Monday, June 26, 2006 evening

Mike is looking great. They've upped his dose of Decadron to 6 mg every 6 hours (so, 24 mg/day) rather than 6 mg twice/day.

I must have really hammered home my points about the problems posed by IV fluids and the need to be catheter free because they discontinued the IV and have been time-voiding Mike every 2 hours all day with no problem. Everyone's on board.

I have put signs up above his bed that say, "Please no catheter. Time voiding (bringing to bathroom or handing him urinal) every 2 hours works great" and "Please refrain from giving IV fluids. Sodium is sensitive and tends to drop too low with IV fluids." I'm hoping this will give people pause before doing anything different.

I got to the hospital at 2:30. Mike has just taken a spill. They had him sitting up in his chair and he was looking great, but he heard laughter in the hall, thought it was "The McCormicks" and got up to walk out to see them. (yeah, thanks, Scott. Your fault.) He buckled and scraped his arm on his bed frame. Nothing too serious, but it freaked him out a bit. The good news? about 20 minutes later, he still remembered he had fallen. He was also recalling his nurse's name. Shamelle was amazed at how well he did at lunch. PT/OT even got him up walking already and everyone is thrilled at how much progress he's made during his 3 weeks at Magee.

MRI was done this morning. I saw the films, but the report hasn't officially come back yet. Scans show there are still huge cysts in there. I don't really know what I'm talking about, but they look bigger to me than they did in the mid-May scans (the last ones I saw). Still lots of swelling in there too. The solid part looks the same size, though. I'm hoping Andrews will lay out a plan for us tomorrow.

Mike is in good hands and doing well. Feel free to visit him. Visiting hours at JHN are from 12 noon until 8 pm. I'm counting on our circle of friends to help be Mike's advocates. Quite frankly, I'm just too tired to do it all the time. It takes so much mental and emotional energy to gear up to go in to the hospital and fight the good fight. It's like prepping for battle every day. Not cause the docs/nurses are working against us, but because it's easy for things to get off track. I also feel like Bax has gotten the shitty end of the stick over the last 3 days and I don't like that feeling. So, visits to Mike - particularly those scheduled on the calendar that I can see - are welcomed.

thanks. love, danna


Anonymous said...

Some info for folks about Decadron & How it works:

One way that it works is to decrease inflammation (swelling). It does this by preventing infection- fighting white blood cells (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) from traveling to the area of swelling in your body. (This is why you are more prone to infection while taking steroids). Taking advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of the medication, corticosteroids are used to decrease the swelling around tumors. For example, by decreasing swelling around tumors in the spine, brain, or bone, it can decrease the pressure of the tumor on nerve endings and relieve pain or other symptoms caused by the pressing tumor.

The Brain said...

Dr. Georgia? Is that you?

Who is this smart and informative person providing this much needed info???

francine said...

So, I'm a Discovery Heath channel addict, and last night they had a show about patients recovering from brain trauma, most from coma after brain injury. Something that was especially inspiring was a young (25-ish?) woman who slowly came out of a coma. At first, she was like a rag doll---words very slurred, body almost limp---It seemed impossible that she would really recover. But then they showed her after rehab, and she was clear as a bell and strong and well. It's amazing how much people can recover. It made me very hopeful for Mike, especially given his condition in over past few weeks.