Thursday, October 8, 2009

Update #68 on Kevin

This morning was much more laid back. We found out last night that Kevin’s doctor had consulted with an eye specialist about Kevin’s eye. They are going to treat it with a very powerful antibiotic and topical ointment.

The MRI while not focused on Kevin’s brain (it was intended for his eye) did capture an overview of his brain. It showed that there was still blood residue around the fracture point on the right side of his head. It also showed residual blood in his brain where the trauma had been (including the brainstem). He said it could take awhile for that to go away.

Kevin has still been battling fever and they are trying to figure out what is causing it. His body has had tremors and chills whenever the fever is coming on, so it has been a signal.

He sat in his neuro chair once so far today for 2 hours and 45 minutes.  The physical and occupational therapists held Kevin in a sitting position on the edge of his bed for 20 minutes again today.

Pray for Kevin’s eye to heal, pray for his fever to subside, pray for his mind to heal completely.

Thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to find all the past updates) (an alternate address)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update #67 on Kevin

Okay…..take a breath, Matt. Today has been really stressful. Not really bad stuff, but it has already been a flurry of activity. I mean it seems like every doctor, nurse, tech, specialist, case worker, therapist, etc… has come through Kevin’s door this morning. Only the last thirty minutes have been somewhat peaceful. Here’s the list of those that came in:

Infection Specialist (for his eye – he said it is looking better to him)
Wound Specialist (for his heel blood blisters – She is ordering new suspension boots that are soft)
Neurologist (increased the amount of nightly muscle relaxer from 10mg to 20mg, after only one night)
Pulmonologist (Lung Doctor, he said it might not be good to remove the trach until he is more awake)
Physician’s Assistant (to the Lung Doctors – nodded in agreement with the lung doctor)
Case Worker (Insurance cleared Kevin for another week at Meadowbrook)
Respiratory Therapist (capped his trach for about three hours)
Pharmacist (with an antibiotic that supposed to be here last night; it was wrong, I had the nurse switch it)
X-Ray technician (took an X-Ray of Kevin’s chest)
Physical therapist & Occupational therapist (they had him sit up on the side of the bed for 20 mins this time, 2 days ago it was 10)
Nurses (to nurse him to health)
Techs (to tech him to health)

I know there were others, but the one who hasn’t shown up yet, is his main general doctor. He is always good about answering questions, which is good, since I have a list of about six or seven.

Yesterday, we spoke with Kevin’s dentist. We just wanted to check to make sure there wasn’t anything we needed to be concerned with. They said there is nothing that we need to worry about for now. It is good that he is being tube fed, instead of a tube down his throat. The reason is that there is no food going into his mouth to encourage the growth of bacteria in his mouth. We can even get a dry tooth brush to work on his teeth ourselves.

Reps from one of the Skilled Nursery facilities visited today. They missed one of the windows of Kevin’s more alert stages throughout the day. I think they are planning on returning. As of right now, he is cleared to remain at Meadowbrook for another week. We are happy with him staying at Meadowbrook as long as his insurance will let him. Can I just say that it is warped that insurance is one of the biggest deciders for Kevin’s medical state. Asinine. Did the insurance go to school the study medicine??? Well, I just have to fall back and trust in the one who created doctors and insurance agents. God will continue to get us through this situation. Please pray that Kevin remains or goes to wherever God has the best for him.

Pray for Kevin’s complete recovery.
Pray for our family to become closer to God as we go through this together.
Pray that the nurses, doctors, etc… are opened to Kevin’s progress and God’s involvement.
Pray for the restoration of Kevin’s house.

The thing about stress is that it can come from good things and bad things. Stress can impact your health, your decisions, your life. Pray that we rely on the Holy Spirit to comfort us and for us to wade through the waist deep swamp of stress in which we currently find ourselves. I am already feeling more relaxed.

Thanks for your prayers,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (check out the updates you missed, it may not make sense otherwise) (you can find them here too)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Update #66 on Kevin

I am really missing Kevin tonight. I’m sitting right across the room from him, yet I am missing him deeply to the very marrow of my bones. I just finished looking through over 11,000 photos from 2008. Each one I was looking for Kevin. Looking for his vitality, his liveliness, his personality….and I found several very satisfying shots. About halfway through I felt the pang of missing him, however, as I kept moving through the photos, remembering, savoring, I experienced the full gamut of emotions. I laughed to myself several times, with an audible chuckle, as I saw Kevin making some face. I remember events like Easter egg hunting. My wife, our nephews and nieces thought it would be fun to hide the eggs for Kevin, Greg and me. First they sent us on a wild goose hunt, looking in Greg’s backyard for eggs that were not hidden there. Then they unleashed us upon the front yard to battle over each uncovered gem in the grass, or tree, or hole, or…you get the picture. I saw holidays, such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Independence Day is a major holiday in my family. Each year, we grill and shoot fireworks. Many of those years we did this at our family’s lakelot at Fort Gibson, near Wagoner, Oklahoma. Questions arose in my mind, such as when would our holidays return to normal, if ever?

Kevin’s digestion seems to be adjusting well to the increased rate on tube feeding. He hasn’t had his tube feeding pump turned off once today. He also had his trach capped for around 5 ½ hours. Another good run. He also sat in the blue neuro chair for 3 hours and 15 minutes. I am going to talk more to the doctor in the morning about Kevin’s MRI yesterday. The only thing we know for sure is that his eye infection has not entered his eyeball. Kevin just had a bath and he blinked quick and reacted to some cold soap spray on his body.

The respiratory therapist and tech are trying to adjust him in the bed, so that his head does not lay to one side nor lean too far forward. He needs to have a more clear airway.

Kevin also had his first muscle relaxer at night. The neurosurgeon ordered it to give his body a rest. We don’t want him being too sedated throughout the day. His general doctor said for us to just see how he does the next couple days. The muscle relaxer should only last 6-8 hours, and he took it around 9 PM tonight. He still had several movements with his head and leg, even with the muscle relaxer.

I was looking at some of the stats on Kevin’s site and groups. Here’s the latest:

In one month, there have been 2,269 computers (visitors) go to from 21 countries around the world! That blog has been viewed by those 2,269 visitors 8,218 times!! There are 296 people who receive the updates on Kevin via email and another 300 people in the Pray For Kevin group on Facebook! Thanks to everyone that is following these updates and praying for Kevin’s recovery! Thanks for prayers for the restoration of Kevin’s house. Thanks also for prayers for our family as we navigate this tragedy. It means more than you may ever know.

Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to find all previous 65 updates) (and yet another way to find them)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Update #65 on Kevin

We are back from Kevin’s MRI. We got back around 3 PM and Kevin seemed to be sleeping soundly. We might hear something about those tomorrow. Remember, the big reason for the MRI was Kevin’s eye, but there was also brain overview scans too. I sat in the control room and watched the entire procedure. It was also a Tube MRI, as opposed to the Open MRI that I previously mentioned. Kevin did really good on no oxygen and lower heart rate throughout the procedure.

While Kevin was laying in his bed, post MRI procedure. I tried something. I had been showing my mom some candies that I picked up at CrackerBarrel recently. I got them because they reminded me of my youth. Remember those old orange marshmallowey’like ‘circus peanuts’ and the sugar sprinkled jelly orange slices? My grandma always had those in candy containers at her house. When I showed the orange peanuts to mom, she said they were one of Kevin’s favorites growing up. We read a few weeks ago about using smells in coma stimulation, so I broke one in half and put it under Kevin’s nose. I was standing on Kevin’s right side and I couldn’t see his eyes since he was leaning to the left, so I walked around. I tried it again, placing it under each nostril for a couple seconds. After about 4 seconds he started opening his left eye (his right eye was taped shut giving it a rest). I switched it back and forth under his nose and his eyelid kept opening. I told him what it was and told him that I wished I could give it to him. His eye opened really big. Then, looking back, I did something really mean…I ate it. I didn’t mean to do it, it was just natural.

An hour or so later, we had a little scare. Kevin’s heart rate jumped up and raced awhile, then it would slow down. About five or ten minutes would go by and it would do it all again. They also had issues with Kevin’s monitor, so they worked to get it changed out. It seems like Kevin is doing better now.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (Pre-MRI updates available here) (And here)

Update #64

Today is MRI day. EMSA should be arriving in the next thirty minutes to transport Kevin to Southcrest Hospital for an MRI. Kevin is having an OMRI, or Open MRI. Open MRI scanners have been developed for people who are anxious or obese or for examination of small parts of the body, like knees or shoulders. The major difference between an OMRI and a Tube MRI is that instead of lying down in a narrow tunnel, the imaging table has more space around the body so that the magnet does not completely surround the person being tested. I have seen a picture and it looks like something off of Star Trek.

Speaking of Star Trek, I know that some people either like Star Wars or Star Trek. My brothers and I watched both. Captain Kirk, Bones and Spock……good times. I remember going to the movie, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan with a group of people, including my brothers.

The Open MRI procedure is at 12:30 and should take no more than three hours. Then we have to wait on EMSA to transport Kevin back to Meadowbrook. It was scheduled for his eye. The doctor wants to make sure that his right eye infection has not entered into his eyeball. It will also give us an MRI of his brain at the same time.

The neurologist came in this morning. She wants him to start having physical therapy twice per day. She is also ordering a muscle relaxer. Kevin will only have this at night, since it would also knock him out. This will allow his muscles to rest, at least at night, from the muscle spasms and tone that he is experiencing.

When Physical and Occupational therapy came in today, they did lots of range of motion. They also tried sitting him on the edge of the bed for ten minutes. The whole time his heart rate did not go past 117, in fact after a couple minutes it lowered back down to 105. Also his O2 rate was good the whole time. After he was laid back in bed, his O2 rate lowered to the low 90’s (93-95), but the respiratory therapist said that is normal.

Also, I failed to mention that on Friday they had capped his trach for 7 ½ hours. Several hours on Saturday and Sunday. Today they capped him first this morning. He was capped between 7:30 and 11:30. They switched him over to oxygen to help him for transport.

This weekend we also discovered two pressure sores on the heels of his feet. There is supposed to be a wound specialist come in and check them. I guess that will have to wait until after the OMRI, since EMSA is now here.

Thanks for praying for Kevin, the transport and his complete healing,
Matt, Angie and family
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