Since Feb 21, my dad (73) is in the hospital on the intensive care unit, with a case of pneumonia in both lungs. He didn't have any trouble before, only some cardiac arrythmia, under control with medicine. Some shortness of breath started on the 16th, which we all took to be a side effect of a recently changed dosage of the cardiac arrythmia meds. He has been kept asleep and is on life support equipment. The inflammation of the lungs has not improved significantly, despite trying antibiotics and corticosteroids. The doctors don't know the cause; on the 26th they took a biopsy from the lungs, but no known pathogen was found.
The medical team does their very best to help him. Yesterday they confirmed it as ARDS with a very slim chance of survival. My whole life, dad has been more like a big brother to me; we both share the same interests and thoughts. I'm so stricken with grief about not having been able to speak and sharing a final hug before he was sedated, as I wasn't aware of him being taken in at the time; my mom called me just after. Nor was he aware he was so ill, according to my mom, so that's a very small consolation. Nobody anticipated this. I'm only aware of the ARDS disease since yesterday.
According to the doctor in charge, who seems to be well versed in ARDS, they're not giving up yet, but we'll have to be realistic that he's probably not going to make it: if the inflammation continues as it is and fibrosis sets in, the lung tissue will become so scarred the lungs will fail to work altogether. Yet from what I read on ards.org, if you make it this far, eventually the lung will recover, although it will take time. Is that a glimmer of hope for my poor old dad or am I deluding myself? Can that horrible inflammation eventually subside?
If only my mom and I could speak with my dad once more and tell him how much we love him and prepare for a proper farewell. Never in our wildest nightmares could we have suspected it would end so abruptly. We've prayed so many times to all sources of consolation we can think of, yet so far our prayers haven't been answered. The world has never felt so cruel and cold.