Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dad's in the Hospital with West Nile

I had to help my mom get my dad to the hospital on Sunday.  He had had a fever over the weekend and was very shaky to the point where she needed my help just to get him down the stairs to the car.   They wound up admitting him on Sunday.  He had a fever, he was very shaky and unsteady and a little bit dissoriented.  Late Monday/Early Tuesday he had deteriorated to the point that they needed a rapid response team to quickly address the fever.  At that point they also moved him to the ICU.  When I saw him on Tuesday he was mostly delerious and they were still struggling to control the fever.  They brought in an Infectious Disease doc to aid with the diagnosis.  Based on the blood results they settled on West Nile Virus.   Tuesday night he dropped his oxygen saturation and they had to make the decision to intubate him to control his breathing with a ventilator. 

Right now hes still on the ventilator, and they're controlling the fever ( somewhat) with drugs and cooling blankets.  All they can do is address the symptoms and support him while he fights this off.  One significant complication is that he has a low grade lymphoma that compromises his immune system.  One of the associated conditions with West Nile is encephalitis (sp?) or swelling in the brain.   We presume that's happening, given the widespread muscular tremors and extreme dissorientation/delerium. 

He's very sick right now.   With my Hodgkins I've had a potential life threatening disease, but never been close to being sick enough to need round the clock supportive care.   There was no news last night, which I'll presume is a good thing.   Going back to see him this morning and expecting more of the same.   Docs say the recovery from this acute phase could take 2 weeks, with full recovery being several weeks or a few months after that.  

Headed back to the hospital this moring.   We'll talk to the docs and get the latest.


  1. Hey Chris -- I just talked briefly with your mom ... just wanted to say that my love and thoughts are with you guys. Let me know how he's doing.

    All best,

  2. I've been talking to your Mom every day, but please keep us posted. Prayers going your way. Love, Carol