Monthly Archives: September 2014
Daniel Lee Meyer
February 5, 1979 – September 21, 2014
Daniel passed away at the age of 35, with his loving family at his side. Dan had a strong fight with Cystic Fibrosis.
Dan was born in Eugene, Oregon, to Chuck and Martha Meyer.
Dan grew up in Redmond, Oregon. He received a Bachelor’s degree from University of Portland and Paramedic degree from Central Oregon Community College. Dan was a career firefighter/paramedic with Redmond Fire & Rescue.
Dan married Jessica (Wilken) Meyer on May 14, 2005. He was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Dan was devoted to his family and friends. He led an active life, played rugby in college, loved to hunt and traveled the world.
Dan is survived by his wife, and son, Jackson (5); parents, Chuck and Martha Meyer; maternal grandparents, Bud and Alice Sizemore; and four siblings, Patrick, Katey, Stephen, and Cheryl (Meyer) Palmer. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jeffery Meyer and paternal grandparents, Nel and Vernon Meyer.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to his surviving wife and son. Contact Redmond Memorial Chapel for information. Services will be held at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Redmond, Oregon. Rosary will be held on Friday, September 26, at 7:00pm. Funeral will be held on Saturday, September 27, at 10:00am.
I miss him so much.
Jackson and I are back home. And it’s quiet. It’s a big change from being in the hospital and constantly having nurses and doctors coming in all the time.
I can’t even describe how I feel. I feel like I’m holding back tears the whole day. They do come out, but I don’t want to be crying all the time. Thank goodness some family stocked my fridge before we got home, cause Jackson and I might have starved this morning. Everyone has been amazing. I am overwhelmed with feelings of love and support. I am so thankful and blessed that I am surrounded by such wonderful people. Thank you everyone for all the comments on the blog and Facebook. Please forgive me for not responding back. I want everyone to know I appreciate the comments, it’s just hard to write back sometimes.
I met with the funeral director today and made some of the funeral arrangements. That’s not a fun meeting, but thanks to Dan’s brother, his wife and the funeral director, it wasn’t too bad.
I have been asked by many, if there is a way to help with expenses. So I have added a “Contributions” tab up top on the blog website, on that page there are three options to make contributions to Jackson and me.
Services for Dan will be held at the St Thomas Catholic Church in Redmond, Oregon. There will be a Rosary prayer on Friday, September 26th at 7:00pm. And the funeral will be Saturday, September 27th at 10:00am.
If you have any questions, please email me.
Yesterday was filled with friends and family visiting us. Dan was able to spend some time outside, it was wonderful. This wasn’t even half the visitors that came yesterday.
A counselor through the hospital came by yesterday and we made this. I know it will be cherished for years to come.
Last night, Dan’s breathing has gotten a little more difficult. The nurse was great and gave him some more medications to help. Today, he has been sleeping quite a bit more compared to yesterday. It’s caused by both using more comfort meds and his body just being more tired. The doctors don’t know for sure, but estimate Dan has anywhere from one to a couple of days left.
Thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments. I know it’s hard to find the right words in times like this, but for me I really appreciate anything you find to say. Knowing so many people support us is so overwhelming, but does help me know that I’m not alone. This is so much harder than I ever imagined.
Today has been very tough. After talking with the doctors yesterday and again today, Dan has decided that he wants to only have comfort care.
That means that only things that are needed for his comfort will continue. They already disconnected his IV nutrition, he will not get his regular night medications, they have taken him off of telemetry (EKG monitoring), they will no longer do vital sign checks or blood sugar checks. He will no longer have to suffer through dialysis.
The nurses and doctors will still be here for him for his comfort. That means he can still have pain meds, it is his choice right now, he has a button to push to immediately get them. He can have medicine for anxiety if he needs it. He can have oxygen still. And they will keep the NG tube in and keep it on suction because it is relieving lots of pressure in his stomach. And tomorrow the Hospice team will come evaluate him and most likely put him officially on hospice. Which just means things will continue as above, they will just monitor and ensure he is comfortable.
We will stay in this same room. We all agree that is the best option too. It’s not the biggest room, but the best thing and actually what Dan prefers too.
Everything we are doing right now is what Dan wants and we (his family) are fully in support of it. We agree with him and are confident that this is the best decision, it’s just not one that anyone ever wants to make or go through.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. I don’t know how often I will post right now, sometimes it’s too tough to even think about, but sometimes it’s even a little therapeutic.
Yesterday, Dan has been in the hospital for 5 weeks now.
Today, we will be having a meeting with his doctors.
I will post more once we have some things figured out.
Nothing really new to report. Just going slow. It’s hard to tell if there is any progress, seems like more little steps backwards than forward. The doctors started the golytely yesterday afternoon after Dan finished a 6 hour round of dialysis. Around midnight he started having a tough time. Was getting short of breath and feeling very full and uncomfortable. So they stopped the golytely and then this morning put him back on suction to let his stomach rest some more.
Dan’s mom and sister Katey brought Jackson back to Seattle last night. They had been at home for five days, so it was so good to see them all. It was good to have more familiar faces around. The hospital staff is nice, but they are not substitutes for friends and family. It was especially wonderful seeing Jackson.
Well instead of getting a good nights sleep, the doctor came in at 3am concerned about Dan’s ct scan. The radiologist is reading it as a complete bowel obstruction. The night time doctor was concerned enough that he thought Dan needed a nasogastric tube placed (through his nose down to his stomach). They gave him some ativan to help relax him to get the tube in. They got it in fine and confirmed it with an X-ray. It’s been just under 10 hours and has suctioned out about 500cc’s (half a liter) of gross stomach contents (gross – my very precise medical terminology). An internal medicine team came and examined Dan to see if he needs surgery or not. They have agreed to just let the NG tube suction and give the stomach some rest, so no food at all now. And then will start a medicine maybe tomorrow called Golytely to help clear the obstruction. The doctor said it might take some time to see if that will work. If it doesn’t, then surgery might have to be an option. They aren’t wanting to do surgery because he is at higher risk for major complications, so we are hoping the Golytely helps and it will resolve without surgery. Dan has been resting most of the day so far, the ativan helped. He wakes up occasionally asking what the plan is. He asked for the tv remote once, but was so drowsy he fell back asleep after attempting to change the channel.
As I write this post it is still the 9th, so tomorrow Dan will have been in the hospital for 4 weeks straight. I realized today that this will be his longest straight hospital stay through this journey so far. We met with a palliative care social worker today and she said 4 weeks can feel like 4 years when you are in the hospital and it is so true.
Things with Dan haven’t changed that much. He still has lots of edema on his legs. It is slowly getting better though. The doctors are getting a handle on his pulse during and after dialysis. Ever since the GI bleed, Dan has been having intestinal issues. They have diagnosed it as an ileus, which means his intestines are just sleeping and not working at all. Dan has been barely eating and then when he does eat, gets nauseous and throws up. Tonight they did a cat scan to make sure there isn’t a blockage. Tomorrow we will hear more about it. Physical therapy came today and worked with Dan. Dan has become really weak and deconditioned from being so sick and being in the hospital for so long. He can’t stand from sitting, so they will now be using the mechanical lift to move him to a chair. The lift is great, it will also allow him to get into a wheelchair and we can go for walks.
The other day he did do a little shuffle walk to a wheelchair and we got outside. Marti brought Jackson down for a visit. Here is a picture Jackson took, he wanted us to make silly faces.
The other night, I think it was a day without dialysis, Dan was feeling pretty good (no nausea and alert enough to participate). We passed the time with a little game a friend mailed to us. It’s called HedBanz.
One more thing to add before I go to sleep… I thought I knew the hospital pretty well. It’s been more than three months that I’ve been here if you add it all together… And amazingly I found something new today. I had no idea there was ice cream like this downstairs! I’m pretty excited about it. Dan can’t have any yet, but once he can I will get us both some.
Things seem to be going slightly better. Yesterday morning Dan was not looking forward to dialysis again. They gave him some medicine to help him rest through it, which helped because he slept through most of it. It went lots better than the day before. His pulse still went high, but the doctors treated it earlier this time. They gave him two doses of diltiazem and that helped a little. Here was before and after the diltiazem. It’s crazy to see him sleeping and his heart is racing at 160 beats a minute.
Dan’s mom came with Jackson in the early afternoon yesterday. I didn’t want to go too far, so Jackson and I went for a walk outside along the river and then got some lunch.
Dan slept most of last night too, with no major issues. This morning he had some jello and chicken broth. Dan stood with some help and sat in a wheel chair and I pushed him around the hall, it was good to get him out of the room. Dan’s stomach felt ok still, so the doctor graduated him to the kidney diet menu. He had some cereal and is now taking a nap. Today they are giving his body some rest from dialysis and will go again with it tomorrow. They don’t want to do too much dialysis because then his kidneys won’t be able to bounce back.
Dan’s mom is coming again this afternoon, so I’ll hang out with Jackson again for a bit. It’s impossible to feel like things are balanced. I miss Jackson so much when I’m with Dan, but I know Dan needs me here. I am thankful for Marti being able to watch him and bring him down for visits. I don’t think it could be any better in this situation. The situation is just so difficult.