Tuesday, December 26, 2006 9:00 PM
Dad was being a little more
responsive today and seemed much more relaxed than the past few times when we saw him moving around. Chaplain Armstrong
from the SJAFB Chapel came in the room and said a prayer with him, and as they were praying dad turned his head towards the
Chaplain and his heart rate increased.
We have news from the nurse that dad's kidney
function is down some. We don't know exactly how bad this is or what the side-effects are going to be right now,
hopefully we'll get more information from the doctor tomorrow morning. However, this may be the reason that he was
so slow to react to the reduction in sedatives (the kidneys help to flush this out).
is just another bump in the road that prayer will soon fix. He is very broken up inside, and has a lot of complicating
things going on, and I know I wouldn't want to be awake for any of them. Things will soon start to straighten out,
and Dad will soon be back to his normal self, telling stupid jokes, quoting Seinfeld and Chevy Chase, letting the grandkids
(and hopefully kids) jump on his hospital bed...back to the "old man" that we all know and love.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 4:30 PM
Dad's white blood cell count was up to
29 yesterday (again, this is supposed to be about 12), but they started the antibiotics to fight pneumonia and a blood infection
and as of 4:00 AM the white blood cell count was back down to 26. Dad's also running a slight fever and they say
that is his reaction to fight off the infection. Dad's CK level (enzymes in the blood) is also down to about 4500,
from a high of 25,000. This number should be about 10-20, so we've got a ways to go but it's coming down quickly.
Speaking of pneumonia, the culture that they did last week was negative, but the doctor didn't understand
why his white blood cell count continued to go up. He made the decision to start dad on antibiotics for the pneumonia
and it seemed to work. We don't know how long this will take to cure, but we've got plenty of time to get him
back up to 100%.
Monday, December 25, 2006 9:20 PM
No real news today, everything is about the same as it was yesterday. Mom was not able to speak to the doctor
today, probably because of the holidays. However, the nurse told her that they feel that he may have an infection in
his bloodstream. They have started him on antibiotics to try to fight it, but as antibiotics go it will probably be
several days before we see if they are taking effect.
Although Pitt Memorial won't actually
classify him, dad is still in "critical" condition as long as he is in the ICU. Once his condition improves
they will be able to remove him from the ICU and his condition will "upgrade". As far as dad's consciousness,
he is still very sedated and we have not gotten a response out of him in several days. They tried taking him off of
the sedation and pain medication late last week but he seemed very much in pain and they started him back on both
medications. They are slowly removing the sedative from him again, but every time he goes into surgery or goes
downstairs for a CT scan it takes so much out of him and we have to take a step backwards again. We're not sure
what the next step is or when it will be, but we just hope that we can get some sort of response from him soon.
It is very frustrating for us not having any communication with him; not knowing what he's thinking,
how he's feeling, if he even hears us, if he doesn't want us seeing him this way...We don't know if we should
be spending the time at the hospital waiting for our 15 minutes 7 times a day or if we need to be taking better care of ourselves.
I know dad would say "don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Please don't worry yourselves sick over me.
I'm going to make it through this." However we want to be there with him so that we don't miss anything,
and we want to be there for my mom. She's still being such a trooper through all of this, but she's tired.
We're all tired.
I'm only telling everyone this because we need prayers as
much as my dad does. I never realized how much something like this affects everyone involved until now. A lot
of his close friends are having just as hard of a time dealing with this, and they haven't had the pleasure of being able
to see his face since before the accident, and I can't imagine that. Please continue to pray for my dad as well,
for all of the small things that plague him right now as well as for his complete rehabilitation and recovery sometime in
the near future.
If you haven't noticed already, I was able to put together a
Guestbook for folks to sign. The link is above and it should be pretty simple to use. Please use this to let my
dad know who is praying for him, where you are, how you are connected to our family, etc. I think it will help tremendously
in his healing to see how many people were praying for him and thinking about him.
Christmas, from the Galloway Family to your family.
Sunday, December 24, 2006 10:00
There was finally an article in the paper regarding my dad's accident as well
as the need for public awareness of bicycles. It can be found here. Thank you Seyboro Cyclists for putting this together for us.
there hasn't been a lot of change today. Our family spent Christmas Eve (of what is going to be the best and most
memorable Christmas ever) at the hospital visiting with each other and with our Pops. Dad got a new helmet for Christmas;
I hope he'll be able to use it pretty soon.
Dad's white blood cell count continues
to be high, which signals an infection, but they haven't been able to locate one. They took him down for another
CT scan today, this time of his abdomen. When we left the hospital this evening there were still no results, (everything
is on a holiday schedule right now), but we assume that if there was something serious they would have notified us immediately.
He is also still running a slight fever (about 102), another sign that there might be an infection.
He is still on the respirator to assist him with his breathing while he battles the ARDS.
will be working on an electronic "Guestbook" that people can sign and leave their words of encouragement, wishes
to get better, and thoughts for him to read when he gets better.
I can't state it enough,
but our family thanks everyone that has given and offered support, and all those that have come to visit us in the waiting
room and cafeteria numerous times.
We hope that all of you enjoy a very Merry Christmas.
Saturday, December 23, 2006 10:26:11 PM
Just wanted to send out a quick update. There hasn't been much change today but they did get him more sedated
and visibly more comfortable. The cultures came back and he does not have pneumonia, but he does have Acute Respiratory
Distress Syndrome (ARDS). I think it is basically fluid in the lungs as well, and it's no better or worse to have
His left thigh (the unbroken leg) looks very bruised and very tight
but they're not sure why. They took him for a CT scan where they saw some fluid build-up. They took a sample
for a culture, but again we won't know the results for 2-3 days.
That's about it
for now. The wireless internet was down again today, and hopefully tomorrow if it's working we'll have more
details to share.
We love you all,
Friday, December 22, 2006 11:57:28 PM
Dad had surgery today
to close up his abdomen. We thought they were going to do it early in the morning, but they didn't take him in until
about 2pm. He toughed it out and they were able to close him up completely, no need for the mesh and skin grafts that
they thought they'd have to use. His stomach actually looks very flat now, more than it ever did before! Mom's
pretty happy about that, she's hoping for a nice firm 6 pack when he's out!! He's got a cute little girdle
on to keep him sewn up in case he has any coughing fits. It's actually a binder, but we'll stick with the girdle
story when we talk to him. Man I wish we could take pictures.
They had taken him
COMPLETELY off of the sedatives and pain meds, so he looked very uncomfortable when we saw him. His heart rate and blood
pressure was up, oxygen was down. Luckily he had a compassionate nurse that started dosing him up again. They
put a pain med drip in him now, hopefully he'll be more comfortable when we see him tomorrow. It's so difficult
to see him like that; we're not sure if he's in pain, uncomfortable, trying to speak...the nurses think it's the
pain that's causing those numbers to go the wrong way. But seeing him like that upsets all of us so much, we feel
Speaking of numbers, his enzyme level (CK level) is still up at 15,000, which
is still very concerning (remember they should be well below 100). They don't know why they're so high, but
as long as they continue to come down we should be OK. He is still very jaundice, so during the surgery they checked
his liver and his gall bladder, both checked out fine. The only thing they can think is that since he received so much
blood the first week (he got at least 35 units, but we never heard a final number) that some of that blood is breaking down.
It also could be the diet that they have him on, so they've started switching that out. We'll see how he looks
tomorrow, and if he's still yellow then we'll leave the lights off when we visit.
hope you don't mind the jokes, but we've got to find some humor to make it through this. You all know that my
dad will soon be playing jokes on the nurses - apple juice in the urine samples, fake extremities...anything that will make
the time pass for him.
The wireless internet at the hospital has been down most of the day,
so we haven't been able to access email or anything. Hopefully it will be back up and running tomorrow for us so
we can keep in touch.
Thanks everyone! Stay Strong with us and for us!
Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:37:42 PM
Dad's a little jaundice tonight and his heart rate is up higher than it has been the past few days, and his temperature
continues to be elevated. I don't think they know why, but they're keeping close tabs on him to make sure nothing
goes wrong. They won't know about pneumonia for a few days but they have begun medicating him just in case.
He will be going into surgery tomorrow sometime, they're not sure exactly when.
They are going to try to close up his abdomen and get the skin to close back together. If the swelling hasn't gone
down enough and they can't get him closed, they will have to put a mesh inside him to hold everything in and they will
possibly have to do skin grafts for the outside. We should know sometime very early tomorrow morning when the surgery
will be, and we'll try to let everyone know. Everything seems so up in the air right now, until all of a sudden
they have to do things NOW. It would be so much easier to have a schedule written out for the next few months, but I
guess that's asking for a bit much. We'll continue to deal with things as they come our way.
I haven't mentioned much about either of my sisters, their husbands, or my wife in these emails, but they are
the glue that is keeping my mom in 1 piece right now. Missy and Becky have done so much for my mom the past few days,
from Christmas shopping, to cleaning the house, wrapping presents, and trying to find and/or chase the presents that my dad
has bought for everyone. They've spent both day and night with her, chauffeuring her back and forth to the hospital
or following her home late at night. Shane and James have been taking care of the kids while Missy and Becky help out
with things, since the kids aren't allowed to be on the 4th floor, or they've been playing the role of supporter.
My wife Stacie has been incredible too, commuting back and forth from Apex to Greenville with me on most trips, usually doing
most of the driving so I can get some sleep, and especially putting up with me when I have a down day (I've had about
7 of them this past week). This whole ordeal has taken a very close knit family and made us even closer, even more dependent
on each other.
I know I don't need to ask, but please continue to pray for everything
that's going on right now; the fever, the jaundice, the heart rate, the pneumonia, and the upcoming surgery. All
of this is very frightening to everyone involved, friends and family. We're all going to make it through this though.
December 21, 2006 2:19:42 PM
Sorry I haven't sent out an update since Tuesday evening,
things have been a little hectic because I'm actually back at work now, today being my last day until next year.
If anything serious comes up I will email immediately, but otherwise please realize that no news is good news.
I was able to get by to see my dad last night (Wednesday) and it was an amazing transformation - he looked
so much like himself! He wasn't really coherent, but his breathing and heart rate was heavy, like he knew we were
in the room and he wanted to talk to us. It looked like he may have been trying to mouth something, but we're not
sure. They put him into a different type of bed that does not move from side to side, so I know he's more comfortable
now, but he was pretty heavily sedated; I can't even imagine how they moved him.
enzyme levels had started coming back down from 25,000 to 18,000, but a normal healthy person's is in the 100's so
they are still pretty high. He was also running a fever last night of about 103-104, they say that is normal in the
ICU. His fever came down over night, but it is back up again today to 102. They are doing some culture samples
of his lungs and throat, but they believe he might have pneumonia. I'm not sure if that is what is causing the fever
or not, we're kind of in the dark about things right now. The nurse last night also felt that he was 99.9% likely
to get an infection of some kind. That just means that there is a 0.1% chance that he won't. He's already
beat all other odds, why stop now? If you are looking for specific things to pray for, I guess this is where to start.
Dr. Sagraves told my mom that he felt with his new bed my dad would be able to sit up and communicate
with us soon. We're not sure how soon, but at first he'd only be able to mouth words and write to us, and when
the finally put a tube in place of the tracheotomy he should actually be able to speak to us. The most important thing
that he told her was that my dad would survive this. We all knew it, but it's good to hear it from the guys that
are working on him.
One other positive note, one of his nurses is apparently a former semi-pro
triathlete. He seems to have a connection with my dad since they have the cycling in common. All of his nurses
have been very understanding, playing CD's and audio books for him, talking to him, telling him what's been going
I can't thank everyone enough for what they've done for us. Please continue
to pray and to ask God to watch over my dad, our family, and especially the doctors that are caring for him, as well as everyone
traveling back and forth to visit us. There are still possibilities for many more complications, some unforeseen right
now, so please pray for those as well.