Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time change

The funeral time has changed to 2 pm on Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Abbeville.

Papa met Jesus!

Papa went to meet Jesus last night at 11pm. He is now walking the streets of gold in heaven and is singing with the heavenly choir. We are sad, but celebrating the wonderful life he has had. Visitation will be Monday night 6-8pm at Harris Funeral Home and Funeral will be Tuesday 3pm at First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Abbeville. Please continue to lift up our family in prayer. We want God to be glorified in this time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Please pray

Today has been a long day for our family. Papa has not been responsive at all today. No more nodding of his head or looking at you. The loving papa we all knew and loved was no longer there looking back at us. We made the decision today to take him off of the bipap machine which was helping his breathing. We have all been at the hospital today with him. His breathing continues to get more and more shallow and his oxygen level is dropping. He has been as low as only breathing seven times a minute. We don't know when the end will come, but we do know it's coming. We've all had the time to talk with him and tell him that it's okay for him to go on to live with Jesus. He can see our Lord and Savior; see his mom and dad; see little Bucky; and even meet my brothers before I do. We have so much to be thankful for and we don't want to see him suffer. His IV fluids and the liquid nutrition have all been stopped. He is getting IV Morphine every hour or two for discomfort and trouble breathing or what is called "air hunger." We are all trying to get a little sleep tonight as all eight of us were at the hospital all night and only got a nap here and there. Let me tell ya, those chairs and benches are not made for sleeping. My family has been great by keeping Caitlin for us. Last night was her first night away from home when she was at Aunt Carmen's and tonight she's with MawMaw. Lee and I are getting clothes ready in case we are called during the night to go back to the hospital. Please pray to God for comfort and peace for our family. We are unworthy of the blessings he has bestowed upon us and are grateful for the time we have had together as a family. Until next time....

Please pray

Lee's dad took a turn for the worse yesterday afternoon. He is on the highest oxygen machine he can be on without being on the ventilator, which he doesn't want again. We are amazed he made it through the night. The family has been called in. He still opens his eyes and will nod his head a little, but his eyes have lost their sparkle. Lee came home from his trip to Tennessee last night when I called him. We all were at the hospital all night and have come home long enough to shower and are heading back. Please keep our family in your prayers. We have told Papa that he doesn't need to fight. We know he's tired and it's okay for him to go. Just pray for peace and comfort from the Almighty God during this time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Praise be to God

As of 4:30pm today, Papa is breathing on his own and off of the ventilator. He is talking a little, but his throat is very sore. They're going to try to start him back on some clear liquids tomorrow. I know he dreads the typical meal of jello, popsicles, and tea! But that's better than nothing. We are so thankful to God for allowing Papa to improve so quickly. There is nothing the doctors can find that caused this event and even less to answer why he is off the ventilator so soon. All we can say is God is so good!
My uncle has been admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. He will be on iv antibiotics for a few days probably. Please keep both of these men in your prayers.

Spaghetti Dinner at the Collins' house

This was supper time at our house recently. Will all the yucky news we've had, I felt I needed to put up something encouraging. Miss Caitlin was enjoying her spaghetti dressed only in a bib and a diaper. We went straight to the bathtub after this and I still seem to be finding noodles in the tub! Hope this brings a smile to your face and brings back memories of when your own children looked this way!

Update on Papa and others

Papa did pretty good during the night until about 6:00am when they had to turn him while giving his bath. His heart rate dropped to 24, but came back up rather quickly. During this episode, they had to increase the ventilator settings back up. The doctor came in today and said that his heart is working at about 30-35% where normal is 45-50%. Last monday his percentage was normal so that is a little cause for concern. If these episodes continue, they will discuss a pacemaker but we hope this was just a one time event. He is still opening his eyes and nodding his head today. He is leaving the tube alone for right now. They started again weaning him off the ventilator and we will see how that goes again.
I've been home with Caitlin today. I've been either working or at the hospital a lot lately and was missing my little girl. We've had lots of fun playing today and just enjoying each other. I'll be heading back up there tomorrow for a visit and then to work this weekend. Please pray for Lee who will be leaving tomorrow taking 26 young people to Gatlinburg for a conference type of thing. He has plenty of adults going along, but it's still a big undertaking. As long as Papa is stable he will be going, I shoud say.
Please also pray for one of my uncles who was just taken to the hospital and is in the ER now having tests run. His legs are not wanting to move right now. He fell down this morning and can't seem to stand. They're doing a CT scan as we speak.
I'll update on things again tomorrow. Thank you all for checking on us and praying.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update on Papa

Well, God had a change of plans! We got a call about 4:15 this morning that Papa had taken a turn for the worse - wasn't breathing and they were about to put him on the ventilator. I jumped up and flew to the hospital. Lee stayed home with Caitlin. I got to his room and he was still there. They had him intubated (breathing tube down his throat) and he had just had an x-ray. There were lots of people there as they had called a "Code Blue" which is either cardiac or respiratory arrest. The doctor and nurses were there, the chaplain, two security guards, and the nursing house supervisor. They moved him back down to CICU and put him on the ventilator. It was a difficult morning to say the least. Papa was not responding or breathing on his own at all. His vital signs were stable though. We called lots of people trying to get the word out for people to pray for him. I told Lee that it would take a miracle for him to pull through. We did a lot of talking among ourselves about important issues. There was a lot of crying too, for we love our Papa! About lunch time, they turned down the settings on the ventilator as Dr. Kim wanted him off of it as quick as possible so his body wouldn't become dependent on it to breathe. He started opening his eyes a little and trying to pull at the breathing tube. As the afternoon wore on, he would mouthe some words like "please" when he would hit at the tube (we explained that it would have to stay and it couldn't come out yet) and "move" when he wanted the head of his bed up or down. We were thrilled to see this! The respiratory therapist said that he is initiating all of his breaths. This mean that he breathes often, but not very deep. The machine just enhances each breath that he takes. They are going to leave him on the machine until in the morning and then see if they can get him off of it. He's running a temp of 102 and is getting some Tylenol for this. The doctor seems to think that he may have aspirated (choked on / inhaled) some of his secretions (saliva) into his lungs that caused pneumonia. He's on antibiotics for this. Words cannot describe the sense of relief we had this afternoon and I believe that we truly witnessed a miracle. God is faithful and His timing is perfect. I'm not trying to jump ahead and I know we have a long road ahead of us, but things looked so bleak this morning. As of now (7:51pm) we have all left the hospital. It's important that we all get some rest and that's near impossible at the hospital. I ask that you pray for Papa and for our family. I will update again tomorrow hopefully.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on Papa

Lee's dad has had a pretty good day today and yesterday. He said "hey" to CC yesterday morning when she walked in. He hasn't been talking much so this was an improvement. Today he rested most of the day and was at such peace. It was an answer to pray to see him like this! Please continue to pray for his recovery.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Update on Papa

Today has been an up and down day for Papa. They redid and x-ray of his chest and abdomen today. He has a lot of fluid around his lungs called a pleural effusion. This has caused his breathing to be labored and he gets short of breath laying down. They are giving him Lasix to try to get rid of the fluid. His abdomen still is swollen and they have gone back to him having nothing by mouth except medicines. The doctor will be inserting a central line (kind of like a fancy iv in a main vein in the collarbone area) tomorrow. They will do this procedure in his room under local anesthesia. Since he hasn't taken in much by way of eating in about nine days, they will be beginning what's called TPN or total parenteral nutrition. It's a balanced solution containing all of the fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, etc that his body needs. This will prevent him from getting weaker and weaker. Hopefully we won't need this for too long, but it will help in the interim. This solution can't be given through a regular iv so they have to put in the central line. Please continue to pray for our family. CC is tired and needs to rest, but it's hard for her to leave him. I don't know what I would do in her situation. I took Caitlin up to see them this afternoon. I think it did all three of them good! She sure has missed her Papa & CC and I know they've missed her too. I'll continue to update when able!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update on Papa

Lee's dad was moved out of CICU this afternoon to 8 Tower which is the progressive care unit. We are so thankful to GOD for blessing him with some improvements that have allowed this move to happen. He ate solid food tonight for the first time in a week. We're praying that his body can handle it. He had been on liquids for a couple of days and seemed to be tolerating that fair. He's still on oxygen and seems to be laboring to breathe even at rest. Please pray with us that this will resolve soon. His heart continues to be perfectly normal! Praise the Lord for this! CC went home for the night which is a big relief. His room is right in front of the nurses station and I think they will keep a close eye on him. Hopefully she can get some rest herself tonight. We've asked for a repeat x-ray of his abdomen to be sure that the blockage has resolved. One eerie thing that has been going on is he is sleeping with his eyes open. You can never tell if he is awake or sleeping! It is awful. I came in the room today talking to him and he seemed to be awake, but was snoring! I've never been around someone like that so it will take a little time for me to adjust to that sight. I don't want to interrupt his sleep, but I don't want him to think I'm ignoring him either! We are so thankful for the care he has received in the hospital and also the care our family has received. We have been on the receiving end of many calls, prayers, cards, and words of encouragement. It means so much to know that other people care. Please continue to pray for us and I'll try to update in a couple days!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update on Papa

Lee's dad (Papa) is still in CICU. He was diagnosed yesterday with an ileus (intestinal blockage) and pleural effusion (fluid around and inflamation of the lungs). The nurses attempted to put a tube down his nose into his stomach to release some of the built up fluid and air as he looked like he could deliver triplets at any moment. They tried to insert the tube six times without success. The doctor was notified and he said to hold off on any other attempts until today. He was in a lot of pain yesterday. Today his belly looks a little better and his pain is less. The doctor came in around 2 today and said that he looks better than yesterday. His echocardiogram on his heart came back almost normal which is a huge answer to prayer. He is on antibiotics for the pleural effusion. He also is getting Lasix which makes you get rid of excess fluid in your body.....then they are giving him iv fluids so he doesn't get dehydrated. Hmmm....See if you can figure that one out! He rested a lot today. I don't know if his days and nights are mixed up or if he's just tired after not having slept for three or four days. He will wake up and say hey, but he seems to not want to talk much. I'm sure he's exhausted. They are going to try to get him up to a sitting position tomorrow in his bed. The hospital beds can be made into a chair so we will try this to get him used to sitting up again. We don't know if the dizziness that he suffered with three years ago sitting up will return. CC is hanging in there. I can't imagine having to watch your spouse go through what Papa has been through. She hasn't left his side except at night when visitors aren't allowed. They are an amazing couple! Please keep Papa and our family in your prayers!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Buddy Collins (Lee's Dad....aka Papa)

I would ask everyone that reads this to please pray for our family. Early yesterday morning, Lee's dad was taken to the ER for chest pains. Turns out, he had a heart attack! They took him straight to the cath lab and did a heart cath. He had one artery that was completely blocked and they had to put three stents in, all in the same vessel. The bottom of his heart was damaged, to what extent we won't know for a while. He is now in Cardiac Intensive Care Unit or CICU. He had a rough day yesterday with low blood pressure and pain. He's not used to taking pain medicine so he has been sedated a lot with the medicines. He had a fair amount of internal bleeding last night and they had to give him a unit of blood. CC went home about 6:30 last night as no overnight visitors are allowed in that unit. I went to see him this morning. He had had some Ativan for agitation about 6am (we got there before 8) and we could not wake him up. That had him zonked. We tried and tried to get him awake, but no luck. His day nurse gave him a medicine to reverse the Ativan and Papa woke right up. He knew who we all were and was talking and asking about different family members. He still has quite a bit of pain and they gave him a half of a pain pill which knocked him out again! I stayed until the doctor came by about lunch time. He said there was damage to his heart, but hopefully it wouldn't be noticeable. If we can just get his pain under control and also keep him awake at the same time. I asked the doc if we could do a fourth of a pain pill or even just some Tylenol which makes him drowsy at home. He said that was fine. His blood pressure is still low and he is on a Dopamine drip (for all my nurse friends) currently. We are going to try to wean him off of this and the oxygen. If we can get blood pressure up, pain down, and oxygen gone....he could go home as soon as tomorrow. If there are still some issues and he's not better then he will stay a while longer. But it was good news from the doctor. Please keep us all in your prayers, but especially our Papa!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday morning

These are a couple of pictures from this morning. We had just gotten home from church and she was too cute! She has enough hair now to get a bow in there. Lee is adjusting to the bows!! She doesn't realize it's there I'm sure, or it would be out in a heartbeat! She was all smiles....