St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Margo's Father, Merlin, ill

Margo and Scott rushed off to West Bend this afternoon.  Merlin Wilkens, her 90 year old father, fell two days ago and is not doing well.  

Immediately after the fall, he was headed for surgery, but as he was taking coumadin, a blood thinner, he couldn't have it right away.  Two days later, his kidneys are failing and he chose hospice care rather than dialysis and heroic measures to keep him alive. 

Although we had been expecting a call one of these months about problems, Margo and Scott had been down to visit a month ago and he was doing pretty good.  

About a year and a half ago, he had a stroke and after Margo spent the summer with him he decided to move from condo to assisted care.  This summer, his wife passed away.  He had a few more small strokes and a few months ago moved to the Samaritan Nursing home in West Bend, adjacent to the assisted care.  

When Margo and Scott visited him last month, he was able to walk around with a walker and in spite of some deficits from the stroke, greeted Margo "I decided to get married again" enjoying her reaction--still kidding his daughter.   He had gotten married in 2013 to his second wife with a lot of folks kidding him about marrying at age 88.  

Many years ago, he had heart surgery and afterward, he was very low and asked to be disconnected from his machines.  His surgeon told us that the problem was more of a fluid balance than a problem with the surgery, and so he stayed connected and in a half day or so he was up and has been functioning quite well until today. 

Margo wants to get there in time to say good bye.  

Although we knew this day would come, it still is hard.  There is a possibility he may pull through, but is ready to take whatever comes.  We are not ready.