Saying Goodbye to Arlen
We are asking for donations to assist with Roxie's missed work time while she spends these last days by Arlen's side, upcoming funeral expenses, medical related expenses and any other expense the family sees fit.
We ask for your continued prayers as our God welcomes Arlen home.
March 6: Roxie, Arlen’s wife, posted that she and Arlen needed extra prayer angels as he had been in the hospital for over 2 weeks and the Drs. weren’t having any luck finding out why Arlen was suffering with muscle fatigue, a rash on his forehead and stomach and his stomach really hurting. The drs took blood and also did a muscle biopsy.
March 11: in the evening it was believed that Arlen was having a heart attack. At this point he had been in the hospital for 3 weeks. He was transferred to a different hospital. He didn’t have a heart attack. Now the Drs. were thinking he had a bowel obstruction. The heart doctor didn’t like the way his stomach looked, so he called in a gastroenterologist (I think that’s the right name for stomach doctor). He is now at Bryan East in Lincoln and moved to ICU. He was going to have more tests and perhaps exploratory surgery.
March 12: Surgery at 1pm. At 8pm Brent called me and said that Arlen had made it through surgery. The Drs took 30” of his small intestine. It was septic. His kidneys are in rough shape. They have been through a lot with all the medications that he has been on. The next 72 hours are very crucial.
March 13: Overnight was good. The drs are going to keep him sedated through Monday so that his kidneys can have some time to come back. He is resting.
March 15: We received a text from Roxie…Arlen was awake. The drs were taking out the ventilator today. The rest of the day and Monday, the 16th Arlen had really good days. He asked to see his grandkids and was giving the staff a hard time. The drs were even thinking of taking him off the critical list.
March 17: Warren, Doris, Curt & I went to Lincoln to visit Arlen and Roxie. Arlen had a bit of a setback. They found a mass in the lower left quadrant of his left lung. The drs. did a bronchial scope and took a sizable amount of junk. He is on antibiotics so they are watching his lungs. They also did a Doppler on his legs to check for blood clots. That was clear. Small step to the good. His kidneys are still not functioning the way they should so they are keeping an eye on that also. Still critical…
March 19: His condition is worsening. His kidneys were not coming back as quickly as they should so he was put on dialysis the day before. They think he now has pneumonia and was also put on the ventilator to help him breathe so his lungs didn’t have to work as hard. His muscle fatigue and skin rash had been diagnosed as dermatomyositis. It shares many characteristics with autoimmune disorders in which your immune system attacks your own body tissues. This happened to Arlen, along with septic shock from the small intestine. There is no known cure nor known therapy. This is a day to day situation where if one thing is making it worse, they try something else.
March 20: Dialysis went well in the morning. Heart rate is high, still on the ventilator. Still the underlying fact of the dermatomysitis & the dr says there’s cancer but can’t find it. His muscle enzymes are high. Platelets are very low…it is minute by minute…day by day. We have decisions to make in the next few days. Son Jeff from Washington arrived about 1am.
March 21: Dialysis was good. Yesterday and today, 6lbs of fluid was removed from his body. This has made it easier for his lungs to work although they aren’t able to work to capacity because his stomach is in the way. This is because of his septic and also because he is laying down. He is very weak. Brent arrived this afternoon. The family had a meeting and it was decided at 6:30pm the ventilator would be pulled from Arlen. Roxie, Brent, Jeff, Kourtnie, Kathy, Mike Gunderson, Curt and I were standing around his bed, we shared a prayer and we shared our goodbyes. Arlen was breathing on his own. His heart was strong and oxygen level good. He looked around, said, “I love you, goodbye everybody, and I’m ready to go”. We are still standing around his bed and I tell him I could sing him a song. He said No! He said that really fast!
March 22: Today is Sunday. Arlen held his own up to about noon. Then we noticed he didn’t open his eyes as often although he still acknowledged the person talking to him. Curt & I left Lincoln for home about 2. Warren and Doris left about 3 and said his breathing was more labored. Curt and I decided to come home because of work, which stinks but we also know that Arlen knew we loved him and we know that he knows his Lord.
March 23: At 4:50am Jeff called to say that the good Lord had called Arlen home at about 4:40am. Rest in peace Arlen.
March 28: Roxie posted this: Today I buried my best friend and the love of my life. It has been a great 14 years & 7 months. You were the best husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, brother (in-law too) and friend anyone could have asked for. You were loved by many. We have been so blessed. You always told me “you’ll miss me when I’m gone” and sweetheart you’re so right. I miss you so much already. All my Love Always.