Dad's Stroke
Home Up Condolences Eulogy For Dad Photo Tribute Dad's Stroke The Early Years
To send me feedback or email - click here ! This page updated on 11 Sep 2009

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This page is to keep a log of Dad's progress. He suffered a massive stroke on 7 Jun 04. You can read all the support from different friends and relatives here.

Note that this log is in REVERSE order - i.e. the latest info is on top.

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Thursday 12-Aug-04

Dad's quite sleepy when I visit today. He doesn't seem to be having a fever today. He did indicate that he wants his head lowered slightly. I asked if he wants a clock on the wall but he didn't respond. He says he's lonely and would like to move back home. I tell him it's going to be just a few more weeks.

[Psalm 71:1] In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. [2] Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
[Psalm 71:8] Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. [9] Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
[Psalm 71:18] Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

Wednesday 11-Aug-04

He has a slight fever today of 38.7. He was not responsive in the beginning but was much better later. He indicated that his vision is blur but he sees better with his left eye. He asked for his head to be lowered.

Sunday 08-Aug-04

Dad is not very responsive today. Seemed very drowsy.

Saturday 07-Aug-04

Dad is quite able to blink in response to questions. We just need to give him time to respond. It takes about 2- 3 seconds for him to close his eyes for an affirmative blink. He is also able to almost make some sound. It feels almost by chance right now but time will tell if it's just a coincidence.

Thursday 05-Aug-04

I actually saw Dad turn his head about 1 inch twice today. Spoke to him about the situation back at home. He did indicate that he wanted to know. He is able to communicate YES responses quite clearly if you ask him to close his eyes for 2 seconds.

Wednesday 04-Aug-04

Quite awake today. Joo Ann talks to him. He signals that he can hear and understand Joo Ann. He has an ice pack on his forehead. Must be having a slight fever Though his hands and head didn't feel too warm.

Sunday 01-Aug-04

Dad was quite awake today. He was able to indicate his preference for being either upright or lying flat by closing his eyes. He no longer has a fever and his blood pressure and sugar level seems under control. He still has Some problems with bed sores.

Saturday 31-Jul-04

Went to visit Dad with Janet and Justin. He was only semi awake. I couldn't read him any Bible verses since my PDA had some how lost it's power.

Friday 30-Jul-04

Visited Dad late today but when I spoke to him he opened his eyes and looked at me. Can't be Sure but I think he could turn his head ever so slightly to the right. Also he did make some small sounds so maybe his voice is starting to come back.

Wednesday, 28 Jul 04

The lights were dim when I arrived and Dad's eyes were closed, so I thought he was sleeping. However as I sat there, he opened his eyes. His eyes aren't as bloodshot today so I guess the drips must be helping.

Tuesday, 27 Jul 04

His eyes looked bloodshot today. Maybe he has not been sleeping well or it could be an infection. After I tell the nurses, they start giving him eye drops. After talking to him for a while he closes his eyes and seems to sleep. I say seems because once in a while he peeps at me.

Monday, 26 Jul 04

Today, both Dad's eyes were pretty Wide open. I tried to find different ways to communicate with him but at the end, I concluded that I don't have a system that works. Tried asking him to blink squeeze. And even read instructions on my PDA screen. All to no avail. He just seems to be staring into space most of the time. I tell him not to give up, and I won't as well.

Saturday, 24 Jul 04

When we Visited Dad he had his eyes closed but he opened them when we spoke to him. He could blink his eyes to say hi. His fever has Subsided as his skin was Very cool to the touch.

Friday, 23 Jul 04

Dad's eyes were open when I arrived but he closed than soon after. He seemed to be fast asleep so I just read him some bible verses. He did open his eyes once during that time.

Thursday, 22 Jul 04

Dad was Very alert today. I arrived as Janet and Jordon were leaving. 1te was able to respond quite a bit better today than previous days. He could squeeze my hand quite strongly.

Wednesday, 21 Jul 04

Dad's eyes were wide open today when I visited him at 4pm today. Kim says he stil had a fever in the morning but it had subsided when I saw him. I spoke with him at length until they came to take his blood sugar level (222) and gave him an insulin injection. He doesn't seem very responsive today. Asked him several times to squeeze my hand, close his mouth, or blink, but he did not.

Psalm 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Tuesday, 20 Jul 04

Visited Dad at about 6pm today. He seemed to be quite drowsy. He had an ice pack on his head so he must be having a fever. He did open his eyes to look at me but he was not really responsive.

Sunday, 18 Jul 04

Dad was awake most of the time today. We visited him after lunch. His left thumb and first finger seemed to be working a bit today. They quivered a bit when I was holding them. He is starting to be able to open and close his mouth.

Saturday, 17 Jul 04

We visited Dad in the evening today. He still has a blood sugar level of about 170 so he's still on insulin injections. He's semi awake today and he does look at us.

Friday, 16 Jul 04

Dad is asleep when I visit him today. He actually looks well but his tongue seems to be less controlled than before.

Thursday, 15 Jul 04

Janet and 2 visit Dad in the afternoon. he was asleep at first but later opened his eyes. We talked with him for a while. He could actually open and dose his mouth when we asked him to! The nurses say he's still taking insulin so his blood sugar is now better (in the 100's)

Wednesday, 14 Jul 04

Didn't visit Dad. My PC crashes today, so web updates come to a standstill. I still keep my logs on my PDA, so all when I get it back and running, I did manage to fill in all the days' notes.

Tuesday, 13 Jul 04

Today Dad had his eyes sort of closed. I talked about tomorrow being a special day, and he teared a bit so I think he knows. He closes his eyes when he's sad I guess and doesn't want to see. Later when I was reading the bible to him, he did open his eyes to see, and I think he felt comforted. I was reading Psalm 30 and 31. I tell him to trust in God, to keep his spirits up, that God knows what he is doing, and that God's will be done. 

Monday, 12 Jul 04

Dad was awake today for a very long time. He had his eyes open when I was there, and they were still open when I left an hour later. Showed him some photographs I had printed, as well as some old photos that I had on my PDA. He did seem to be looking at each photo. Also, asked him to squeeze my hand depending on how many fingers he sees, and he did squeeze the correct number when I showed 2 and 4 fingers.

Sunday, 11 Jul 04

When we saw Dad today, he was fast asleep. Didn't open his eyes at all. The nurses say they had just given him a bath in the morning. We figured that it must be pretty nice to sleep after baths. Divina (our ex-maid) also came along for a visit today. 

Saturday, 10 Jul 04

Another weekend's here, and after running around finishing our errands, Janet, Justin and I go visit Dad. He's not feverish today, but he doesn't really open his eyes this visit either. Janet reads some bible verses this time, and Dad seems to peek at her once in a while. A nurse comes over and takes his blood sugar level, followed by an insulin shot. It seems he's been having insulin injections ever since the visit by the doctor on Monday. His sugar level reading is about 11 (210).

Friday, 9 Jul 04

Dad's fever is still on. When I arrived, he had a thermometer under his armpit reading 38.1. When I left, no one had come to remove it ! One of the nurses must have forgotten about it. Dad didn't really open his eyes today. Just sort of peaked now and again with his right eye, but other than that, seemed to be sleeping quite a bit. 

Thursday, 8 Jul 04

Dad's eyes were open again when I visited today, though he kept them open only for about 20 minutes. Talked to him about what we've been doing on the home front, including the efforts to get Mom "certified" so that we can get a maid. (The new process requires employers to take a test before being allowed to have a maid work for you). He still has a fever, and he still has a very chesty cough. I read him some verses from the Bible - Psalm 23 - 26.

Wednesday, 7 Jul 04

Today is Dad's 1st month after his stroke. When I visited him at 6pm, he had his eyes wide open and looking at the wall. Not that he could turn his head to look at what he wanted, but it was sure good to see both eyes open so big. I talked to him for about 45 minutes, and after that he closed his eyes and seemed to fall asleep. They had cut his hair today - really short, so he does look quite different. The nurse said that Wednesdays are haircut days. Dad still has a slight fever (37.4) and he's still taking GTN. He was still able to squeeze my hand in response to me. It was good being able to look into his eyes again....hmm...though sometimes you have to figure which one to look at 'cos they do go in different directions (due to the stroke) like a chameleon ! 

Tuesday, 6 Jul 04

Kim visited Dad in the afternoon, and said that Dad had a temperature as well as high blood pressure. They said they would start administering GTN. When I visited in the evening after work, he still had a low-grade fever (37.7), and I saw the nurse deposit a GTN tablet under his tongue. Blood pressure was 180/110.

Dad was actually quite awake when I was there...not as open-eyed as before, but half open most of the time. He did look at me when I called and I spoke to him for about an hour. I read a good portion of the replies from all those who cared for him (in the log book), and he did appear to understand and be touched by them. He was able to squeeze my hand when I asked him to, and in response to questions or comments I made.

Monday, 5 Jul 04

The Orange Valley doctor only visits on Mondays and if necessary on Thursdays. So today was Dad's "admission examination" by the doctor, Dr Ajith. He seems like a good doctor and at least is much more decisive than the TTSH doctors. He would be always telling the nurses what to do and what not to do, and also told us that he was going to stop Dad's anti-cholesterol medication. Reason being that that medicine is more of a long term medication, which is not what Dad needs now. And with all the other medicine that Dad is taking already, we shouldn't be loading his liver with these optional ones. His opinion about Dad was that we will need to give Dad 3 months more in order to know what improvements to expect. He did say that strokes to the Basilar are pretty rare, and not your normal type of stroke. Dad didn't seem to be any more awake today than the previous few days, but did open his eyes slightly when the doctor was examining him.

Sunday, 4 Jul 04

Had a really busy morning installing curtain rods and hanging up new curtains at Mom's that we only went to visit Dad after lunch. He was really hot and sweaty so we placed a table-top fan beside him help cool him down. Also, made a make-shift tent so that his bottom can be as airy as can be - like an extended sarong ! We were there till about 4pm, but throughout, he seldom was awake. The nurses at Orange Valley seem quite attentive and helpful.

Saturday, 3 Jul 04

Dad spent his first night in Orange Valley. We visited him in the late morning. He's really not very responsive at all. Just barely opened his eyes once or twice while we were there, even when we were thumping his chest (to loosen phlegm) and calling him. His room is a 7 bedder, and isn't air-conditioned. He does seem quite hot or sticky....we thought he would be used to the non-airconditioned-ness of this place, but maybe he may need the aircon if his skin has become sensitive. Will need to be upgraded though. I'm also concerned that they aren't turning him as much, so need to look out for bedsores. He's now "bottomless" until he can overcome his diaper-rash, so visitors who are bashful can bring sunglasses ;-)

Friday, 2 Jul 04

Went to the hospital in the morning. Dad didn't really "wake up" the whole of today. We finally discharged him from TTSH and moved him via ambulance to Orange Valley Nursing Home in Clementi (221 Clementi Ave 4). Click here for an online map. It wasn't that easy to find, but lookout for a white signboard and block 345 when you're on Ave 5. He's on the 4th floor, in the room just to the right of the lift (forgot what's the room number). The gate is normally closed, but you can press the call-bell to have them open it. If you drive, you can park inside (except on Sundays). Visiting hours are from 8.30am to 8.30pm.

Had a briefing from the nursing home staff. They are quite professional. The interesting thing about this nursing home is that Dad gets to wear his own home clothes. In any case, Dad didn't really seem awake at all and therefore I don't think he's aware that he even moved. Maybe he'll be better tomorrow. The room is not air-conditioned, so we're a bit concerned that his skin may not be very happy with the temperature and humidity.

Kim has found a maid that seems very suitable. Her name is Sudy, and we'll be proceeding with the paperwork to start her off at home before Dad returns.

Thursday, 1 Jul 04

The consultant, Dr. Yee came to see Dad today. He actually noticed that Dad is able to squeeze his hand, but Dad's right hand only. The left side is noticeably weaker, and he  notes there is more atrophy in the muscles there. The right arm has more resistance. This is a good sign ! After that when I try it myself, I notice what he means. In any case, he agrees with moving him to Orange Valley tomorrow and encourages us to keep talking to him, letting him listen to the radio and TV, etc.

The nurse later also informs me that Dad has some moderate bedsores. His skin is apparently not used to being in diapers and therefore the nursing home will need to be aware of this so that it can be remedied.

Wednesday, 30 Jun 04

Saw Dad in the morning today, and had a chance to talk to the doctors. We agree that Dad will be discharged on Friday, and we'll have him moved to Orange Valley nursing home in Clementi. Dad is awake through this, and I talk to him about it. He doesn't show much sign or response at this, so I guess he's ok with it. I do tell him that it's for a short term of a month only. He will be moved at about 10.30am.

Tuesday, 29 Jun 04

Had a power failure in Singapore last night. Seems like many areas in Singapore didn't have power for 2 hours. So I couldn't get on the web nor publish any updates. Thankfully, Tan Tock Seng Hospital wasn't affected. Dad still seems more awake today. I think he has more waking hours than previously. However, don't get as much reaction from him. 

Monday, 28 Jun 04

I didn't get a chance to see Dad till 6.50pm today, though Mom and Kim did visit at about lunchtime. In both cases, Dad had his eyes open and seemed very clear in that he looked us in the eye (though he only uses his right eye) when we spoke with him. Today, the nurse said that he could be discharged soon - maybe as early as tomorrow. Mom, Kim, Janet, and I quickly go on a whirlwind visit of some nursing homes. The plan is to have Dad in a nursing home for maybe about a month, and then when Mom and Kim's home is more settled and a maid has been found, then we can move him back to stay in the long term.

Sunday, 27 Jun 04

Dad is now off the catheter and he's wearing diapers ! He does have quite long waking moments and looks at us as we sit around him or talk to him. His twitches in his left hand index finger is quite frequent but thumb movement is more rare. I tell him that Joo Ann should be back in Vienna now. He still has quite a bit of congestion in his lungs, but the good thing now is that he's able to cough a bit

Saturday, 26 Jun 04

Joo Ann flies home to Vienna today. So we all go to the hospital to in the morning so that Joo Ann can see Dad one last time and say his goodbyes. Dad is awake and has his eyes open. His tongue seems a bit less controlled today...almost seems to be going back to its same state. He's still looking well though. Joo Ann spends some time alone with Dad, and he tells us later that Dad responded to him very positively. We all (including Mom and Kim) send Joo Ann off at the airport. Funny thing was that there was a "Quickie Barber" there, so Jared and Jordon were having their haircut when we arrived (Janet and the 2 kids had taken an MRT there ahead of time, as the luggage, wheelchair, and everyone couldn't fit into one car). And before you know it, Joo Ann and Mom were also having their hair cuts as well ! After a few photos, followed by tearful goodbyes, Joo Ann finally departs seemingly with just a few minutes to spare before the gates close !

Janet's dad is still in the hospital. He's now in Ward 7B. He's much better, has his arm in a sling sort of thing, and is now just eating - says the oatmeal was good. Joo Ann and I did pay him a visit, but as always, he couldn't really recognize us. He may be able to be discharged soon.

Mom's home has now been about 50% renovated. Last night was her first night sleeping in her new bedroom downstairs. The toilet has also been done up and is now usable as both toilet and shower. She shouldn't need to wrestle with those stairs anymore, and living there should be much safer. Joo Kim has done a great job, coordinating the work, and looking after Mom. Now that Joo Ann has gone back, it's going to be a bit tougher. We'll need to get a maid quickly in order to make sure that Mom has someone with her all the time.

Friday, 25 Jun 04

We meet Diana, a Medical Social Worker today. Yesterday, I had met her colleague, Esther, to see if we could downgrade Dad to a B2 ward to save on expenses. When we're told this can't be done just because Mom and Dad are living in a landed property, we all find it hard to accept. They say that it is an MOH policy and they don't make the rules. It's a very sad state when they can't even explain why the choice to downgrade is removed once you have been admitted. Anyway, we did discuss options of whether Dad should stay at home or in a nursing home. We're on the lookout for a good maid to come work at Mom's place.

Dad has his eyes open quite a bit today, but generally doesn't really respond. It's hard to get the affirmative blinks we used to get. I hope it's just because he's feeling sleepy or drowsy. Will take it one day at a time still. 

Thursday, 24 Jun 04

We are now looking for a maid that can stay with Kim and Mum. The possibility that Dad may come home is more and more real. The doctor says at the earliest it will be 5 days more as he has to finish a course of antibiotics. Today the physiotherapist came to show Ann, Kim and I how to help Dad exercise his joints. Dad was awake throughout all of this. He's still not able to talk, but does groan. Don't know whether he is controlling that or just a reflex groan. At least his mouth is certainly moving and in control. Still lots of congestion in the lungs.

Wednesday, 23 Jun 04

Dad seems much better today. He actually opens his eyes and understands you better. He can also now gulp a bit and move his mouth. His tongue is well under control, so there is definitely some recovery in these nerves. His hands are still limp though and we encourage him to twitch his fingers and toes as much as possible. His breathing is still very chesty and he sounds like he has lots of phlegm in his throat. We frequently ask for the nurses to help "vacuum" his throat. Joo Ann was present when the physiotherapist came and she helped Dad with some physical workouts. We'll be seeing her again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 Jun 04

The doctor has spoken to us regarding the possibility of Dad moving either to a nursing home or back home. He says that if we have Dad at home, we'll need 2 maids to provide the necessary care. Joo Kim and I will be seeing a counselor to understand what's in store for Dad and us.

Dad had his eyes open for a couple of minutes today again. I showed him the pictures that Martin and Virginia sent. He shed a few tears and closed his eyes after he saw them. Can only guess what's going through his mind.

Monday, 21 Jun 04

Dad did something for the first time today. He actually pulled in his tongue and closed his mouth. I saw this only once, but after that he didn't repeat it again. For all those who have seen him, ever since the stroke, he hasn't had control of his tongue. So at least this for me gives renewed hope that at least some controls are still able to work. Joo Ann and Kim too feel that he has been able to move, though very slightly, his left index finger.  Kim also said that he could double blink today when she asked if he wanted the radio on. Janet's Dad is not discharged yet.

Be sure to check out the Replies section as Virgina and Martin sent scans of some very nice old photos !

Sunday, 20 Jun 04

We wished Dad a Happy Father's Day today. He does open his eyes once in a while, but is generally not responsive. Kim has put a radio beside him to play some classical music for him. He liked to listen to 92.4FM while in his car, so this may help stimulate him. He hasn't been able to try communicating using blinks so far. Seems still quite drowsy.

Saturday, 19 Jun 04

Not very responsive again today. They've started Dad on some more antibiotics as he has a slight fever. Dad is still getting food "piped" direct to his tummy.  Janet's Dad may be discharged on Monday if all goes well.

Friday, 18 Jun 04

Dad has gone unresponsive again. He doesn't keep his eyes open for too long.  Oh, Janet's dad is also in the same hospital, except that he's in ward 9B bed 62 (since Wednesday) ! Her dad had an accident in his wheel chair at his home, and fell down and fractured his wrist, scraped his elbow quite badly, and hit his head. Scans show no problems in the brain. He didn't open his eyes for two days, but now does. He has been suffering from Alzheimer's so it's hard for him to recognize people. Do include both my dads in your prayers !

Thursday, 16 Jun 04

I visited Dad in the evening today. His eyes were open, and able to communicate. I am trying to see if we can use morse code for him to blink his messages to me. Will need to be very patient as it isn't easy for him and could be frustrating. It's clear though that he wants to. When Susan and Linda visited, he could give a double-blink to say hello. He also double-blinked when I asked him if he wanted to try using the morse code to say what he wants to say.

Wednesday, 16 Jun 04

Saw Dad in the morning and he doesn't seem to be very responsive today. Slight fever. Janet, Jordon, and Justin are back (finally !) from the US, and they visit Dad for the first time. Dad does open his eyes a few times, but not like yesterday, where it was for a very long time. Saw the consultant (Dr. Yee) and he says that Dad may be in a "locked-in" state - meaning that Dad can hear us, but can't respond. That seemed to be telling us what we've always thought. The doctor says that Dad will need another week or two to see if he improves or stays the same.

Tuesday, 15 Jun 04

Praise the Lord ! Today, Dad opened his eyes for a long time ! At  about 10.30am, after breakfast, I came up to find Dad looking at the bed sheets. Just looking, and blinking. This is great as he's never had them open for any length of time before. Joo Ann says that he cried 2 tissues worth of tears ! When I returned at 6pm, his eyes were still open, and he could actually communicate...1 blink for no, 2 for yes ! I think he wasn't feeling too happy as it must be quite a change for him to be in this state, but we tell him to take it one day at a time.

I've also left a visitor's logbook at his bedside for everyone to write notes in.

Monday, 14 Jun 04

The doctor called this morning and said that they would stop giving my dad Heparin (anticoagulant). He said that Heparin is typically given for only 3-4 days, and my dad has already had it for 7 days. Taking this for too long will lead to complications. So when I visited, all he had was the food that was being dripped into his stomach.

Dad is still unresponsive throughout the day. Seems to be in a deep slumber all the time and doesn't want to rouse. I thought he has been this way till I received an email from Ee Ping saying that dad had opened his eyes and was responsive when he visited yesterday. Really good to know. I will make a "Visitor's Memos" logbook so that visitors can write messages to the family, prayers and wishes, and observations about dad's condition.

Job 11:18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Sunday, 13 Jun 04

Dad wasn't responding as much today. He seems to have gone back to his same sleepy self. He had an X-ray done in his room to check his chest for infection as the doctor felt his breathing was a bit more difficult. Results of the X-ray won't be known till tomorrow. We whisper into his ears that we love him, need him, and that he should concentrate on getting well.

Saturday, 12 Jun 04

Today was a good day. In the morning, he did open his eyes three times to look at me, Kim and Ann. Just slightly though, like a peek, or a wink. Mom didn't get a chance to see it though. Sylvia from Johore had come down to visit Dad too, and she also saw the "eye-opening".

Then this afternoon, Goh Pek (Uncle Sam), Goh Em, Rupert and Gilbert (who's visiting his Dad for his 80th bday) had driven down to Singapore. Cow Chek (Uncle Donald) brought them over to see Dad. Jeannie and Sylvia were there too. At one point, Cow Chek spoke loudly to Dy, and Dy actually responded by frowning and started to cry. It was clear from then on that he could hear us and respond. Most everyone then spoke to him and he responded mostly with more crying. Cow Chek thinks it's laughing but just that he has this tube in his throat to make him sound like crying. I don't know. Anyway, it was good that he could respond at all. Such a big difference from the days before.  

Job 5:9 "He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted".

Friday, 11 Jun 04

Joo Ann finally arrived at 6.15am. Brought him to see Dad at TTSH.

Dad looked the same, but I have renewed hope as I saw an eye open when the doctor was examining him. I hadn't seen him open his eyes voluntarily since Monday. The doctor said he might do this when he feels pain. Dad's breathing seems better. His lung infection has subsided as he no longer has a fever. They are still administering antibiotics as well as the anticoagulant (Heparin).

In the evening, Dad actually had started getting food via a tube to his stomach.

Thursday, 10 Jun 04

Dad still isn't responding today, but his breathing seems a little better. I think it could be just my imagination.

Joo Ann was supposed to have arrived this morning at 5am, but his flight was overbooked. He was then rerouted to Singapore via Frankfurt, and because of bad weather, he missed the connecting flight to Singapore. Had to stay overnight there in Frankfurt and could only get on the next day's flight to Singapore.

Wednesday, 9 Jun 04

Dad is now in ICU. Visiting procedures are quite restrictive (officially only 1 person per time, and only 2 persons per day). No significant improvement in his condition. The doctor talks to Kim and I about what our options are. For Dad, since the stroke is to a very critical part of the brain, the outcome, if he could pull through, is very poor. The doctor asks us to decide if and when there is a time when medical intervention is necessary, whether they should put him on life support systems. This was a very tough decision since we didn't really comprehend what she was asking, but finally we did tell her not to use artificial means to sustain his life, and that we would place our trust in God. After reaching home, I did research this topic (DNR order) further and at least was comforted to know that this decision was ethically correct, and that there isn't really any "right" answer.

His right lung also looks like it has some infection/pneumonia, which is common for stroke patients since they can't cough out their saliva and phlegm. We did agree that we would not want him to be intubated, so they won't use the life support machines. As such, they moved him back to the general ward (Ward 10A Bed 25) and out of ICU at 10pm. I did already research whether ICUs helped stroke patients, and found some literature to suggest that it doesn't really help. This actually coincided with my own thoughts, as the severe visiting restrictions meant that a lot less people could be with him, either to provide physical stimulation ("Hello Uncle !! Wake up...wake up !!", pat pat pat), or to be able to lay their hands on him to pray for him.

Tuesday, 8 Jun 04

Dad is not in a good shape. He is degenerating rapidly. Yesterday he could still respond by blinking and cried when we talked with him. Today he could not move at all, and was non-responsive, but still breathing on his own. The doctors have been very open, and we know that options are very limited. The doctors decide to do an urgent CT scan to check if there is any bleeding that may have been caused by the anticoagulant. The CT scan confirmed that there was no bleeding, which is good, and that portions of the brain stem have already been badly affected by the stroke, so the prognosis isn't good. This means that even if Dad is able to survive this, that it is most likely going to be with severe physical limitations. We are still continuing to talk to him to reassure him that we are there and that God is looking over him.

He was moved to ICU (Ward 3A Bed 2) as the consultant (Dr. Yee) is afraid that his breathing or heart may fail due to the brain stem being involved, and that he was declining.

I did cancel Jared and my holiday to Las Vegas and San Diego. Joo Ann is planning to return. Janet and the kids are still in the US. I told them they should try to enjoy themselves for us and that Dad would also have wanted them to do so. They did cut short the trip by a week to get home earlier.

Monday, 7 Jun 04

Dad suffered a stroke today. He had been complaining of dizziness for the past few days, and this morning he couldn't get out of bed. He's now in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (Ward 10A Bed 16). After a CT scan and MRI, the doctors confirmed that he has a stroke in his brain stem, which isn't good as the brain stem controls many of the vital bodily functions. The first 72 hours are the most critical. He's not able to speak and is obviously distressed with his condition. He is aware of us though.

I had dinner with Dad on Saturday, and he was still his same self, though he did mention some dizzy spells (which he did see the doctor about).

The doctor asked Kim and I to make a tough decision today - whether they should start administering an anticoagulant (Heparin). This would thin the blood and prevent the growth or formation of new blood clots. The downside would be that due to the thinned blood, it may cause bleeding (hemorrhaging) in the brain. After a grueling time, we finally decided to go with the Heparin.

I was scheduled to travel tomorrow (with Jared) to Las Vegas for a vacation. Jared and I decided that the right thing to do was to cancel the trip to be here for Dad, as well as to support Mom and Kim. Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon will always be there.

Mum is of course very worried, but holding out as best as she can. She is quite distraught that Dad won't be around to help her with all the things that he used to do for her, so Kim and I are reassuring her that we are still here for her. Kim and I are trying hard to figure out what needs to be done. Many thanks for the great support from relatives…Kow Chek, Kor Kor Joe, Jeannie, and many others who called. All I can ask is for you to include Dad in your prayers.

I do trust in the Lord our God….He knows what He's doing….we are all in His hands.

Psalm 41:3 "The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness".

 

 


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