Friday, December 18, 2009

Update #111 on Kevin

So far today has gone really well. About an hour ago, Kevin finished about a 45 minute coughing spell. He was able to expectorate well and we gave him a breathing treatment. About ten minutes the day nurse left. We are now alone and fully in charge of Kevin’s care until 11pm tonight. They are weaning us off private duty nurses.

Kevin is sitting in his chair and resting. We’ll be putting him back to bed in about 30-45 minutes and later tonight give him dinner.

Thanks for reading and especially praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Update #110 on Kevin

So, we brought Kevin home to his house on Wednesday night. It’s been a little over a day and a half and things seem to be going fairly well. Of course, there are the added care concerns, but for these first several days there are home health care nurses. After a week, nurses and therapists will be limited to a few visits per week.

We already had a great response for the gloves that I mentioned in the previous update. Some of the latest things that insurance doesn’t seem to be going to cover is a blood pressure cuff, pulsox machine, stethoscope and an over the bed table.

We have been organizing all the medical supplies that have been delivered and putting together cabinets to hold them. Tonight we put together four chairs, a dining room table, two cabinets, a shelf and vertical blinds on the patio door. I spent several hours trying to scan documents to send to our nurse advocate. The first two tries resulted in no scans showing up on the computer. I tried an alternate method and I finally got the scans at the end of the business day.

Kevin is doing well. We don’t have a neuro chair at home, but we got him up in a gerichair for a couple hours today. It’s interesting, because there is no safety belt, nor headrest. He tends to slide all around on it. He has coughed some, but almost always coughing out what was bothering him.

Several family members noticed alertness, as well as the nurses that have been here so far. Today, one of the nurses told us that we were doing a marvelous job, at less than twenty four hours in. He said usually families aren’t this organized for three to four days and sometimes a week. That felt good, even though it seems like we have many more things to do.

We brought home two more trash cans. It seems we need them.

Last night, after we brought Kevin home, I had a very vivid dream that he woke up. He didn’t just wake up, but he was moving around, talking and acting like normal. In the dream, we were discussing whether or not he should know how long he has been in ‘out’. I even dreamed the question, what do you remember the weather being outside, hot? Cause it’s not now! I remember thinking towards the end of the dream if I was in fact dreaming, but it felt too real to be a dream. Then I woke up.

Please pray that Kevin continues to progress. Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Update #109 on Kevin: Going Home Today

So it’s official. Unless there is some major issue, we are taking Kevin home today around 4 PM. Thanks for praying for Kevin and our family. Kevin is sitting in his neuro chair one last time right now. Soon his custom wheelchair will be delivered, but until then we have a geri chair at the house. We are working out issues with the hoyer lift we have and deliveries of supplies and food are being made today and tomorrow. Please pray for the nursing staff that will be taking care of Kevin throughout the next 7 days. The first two days someone will be there 24 hours/day. The next two days someone will be there for 16 hours/day, the next two days there will be someone there for 12 hours/day and on the 7th day someone will be there for 8 hours. After that, they will move to a thrice weekly schedule.

Pray as we enter this next phase. Pray that everything gets delivered that needs to be delivered. Pray that Kevin continues to heal and progress, so that he can be admitted to a brain rehab center.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family

PS – Does anyone have any extra vinyl gloves hanging around???? We could use a few hundred sizes medium, large and XL.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update #108 on Kevin

It is with somber mood and mixed emotions that I write this, possibly the last update at Meadowbrook. It started with news today that his third TB sputum test came back negative. The doctor told us that his blood tests look good, Kevin seemed to be doing well, and that we could start looking at a discharge tomorrow afternoon.

Wow, that was this afternoon… has seemed like a whirlwind since then. It has felt so quick. I know we have been here for awhile, but this weekend we didn’t even know when we would get results back for TB, we were told at the end of last week that it could take as long as 2 to 6 weeks, and one staff member even told us that they thought it would be bad medicine to send him home prior to getting the final results. Now, we are scrambling to get things in place. There still seems to be several things that need to happen before he can be discharged tomorrow.

Last night, Kevin threw up about twelve times. A non-RT staff member suctioned him several times and the vomiting started happening between the 2nd and 3rd suctions (yes, there was a bit of spit up at the 2nd suction, and yet they continued giving him a couple minutes to recuperate in between). It took Kevin a good hour and a half to settle down. Also, after checking for residuals, the charge nurse left Kevin’s feeding plug open. Angie found bile spilling out all over his clothes.

We are talking with a couple doctors about taking Kevin on. We hope to hear back from them tomorrow. We are also trying to get the hoyer situation straightened out at the house. They brought a hoyer to transport someone that is in a sitting position from bed to chair, but Kevin needs a hoyer and sling that transports someone laying down. The bed that was delivered to the house was making these jarring popping noises that sounded like the bed was coming apart. We called the Equipment company to come and take a look at it only to find that it had been put together askew and the railing was hitting the bed and springs making the noises.

There have been some very good moments here at Meadowbrook and some very trying ones as well. Today I tried to soothe a relationship with a staff member who had taken offense at a misunderstood question that I raised. Upon passing her in the hall, I told her I was sorry that it had happened and would have gone on, but she continued to walk by me as I spoke. When she got about twenty paces down the hallway, without turning around to face me, said “whatever” and continued walking away. Whew…..

I read back over the first posts after arriving here and thought about all the things that had transpired here. Many friends have been made. Many statements of encouragement were given us. When Kevin arrived here three months ago, he had just started opening his eyes, was still on a respirator and had C-Diff among other ailments. His chest tube hole was healing as was the skin over his skull fracture. Since then, he started yawning, moving his eyes more, getting over muscle spasms, getting through times of fever and recently begun responding more often to vocal commands. Several times lately, when I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek he pushed his head towards mine. And several staff members have noted that he seems to be smiling. The right side of his face seems to be getting more movement in it and the left side of his face seems to be loosening up from reflex tones.

Today a few times he has closed his right eyelid when he is resting. He has been doing that more within the past couple weeks, and today he seems to be resting well. Some things haven’t changed though, tonight a couple newer staff members asked me who was older between Kevin and myself. Joking, I appeared appalled and told them I am twelve years younger than Kevin. Kevin has aged very well and has enjoyed that fact. I can’t tell you how many times someone has thought he was my twin or younger brother. Good grief!

As we look to bring Kevin home, our goal is to continue caring for him as he progress with the hope that an acute rehab center would be able to re-evaluate Kevin for admittance in their program. In the meantime our family will lean on God and his church as we forge onward. We’ll let you know if he gets discharged tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Monday, December 14, 2009

Update #107 on Kevin

So, the first TB test came back negative. The second test was to check Kevin’s level of antigens (which bind to antibodies). It showed us that the first test could have been wrong. So then we have to wait for three samples to be cultured from three consecutive days. The final results could take weeks, but initial results have already started to come in. The first two days samples have come back as negative for TB. Today we should find out about the third sample

The past several days Kevin has still been coughing, but not for the extended periods that he was a couple weeks ago. He has also been keeping his food down, except for maybe Friday night. He had spit up/thrown up some, but not sure what it consisted of or what caused it.

Last week he stopped taking Vancomycin, as well as benedryl. Kevin has already seemed less drowsy and more aware since stopping the benedryl. He was also on doribax until this weekend, but was put back on it last night. WE are still researching why he went back on it.

On the radio, we keep hearing songs that Kevin likes. Now that it is Christmastime, we have heard his favorite Christmas song several times. It’s called, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and was recorded by Band Aid in the mid-80’s to raise money for Ethiopia. Any time we hear that song, we think of Kevin. And when it’s come on the radio while we’re at Meadowbrook, we play it for him.

Please be praying for a doctor to follow Kevin when we leave Meadowbrook. We have been following different avenues trying to find Kevin a doctor, today a doctor denied taking him on, so we continue the search. We do not feel comfortable taking Kevin home, until we have a doctor on board. Please pray that God would lead us to the doctor that He has for Kevin.

Please also pray for our family. This process wears on you. Some days are good, and some days you feel as if you are being ripped apart from all directions. Thanks for lifting us up.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family