I have posted updates to my blog for those of you who read and I have tried to keep family & Dad's friends up to date, but I have not posted anything about Dad (Cleve) on Facebook. Last night dad was tagged (by a coworker) in a post on Facebook and now I have quite a few people checking in on him. Please accept my apologies for not sharing everything for his friends to see earlier.
Allow me to make this post a broad overview of Dad's health and how he is doing, for those who may not have all the information and are concerned about him.
Earlier this year Dad was diagnosed with Non Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver. In early June he experienced his first episode of (diagnosed) encephalopathy. That means that toxins (ammonia) were building up in his body because his liver couldn't keep up like a healthy liver. When the ammonia begins to affect the brain, encephalopathy occurs and causes shakiness, weakness, unsteadiness and confusion. Since that episode in June, Dad has not been able to work. He has bad days and a little bit better days. He's been living at home (Grandpa lives with him), but has only been well enough to drive a handful of times in the last 6 months. I've been running the errands, doing the shopping and attending doctor appointments. My brothers and I take care of things around the house as needed. Over the last few weeks Dad began to decline in some big ways. Everything culminated last Wednesday (December 10th) when Dad had a big fall and could not get up on his own. He was very weak, shaky and foggy headed. Kyle & I took him to the emergency room, where they admitted him into the hospital for tests and treatment. By Saturday (after being on necessary medications) he had gained enough strength to get out of bed with minimal assistance and walk to the bathroom on his own with a walker. There was no further need for hospital care, but he was absolutely too weak to go home safely. He is now in a rehab facility in Springdale. The plan is to get occupational & physical therapy every day for the next couple of weeks, with the goal of going home in a state that will allow him to be safe and care for his own personal needs. I think that this is a realistic goal and now the battle is his to fight. Properly taking prescribed medications and being more physically active is the only way he will reach this goal and maintain his independence.
The post on Facebook that so many have asked me about was written by his friend & coworker. She wrote a letter to nominate him for a Christmas Blessing from a local company, sharing what she knew of Dad's story. Dad's story was chosen and that is why the letter was shared. I know that Dad will be extremely humbled to hear of all of this when I visit him today. Thank you all for checking on Dad and I ask for your continued prayers as he recovers from this particular encephalopathy episode and continues on his journey.