Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today's news... got a bunch of them.

Two of this...

Really, It is a New Day

When I talked to my sister last night, she said the tagline for yesterday’s post was deceptive. She expected an encouraging report and felt duped. She thought something like Here We Go Again would have been better. She’s right. Today is looking up, so we’ll try this tagline again!

It is almost 10 a.m., and so far today we’ve seen the primary doctor, an infectious disease doctor, a doctor from speech pathology to do a long assessment, the head of speech pathology, and the occupational therapist, who also happens to be a Luther grad. The physical therapist got sent away because someone else beat him here. Mike also ate breakfast in there somewhere. Whew!

Mike’s fever went down overnight after he was put on the cooling blanket. However, it does continue to fluctuate. We have been told this will probably continue for awhile. We will not know what the specific bacteria is that is causing the infection for a couple of days. They also do not know where it came from, which appears to be a bigger issue than I initially thought.

The speech people were encouraging from my perspective, but not Mike’s. He wants things to go really quickly and they aren’t. His speech fluctuates with the fever, so at times it is better than others.

We have not been told when we will leave ICU, but I am guessing not until at least tomorrow. It’s kind of hard to hear everyone else around here talking about leave after a day or two, when we have been here 10 out of the last 11 days. That’s just me feeling sorry for myself. I think Mike and I were both overly optismistic in our expecations. We had hoped to be going home yesterday.

On another note, Gabbie vomited last night at about 4:30 a.m., all over my parent’s new carpet, new bed, and new bedding. Ugh! So, my mom had to take the day off to take care of her. Please pray that none of the other kids get sick. I feel terrible that my mom is having to deal with this.



A Quick Update

This will be quick, because snow is coming and I am heading back to the house where I am staying.

The doctor was just in and Mike said, “Greetings, Dr. Folgerstrom.” That would be great, except his last name is Fogleson! This guy has a sense of humor and got a kick out of it.

Mike has been much more alert and talking a lot more this afternoon. His temperature is below 100 now, which is good. All the fluid that was around the incision wound following has gone away, so they are pretty sure the infection is not from the surgery.

Several people have asked what the name of the bacteria is. It is not one that is often seen and I couldn’t possibly remember it. I will ask the doctor to write down the name tomorrow.

Mike had a great physical therapy session today. They had him sitting up and writing and then standing, assisted, next to the bed. Apparently the gludious maximus muscle is starting to work, which is a very good thing.

I had better get going. I plan on getting a good night’s sleep tonight. Dr. Fogleson said as he left that he is on call all weekend and that he hopes for some good cases this weekend. He left and returned an few seconds later and said, “That means I want to people.” We knew that. He had a long day of surgery. That wanting to help people is why we are here!




Capital Health Uses Innovative Treatment for Stroke, Brain Conditions

The first patient in the region was recently treated using Capital Health's new state-of-the-art biplane angiographic system that will provide faster and more accurate vascular care. The new system dramatically improves the ability of neurosurgeons to see blood vessels and conduct complex, minimally invasive procedures in the brain to treat aneurysms, anteriovenous malformations (or AVM's), head and neck tumors and strokes.
read the rest...


Surgery #3 is a go!

Jake's been doing really well lately, his wound on his AVM is almost completely healed! We've been making bi-weekly trips down to Iowa City to meet with Jake's plastic surgeon, measuring how much his AVM shrinks. The doctor's plan of action was to wait and see how much it would shrink on it's own before removing the mass surgically. The first 2 weeks it shrunk a half centimeter....and then stopped.

We had some questions last week about some of the drainage on the AVM, so yesterday, the doctor who performed Jake's 2 surgeries called and asked to see him. They wanted to be sure his AVM wasn't infected from the embolizations. We (Michael, Jake, and myself) went down there yesterday afternoon, and got a good report from his surgeon - no infection, and the surgery was successful. The doctor even said that they "amazed themselves" since it's healing better than they could have imagined it. What a great meeting!

Michael called the plastic surgeon before heading down to Iowa City, to see if we could meet with him at the same time. The surgeon was teaching a class yesterday, but he wanted to see Jake, so they asked us to stop by his office around the time that his class was done. We finished with the first visit early, and headed over to the plastic surgeon's office and waited in the waiting room for about a half hour. When Dr. Hamilton came in, he was happy to see Jake. He measured Jake's AVM, and found that it hadn't shrunk any farther. It was time to schedule the surgery to have the mass of the AVM removed!

Jake was VERY happy to hear this news! The thought of not dealing with his birthmark anymore was quite appealing to him. :) He joked (rather seriously) with Dr. Hamilton that he'd like the AVM in a jar after the procedure, so he can show it off to his friends. Jake was also very determined to have the surgery scheduled for March 2nd. On that day, he had a vocal concert at school scheduled that he did NOT want to be a part of - he hates the songs, and hates the actions going along with the songs even more!

read the rest...




So right around the time i was born my mom's doctor's discovered an AVM in her brain (a knot of blood vessels).
I was a high risk pregnancy because of the AVM & my mom could have very well died during delivery. This is also the reason I'm an only child.

Luckily enough, my mom lived through my birth & was also able to undergo a cutting edge radiology treatment for her AVM.
The only catch? apparently about 20 years after receiving the treatment, most of the patients are experiencing random seizures. The doctors don't know if they should attribute it to scar tissue or just a long-term effect of the radiology.

I didn't find any of this information out until a few months after my mom's first seizure which was in July 08.

It was weird finding out that my mom's case wasn't just an isolated incident & that in fact quite a few people were experiencing just what she was.
My mom couldn't drive for quite a while & she was put on an anti-seizure medication that she'll have to take for the rest of her life. Getting the dosage right was really tricky because if she took too much she would get debilitating headaches but if she took too little she was obviously at risk of seizing.

Well yesterday my mom started showing classic symptoms of seizure while at work & the nurses she works with made her lie down & called her doctor. Apparently my mom never fully entered a seizure, but she was really shaken up about it & said that she couldn't shake the feeling.

I don't know if it means that her medicine is working because she didn't actually have a seizure, or if it means that she'll have to increase her dose & deal with all these headaches. But needless to say, this situation has gotten me a little bit scared the past day and a half.

I guess all i can do is go home & spend time with my mom & be grateful that something terrible didn't happen.


I have been feeling okay... the cold seems to have gone.
It is 20 deg. Far. and the snow is falling.

I have to find a way to cut $$$ out of my budget. I am running into problems. I wish I had someone better dealing with a budget. I am no good.

Okay, today I'm not going to youtube you.
There was just to much news.
I am going to CJ you however...

I think there great! go give them a look.
That's it kids... good bye for now.

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