Mailed on 2/22/12: Bob's kidney disease unexpectedly got suddenly worse the past week. He has been preparing for dialysis to start late this year. However, the last few weeks he had gained 25 pounds of water weight. Monday, his doctors had him brought to the hospital. Tuesday, 2/21, Bob had emergency surgery to put in a stent and had dialysis for the first time. He tolerated the procedure very well, loosing 3 liters of fluid. Doctors are concerned about a possible blood clot in the leg which could break off and go to the lung. Your prayers and support are appreciated.If you want to contact us, please use E-mail rather than phone. Thanks again. Phyllis
Bob undergoes kidney dialysis three times a week. It takes 4 hours for his blood to recirculate through a machine and get clean. bad fluids are filtered out. So far, Bob has lost 40 (forty!) pounds on dialysis. He is tired after each session but he feels much better in general. He needs to adjust his life to it, as he will undergoing treatment for the rest of his days.
Bob Update for 3/14/12
dear friends and family-
well, life goes on. Bob is adjusting as well as can be expected to dialysis. As mentioned, he goes in for sessions three times a week for four hour sessions each time. It takes another half hour to hook him up to the machinery that cleans his blood. With the help of some friendly nurses and social workers, Bob got transferred to a site in Orland Park, which is only ten minutes away from us. So the drive is much shorter and in a somewhat nicer neighborhood. At least there are some nice restaurants around, including one of our favorite Mexican places!
On Monday, Bob had corrective fistula surgery on his right arm. He now has a six inch long tube in his upper arm with a long scar there on the muscle. Blood will be transferred through the end of this tube in and out of Bob's veins, as it is cleaned. At present, this is being done by a tube through Bob's chest! While it might sound gruesome, it is quite painless, other than the fact that the tube hangs down onto your chest and itches! Bob is planning to put some stick-on tattoos (if they are allowed) on his arm. At present, he is hoping to find ones featuring the Penguins of Madagascar. At 65, he figures anything he likes is okay.
Bob's diet is extremely limited. He can use no salt (or just a pinch!), and only drink 32 oz. of liquid a day -- and that includes soup, ice cream, and water as a liquid! and this is for a guy who often drank an entire 64 oz. diet soda in a day. no processed food and nothing with potassium, which means no potatoes or tomatoes. My weight seems to have settled at around 217 pounds. I've lost fifty pounds since going in the hospital February 24.
meanwhile, I must mention that Phyllis and Matt have been working on saint status as they have been driving me all over the place at crazy hours. My surgery Monday was scheduled for 5:15 in the morning and Phyllis got up at 4:30 to take me there! 4:30, even the birds were still asleep in Chicago. I've been eating supper at 9 pm three nights a week, and my wife has been eating with me, even though she is near starving. she deserves a medal for putting up with my crazy antics!
Like I said, life goes on. And life is very strange.
your emails are always welcome. Bob can talk on the phone but he does loose his voice pretty fast. remember, he is only available, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He is looking forward to seeing lots of old friends at the Windy City Pulp and Paperback Show in Chicago at the end of April. And he and Phyllis and Matt all hope to attend World SF Convention in downtown Chicago this Labor Day weekend.
"Good friends and thoughtful relatives are god's gifts."
Bob, Phyllis & Matt