark and we were shocked at what had happened. We pray that you will have a speedy recovery. You look so much stronger after th e transplant. Keep on fighting hard! Rhonda, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope you can all be together for your Dad's 100th birthday party.