All posts by David

Getting Settled at Home

Debbie is now settled at home and is beginning to become more independent with day to day activities.  The outpatient therapy is progressing nicely and she has become accustomed to the schedule.  We leave the house around 8:15am to make the 9 o’clock beginning therapy session.  Therapy finishes at 3:30 every afternoon, four days per week, so we are back home a little after 4pm.  At the end of the day she is tired and ready to return home for a little rest before assisting with some of the normal household duties such as assisting with laundry, preparing meals, etc.  We are anticipating that the current therapy schedule will be in place until the end of the year.  We continue to be very pleased with her progress, especially after all that she has been through beginning with her injury on September 5th.   We continue to be comforted by your comments, cards and prayers for Debbie and her family.

Day 30, Morning

Debbie continues to improve. She had a much needed restful weekend. She continues to sleep most of the night now, so she is rested and prepared for her therapy sessions. We have discovered a wonderful lady to stay with Debbie some nights. She is a great help in assisting our family so we can devote some time to normal day to day items that needed attention. Debbie still requires assistance in walking and some assistance in eating. Her appetite continues to improve which helps her to regain strength.

Day 25, Night

The last two nights Debbie has slept better than any other nights up to now. She needs the rest in order to maintain her very busy daily physical therapy schedule. It is also helpful in that those of us who spend the days and nights with her can get some much needed rest in order to be there to support her during this critical time in her recovery.

Her appetite has improved somewhat and that is encouraging. She needs the protein to complement her healing and therapy regiment. She is finally settling in to the Brooks scheduling policies and procedures after her first week there, but she is looking forward to going home, hopefully in a couple of weeks. We do not have a definitive timeframe for her release yet. After she is released from the hospital, she will begin a four day a week, all day physical therapy schedule at the Brooks outpatient therapy clinic. We are all very pleased with her progress.

Day 10, Morning

It was a productive and busy morning.  Early morning Debbie was moved to a chair in order for her to sit up more and to offer a change from the bed.  She liked that.  She was tested for her ability to swallow and can now be given ice chips and we can begin introducing light foods.  The feeding tube will remain in place for at least a couple more days.  Occupational therapy worked with her for muscle tone and exercise.  We will continue with the exercises throughout the days.  Physical therapy came later in the morning, and with their assistance she took about seven small steps.  They were very pleased with her progress.  Debbie’s voice has improved slightly but still can only put together a few words at a time.

Your prayers are being answered and are much appreciated by Debbie and our family. She is aware of your thoughts and prayers.

Day Five, Morning

Not much to report this morning.  We’re expecting a visit from the neurosurgeon this afternoon, so perhaps there will be an update then.  This morning they’re noticing a bit more symmetry in her involuntary movements – she’d previously been moving around a lot more with her right arm and leg, but now we’re seeing her left side moving almost as much as her right side.

Since the right side of her brain is the side with the air around her brain and all the swelling in her face, it makes sense that her left side wouldn’t be moving around as much (since the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body).  So the fact that she’s got more equal movement is encouraging.  The occupational therapist is also noticing some good improvement in her range of motion all over her body.  They drew some more blood to test (they’re not looking for anything in particular, just making sure they haven’t missed anything), so perhaps we’ll hear results this afternoon on that as well.

Thanks so much to everyone for your support, thoughts, and prayers.  We so much appreciate reading your comments here on this blog!

Post-Surgery

A brief rundown of the events after Debbie’s surgery, but prior to this blog’s existence:

Debbie was moved to the SICU after surgery.  She remained in a medically induced coma for about 18 hours.  The point of this was to control her blood pressure as the primary method for combating a fib is to utilize blood thinners, which you don’t want to administer after brain surgery.  They took her off the sedative around 7:30AM on Monday, Sept. 6, but she did not wake up. The medical team has informed us that it could take up to a week for her to wake up, so while they would have liked for her to wake up immediately, they are not worried that she’s still not awake.

Once they removed the bandage from Debbie’s head, her face became very swollen and bruised, which was anticipated.  The pressure in her brain has remained consistent, which is good.  They hooked her up to an EEG on Sept. 6 to monitor her brain activity for seizures, which they had the EEG hooked up they did not witness any seizures, though it does appear that there may have been some seizure activity prior to the EEG.  On the morning on Sept. 7 they removed the EEG, and they’ve doubled her anti-seizure medication as a precaution.

They conducted an MRI on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 7 to learn more about her brain function.