Saturday, October 7, 2023


My Sister has been doing a great job of uploading updates about our Dad's condition on social media and tagging me in the post so hopefully everyone is in the loop. But in case you missed it (like I did LOL, because I was off the grid on a backpacking trip), about 3 weeks ago (just before I left and when our dog Courage passed away) the most excellent Tomato Man was experiencing severe knee pain in one of his artificial knees (go figure!). He went in to see his Primary Care Physician at the VA for a routine visit and mentioned his knee pain (good job Dad!). Long story a little less long, Dad had a bacterial infection related to his dialysis port or surgery and it settled in his artificial knee. A few more days and it could have been life ending! He went straight to the ER and was sent to the operating room soon after where they opened up his knee and thoroughly cleaned out all the plastic parts. He was placed on an antibiotic via I.V. and admitted to the VA hospital for 2 weeks then moved over to the VA rehab for 1 month. Currently he is scheduled to be discharged at the end of October. The VA is taking great care of him and his morale is high there as everyone is so respectful and constantly say, "Thank you for your military service!" Between friends and family he receives regular visitors every couple of days. While he is in there he, myself, and Traci are being trained at the VA every Wednesday to administer his dialysis at home when he returns to my house in a few weeks. While relatively simple, the at-home dialysis will be a bit daunting because it has to be done everyday 365 days per year for the rest of his life (or until he has to be switched back to dialysis at a Dialysis Center)... it has to be done using sterile procedures to prevent infections (no pressure LOL)... there is wound care involved... and it has to be done by someone other than our Dad (so either me, Traci, or a hired nurse) because he really can't do all the connections and procedures. I'd be omitting the truth if I didn't say my Sister and I are a little bit concerned with the infection part (I mean, he got a bacterial infection from the professionals they do this all the time) and the thought of the everyday frequency of the treatment is a bit hard to absorb. It's Peritoneal Dialysis which can be done at home and is gentler on the body versus the Hemodialysis which is a bit more invasive and has to be done with a machine 3x per week at a Dialysis Center. But we are moving ahead with the at-home Peritoneal Dialysis. Traci got to do the hands-on training last week while I watched and took pictures, and I get to do the hands-on training this week. That's the update! Thank you for all the love, prayers, texts, & phone calls checking in on our most excellent Tomato Man. If you want to visit him and play some checkers or billiards he is in Building 71 Room 7 at the VA in St Petersburg not far from Madeira Beach. His cell phone is 727-452-1001 ... he can receive text messages, but he doesn't know how to check them so you will have to call him to get in touch with him. Overflowing thanks and love to all of you!!!