Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8/25/10 Update

Lindsey continues to do well!  She met with the Speech therapist yesterday for an evaluation.  The therapist seemed to think that Lindsey won't need too much therapy.  She indicated that she'll see her some this week and next, then just follow up after a month or so with another couple appointments.  She also said that Lindsey needs to spend more time independently, and they'll get her back to driving in 3 or 4 weeks.  She spent some time alone with Riley yesterday, and all is well. 

The other night Lindsey was able to do some sketching with a pen.  She complained about how bad her sketches were... they were worlds better than I could ever hope to do.  I thought they were quite good.  She also wrote her brother who is currently serving a mission in Lansing, Michigan a letter.  These are big improvements. 

Yesterday there was anbother big breakthrough.  Despite all my efforts, I'm not nearly as good of a housekeeper as she was.  Everything had a place, and was kept in it's place.  I had a hard time knowing where everything went (especially Riley's clothes).  She went through and reorganized the house back to it's normal order.  SO NICE!!!  We were both glad she felt the energy to do it. I'm back in class now, so I'm certainly happy to have some relief.

She's taking fewer naps and doing more.  She is beginning to feel more normal too.  That's the most important thing to us - is that she feels better.  Ever since she had the aneurism, she's been tired and occasionally disoriented.  That's waned away. 

I just scheduled her follow-up CT scan.  We're hoping that shows us that no further treatment is needed!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A meeting of the Minds

We met with the neuro surgeon today.  She was surprised and happy to see her patient doing so well.  We talked about options for treatment going forward and what it will look like as we move forward with recovery.

Lindsey will have another four vessel angiogram the week of Sept 13.  They will be looking at the area where she had the malformation and bleeding, then making decisions as to treatment.  We are still praying that a clot has or will form by itself, and that no further treatment will be needed.  If the vessels have opened up a little better, they might be able to put some sort of glue-like substance up there to plug things up and seal it all off.  If the vessels have not opened any more, and it has not clotted on it's own, radiation will be the next best option.  They will use several beams of low-dose radiation that will cross right at the spot of the bleed (crossing the streams like the Ghost Busters).  This will cause scarring and eventually those vessels will die off and sort of seal up.  It takes a year for that process to take full effect, and she wouldn't want to lift anything heavy, get pregnant, or do anything that might cause a rise in blood pressure. 

The doctor seemed confident that regardless of the treatment method, the chance of re-bleeding when all is said and done is near zero.  That is good news. 

Another bit of good news was, as many of you may have already noted, Lindsey was able to read all her Facebook messages.  When we left the hospital just inder a week ago, she was not really able to read well, and had a difficult time processing those words.  That has dramatically improved.  Her choice of words as she speaks continues to improve as well, and things are looking good for her speech recovery. 

We are super grateful to our Heavenly Father for the constant miracles we are seeing.  We know that our prayers, along with all of yours, are being answered.  We truly are experiencing one of the greatest gifts that God can give to man: the gift of witnessing and recognizing a miracle.  We are grateful for your continued prayers on our behalf, and we are praying in gratitude for all of you!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Therapy Begins

There are a lot of things I'm really good at, being a mom isn't one of them.  I'll be grateful when Lindsey is back at it!  Yesterday she was feeling good enough to go to the first hour of church.  There were several surprised looks when we came in.  It was nice to be there together.  We were late since I was frantically trying to get Riley all ready to go, and I forgot her shoes.  She went without (but at least her socks were cute and matched her outfit).

We went in for the intial evaluation today for Lindsey's PT today.  I was a good experience!  He noted that she did not (as the therapists at the hospital had said) have right side weakness, only a right side delay.  Her right arm is more delayed than her leg.  Her balance is actually quite good, and she has pretty good functionality in her right arm when she chooses to employ it. 

He was extremely optimistic, and told us that a lot of the patients they discharge aren't as well of as she is right now.  He encouraged her to start drawing again, as a way to regain some of the fine motor control and practice her art again, but told her not to get discouraged.  We both really liked working with him as he seemed experienced, competent, and knowledgeable.  He also told us that he probably didn't need to spend much time with her - only a couple more weeks.

We also met with the social worker who seemed impressed (thanks to all of you!) by the amount of support we had.  She expressed that it was vital to have such encompassing support. 

Lindsey only has PT once more this week, then will have it two or three times the next few weeks.  I imagine that will be all she needs.  She starts Speech Therapy next week and Occupational Therapy the following week.  Speech, Occupational, and the neuro-phsychologist will assess her ability to drive in three to four weeks.  I imagine she'll be fine to do so by then. 

Overall, things are looking VERY good!  We went to Boise State to get my books for fall, then to lunch after the appointment.  She was exhausted by then, and is now fast asleep.  I am continuing to be Mr. Mom, and am realizing just how difficult a job she's been doing! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seeing the Sites

We were finally given the "go-ahead" to take Lindsey outside the rehab unit (but still on the campus here) - as long as she's in a wheelchair.  We went to Subway last night and wheeled around a little bit.  Lindsey was glad to get out and get some fresh air and sunlight.  She's doing marvelously!  Her balance is getting closer and closer to normal, and she's commanding the use of her right hand more and more every day.  That fine motor control is coming back slowly, and it takes great effort.  But she's getting it! 

We find out what their recommendations are for discharge today.  We'll know exactly how much longer they think we'll be here, and what kind of additional rehab and treatment she'll need after we get home.  We're hoping for discharge soon, and limited 24hr assistance. 

The hardest part of this all right now is communication.  Lindsey still has a hard time remembering, communicating, and understanding certain things.  This will probably be the most difficult part of rehab.  She's gaining ground on it, though.

We continue to pray that her brain will heal on it's own.  We're optimistic that it will.  Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A House vs. A Home

Before I go to sleep in my own bed tonight, just thought I'd share a thought.  A home is only as good as the people who share it.  I'm wishing Lindsey was here tonight sharing my home with me.  Riley and I are happy to be sleeping in our own beds, even if it's just one night, but it won't be a home until Lindey's here too.

I share my life with wonderful people.  I have a wonderful home.

Lindsey Update

Sorry for the delay.  We were moved to the rehab ward in the old part of the building.  It's further from the computers, and I wasn't feeling super motivated...

So yes, we moved to rehab on Friday.  It's in the old OLD part of the hospital, and the room/accomodations are henous.  The room is drap, the view poor, and the bathroom is shared with the room next to us.  I guess our vacation is over. :)

It seems like all we've done since we got to the hospital is wait.  We've waited and waited for rehab.  We've been there since Friday and we're still just waiting - now for Monday.  Apparently, those working in rehab are Mon-Fri people.  We did get about the same amount of attention on Saturday as we did on the neuro floor, but today no therapy.  Seems like a waste of time to me.  Lindsey is feeling more like a prisoner than a patient, and I can't blame her. 

Every day there are improvements.  Her face droop is minimal now, though she's still highly self-conscious about it.  I think her new crooked smile is kind of cute (heck, mine is a bit crooked), but she doesn't seem to share my enthusiasm.  Her motor skills are getting better in that right hand.  She really needs to work on it, but she gets a little miffed every time I suggest it.  I guess that's what I get.

She's still as Lindsey as she could ever be.  She's defiant and stubborn, but funny and sweet.  She's determined to get out of there by the end of the week.  I'm not sure just exactly what they have planned for her, but I know she'll do great.  She's a fighter.

Please pray specifically that her brain will heal on it's own.  If it doesn't, she'll have to undergo radiation and it will take a year for recovery, plus the chances of recurrence are increased.  We appreciate the love and prayers sent our way.  It has meant the world to us to know that not only has the Lord blessed us with Lindsey's life and improving health, but that He's blessed us with such wonderful people who share our burden and love us.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wake me up, love, every day!

Lindsey and I stay pretty frugal at all times.  We have little extra money for luxuries, so vacations are cheap or non-existent.  Last year our big get-a-way was spending three days in the hospital at St. Al's welcoming our new arrival, Riley.  This year, we're joking that we loved it so much, we're back for another vacay, this time staying a little longer.

She's in good spirits today, and feeling better than ever.  She's been able to get up and walk a little.  Her legs are strong and she's getting more and more steady as she goes.  She was able to sit up today and eat lunch by herself.  She didn't even spill a drop (which is more than we could say for my brother who visited during his lunch hour). 

Last night she was able to take a shower, and brush her teeth.  Her aunt Amy bought her some cute pajamas to wear during her stay at the hospital.  We were both glad for the feeling, look, and sense on normalcy.  She brushed her own hair and I helped her put it up into a messy bun again. 

The outlook is good for her recovery.  We'll learn more today.  She seems to be progressing well, and shows more and more that she comprehends, and can respond appropriately.  Her control over her right arm and hand is getting better, though that'll be the biggest challenge.  We will be working extensively with her to be able to get her back at making art and allowing her to be creative.

I'm so glad I have such a good wife.  She's always lvoed and supported me in all my trials, now I will be with her during her trials.  Isn't family wonderful?  We have such a good one, too.  Thank you all again for your love, prayers, and support.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lindsey (Counting the Miracles)

Many of you already know how amazing my wife is.  For those of you who do not, I feel bad.  She's talented and beautiful.  She's compassionate, caring, loving, smart, witty, sassy, cool, and absolutely the most wonderful person I know.

Sunday we had a bit of an emergency that landed us in St. Alphonsus in Boise.  Sunday afternoon, she complained of a slight headache as we were about to leave for church.  She said she didn't need any Tylenol when asked, and assured me she would be fine.  We got to church a few minutes late and had to sit in the very back of the gym.  As we sat, Riley played around us at our feet, Lindsey made her a bottle, and scratched my back.  She still had a headache, and asked that I rub her neck a little bit after she scratched my back.  I massaged her neck for a couple of minutes, but she alerted me to Riley escaping toward a lady sitting further down our row.  I went to get her, and when I sat back down near Lindsey, she leaned over and said something that didn't make any sense.  I asked her to repeat it, looking at her face, and she still didn't make any sense.  I noticed that the right side of her face was sagging a little bit.  I asked her if she was okay, and she said she might need to go home, but wasn't sure she could drive.  I told her we were going to get her to the ER at West Valley (Only 2 miles away - miracle #1) and off we went. 

In a whirlwind of grabbing and moving, I got Riley, my scriptures and EQ Secretary binder in one arm, and the baby bag on the other with Lindsey leaning on me for assistance.  She had strength in her legs (miracle #2) as we left, but was unsteady.  We got to the hospital, and I was unsure how I'd get Riley and her into the ER.  I pulled into a parking space and there was a pleasant looking lady and a man (miracle #3)standing just near where I parked.  I asked if she would please watch my baby in the car, that I'd leave it on with the AC running, and be back in just a minute.  I could only plan on getting Lindsey checked in, then coming back out.  She offered to bring Riley in for me, and did so (she held her for a few minutes as we got checked in).  Riley was actually pretty bummed when I took her back.

They did a CT at West Valley after taking Lindsey's vitals.  She had become increasingly unresponsive since we got to the ER.  They discovered that she had some blood vessels rupture, causing a brian aneurism.  They decided to move her by ambulance to St. Al's in Boise. I could see in her eyes, though, that she was concious of what was happening and afraid. 

I have never been so heartbroken and afraid in my life either.  I prayed that the Lord would not leave me alone.  I was shocked and in disbelief.

My father in-law, Mike Ransley, was there minutes after I called.  He's a nurse at West Valley, and knew the way well.  He got there just as the nurse came out and told us she had some bleeding in her brain and would need to be transported.  We were both nearly coming unglued.  We were able to give her a blessing before they put her in the ambulance (then we actually beat the ambulance here).

Lindsey was in better shape when they unloaded her from the ambulance than she was when they had loaded her in.  That was encouraging.  She recognized me the whole time.  They took her directly into the ICU and she spent 2 days there. They discovered she had a congenital malformation that caused the rupture.  It was only a matter of time before it was to blow, and we were lucky it was as small as it was, and that it happened when it did (while we were together and she wasn't driving or anything - miracles #4 and #5).

She was cofused and anxious the first day.  She wasn't able to comprehend all that happened.  But she has hinted that she understands now.  She knows where she is and that she's surrounded by love.  She recognizes most people, but sometimes has a hard time communicating.  Some of the wires are still crossed in her head since there's excess blood and swelling.  She now continuing to recover in the neuro unit. 

She's improving daily... even hourly.  Most of her right side has good strength, but little fine motor control.  That will be back with time.  We will be in neuro for a couple of days, then inpatient rehab for a couple more days or a week. 

We just have felt overwhelmed with love and support from all of you.  We appreciate your prayers, well wishes, sincerity, and offers for help and support.  Please keep praying for us.  Lindsey is doing well.  She's a fighter, and will be back on her feet in no time!  Each one of you is a miracle to us.  Please give your loved ones a hug and a kiss.  It sounds super cliche, but you never realize just how much they mean to you until you almost lose them.  Again, we feel like we have the best family and friends in the world.  They say that in these situations, you find out who your friends are.  I can say with confidence that we have no shortage of good friends.  We love you and pray for you as well.