Monday, March 16, 2009

Don't grow old and need oxygen if you fly.

This weekend was a bad, stressful weekend for our family. The Anchorage Veterans Administration clinic got things set up for my father to fly down to Portland, Oregon for some treatment in an area they couldn't handle. Dad gets good medical care from the Veterans Administration. The VA got it set up so that there would be oxygen for him on the plane, giving the airlines plenty of notice and following their other requirements. (You cannot bring your own oxygen any more on a plane. The airlines has to provide it.)

Some idiot from either Alaska Airlines or Continental Airlines decided on their own that dad didn't need oxygen (even though his doctor prescribes 2 liters, 24 hours a day and the VA had the oxygen set up with the airlines.)

Dad got to the airline, found there was no oxygen, got overstressed and had an asthma attack on top of his COPD. Then it progressed to respiratory failure. For a while no one would do anything except poke him to try to see what was going on. The airlines wouldn't help him because his heart was beating, so they wouldn't help him with his breathing. Finally an ambulance came and the EMTs took care of Dad. Because of delayed treatment by the airlines and the testing they did the doctor at the hospital thought dad would show up as brain dead on the CAT scan.

My niece had to go get his power of attorney for health care which said he didn't want any extraneous lifesaving care. They took out his breathing tube and he could breath on his own! (Praise God!) He still wasn't conscious, but he was breathing on his own. Yesterday he woke up and was talking mostly gibberish. Later in the day they did a swallowing test and he could swallow fine. By the evening he could have a conversation on the phone and all but a sentence or two made sense.

I hope Dad continues to progress well, however I am concerned whether or not he will be able to fly down for radiation therapy for his cancer after all this. Who knows if there will be oxygen next time since it had been set up that the airlines would provide the oxygen for him this time and they didn't.

I hope no one else has to go through what we went through.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

North to Alaska

March 5th I am off to Alaska for a week of visiting my dad in Anchorage. I've never been up there since he moved up there a number of years ago, so it should be LOTS of fun. In addition to seeing him I'll see the start of the Ididarod, get to have a nice sled dog ride, and of course do some Geocaching in a state I have never Geocached in before.

Profile for PastorDIC