Archive for September, 2007

Sunday, September 9th – Day +111

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, not much changed today with Mike.  He still isn’t himself.  He has moments where he is very aware of things but then drifts off and is confused.  An MRI was ordered today to see if they are missing something.  It will probably be done tomorrow.  The CT of his head didn’t show any bleeds – which is a blessing.  At this time the doc says that he can pull through but it will take a long time. 

I am going to visit him on Wednesday and until then I will call the nurses and talk to them.  They know that if Mike asks to talk to me they can help him call me anytime of the day or night.  But to call him directly is fruitless since he isn’t able to communicate real well right now. 

He is eating a little but isn’t able to manage a fork or spoon.  His fingers and hands don’t have strength in them right now. 

Please pray for him and our family.  Many phone calls were made this weekend.  John faxed me a copy of some papers from their lawyer that gives me some specifics on Mike’s wishes if it comes to that.  I figured that sometime or another John and Mike had talked about such things.  Lots of tears but I feel better that I know what he would like.  And hopefully I’ll never have to initiate it because he’ll pull through all this and it will be only a memory for him!  I do believe in miracles – I’ve seen too many to not believe!

Mom is doing really great.  When I talked to her last night I really felt like she is back!!!!  I am glad.  She was really struggling for awhile there and she wasn’t her old self – wild and energetic!!  Last night and today she seemed like she had gotten back her zest for life.  Thank you God!  She should be in her own home in just a week or so. 

Thanks for everything.  All the support is so very much appreciated!
love, Ann

Saturday, September 8th – Day +110

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I am still putting the plus sign in front of the Day number because even though Mike is in a very seriously vulnerable state right now there is still hope.  I had a good talk with his doc today.  I laid things on the line.  I just cannot see pushing Mike to survive if it is for naught.  But, his doc told me that there is still HOPE.  The bladder virus can get better, however if Mike were to get an infection at this time it would be very bad.  We talked about decisions that need to be discussed so that we are prepared to do the best thing for Mike at all times.

It was a very tough day today for me.  Mike did recognize me a couple of times.  Once was really funny because he wanted me to get out of there with him!  He was quite infatic and then the next minute he was not with me totally.  The hospital has a “sitter” with Mike when a family member isn’t there.  It is for Mike’s saftely because he tries to get up and really cannot right now.  Tonight a man named Duane was with him.  I told him how much I appreciated the fact that he would take his time to be with my brother.  He is a computer guy and does this on the side.

I talked to Joe and Mom today and will talk to John and Barb this weekend. Bruce talked to Rick and Sally.  I just want to know that we are all on the same page.  Bruce and I are Mike’s medical advocates and we will be the ones called upon to make decisions IF the need arises.  I will just feel better knowing that we all are in agreement about Mike’s care. 

Right now Mike is still on the long road to recovery and we’ll just keep praying that he stays on that path!  Thanks for all of your support and prayers.

love, Ann

Friday, September 7th – Day +109

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I spoke to Mike’s nurse earlier today and she said that Mike thought I was going to see him today.  I told her I was planning on seeing him on Satruday.  She also told me that he wanted to call me and so she was going to try and help him do that this afternoon.

When I hadn’t heard from him by 4pm I decided to call the nurses station and have his nurse at his room to receive my call.  Mike talked but I couldn’t really understand him.  He is very disoriented right now.  He was telling me that they were going to move him.  So, I talked to his nurse and she said that he was just very tired and was confused.  She said that he did have moments when he was focused.  She also told me that someone would be staying right in his room all night with him.  They are concerned that Mike might take a tube out or something because he isn’t totally with it. 

I am planning of leaving early in the morning so I can spend the bulk of the day with him.  He is in really tough shape and it is going to take a lot for him to come back at this point.  Please pray for him.  I feel bad that he has had such a rough road.  I’ll blog tomorrow night and let you know about our day together. 

Mom is fine.  She is really working on her therapy and is getting in shape to go home soon.  I know all this with Mike is very hard for her but she is concentrating on her own recovery right now and that she should!!!!

Thanks for all your prayers and support for Mike and for our family!  We are so grateful!

love, Ann

Thursday, September 6th – Day +108

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

First I want to tell you that Mom is doing good.  She may be going home in a couple weeks.  Hopefully, it will be a welcome change for her!!

Now for Mike.  Yesterday I went to visit him after stopping to see mom in Flushing.  When I got to his room he was having a terrible day.  His nurse informed me that he was on the schedule for surgery on his bladder and that he was in a lot of pain because of the BK Virus.  So, my friend Karen and I held Mike’s hands and tried to help him breath through his bad times with pain and waited for the OR to come get him.  The nurse had even taught Mike how to breath like women do when they are in labor.  Karen and I told her she should have given him an epidoral too so the pain would be less noticable!!!!  Sisters can be soooo helpful.

Anyway, we finally headed to the holding room about 5:30p.m. and he was taken to surgery a little after 6.  The doc told us that it may be as long as an hour but could be less depending on what they found going on in his bladder.  So Karen and I waited and waited.  I asked about him at 8:15 and was told that the surgery started at 6:34.  At 8:30 I ask to have a call put in to the OR to find out what was happening.  They waid that there was a hugh, very solid blood blot in his bladder that they were trying to remove.  At 9 the head Urologist came out and told me that it could be another two hours.  I told him that I needed to leave to go home but wanted him to call me no matter how late it got.  He called my home at about 10:50 and told Bruce that they couldn’t do any more on the blood clot that night because Mike was loosing too much blood and so it was too risky.

This morning I came home from teaching at 10:30am to find a message from the hospital requesting my permission to do another proceedure on Mike.  I called and they explained that they wanted to insert a tube into each of his kidneys so drain them so that his bladder could have a rest.  I told them fine and at 4:30 this afternoon they did that proceedure.  I talked to a nurse tonight and Mike was back to his room and resting.

When I talked to his nurse earlier she told me that Mike was very, very sick right now.  I told her that we were aware of how serious all this is especially because of the high risk for infection.  However, we don’t really have a choice.  He couldn’t go on like he was with his bladder problems.   I also talked to a BMT doc who answered other questions I had.  He did say it will take a couple days to see if the tubes and kidneys are working fine.  His kidney levels were really high and that wasn’t good either but they couldn’t give him meds right now because he couldn’t handle them this soon.  They are keeping on top of everything though.

I am going to head to Ann Arbor on Saturday morning just to hang out with him.  His nurse said that these tubes are ridgid and can be very uncomfortable.  Just one more thing for old Mike to deal with!!

Keep praying.  He is not out from under any of this at this point!! I was so hopefully that he would be better soon but I was told this  will take a long time.  So, hang in there with all of us, but expecially with Mike.  He needs all the prayers and support he can get right now!!

Sorry, I didn’t blog last night but I was too tired and wasn’t sure that I could tell you much.  Today, after talking to the different staff people I had a better understanding.

love, Ann

Tuesday, September 4th – Day +106

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, Bruce (my husband) talked to Mike tonight and he hadn’t had a good day.  I called earlier and he was busy with his docs and they were working on his bladder issues again.  So, I couldn’t talk to him and I had a meeting tonight so Bruce called him.  Mike didn’t have much to say because he was tired from everything that had gone on during the day.  Bruce reminded him that I would see him tomorrow.  So, I’ll blog tomorrow night and hopefully will have something positive to say about Mike’s situation.

My mom, on the other hand, went to her home today for a home visit with her therapist.  It went very well.  She even was on IM with our brother Joe in California!!  Pretty cool huh?  Our friend Sue took her to her home and then took mom out to her own home to see her new kitchen before taking her back to Fostrian.  When I talked to mom tonight she sounded good about the visit home.  She is apprehensive but I’m sure that she’ll be fine.  I think she was glad to see her place again.

Well, thanks for all the prayers.  I’ll see both Mom and Mike tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted!

love, Ann

Monday, September 3rd – Day +105

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I just talked to Mike on the phone.  He sounded good.  He said that he talked to his Doc today about PT and OT and they are still getting his bladder virus under control so they aren’t having him do anything at this time.  However, Mike is doing some exercises while he is in bed – which is great.:)  We talked tonight about how he needs to keep moving however he can so that he doesn’t lose the strength that he has already gained back.  He’s trying and I am proud of him.

Mom is going tomorrow to her home for a home visit with her therapists.  I think they would like to have her go home soon but she just doesn’t seem like she is ready.  Not sure why but hopefully once she is home tomorrow she’ll want to stay.  I think she has alot of mixed feelings about all that has happened these past few months.  She did what she could for Mike and he will be fine.  I hope that she can go home and start enjoying life again!!!

I am going to see both of them on Wednesday.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for the support and prayers.  They are so important to all of us at this time.

love, Ann

Sunday, September 2nd – Day +104

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I talked to Mike this evening and he sounded better than last night.  I think he was just having a really bad day yesterday.  Pain and all was getting to him.

Anyway, He told me that he asked about getting out of bed to exercise but the team is still trying to get his bladder issues under control – so Mike did his own exercises in his bed.  He used his weights and tried to work his arms.  I told him how proud I was of him to get moving even though it seems like he’s tied to the bed!!!  Also, he said he was watching television.  Sara and Ron had suggested that he watch some TV to help the time pass.  He just sits there for hours and that seems to make you just think about yourself.

So, it seems that he is giving it his best shot.  I told him I was bringing some other weights with me on Wednesday for him to use.  I told him that he and I would do some exercising together!  He sounded like he was glad about that.

We chatted for a while and he seemed to be less stressed than yesterday.  I keep praying that we’ll turn the corner and start healing quicker so I’m taking this as a positive sign.  I know he can do it and beat this!

I also talked to Mom tonight.  She had a number of visitors today.  I may go to see her first on Wednesday.  It is easier to see both of them at the same time with school on and all.  She doesn’t seem in a hurry to go home, but maybe after her home visit on Tuesday she’ll feel different.  She is doing very well.

Thanks for the prayers.  I’ll keep you all posted.

love, Ann

Saturday, September 1st – Day +103

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Hi Everyone,

My cousin Sara called tonight and she and her husband, Ron, stopped to see Mike today.  They were up from Ohio.  Anyway, Mike wasn’t having a good day!  More bladder issues.  They are doing this flushing treatment but the bad thing is he is in pain and his cath is attached to a large bag that is laying on the floor.  So, he is stuck in his bed!  Not good, considering he was finally getting a little stronger and now he’s been in bed the last three days.  They did give him some pain meds and by the time I called him later he was doing better.  Sounding like I woke  him up but I didn’t.  He said that PT was in to wrap his legs (to keep the fluid down). 

We talked for quite a while and I tried to gently stress the importance of doing some exercises in his bed.  I know that Sara and Ron tried to talk to him about this too.  This was exactly what I was worried about when he left the Rehab floor – he wouldn’t be able to focus enough to keep himself motivated.

I can’t go until Wednesday to see him but I am going to call the nursing station tomorrow and try to talk to his nurse.  I really need them to talk to his docs and get him up and moving.  I am just really concerned that he will go downhill (in the strength area) without exercising daily.  So, hopefully I can get my point heard.

Mom sounded good today.  She seems to be getting stronger and her therapist are still trying to ween her off using her wheelchair.  She can walk but she says she thinks it’s comfortable to sit in!  She still needs to learn to self-cath again and then I hope she’ll be going home.

Thanks for your prayers.  Please keep them up.  We all need them right now.  It really feels like we’ve been running uphill since May and it would be nice to get on a level stretch or turn the corner and head home!

love, Ann