Friday, June 22, 2012

Crisis



Life takes unbelievable twists and turns sometimes. Things happen that are not anticipated nor ever expected....and suddenly, there you are... and you have to take the cards that you have been dealt, and deal with them.

On May 12th, I posted about my sister-in-law, Rebecca Savikko , married to my brother Dr. Douglas Savikko, of Eagle River, Alaska, and her need for the donation of an O+ positive kidney with high antibodies titers.

Ironically, it is now my brother Doug, and not my sister-in-law, Becky, who is in seriously critical condition in Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

My brother has spent most of his life having horrible things happen to him and being sick on and off most of the time because as a doctor he is continual contact with every germ, and viral agent that comes in to a doctor's office, or a hospital setting.

Our lives have been so filled with accidents, near death experiences, horrendous tragedies, that it becomes so surreal that as some point, we just say prayers and get through them all and get this survivor mentality that really seems to keep all of us going.

None the less, we have had one miracle after another, we have all survived near death experiences, we have all had terrible illnesses, diseases, and disorders, we have had bizarre accidents and we just keep on ...with faith, hope, sheer inner strength, and with gratitude when we have somehow survived them.

So, when my brother was rushed to the hospital two weeks ago because he couldn't breathe, I only added a sentence or two to my previous post asking for prayers for his wife, Becky, saying that my brother needed them, as well.

Well, now he really, really, really needs them.

Doug was diagnosed two weeks ago with bilateral pneumonia. As a doctor, himself, he had been treating himself with a variety of antibiotics but wasn't getting any better. The night after his 60th birthday on June 7th, he woke Becky and told her to call for paramedics as he couldn't breathe.

The ER doctor rushed him into acute critical care and he was placed on additional antibiotics, and IV drip etc. In spite of that, his fever spiked to 104 degrees, and they had a great deal of trouble even getting that down with medications, ice blankets etc.

They came to realize it was viral, not bacterial pneumonia, which of course can't be treated with antibiotics . You can only deal with life saving measures of treating the symptoms. He was placed on a ventilator, put into a deep coma with medications, given feeding and hydration tubes....and they have just waited for any signs of improvement.

There have not been any. He has been hanging in there and the plan was to attempt to wean him from the ventilator either yesterday or today, to see what happened....and to see if he could breath one his own, at all.

He can not. The prognosis is that he will die if he is taken off of the ventilator. So, they could not remove it. ( see updates on all of this at Alaska Providence Medical Center and my last one Providence, Diving and Otherwise)

The doctors took a second lung biopsy yesterday and the culture showed MRSA... pronounced
Mersa...a very serious bacteria infection, that is extremely challenging to treat. He has been on a ventilator for 14 days. That is the limit that you are supposed to be kept on what but he is too fragile to remove it so they are waiting until Monday or Tuesday and will attempt to remove it and do a tracheotomy. A ventilator goes into your mouth and down into your lungs, a tracheotomy goes into your throat and then down along with the feeding tube.

But no matter what, he is extremely critical and his life is in danger. According to his son, who is also a doctor, his dad is in far worse condition that his mom, Becky was in 2010 when she was not expected to live. But my nephew firmly believes that his father can still come out of this with time if they can just keep him going and he doesn't get any worse, AND if they can get him off of the vent and put in a trach tube.

Reality has hit our family and we are in different stages of both coping, and crisis. Two of Doug and Becky's three children are in Anchorage now, another is flying up, and my next younger brother (and therefore Doug's brother )is flying up to help the family in any way that he can.

I am here,
(Update: I flew up to Anchorage the next day: post titled Alaska Providence Medical Center)
and all I can do is to do what I always do. I send all of the positive thought, healing energies, and prayers as I know them to be, to my brother, to his showing any sign whatsoever of improvement, and to strengthen my sister-in-law, Becky and their grown children, spouses, and tiny grandchildren for whatever may lie ahead.

I still believe in miracles and I pray of course, for healing, for a pulling back of all symptoms and a complete regeneration, and return to health. If he survives having the ventilator being removed and the surgical insert of the tracheotomy, then he may face long term care.

Yesterday, to be honest, I was told by via a phone call from one of my sister-in-laws, that he would most likely die and I was devastated. (I found out later that this was a peak crisis day for several family members and everyone was so frightened that they truly had to face this huge, huge fear. But again, we have all rallied)

I have since rallied and my faith in possibilities and miraculous healings restored. For everyone's sake, I need to maintain that place and that space in order to hold it open form him to come back into this world and out of the one he is stuck in right now.

So, I am choosing to stay with the more hopeful diagnosis, after all 6 doctors said Becky would die in 2010 and she may be in continuing bad shape, but she is still alive and fighting for a kidney transplant!!!! It is what we do and I know several other extended family relations who have also been given dire predictions and not only survived comas but are doing quite well!

And no matter what happens, is happening, my sister-in-law, Becky, (see Praying for a Miracle) still needs dialysis three times a week, four hours a day or she, too, would not survive. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers, that she can continue to do for herself under this intense pressure of what is happening to my brother, her husband.

Thank you for your kind thoughts, words, prayers, and best wishes in advance.

Michele


Linking posts; past and current

Latest Update on Praying for a Miracle
Praying for a Miracle
Two Steps Forward, one Step Back
Praying for a Miracle
Crisis
Providence Alaska Medical Center
Providence, Divine and Otherwise
Song of the Hills and an Air Flight Medevac to Seattle
Salem to Sisters to Seattle

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!

40 comments:

  1. Dear Michele
    I will pray with you for a miracle.
    xx, Carol

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  2. Oh dear, Michele...but people survive MRSA pneumonia, I am praying for that. Wish I were his nurse...miracles happen and I am hoping for that. Many hugs, Michele, I am just so sorry your family has to go,through all this.

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  3. I am sending hugs and prayers and good thoughts and all I can do. U r right...up and down and all around..we have no control but love...sending it to you.

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  4. MRSA is not a good thing to hear ever, so I know it is tough to be optimistic. I will say a prayer for all of them and for you.

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  5. God bless you all!
    Big hugs - Lurline.

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  6. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  7. Praying for a miracle with you Michelle, with much love and all sustaining hope xxx

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  8. Our prayers are with your family tonight.

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  9. Thoughts and prayers are with your family. How much is one family supposed to endure?

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  10. I will definitely pray!

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  11. Healing prayers are being said for your brother and his wife. Keep the faith, my friend!

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  12. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

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  13. Michele,
    I will pray and light candles for your family. You have such a sweet heart and do so much for others. Hoping that some of those blessings will come back to you now. Love, Dee

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  14. All my best wishes and healing thoughts for you and your family.

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  15. Dear Father in Heaven, You know this family's needs way better than we do. You can see the bigger picture while we are stuck in the present moment. Please fill this family not only with hope but with the peace that passes all understanding which guards their hearts and minds. I ask this in the precious Name of Jesus. Amen.

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  16. Holding your brother, his family, and his medical staff in prayer. Praying for you. Sometimes it is so very hard to pray for the Lord's will to be done, we are often afraid of the answer. I will continue to pray for the Lord to heal your brother and to hold your Sister-in-law close in His arms.

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  17. Praying for your brother, SIL, and all of your family!

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  18. Michele,you can count on me for prayers and positive thoughts for both your brother and your SIL Becky. Hang in there.

    With love, Karen

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear of all that has happened to your family. I will be praying for your brother and his family. God bless you, too.

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  20. I am praying, Michele, for God's healing touch... miracles do happen, I know that!

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  21. Dear Michele, my prayers are you and your family. A big kiss.
    ciao Linda

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  22. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Michele,

    Praying for you, Rebecca and Doug and your families for God's peace through all that is happening and also for miraculous healing for Doug and Rebecca.

    Godspeed,

    Susan

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  23. We have to continue to have faith! My prayers are added to everyone else who posted.

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  24. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Doesn't seem fair that you should have so much tragedy in your life. A big hug.

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  25. Keep on believing - miracles do happen. Our now 31 year old son had bilateral viral pneumonia when he was 21 - just over 3 weeks in ICU with a trach and ventilator plus another week or so in a step down room before he was able to be brought home (plus weeks of OT, PT, and recovery time). Your story sounds so much like what we lived through . . . I'm praying with you and I'm especially praying for Doug's caregivers (doctors and nurses).

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  26. Oh Michele, I'm so sorry to hear about all the difficult you and your family has had. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Hugs,
    Kelly

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  27. I am so sorry to hear this. Two members of the same family is two too many. Many years ago I did medical transcription for a national firm and I typed the reports for Providence Hospital. It is a good hospital. MRSA is nothing to fool with. My best friend just had it after a procedure for Dupuytren's contractures, and she needed 6 months of IV antibiotics. While I am O negative, I am now considered too old to donate anything so all I can do at this time is pray. I have a friend going to Lourdes next week and will ask her to remember your brother and SIL. (( ))

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  28. Michele, it was all I could do to open up your blog to read what was going on. I am so sorry about this new development. Love and prayers for you and all concerned.

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  29. Oh Michele, I'm so sorry. I pray that our loving God will hold you all in his hands, give you comfort and strength, and give the medical staff the wisdom, skill and care necessary to heal your dear brother Doug.xxx

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  30. Sending thoughts and prayers your way. Praying for God's healing hand on your brother and sister law. May God guide your brother's caregivers in the perfect direction!

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  31. Prayers going up. HUGS!

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  32. Prayers for your brother, dear Michele...hang in there. Believe in the miracle...

    hugz
    Pam

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  33. I just discovered your blog. Please know you and your family are in my prayers.

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  34. I will add your family to my prayer list. Let's hope for a miracle.

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  35. I continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs, too.

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  36. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  37. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  38. God Bless Doug, Becky and the whole family. May you all stay strong during these difficult times and continue with an attitude of gratitude. I feel it's the most powerful, divining prayer. Hugs Jane

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  39. You and your family are in my prayers for sure - I'm so sorry that yo are going through all of this, one family member and now another. *Hugs*

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  40. I grew up right next door to the savikko's when they moved into eagle river. They are in my thoughts and i hope the family can pull through this time of hardship. I remember when my mother passed in 95 Doc was the one to break the news to me. I was also given a place to stay when i had nowhere else to go and my life wasn't going in the right direction. Anytime i think about the savikko's all i can think about are the good things they do for others and how giving they really are. They are the family that i wish all of america emulated. Prayers are going out -Greg Ledwon

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.