Sunday, January 3, 2010

Update #113 on Kevin

It is not a surprise that many of you are still praying for Kevin and our family. In the last couple weeks we have ridden the full gamut of emotions. Angie and I had a great anniversary on December 21st. Kohl’s car broke down (needs a new engine), so the car we are borrowing has become the only car for this temporary household of five (including Kevin, even though he isn’t going anywhere, errands for supplies have to be run for him most of all). The snowstorm came and shut us in and keeping other family members from being here to help.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with no nurses, but we had a great Christmas here at the house snowed in. Kevin got audio books, stocking caps (OU and TU), earphones (for listening to music and books on an MP3 player) and more. We also found out we got another week of eight hours per day of nursing. After a few days of us taking care of Kevin, then a nurse coming for a few days, the snow relented and other family members were able to come around again to help. On December 31st, we found out that another two weeks were approved for eight hours per day of nursing. After that, who knows. Last week, physical, occupational and speech therapists all paid visits to assess Kevin and determine plans for treatment.

Kevin seems to have made the adjustment home really well. He has been off oxygen completely after some conflicting orders were sent home with him. We had a pulsox, blood pressure reader, and stethoscope donated so we have the vital reading equipment set up. When we put eye ointment in his right eye, we also check to see if he needs cleaned, and check his pulsox readings at the same time. Kevin usually has a O2 saturation of 96 and above. Sometimes it is closer to 93, but that is still good.

For the first week he was home, Kevin didn’t seem to have the extended periods of alertness he had been having in the hospital. Around mid-last week Kevin started having them once more and has had several periods of alertness since. In fact, Kevin seems pretty alert just now, after putting in his eye ointment, turning him on his right and checking his vitals (95% O2 and 91-94 HR). In an hour, he gets some reglan and a breathing treatment. In two hours, he gets fed and then turned towards his left. At that point he will be pretty settled and I will go to sleep on the couch for a couple hours, get up check him, put in eye ointment, then turn him to his right again. It will go like that until Angie relieves me at 5 AM. While we have been having almost daily nursing it has gone okay, but at times it has felt like we are at the breaking point…..yeah already. But most of the time it seems to work out. We will continue requesting nurses from Kevin’s insurance to keep Kevin out of the hospital and last week we came up with more plans to progress Kevin’s condition.

One of the things we do is have him help us when we do daily tasks for him. Wrap his hand around the toothbrush and use his hand to do the brushing. Rub his fingers through his hair before we put gel in it. Use his hand to grasp the rag to clean his face and body. These monotonous tasks could be what triggers something in his conscious. They also told us to sing over learned songs to him, such as Happy Birthday and the alphabet. We might try Jesus Loves Me too!

Today, Angie stayed home with Kevin, while the rest of us went to church. They watched a sermon online, which is hooked up to the TV. We had a couple visitors today and a few others since Kevin came home…that’s been nice. It’s good for Kevin and good for us.

Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for your concern. Thanks for the love that you have shown us during this trial.
Matt, Angie and family