Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

June 8, 2017 On the Backroads
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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I am getting to fill in and write again this week as dad had another health issue last week. I know. I have already told him that he needs to stop with all this drama. I hope he listens this time.

It all started Tuesday. I was minding my own business at my house when the phone rang. I was chuckling a bit when I answered because I was just reaching for the phone myself. I had actually known the final Jeopardy answer in a “Civil War Era” question and intended to brag to dad about it.

It was not dad calling. It was mom. And she was a bit distraught. It seems that dad was not responding to her. I told her to call 911. She wanted me to call because she can not hear well enough to talk to most people on the phone. I explained that if she called from their landline that they would have the address. Just tell them she could not hear but she needed an ambulance.

She did that while I was changing from my jammies to clothes and heading out to the farm. The first group of First Responders from the Lone Tree Fire and Rescue Department were already there when I arrived with the second bunch close on my heals. They were trying to get some information from mom but of course were not getting very far. I answered all their questions, from the bottom of the stairs, as they dealt with dad upstairs.

He had been mowing that morning and as it got on towards breakfast he got a bit of a pain in his abdomen. Figuring he might just be hungry he went in for some lunch. After lunch he did not really feel better so went into the living room and plopped into his recliner. Halfway through the 3 p.m. Jeopardy he had told mom he was going upstairs to lay down for an hour or so.

When the 4 p.m. Jeopardy got over and mom had not heard anything from him she went upstairs to check, intending to let him sleep if he was taking a nap. When she got to him he was on the bed with his feet still on the floor staring at the ceiling, but breathing. When she called to him he was completely unresponsive. Then the phone call to me and 911.

The ambulance arrived fairly soon and they loaded him up to go. I told them I would meet them at the ER as I needed to drop mom at my house to ‘granddog’ sit. They were still at the farm when we pulled out. After dropping her off and heading west on Hwy. 22 I was wondering how far behind them I was. I looked in my rearview mirror and was surprised to see they were about a mile behind me.

Wondering what had taken them so long at the farm I pulled over and let them pass. I dropped in behind them and followed, at a speedy rate, all the way to Iowa City. I did not try to stay with them once we got to the city though. When I got to the ER there were no parking places at all. I ended up valet parking and scooting through the hospital to the ER.

I got to his room and he was still totally unresponsive. The doctor asked me a bunch of more questions, which I answered, and continued to work on him. They were fairly certain he had an infection. Not just a run of the mill infection, but a raging infection. You see, his temperature at that time was well over 105 and his heart kept racing to over 150.

They took blood samples, urine samples, did a chest x-ray, and a CT scan to try and find the infection. When I left he was doing much better. Answering questions and such but they still did not know where the infection was.

I popped back in on Wednesday and found out it was a biliary blockage and infection. His vitals were back to the normal range so they were sure he was on the mend. A procedure was scheduled for Friday to confirm their diagnosis of the blockage.

When I got back home the ambulance was at East Side Village. No surprise. They are there often. It was the same guys that took dad. They told me it had taken so long to leave the farm because when they first loaded him up his temperature was over 107. All I could think of was the old anti-drug commercial, with a twist. “This is your brain. This is your brain with an infection.”

Well, things went on. Antibiotics via an IV and me popping back and forth, running errands for mom the whole time too. When I left on Friday the doctor told me that the earliest he would get out was Tuesday. They had decided not to do the procedure Friday because he was doing so much better and the procedure could make things worse.

Having said this I was a bit surprised when I arrived on Saturday to be told he was being discharged. He had to come home in the ‘dress’ they give you when you are there because I had not taken any clothes with me for him to wear home. Mom was a bit surprised to see him too.

Bottom line is that he is home, with even more antibiotics of course. Feeling better each day. We are watching him closely and at the first sign of a set-back will be taking him back to the University of Iowa Spa and Resort, UIHC.

Hope he does not pull anything more.

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