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Worried about my dad

Hey, y'all. My dad is 79 yrs young. He went in for a colon resection, and the next day he was in icu for sepsis and pneumonia. Fast forward 5 days and we find out is pseudomonas, so the antibiotics he was on were resistant. He was also diagnosed with ARDS. Two days later he's on life support and in a medically induced coma. This lasted 11 days. He spent 2 days in icu after removing the tube to make sure his body could handle it and is now out of icu and in a room. He's seems so confused a lot of the time, sleeps a lot, and has trouble swallowing water/liquids. He even has troupe if we thicken his liquids. His throat is still sore from the breathing tubeMy mom is staying in the room with him. He's tried to get out of the bed, and, later tried to remove the the straps off of his legs for the dvt machine. For about a day he ate very little, and now is refusing to eat. I've tried yogurt, pudding, diced peaches, oatmeal cream pie cookies, ice cream, etc. He may take a couple bites then he through. One of his drs has told him if he doesn't try to eat he will end up in a nursing home which scares me. (My twin brother and I have always told our parents that we would do our best to keep them out of nursing homes.) Our mom is completely beside herself, as are we, but we don't know how to help him. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hey there,

I can imagine you are extremely worried about your pops. A lack of appetite is normal post coma, one day I only ate melon and threw that up. Remember his tummy was fed liquid diet I imagine and that shrinks the tummy plus not moving our body requires less energy in. Confusion is normal, I was confused for 2 weeks post coma and tried walking in the ward not knowing I was catheterised and my muscles had wasted.

I know given your dads age you must be extremely worried about him not eating, my dad had a quad bypass and was hospitalised for months afterwards with pneumonia and post CABG syndrome which was mis diagnosed as dementia. All I can suggest is make sure he doesn't have thrush in his mouth, and feed him whatever he asks for. Even if he leaves it, order him something off the menu every day, and bring in whatever he may fancy. If he's drinking, that's good, that's the priority. Give him again anything he wants. Your tastebuds change in the coma and everything tastes bitter, it takes months to recover what you used to like, so don't be alarmed if he finds certain foods disgusting, I hated the baked beans in hospital but as a veggie it was my only option at times.

Hang in there, reach out to us and know we are all here to help you and your family.


Debs xxx


I was so confused when I was woken up , Your Dad will still be on alot of medication , so I think the confusion is pretty normal.

When eventually , I could eat, I was a month in ICU on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation )and a ventilator, I could only manage a teaspoon or so, for quite a while, I remember when I got moved out of ICU onto a ward, I still wouldn't eat much and the Dr's kept me on IV feeding for a while.

His stomach will be tiny, you just have to keep trying with things he likes and that are easy to eat.

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If it helps, I didn't eat barely anything for weeks. Nothing tastes the same and I found that even pleasant smells made me retch. It will return in time, the docs gave me supplements to drink to help with the energy levels. I struggled to manage them but your dad may find them ok? I lost two and a half stone whilst in the coma but I've put about half a stone back on now. Sending hugs your way X


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