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Showing posts from September, 2005

Thursday Update: September 29

Blessing for the day:
Matt FINALLY got rid of that pesky tube in his nose!! (pause for joyous celebration!) Yahoo!!!

The procedure was delayed a bit, but that actually turned into a blessing as well. We are starting to find out that when a hospital employee says ‘soon’ or ‘a little while’…they actually mean ‘we have no idea when it will be, but hope it will be sometime today’.

We thought the procedure to place the PEG tube was going to be at 9:00 AM…by about 10:00 AM they had pushed it back to 2:00 PM. But, the doctor had also ordered a 24 EEG to monitor his brain and just check that everything looks ok in there. They told us they’d do that ‘soon’ around 10:00 AM. By 1:00 PM they had not come to get him yet for the EEG…and we were worried they wouldn’t have enough time to get that hooked up and get him to Radiology in time for the PEG. It was a madhouse getting him from one place to another, but they managed to get both done in one afternoon. Mom and I were scarfing down burgers…

Wednesday Update: 9/28/05

Holy cow, can it really be September 28th!?!?!

Matt’s wonderful Aunt Linda sent me a note recently and told me that I should keep a little diary of the blessings that happen during this time. It’s true that you can tend to focus in on the negative things and overlook the wonderful little positive things when dealing with a stressful situation like this. So, I have decided to start each of my updates with something positive.

Earlier today I truly felt like the only positive thing I could say was that I like my new sweater. It has just been one of those days. However, I can now say that there were a few positive things that have happened today:
· After the attempt to insert the feeding tube in his stomach failed (further details to follow) the GI doctor was able to reinsert the feeding tube back in his nose and it was placed correctly the first time so we didn’t have to do 4 more x-rays and have him lay on his side all day.
· The physical therapists said he did even …

Tuesday Update: 9/27/05

The past few days have been pretty stressful…and I haven’t been much in the mood to write. We’ve been talking a lot about what our next steps will be. Medically he will not need to be hospitalized much longer. All his vitals have been good and stable so he will likely need to be discharged sometime in the next 3-5 days. This is a good thing…but he’s probably not going to be ready for the intensive therapies required at Younker Rehab. So, we have to look at an intermediate level rehab facility/program where he can continue increasing his therapy and work on his strength and endurance…at a somewhat slower pace that the more aggressive places like Younker. I’ve been trying to get all the information on the options available to us and mull it over. It’s a big, big decision. I just hope that the right path is made clear to me soon. The doctors have told me that they will need to remove his feeding tube from his nose and put one in directly into his stomach. This will be a more lo…

Sunday Update: 9/25/05

It was hard to leave last night; Matt looked pretty sad when we called the nurses in to restrain him. I think he was feeling pretty dejected…and that was really hard to watch. But, I knew that I had to do it and so we all said goodnight and left together. I think it’ll be good for him to get used to having us around during the day, then sleeping at night. It’ll be good to get him in some sort of a routine. I called my dad when I got home and he was very reassuring. He is the calm one in our family, and I needed his soothing ways to help comfort me. Thanks Dad for that!! I felt much better after talking to him and was able to go to sleep knowing that Matt was going to be ok.

When I got here this morning Matt had two nurses in here and guess what they were doing…reinserting another feeding tube! Apparently our Matt had had enough of that tube and yanked it out in the night…twice! They had his arms restrained and also had big mitts on his hands, which look like soft boxing glov…

Saturday Update: 9/24/05

Today has been a pretty quiet day for the most part. Matt’s doing pretty much the same. The physical therapists came by today and had him propped up on the edge of the bed again. He was able to stay sitting fairly well with some help from the therapists. He’d respond when they told him he was leaning and he’d work to correct it. That exercise tired him out pretty quickly though. I think it’s just going to take some time to build up even the smallest amount of endurance and strength. The occupational therapist came next and worked on moving his hands, arms, and fingers. He did pretty well with these exercises too and the therapist said he felt stronger on the right hand. I was tickled to hear that, as the right side was the one that was affected early on. After all that hard work, he was very tuckered and took a good long nap.

This afternoon the nurse noticed that the night nurse had charted his pupils as being equal. This whole time he’s been in the hospital they have not been equal. T…

Friday Update: 9/23/05

Well, our first night together in this new room was a little rough, but we made it through and today has been a good day. I think I spent most of the night listening to him breath off and on and just being paranoid that things were ok. Of course, they were. The nurses came in every 2 hours to move him around and take care of his food etc. The feeding tube in his nose is his biggest frustration, right now…that and his eyesight. We got him a better patch today, and that has been helping. The one we had before just wasn’t really doing it’s job.
Matt had a big day today. The 3 therapists (occupational, physical, and speech) came for their first initial visits today. This was after he’d been up in the chair for over an hour! He tolerated that pretty well, but tires easily and was ready to get back in bed. They had him sitting up on the edge of the bed today for his therapy. He didn’t seem to really enjoy it, but I know it had to feel good to get up like that. I think he was more …

Thursday Update: 9/22/05

WE HAVE A ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE HAVE A ROOM!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!! The nurses are preparing him for the big move, which should happen around noon. Yahoo! Matt has been awake a lot more so far today. They sat him up in a chair for a while this morning, and want to work him up to sitting there for at least 30 mins 3 times a day. It’s good for his lungs to have him sitting up…and I definitely think it’ll make him feel a little more normal. Anything is better than laying in that bed all day and night.

They are still watching a small infection in his lungs…want to be sure it doesn’t turn into pneumonia. He’s been coughing on his own and will try it when we ask him to as well. The doctors want to make sure he can keep his own airway clear, so they don’t have to put a breathing tube in. Please pray that he will be able to continue getting stronger and fight off these bugs.

Matt has been moving his arms and hands a lot today! We’ve been removing the restraints when we’re in here an…

Wednesday Update:9/21/05

Well, it’s late on Wednesday evening. The crowd of visitors and family has dwindled back down to my mom and Matt’s sister Lissa. We are still in the CCU…but that is only a technicality. The neurology floor is apparently a very busy one and we are waiting for a bed to become available to move him into. We hope it will be tomorrow. In the mean time we are happy with his care here in the unit. Most of the nurses (well, all but one big B named Katie) have been very attentive and helpful. I am learning however, that not all nurses go into this field because they are called to help others with their compassion, as well as their skills. I think they should do some kind of sensitivity training in nursing programs. Maybe they do…and Miss Katie BS’d her way through. ANYWAY…we are still very happy that Matt is continuing to improve.

They performed another CT scan today and the swelling has gone down again! YAHOO! Matt has had his eyes open a lot more today, but was complaining of doub…


Please look for updates regularly…I will do my best to make regular updates.

I decided to start this website as a way for me to keep friends and family updated on Matt’s progress. I have been so scattered and so stressed these past few days…I know that I am forgetting things and am having a hard time finding the time or the energy to make the phone calls I should be making. I apologize for not keeping in better touch with everyone…but please know how grateful I am for all the thoughts and prayers. They, and you all, mean so very much to Matt and I. We have been blessed with so many wonderful people in our lives. I cannot stress enough how fortunate I feel to be so showered with your love.

The Beginning:
On Wednesday, September 14th Matt was admitted to the Critical Care Unit at Iowa Methodist Hospital. He had collapsed at home, was unresponsive, and was not exhibiting any intentional movements of his arms or legs. After a few hours in the ER, (during which time the doctors couldn’t seem …