Saturday, October 17, 2009

Update #74 on Kevin

Kevin had a fever earlier today, but with a little ice and Tylenol it came back down. Also, I found out that I was wrong, the night before last Kevin did have a fever, but yesterday it wasn’t an issue.

We went over and checked out things at the warehouse that contains Kevin’s property from the house. We made assessments of furniture that was flood damaged. So far the adjuster has only offered on a couple pieces of furniture, but we already found more that were damaged. Pray that this is not a battle. The fridge and stove were working before the flood and the adjuster didn’t want to pay for those either. Also, in looking at the setup of the house. We are going to need someone to come and look at the heater, especially with winter lurking. It isn’t working. It needs to work.

Kevin was “alert” last night until 12:30 AM moving . It is supposed to get his muscle relaxer around 9 PM, yet he is still moving around every night and yet very drowsy some days. I think that Kevin’s doctor is cutting Kevin’s muscle relaxer in half. Although I am not sure when that starts.

I think that the softball benefit tournament got postponed due to a couple conflicts. Once I get a firm date for it, I will repost the information.

Thanks to all those who have given time in prayer, concern for the family, and well wishes,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (archived past updates) (or here)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update #73 on Kevin

Last night, Kevin seemed to sleep well. He had less secretions last night and this morning too. Last night’s respiratory therapist told me his lungs were sounding good and looking better on the X-rays. It just shows that his right lung is not taking in as deep of breaths.

Kevin did really well with his shower. They had to unhook him from everything that monitors his status, as well as the wall-flow. So they put a speaking valve on him and rolled him in. We hope they start doing that more as opposed to the sponge baths. He looked so good afterwards and smelled good too.

Kevin has been in his blue neuro chair for two hours. I first put on a new show for him to watch called Community. Then later another show called Supernatural. His eyes have been open the entire time he has been in the chair. Of course his right eye is greased up with ointment, but his left eye has directed towards the portable DVD player several times.

He has been doing very well in the area of digestion lately. He has not had very many residuals lately. None that have required them to stop his tube feeding.

The situation with his fever has gotten better. He has not had hardly any fever the past few days. Keep praying.

Today, I think we have finally found time to check out some stuff at the warehouse from Kevin’s house. It has been difficult finding time that we could leave Kevin and go over there. We need to determine what needs to be cleaned, restored, replaced, etc… of the furniture. The house is coming along and should be finished in the next few days. I don’t know if this includes the kitchen. The insurance is not covering the cabinets, because the adjuster said there was previous water damage. The restoration company has said they would be able to replace the bottom cabinets with a base model out of their own expenses. We would love to replace his upper cabinets at the same time so that they match. We’ve been told that the upper cabinets will cost around $2000 (labor not included). Not sure where that money will come from but we would love to replace them for him. If you are looking for something special to give towards this might be it! Give me a call at 918-850-9828 to talk about it or send me a message.

As we feel the push from insurance to find a next level facility, one of things that we have to be concerned with, unfortunately, is cost. It seems that Kevin’s insurance covers only 50% of a skilled nursing center for up to 60 days. That means that if were to get approved for a skilled nursing center that would cost $6000 per month, the family would need to come up with half of that. We would not be guaranteed a two month stay however, it would go week to ulcer creating week, waiting on the approval of insurance, like we were peasants waiting for the edict of a King each week to determine if we can stay or not. Could we have another cup or gruel sir??

Another way to this effort is to play softball. That’s right softball. I have mentioned before about Kevin’s love of softball and he has been involved in it for years. There is a benefit tournament for Kevin this weekend at Carl Smith. You can find out details here at the softball boards (Benefit-Tourney-for-Kevin-Crosser-Oct-17th.html). I think it has to be a registered team, but you can also go and buy raffle tickets and stuff.

Thanks for your prayers,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (read the past updates) (alternate address)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Update #72 on Kevin

Coney Island. Today, some of us had meetings downtown. Afterwards, we didn’t miss the opportunity to go to one of my family’s favorite restaurant haunts, Coney Island. All over Tulsa there are restaurants called Coney Islander, they used to be connected with the Coney Island downtown. In fact, it was the first one in town back in 1926! I’m not sure when they parted ways, but the chili at the downtown location is a little different, a little richer, a little better. I can’t tell you how many memories I have of our family, recently and past, that were at a Coney Islander or the Coney Island downtown. Oh how I wished Kevin had been with us for lunch today.

Today, Kevin got his first real shower since the accident! They have a special stretcher bed that can get wet. It is constructed of PVC pipe and a canvas liner. Kevin looked and smelled so good afterwards!

The past couple days, Kevin’s temperature has been lower and even dropped down to normal. Yesterday, Kevin’s heartbeat got high when he was in his neuro chair and exhibited stimulation signs, such as spasms and shakes. This week his head has been moving around more, back and forth.

I haven’t seen his eye today, but yesterday it was looking more red. There are still a few days left of the antibiotic, but if it stays like this or gets even more red, then it would support the eye doctors theory that there is no more infection in it, just exposure.

Thanks for the messages, emails, replies, etc….. We may not always respond to them, but I want you to know how much we appreciate them. Kevin usually gets on average 3-4 visitors per day and we appreciate them very much.

Pray for us as we care for Kevin. Pray for our finances to stretch as we straddle two homes (Angie and I – Italy & Tulsa; Taylor and Kohl – Tulsa & Midwest City). Pray for our family as we try to live and breathe and “do” normal even as we try to figure out what is normal in the middle of all of this. Pray for Kevin to heal and be restored to us.

Thanks for all you are to us,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (for all past updates) (or rather here)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update #71 on Kevin

Kevin is in his bed with a furrowed brow and frown. He favors the left side of his face. For instance right now, his furrowed brow is on the left side, as is his frown. Over the years, being his younger brother, I have seen his face frown. Sometimes, it was when he didn’t agree with something. Other times, it was when he was frustrated. And then there were the times that he couldn’t believe someone would choose to do whatever they were doing, whether it was going to a particular restaurant (“you want to go there?”) or choose a shirt (“you like that?” Usually, those times were light-heartened teasing.

Kevin went to an eye doctor today. EMSA came and picked him up around 10:30 AM. They ended up hanging around at the doctor’s office since his office did not have things to suction (if necessary) or even a bed to lay him onto off of EMSA’s stretcher. So they moved him into a exam room and went out in the hall until it was done.

Angie and I went with Kevin to the eye doctor. He feels like it is probably just exposure from Kevin’s eye not closing much. However, since there is pseudomonas in Kevin’s lung, he wanted to verify that it was not causing an infection in his eye. So, he wants to hit it hard with two strong antibiotics for five days eight times per day. Also, he wants the ointment that Kevin is getting in his eye to be applied every hour on the hour. I think that is what the order has said for the ointment, but some nurses have only put it in every few hours, while others have stuck to the once per hour order. He also said that he did not want it patched any more. He said that if he opens his eye, gauze can rub and scratch the eye, when it is patched like that. He set up an appointment for two weeks from now. He said if it was only caused by exposure the eye could get more red again, since the two antibiotics are strong. Then they can treat it more for exposure. If there is an infection the antibiotics should make it improve even more.

Angie saw Kevin yawn on Sunday. That’s the first time we have seen that.

We continue to look at new options for a next step, even though we still think it is too soon to go somewhere. Apparently, that is what one facility thought that did an assessment. So what happens if all the possible places think it is too soon and insurance wants him to leave this place??????

Speaking of insurance, the house is coming along….the rooms are all painted and carpet is in. The restoration company showed us tile samples to go in the kitchen. Once we decide for sure on those they can put that in. Then the next step would be starting to go through the flood damaged property. Not sure when we will find the time to do that.

We’re going to check another facility today, then we have to start looking at places further out.

Kevin has still had fever, just low grade (around 100.4) yesterday and today. Not enough for Tylenol yet, but we are keeping an eye on it.

Oh yeah, and Kevin is still furrowing his left eyebrow, just a little…..but the frown is almost gone.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (for previous updates) (or here)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update #70 on Kevin

This morning we got here around 8:15 AM. Kevin had another fever of 103, so we told the staff and they brought in some Tylenol. He had it in his system for about an hour and it had kicked in. His temp dropped down to 100. His doctor came in and told us that his eye appointment is set for tomorrow morning, even though his right is looking a little better (it’s still red and pink, but not as brightly colored blood red as previously). UPDATE to the temp (I started writing this an hour ago) – Now his temp has started to go back up, it is at 102, and we have some ice around some warm points of the body to help cool him down until it is okay to take his temperature again.

A family friend came up to give Kevin a haircut. I gave him a little of my gel. He is looking sharp! He does need a shave though.

Kevin got the smaller trach tube placed over the weekend. It went down in size from an 8 to a 6. It also does not have the little balloon on the end. Before he needed that to prevent aspiration. I guess that is not as much of a concern now. There has been some slowdown on capping the trach. I think the lung doctors’ opinion (he has one per week in a five week rotation) is that unless he is more alert, it would be a mistake to remove the trach completely. Normally, you would cap the trach as a way to determine tolerance for removal. But we feel that in coma stimulation and discovery there are other reasons for capping the trach and/or placing the speaking valve. For one, if he is going to make any sounds or say anything, he can only do this when his trach has at least the speaker valve on it (or when capped). For another, studies show that using smells for about ten seconds per smell can be good coma stimulation. So we do see benefit in using those methods as long as it does not hurt Kevin. I was reassured by the PA today that as long as we are here, he can be capped without danger.

There are still rumblings about moving him. While we have looked at several places for the next move, we aren’t sure if it is time yet.

For those of us from out of town (or country), we can start to feel the financial pinch. God has always provided, and we believe that he always will. It’s just in these lean times, that we look to see how God will supply.

Tomorrow Kevin has an eye appointment tomorrow so we will hopefully find out more then.

Last night was the final night of the Tulsa State Fair, so several of us went. We ended up at the knife ring toss as usual. I won a few cool knives for Kevin.

Thank you for praying,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (go here to read past updates) (or here)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Update #69 on Kevin

Thanks for your continued prayers even with the lack of updates.

Throughout this weekend, Kevin has continued to battle his fever spikes. When the fever comes on, there are full body shivers that accompany it. Sometimes the shivers come first, sometimes the fever comes first. His white count has remained good. I found out tonight info about a sputum culture that was taken on October 2nd and came back on October 5th. It showed pseudomonas again, which brings fevers with it, as well as infections in lungs and eyes, not sure if it was ever in the eyes though.

They continue to put Kevin in the neuro chair on a daily basis, usually twice, but sometimes less, if he has a fever spike or intense body tremors. The doctor has an appointment at an eye specialist’s office on Tuesday morning. This is good for the eye, although I will say that today Kevin’s right eye was starting to look even better, especially when compared with a week ago. There is more pink than red in some sections, and the red is not bright blood red like last Monday night.

We have been learning how to do basic care stuff, including suctioning Kevin’s trach tube and also oral care. The more we know, the better care Kevin will have.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to find all the past updates) (if you have trouble with the first link)