Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not Me... but a cool AVM blog... NTL

First Morning Post-Surgery

Good morning, dear people. From my perspective, things look much better at 8 in the morning than at 8 at night after a long day of waiting through a surgery! According to the nurses, Mike had a peaceful night. He did not have any seizures, so we thank God for that. He was kept sedated all night, although they woke him up occasionally for neurological checks, which were all good.

As expected, he has no movement on his right side. They are going to hopefully extubate by noon and then we will know whether or not he can talk. We are still hopeful that he will be able to talk.

I was able to be in the room when they did the neurological check at 8:00. He opened his eyes and looked at me briefly, and held onto my hand for several minutes. He squeezed it three times, which for 23 years has been our personal way to say “I love you.” He also responded to pain when they squeezed the toes on his right foot and fingers on his right hand.

The plan for today is to get him awakened and see what happens. Dr. Meyer has said that Mike will not have much pain, just a really bad headache. The only reason he needs to stay in ICU another night is to make sure the blood pressure stays lower to protect against bleeding.

The neurosurgeon will be in again tomorrow morning and decide whether or not Mike can move from ICU to a regular neuro floor. He also indicated that hopefully he will be ready to have the physical therapist come and start to put together a plan for rehab.

Mike and I were engaged 23 years ago today. We keep telling each other that this is one of those “for worse” times. As far as our marriage goes, this is not a “for worse” time, as our marriage has gotten stronger. It has been, and continues to be, very stressful, but we are trusting in God to sustain our entire family through this trial.

We just found out that they have begun to wean him off of the ventilator. We will continue to post updates throughout the day.




So I've been pretty well... I still have my problems... like should I go to work... do lots... $0 payment. But the chance of making $$$ is there... it is not here.

My wife has turned mean... but that happens...

I am not making any money from home. Not really a surprise. I really do wish that I could figure out how to make a living on line.

xxx xxx xxx I would have gotten a divorce. SAD SAD!
I blame the AVM for poping when it did.

Here you go have some youtube...

Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills [1982 Music Video]

Simple Minds - Glittering Prize (1982)

Ahhh that's enough for now... if you want to see something here... just drop me a line.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hey guys...

I got a few for ya... my life is okay... I guess. My wife just let out that she is addicted to pain killers. She has been for almost as long as I've known her. Seboxon looks like the way to go. We'll see... damn it all.

I knew she was, that is the funny part.
Here try some youtube stuff...

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Dumbell Fly

okay let's take a look at Music 1983!

UB40 Red Red Wine 1983

Men At Work - Overkill (1983)
I know I've done this before... but ya' have to love it...

One more of the dudes...
Men at work: Land down under!!!! (One of their best songs!!)

Okay let's get to work... Their were several AVM posts... here they are.

Benefit for Teen Stroke Victim

A suppertime benefit will help out a young man who had a hemorrhagic stroke, as well as his area Lions Club programs.

The Chili and Grilled Cheese Supper is on Thursday, February 12.

Volunteers will be serving food from 4:30 in the afternoon until 7-at night.

It's at the Mondovi School Cafeteria.

It's $5 for adults to eat, kids ages 5-12 are $4, and pre-schoolers eat for free.

The event is a benefit for Tanner Franson. He's the 13-year-old boy from Mondovi who had a hemorrhagic stroke in December of 2008. Doctors say Tanner has an AVM, which is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain. Doctors say they only find an AVM in about one in 100,000 people.

Tanner is recovering, and plans to attend a half-day of school for the first time since his stroke on Wednesday, February 11.

If you can't make it to the benefit, and would like to donate, you can send donations to this address:

Mondovi Lions Club
c/o Tanner
PO Box 135
Mondovi, WI 54755

click here to see the interview video and the scoure.



Embolization #1 Complete

After only 2 1/2 hours, the doctor came and said that the embolization was complete…

Mike left for the angiogram at about 7:45 a.m. I had been told that a cerebral angiogram takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and quite a bit longer with embolization. Imagine my surprise when the doctor came down at 10:30 to tell me he was done. He was able to block the largest artery, which is a very good thing! This changes the blood flow quite a bit, so he did not want to do any more today.

So now Mike is in ICU, flat on his back for another hour or so. He is in ICU as there can be bleeding following embolization. The doctor said it went very well, so we are counting on no problems. However, this would be a great thing to pray about over the next couple of days!

Tomorrow he will have another embolization. The doctor is hoping to be able to block several smaller arteries tomorrow. I am assuming the timing will be the same as today. The good thing is that Mike is already admitted, so I will be able to sleep an hour longer!

I will ask Mike if there is anything else he would like to relay later. He can’t have the computer in ICU. Thanks to everyone out there for your prayers!




Had a seizure this morning (Wed. 6:30a.m.)

Dear friends,

I wanted to let you all know that I had a seizure this morning, a generalized tonic clonic, that lasted for 60 seconds. The nurse had just walked into the room when my right arm, which was laying at my side, began to raise up incrementally and involuntarily until it was over my head.

Then it sort of took over my whole body. I was lucid throughout and tried to make myself come out of it…but I couldn’t do it. What an amazing sense of utter helplessness. I heard every conversation and word that was spoken. Now THAT was scary. I didn’t know if I’d ever come out of it or if I would be able to breathe much longer.

The strapping male nurse (probably 6′4″ 250 pounds) and rugby player, held me down, along with a team of others. They said I was strong. That made me smile inside. This seizure, and coming out of it, was entirely different than my experience back in October. After today’s seizure I was lucid once again within ten minutes.

The really smart guy that follows Dr. Meyer around and will also be a part of the surgery (perhaps a neurosurgical fellow) was in the room within 5 minutes assuring me that things were all right. He said they had ordered a CT to see if any bleeding had occurred. Thankfully it showed that none had. As of now the angiogram and embolization procedure is still on for later this morning.

The embolization of arteries redirects blood flow and pressures in the brain, thus causing seizures. I guess that’s why they put me in ICU.

The exact same Bible verse that came to me as I was coming out of the seizure in October came to me again today at the end of this episode. Only this time I quoted it to the fellow and the nurse, through closed eyes and slurred speech.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm73:25-26).

Please pray that today’ embolization will not lead to more seizures prior to surgery tomorrow.

A couple more things I am thankful for that I neglected to record yesterday:

  • Those of you who are fasting and praying (even beyond those in our church)
  • All five of my children, each one a unique treasure to their mother and me.
  • The Panera Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad I chowed down last night.
  • Stams Chocolates
  • Each and every day!

Thanks for battling with us!


I know that it is not AVM stuff... but there is some good stuff in there... See ya....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Got one... sorta.

Wound Care Adventures!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hi Everybody!

Hoping all of you are doing well these days! I just had to go over my last entry to figure out where I left off! If I don't blog when these things happen, I'll forget and who has time to blog during the week? Not me!

So I'm generalizing when I say that last week Monday during wound care - as Dr. Larkin was removing the dressing on my facial wound, I had a bleed. She and the nurse that was helping caught it right away and put pressure on there until we could get the surgicel! So she continues on with removing the old dressing she had been working on, and I have another bleed! Yikes! More surgicel! Managed to get the wound area cleaned and redressed. Dr. Larkin asked about my next appt. w/Dr. Zane (ENT)and got it moved up a week for me! We needed him to get my ear cleaned up from drainage and scabbing.

Anyway, went back to wound care on Wednesday and this time my favorite RN, Noel was helping Dr. Larkin remove my dressing. Would you believe I had another bleed? This time from my ear. Got some surgicel put on that area - it was along the outside lower edge of my ear. I used to leave work @ 4pm to make a 4:30 wound care appt. - and they would be done about 6pm and I'd head home! Now, since I've had these bleeds, Dr. Larkin wants to make sure there is always a doctor around, so she's moved my appts. to 11am - that means I have to leave work @ 10:30 am to make that appt. and am lucky to get back to work by 1pm or 1:30pm! I hate to miss that much work, but there is no way around it! I am fortunate that my supervisor Mr. Rios is being very understanding and working with me by letting me go to these appts. and letting me work through my lunch hour to make up some time!

Celia voluteered to come with me on my Friday wound care appt. and I'm so glad she did! It makes a big difference having someone there with you for support! I introduced her to some of my favorite peeps there - Eric, that takes my vitals, Carol is an RN and has redressed my wound. She told Celia, "We love your sister here"! I was fortunate enough to have Noel be the RN to take care of me for Fridays visit. As he was changing my dressing, he had looked away to get something he needed off the medical tray and I had a bleed. Fortunately, it was not arterial, it was from a vein, so it was flowing, but not shooting out! Not a problem and Noel remained completely calm! Celia wanted to give him a standing ovation when Noel finished redressing my wound, for the outstanding job he did! Whew! We were happy - it was finally the weekend!

Saturday was my mom Mary's 74th Birthday! (See photo) Hanz was bathed, so he could smell all nice and sweet for Grandma! Oh we had so much fun! Celia picked up some BBQ for everyone and we all met @ moms to celebrate! Hadn't seen my nephew Mark in a while, so it was great seeing him! I was worried about him bringing his dog, Hula - thinking she would trample over my little Hanz! No, soon as Hula was brought in to moms back yard, Hanz completely took over chasing Hula all over the yard! They were hilarious! Hanz doesn't realize he is a little dog, and had the best time playing with Hula! We all ate and had Key Lime Pie for dessert from Red Lobster! We all played Mexican Train and guess who won? ME!

Early this morning, about 7am and we were still in bed, I felt my neck thinking I was bleeding. I turned my bedside lamp on, yup! I woke Mark up and headed to the kitchen sink to removed my dressing from my face to figure out where I was bleeding from! It was the wound on my face - it was arterial, but it was a thin stream of blood shooting out - not like that time that I had so much coming out! Ugh! We were not happy having to get up so early and to be woken up like that! It was hard finding the exact area to put pressure to control the bleeding. Mark had to get my pillow cases (the regular one, the allergen cover one, plus the one that also covers the pillow because it's one of those contured egg crate pillows) and the twin size allergen cover I have over all my pillows (because there are 2 or 3 big pillows we stack to get me to the right angle and height for me to sleep). All of those had to go in the wash.

We waited a while after getting the bleeding under control to redress the wound. After we did, we lay down for a much, much needed nap! I slept almost 5 hours! I needed that badly! I used to always try and make time for a nap on Sundays to recharge my battery before our week started! Some of my meds make me so drowsy too! Since we've gotten Prince Hanz - our naps have pretty much gone out the window! Hanz is just too cute and I hate leaving him alone for too long, so I deprive myself of that nap. Oh well. I keep hoping that one of these days when he is completely potty trained, that we can bring him into the bedroom sometimes and maybe he can take a nap with us! Mark won't have any part of that though, so it isn't looking like Hanz and I will nap together.

For all of you that always say I'm so brave and strong to handle all of this I'm going through - take a good look at my mother. She is the pillar of strength that raised us on her own and many a time when life was not good ... she held her head up and kept on going! I have learned from her example and do the best I can and I have all of you helping me as well! I have terrific co-workers, (some that don't even work in my department!) that take the time to ask how I am and really seem interested in hearing about it! So many of your prayers are helping me through this rough time! I ran into little Jackie Hallmark @ Spohn when I was done w/my wound care on Friday. She gave me a big hug and told me I was in her prayers. Even some of the clerks @ our local grocery store, have taken the time to read my blog and post a comment!

I look forward to hearing from Shalon soon - she just got back yesterday from an embolization in CO! Check out her blog in the next few days to hear about her trip! Got a nice e-mail from Jody - Arie's mom saying how much she enjoys my blog! Had a co-worker tell me not long ago, that in the ten years she's known me, I was always so private - why the blog now w/photos and a lot of personal things? I told her I wanted other AVM patients to be able to read it and know they are not alone out there. Plus, I also wanted people who don't know what all an AVM entails, to be able to understand what Mark and I have to deal with on a daily basis! This has brought our entire family even closer. Like I've said before - my sister and I didn't grow up being best friends - but she has really come through for me during this difficult time! She is strong for me to lean on and helps us in so many ways! Right now she has a lot to deal with - her mother-in-law is very ill and in the hospital in Houston, so Celia is concerned for her husband so much right now! Plus of course her kids - one away in college and her other son here in town.

My in-laws always keep in close communication, as does my brother-in-law Jim and his wife Shelley - thank you! We'll try and get together soon! Hard to come up w/a time when one of us isn't working, or that I'm not in pain or bleeding. Ugh!

Oh! Before I forget - I want to send a big shout out to Dr. Zane!!! I had an appt. w/him on Thursday @ 1pm. Well, right before going out there, I was @ work and I picked inside my left ear! I could feel what I thought was a scab or maybe some of the dressing that had hardened. I picked it and here comes the blood! Right away I could feel my ear fill up w/blood! I didn't know exactly where to put pressure on there to stop the bleeding! I wondered if the surgicel that had been put on my ear Wednesday had come off, or was it bleeding where I picked it or what? I had a mirror on my bulletin board that I was looking into and finally called out to my co-worker Kathy that had her back to me eating her lunch. She got up and got me more napkins so I could put them up to my ear where I was still bleeding. Got my cell phone from my pants pocket and called Mark. Told him what was going on in case I needed him to come help! Told him to wait, that I would try and stop the bleeding on my own first. Called to Wound Care, and I asked Dr. Larkin whether I could come in for them to redress the area! She said I would not be turned away if I showed up - but she would rather I go to the ER or to see Dr. Zane! Meanwhile, I'm still bleeding - but finally got it to stop! Went on to see Dr. Zane and he got my ear all cleaned up from prior drainage and got rid of some of the scabbing on that little "flap" above the earlobe! I could see everything he was doing on a screen where I watched as Dr. Zane also got rid of some old, dead tissue still in my ear. He started some bleeding @ one point, but got that cauterized (OUCH!!) and it stopped! Cleaned out my t-tube that was still in there and really did some great debriding! He is awesome! I'm just glad nothing he saw or did freaked him out! I had been trying to cheer myself up earlier by showing one of his nurses/techs a photo of our little Hanz, and she said Dr. Zane had a puppy like ours too! She told me to make sure I asked Dr. Zane about it and sure enough! He and his wife have a 3 year old female Brussels Griffon! He told me to come over to another area, where he had several photos of her on a bulletin board. One was of her w/her hind feet on a chair and her front paws on the table and she was looking @ the camera and wearing a pink party hat! She was just precious! Glad to know we won't be the only ones spoiling our puppy! That photo was taken on her 3rd birthday! Maybe out pets can have a play date some time! That little Hanz is such a doll - he is exactly what I've needed to get through these difficult times!

Again, thank you everyone for all your love and support! I'll keep updating my blog and filling y'all in on the latest!

Cyndi Schuman



Something is weird... with my comp. It won't show Bookmarks. And the place that shows were you are ain't working either.

oh well....
have some youtube...

Sorry got to go... trying to finger out whats up... be back if I can....

ohh that's bad!!!

There that's better... SADE

one more...

UB40- Cherry Oh Baby
Now I'm really gona leave.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

avm nEWS...

nOT mE... BUT WORTH a Read.

A Few Thoughts on the Eve of Leaving

On the evening before leaving for Rochester (Sat.) I wanted to jot down a few thoughts while I’m still thinking about them.

  • I have an excellent wife. Proverbs 31:10 says “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” The answer to the first question is: I did (by God’s Providence). The only thing I can say about the second sentence is: Yes, my wife is worth more to me than the sum total of the earth’s wealth. Thanks Karla for your faith, your strength, your beauty, your commitment to mothering, your commitment to teaching our children, and for your partnership in the Gospel ministry. I love you much!
  • I am very tired of talking about my brain surgery. I’m tired of thinking about my brain surgery. Talking about one’s brain is very personal. It’s not like we’re talking here about getting a few warts removed from one’s foot. Maybe it’s not really such a good thing to publicly share such personal information. Before the techno age not many talked publicly about such things. Is nothing sacred anymore? This I think in one moment while in the next I am reminded again and again of the multi-faceted, glorious working of God in all things for His own glory and my own joy. So, I’ve decided to keep typing.
  • So many things to do and no way to get them all done. But, tomorrow afternoon we leave anyway and I’m sure whatever didn’t get done didn’t really need to get done anyway.
  • The tears flow easily these days…more often than I have ever known before. I’m not sure why really. I’m not afraid. I am a bit unnerved I suppose. But really, I am not afraid. I’ve known fear before. As a young kid I remember once being at home alone and thinking that someone had broken into the house. I hid underneath a bed until I heard the sweet voices of my parents. I see life these days as they really are: fragile.
  • The Bible tells it like it is. Jesus’ half brother James wrote in 4:13-14 “Come now, you who say, ‘today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
  • A pastor friend of mine has a 15 year old niece who has enjoyed excellent health. A couple of weeks ago she came down with what the family thought was the flu. After being sick for a couple of days they took her to the hospital, found her dehydrated and gave her two units of fluid. Her blood pressure was also way down. After being rehydrated her b.p. improved slightly. She returned home.

    Five hours later her parents brough her back to the E.R. and then a children’s hospital. She now had a high temperature and her body literally began to shut down. The major organs were beginning to fail. She was dying. They put her into a drug induced coma for three days. A week ago Thursday the medical staff went to turn her over when she reached out and yanked the ventilator out of her throat…and thankfully began to breathe on her own. She was diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome and is slowly recovering. Apparently this deadly bacteria can enter through any bodily orifice…as simple as rubbing one eye with one finger. Thankfully she is now doing much better.

  • Hundreds of you, and others who don’t even have computers have, with all sincerity, offered to do anything for us during these days. I know every offer is sincere. Here is one thing each of you can do. Instead of worrying yourselves sick over this whole drama I would ask that you turn in your Bibles to Psalm 27. Read through the 14 verses of this chapter, think about the implications. If David’s words express the truth of your own heart, then may it first be a balm for your soul. Then please pray it for us as well. That’s what I would ask for you to do for us! Oh yes, and also keep the responses coming. I see and read everyone…with joy!


Now Me.
I wound up with a headache yesterday. A mean one... and I was having such a good time. (NOT).

I still have a bit of one today.
I hate when that happens.

I will end up taken of nap... oh so good.
I emailed my resume off to someone. We'll see.

Have you ever noticed that I start alot of my sentences with "I"... I need to get over that.
Now some youtube...

A little Beatles for you....

Okay a little more... While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

If you go to youtube they have a bunch of Beatles stuff there....
Be good....