Friday, October 23, 2009

Update #78 on Kevin

So, this week has been exhausting…..overall, we went to around thirteen different nursing centers. We had very specific criteria. First of all, they need to have a Skilled Nursing Unit. They have to be able to take someone with a trach. Prepared to handle someone in a coma. And they had to pass our checklist. We have given permission for a total of three places to do assessments at Meadowbrook. That means they evaluate Kevin’s medical condition, care needs and insurance coverage. Then they approve whether or not they can accept him as a resident. We are currently waiting on affirmative response from two different places. One seems more possible than the other. If accepted, they will probably move Kevin on Tuesday, after his eye appointment.

We will continue to pray for Kevin to be where God wants him to be. Thank you so much for joining us in this prayer.

Thanks for reading,
Matt, Angie and family
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update #77 on Kevin

Kevin’s blood gas test came back yesterday. We were looking for high CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) levels. They told us the results were great. His O2 (Oxygen) levels were a little bit low, but nothing to be concerned about. Still great.

Kevin got denied from another Skilled Nursing Center. We are wondering if he is going to continue to be denied from any Skilled Nursing Center right now, because his care need is more than most Skilled Nursing Centers would provide. A few of us are looking at a few new locations today.

Also, yesterday, I spoke with the Brain Injury Association of Oklahoma and the Brain Injury Association of American (the Virginia office). They are helping us with resources and support. The National Association is sending us a packet of resource materials, for instance a “road map” of things to expect in the future as well as some Coma Stimulation techniques and helps.

Work is continuing on Kevin’s (and family’s) house. The bathroom is done. Next up is the vinyl flooring in the kitchen. The insurance is not going to cover the cabinets in the kitchen, so we have a plan for that. If you would like to donate time or money, especially money to that project please give me a call. If you are keeping score….most often we don’t hear from anyone when I put it in an update. It is due to a psychological phenomenon which causes the reader/hearer to assume that because so many people know about the situation that someone else is surely doing something about it, so less people act.

Thanks for reading and praying about all this,
Matt, Angie and family

PS - Loy Johnson…give me a call at 918-850-9828.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Update #76 on Kevin

The last two days, Kevin has had less secretions. That is something that may come and go, but right now it is gone, so we are thankful. His last X-Ray looked really good, other than a elevated diaphragm on the right lung side. It was probably caused by trauma to the right lung and keeps him from breathing really deeply on the right side, that isn’t a huge issue however, some people live with only one lung. They took new X-Rays today of Kevin’s lungs, so later we’ll see where things are at on that.

Last night, the infection specialist ended Kevin’s antibiotics. He had been on a drip antibiotic to ward against infection in his lungs. His eye antibiotics ended over the weekend. It still looks red, so his main doctor here is having it taped shut. The eye specialist didn’t want it patched because the gauze could get into the eye and irritate it further, but the tape sits only across it, with no real way to get down into the eye.

Yesterday, I wrote that Kevin had a temperature, but and here’s where things get crazy….even though he had a temperature on his forehead with our optical thermometer, the axillary temp under his arm was not showing a temp at all. Was it then just a neurologically localized fever? Basically, what I mean is, is his brain allowing higher temps in certain areas of his body? If part of his brain that was injured controls thermoregulation (the ability of the body to keep its own body temperature within certain boundaries) could that show in various readings around the body?

This week we saw the return of a lung doctor that we had a particularly easy time understanding and dealing with (the lung doctors are here for a week every five to six weeks). She was really happy with Kevin’s progress and told him so. We talked about capping his trach and she said there were benefits to capping it. She told us that one thing that can happen if CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) levels are too high in the blood is that there can be muscle spasms. So, she put in an order for Kevin to be capped specifically so that after a few hours they can do a blood gas test. This is the test that shows levels of gasses in your blood. We will be most interested in the level of CO2 in his blood. He is currently capped and sitting in his blue neuro chair. His heart rate is only 110-112, which is good for sitting in the chair. I also have some TV shows on the portable DVD player. He’s getting to watch one of our new favorites, Community. He has had some various jerks and movements, but not the prolonged muscle reflex spasms which we have seen previously.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Update #75 on Kevin

Yesterday, after church, the family continued one of our traditions. For the past many years on the Sunday following the Tulsa State Fair, our family chose Casa Bonita for lunch after church. For those who remember, on the back of Tulsa State Fair tickets there used to be coupons for the aforementioned restaurant. The past two years, they stopped printing the Casa Bonita coupons, but still give the discount nonetheless. So, we had a family friend stay with Kevin at Meadowbrook while we went for a experience in tradition and memories. Good food and good times, yet we so wished Kevin was there with us.

Kevin has been doing okay. His eye seemed to get real red by the end of last week, which should tell us that there was no infection therefore the strong antibiotics made it red. Now, that gives the insight to treat his severely irritated eye for exposure problem. Ointment in his right eye every hour.

After, asking a couple times, we got Kevin shaved. This was supposed to be done on Saturday and wasn’t. Sometimes it feels like we have to ask for the same things over and over, usually when there is someone new is working with Kevin, but not always. We never found out last week if Kevin was approved till tomorrow, but since we weren’t sitting on the curb with bags and Kevin on a gurney, we assumed that it was approved for Kevin to be here until tomorrow. We never know from week to week whether the almighty insurance company will descend and tell us the gravy train is over. All joking aside, God will be the one to determine for how long Kevin will be anywhere and in what capacity.

Today, in his blue neuro chair, Kevin did well. A few times, his right leg had some muscle spasms. These only lasted about ten to fifteen seconds each time and they stopped suddenly. Is this just how it works? Sometimes, they last for forty-five minutes, other times for ten seconds? Or is Kevin’s mind stopping the movements when he can? Is it just a change in how his brain is healing? God is really the only one who knows.

Kevin has still had some bouts with fever over the past few days. Even today, it got to 101. We put some cold wet rags on him and his fever subsided. When there is brain trauma, fever can be caused neurologically. They continually check for infections and other issues. This is important, because if he does get an infection, we want to be vigilant to catch it.

Thanks for following all this and what you mean to Kevin and our family,
Matt, Angie and family
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