Monday, July 17, 2006 - 7:30pm (posted by CSM for Danna)

Short story – not good.

Long story…

They were able to place the line for the hemodialysis (CVVHD – a slower more gentle form of dialysis which they’ve opted to do). That line is in his neck. As they tried to insert it into his groin, they had trouble because he’s so filled with fluid that all the marks they use to navigate in are messed up. So, instead of the vein, they hit the artery. There may be bleeding in the abdomen as a result, but right now, that’s the least of our trouble.

The real trouble is that he has entered status epilepticus, meaning he is seizing almost constantly – in the entire left hemisphere of his brain. This is bad. Very bad. A person cannot survive in this condition. Once in “status” they use “status protocol” to address the problem. This protocol involves a progression of meds to see if any one of them stops the seizures. Since he’s on EEG leads, they can monitor the activity in real time to see what medicine works. The first med, phenobarbitol, did not stop the seizures. They then tried dilantin, which slowed them, but didn’t stop them. The next med to try is versed. This is a med that basically induces a coma to protect the brain and stop the seizures.

The problem, among the other 2000 problems, is that his blood pressure has dropped. It’s currently about 75/45. His heart rate is high (130-140). They have him maxed out on dopamine (28 mg/hr) to keep the pressure up, and have started the other pressor (neo) again to also bring the pressure up. No success yet. Ok, so other than the general fact that blood pressure this low is not good, there are a series of indirect effects of the low blood pressure that are f*cking with our plans. Namely, low blood pressure precludes them from a) starting any dialysis (systolic needs to be at least 90) and b) starting the versed drip.

So we’re just sitting here, waiting waiting for them to get this under control.

In the event that the status epilepticus does not resolve with meds, Andrews says we have about 48 hours. As long is Mike is in status, his brain is under fire from these seizures. The longer it goes on, the greater the brain damage. And given that the seizures are in the left hemisphere which is the dominant side, this is just bad. And given that we can’t even start the f*cking drip of versed to potentially interrupt this madness, we’re just stuck stuck stuck.

We’re in the Gibbon Building waiting room from hell on the 9th floor outside the NICU. Yes, the one with no freaking windows and bad TV on non-stop. And yes, this is hell.


Anonymous said...

Danna, Baxter & Extended Family - My goodness! What non-stop insanity you're going through. We're with you and hoping that some peace and stability are near.

To share my Mike Young story, it was Karaoke night in center city in 2000. I was visiting Danna and I was hoping to meet this new guy she'd been talking about - thankfully in a way that didn't include her previously typical drama strories of his baggage, her baggage, everyone's baggage, fights and make-ups and give-ups. This guy Mike seemed to just bring out the best in her. Phew!

I arrived in Philly early evening, and Danna insisted that we head out to meet this great group of people who were waiting for us at a bar. While I'd never been one to flock to karaoke nights, Danna has somehow always convinced me to feel enthusiastic about just about anything, so off we went.

We arrived, exchanged quick hellos, and I settled in with a beer hoping to launch in to a cozy one-on-on with Mike and figure out if he were any different from the gaggle of NH / DC guys I'd heard about. Before I could get more than a "nice to finally meet you," he had grabbed Danna's hand and said, "We're up!".

They hopped up on stage and started a rock-the-house, bust-a-gut rendition of "Love Shack" in perfect ham-it-up Mike and Danna style. It was beautiful and perfect.

All I can say is that Michael Young had me at, "
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty, so hurry up and bring your jukebox money!"

Mike, we love you so much!


Liz, Scott & Noah

Anonymous said...

Here I am at home holding ice bags on my face in pain and I know it is nothing like what you are going through. I feel so helpless. I wish I could come over there and make Mike all better. All I can do is sit here and follow the blog and pray. I am with you in spirit.

Judy B

Don said...

One of my first encounters with Mike was a short film I shot with 1812 Productions called THIS IS A BREAKUP. Mike played Dr. Lutenfisk, Jen Child's character's therapist (art imitating life?).

Mike was still an intimidating figure so I really just sat in awe of him. His shtick was that every question you asked, he would throw back at you as another question. Occasionally he would look down at his notebook and write something making what you just said feel wrong. During the one-on-one interview he had some of the best jokes, definitely on par with any Christopher Guest film. At the end of each take, Mike would smile in a simple satisfied way that I always remembered - kind of like "Yeah, that was pretty funny."

Mike is an ace in the hole creatively. I used him on more than one occasion to make me look good: he played Scott Greer's fishing buddy (art imitating life!) in the Haas videos during the 2001 Barrymore Awards; he played a James Lipton type interviewer of the Haas nominees for the 2003 Barrymore Awards; he performed and directed our sketch group BAD HAIR. He even came up with the name of our Fringe show that we have never been able to surpass: FRINGETASTIC SKETCTACULAR. Mike's contributions always feel right.

Another favorite Mike story is one that almost every member of ComedySportz can relate to. Upon becoming a member of CSz, Mike Young sits down and talks to the "rookies." He gives you the 4-1-1 on things and basically introduces you to the group. He always ends the mini-orientation the same way: "Some of these people you will meet tonight will become your best friends." He said that every year and every year he was right.

I count members of CSz to be some of my best friends; they are my creative partners, my drinking buddies, my straight men, my foils, my poker dudes, my mentors and my heroes. It's no mistake that Mike fits into all of them. (Kevin fits into all but one. He knows which one that is dammit!)

Candy Duell said...

We have not met, but I have been following your blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
God Bless you all.

Anonymous said...

We have only known you a short time and my what insane times it has been. I smile at getting to know Mike through all of your wonderful friends. My only addition to funny (and it's not all that funny) is that we heard we were getting a museum curator as a neighbor. I smile at the first day we met and still see you with your realtor and laughing about your "professions."
I am also glad that we had the opportunity to share pre-Christmas dinner out with each other at Word of Mouth (that you were finally able to find amidst the fire truck parade) in Collingswood.
We are here for you and are praying for something better to come of all this.
Loren and Art

Anonymous said...

Danna, all the DC ComedySportz members are keeping you and Mike in our thoughts.

I loved the earlier blog where Mike sang, "Turn around bright eyes. . ." as you and the attendant were talking over him. What a great guy.

- Liz

Michaela said...

Just another "what's up with the kids and their crazy intuition" moment. Soen saw me crying today after reading the blog and said, "What's wrong mommy? You miss your friend?" He then proceeded to make it all better by kissing my nose. Damn kids.
We love you Danna and are thinking of you, Mike, and Baxman constantly.

Anonymous said...


Fred and I will never forget Mike's wildly funny toast at Beth and Kevin's wedding. I'm so glad Beth and Kevin have given us the opportunity to spend time with you both.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Anonymous said...

We love you and are thinking of you. I am sending every single ounce of love I have.

Jen, Scott and Lily

karenle893 said...

Encircling the three of you with our love and prayers

Karen, Rob and Emily

MJC said...

Thinking of you and Mike and Baxter and hoping for the best possible.

Anonymous said...

There's so much i'm thinking about, danna. the "big funny man", as Rachel calls him, has been a part of my life for longer than my husband has, and we're celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year. When we were in the room with Mike that night last week, and you said that he used to say he would never be hired as an artist at Disc Makers today, that got me thinking about when I first met Mike. I remember his portfolio - it was very small. He had just taken a class at Moore College of Arts at night to learn "desktop publishing" and he had these playing cards he'd done in illustrator. And I think he had some simple newsletter type stuff. We didn't even have offices or a conference room at the old Disc Makers on 4th street. I was just talking to him at a table somewhere. And he was a Penn graduate and he was smart and funny and he made me laugh and laugh. I thought, what the hell... i'm teaching myself graphic arts, this guy is super smart, he's probably ahead of me anyway, and he'll be fun to have around the office. I'm only 2 years older than him, and we're both Libras. Of course Morris was all for anyone who had a degree from Penn, like him and Tony. That piece of paper meant a lot. So we hired Mike and he was fabulous from the get-go. He designed about a million black-n-white cassette J-cards and record labels. And we looked out the window through the chain-link and saw crack pipes on the sidewalk. I remember hearing him talk on the phone to "Bob" and wondering if he was gay. And then the company grew and we worked in rooms with grey walls and no windows and every once in a while a rat would die under the floor and it would stink like nothing you ever smelled. And Mike never complained about that stuff. I went to see Comedy Sportz. I went to his first wedding. And together we figured out bigger and better systems along the way. And we built a really great art department. We built a place that people liked to work in, that produced packaging that helped our clients fulfill their dreams. And along the way, there was good and there was bad, for both Mike and for me. And we stuck together and supported each other and it worked out. I'm so happy that Mike met you. And I mean no offense to Bobbie if she's reading, but I just feel that you two were meant to be. And Baxter was meant to be too. Every time you two passed by my kitchen window when you were still in the city, I was so happy to see your pretty smile. I guess I'm just rambling now, and I know this isn't the place, but I just can't sleep for thinking of Mike and you and Baxter. -anne