Friday, August 15, 2008
So much has happened since I wrote last, it's hard to know where to start. Let's start with, THANK YOU DIANE, for updating the blog for me, and for your kind words. I LOVE YOU, TOO! As Diane says, we are quite impressed with our stay at NMRC! The entire staff has really done an outstanding job trying to meet Randy's needs. He has made some great improvements, and we are all very proud of his accomplishments! We have had some issues from time to time trying to get his medications to the appropriate levels. His doctor has prescribed a higher dose of blood pressure medicine due to his increased level of activity. He has also prescribed some meds that help reduce the spasticity of his muscles. For much of the time, his muscles and joints have been very rgid and tight. The new meds seem to be allowing him to be more flexible, which will allow him to build the muscle tone needed to walk and transfer his weight. Adjusting his meds has slowed some of the progress in therapies, but he has still come a long way since he has been here.
To see pictures of Randys Rehab, click here: http://www.randysrehab.blogspot.com
Now for the best news...Randy will get to go home next weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We will be staying with Diane and Ronnie for a while. We feel like this will be the best location to fit our needs, and we are so thankful that we have a super home and family to go HOME to!! The work toward Randy's recovery is far from over, but we are still making progress, and we work on rebuilding our lives each and every day.
Again, thanks to EVERYONE for your prayers, support and words of encouragement, for without all you have done for us, we wouldn't be where we are today. I love you all.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
First of all, he had his skull flaps replaced on July 7, and it went great! He already had a follow-up on July 17, and is healing well. He looks wonderful! As soon as his hair and beard get grown out, he will look like the Randy we all know and love! He will go back to Lubbock in September for an angiogram to make sure everything is still looking OK.
Now the best news: Felisha and Mama took Randy to Roswell to the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center on Thursday for evaluation for admission. They admitted him that day, telling us he was an ideal candidate for rehabilitation. He spent most of Friday being evaluated by physical, speech, and occupational therapists. He spent an hour in PT in the morning, 30 minutes with ST after lunch, then back to PT for 30 minutes, to OT for 30 minutes, and back to PT for 45 minutes or more.
In PT, they got him on the parallel bars and had him stand 3 or 4 times, then put him on a cycling machine for 15-20 minutes. He was able to flex his left foot and ankle much more than he has. The physical therapist has asked his doctor for a mild muscle relaxer to reduce the tightness in his muscles so he will be able to do more in therapy.
Both PT and OT worked with him on learning how to use a board to transfer from his wheelchair to bed. Randy was paying attention and working hard with them on everything they asked him to do. The OT said he improved on that task 100% from the Thursday evaluation to the Friday therapy session. He also had to work on sitting on the side of the bed and keeping himself balanced and upright. He tends to lean to the left in his chair and while sitting on the side of the bed, so that's something they will work on.
The speech therapist did 12 parts of his evaluation Friday. He did pretty well, but he sometimes uses the wrong words or gets stuck with using the same word over and over. She said that was very common. She will finish her evaluation Monday, which is 6 more tests including some reading and writing tasks. She told us the writing was often the most difficult skill to recover. I think she'll be surprised with Randy, however. He is often able to write with more clarity than he is able to verbalize. Once she has all of the evaluations completed, she puts the information into a computer program which helps determine the deficits and skills they need to focus on.
Felisha, Mama, and I are very impressed with the care Randy is receiving. The doctor is great, and the staff is very attentive. Randy pushed the nurse call button while the doctor was there Thursday evening, and there was a nurse in the room within 45 seconds. All of the staff is professional and caring. We feel a such a sense of relief in knowing that Randy's needs will be taken care of without one of us having to be there full time! We have not felt that confidence in his care since he left Lubbock!
His doctor also said Randy's overall health is an "A-" with slightly high cholesterol, but everything else is OK. Some slight iron deficiency that they may give a supplement for, as well. His pressure wound is still not good, but the nurses there will check it periodically, and change the dressing as needed. Felisha was also very pleased with the type of dressing they were using, which should reduce the irritation to the rest of the area.
We don't know at this time how long he will be in Roswell. They mentioned three weeks minimum to get him to a level where home-health care will be an option, but that's still not certain. He is not on a regular schedule yet since he checked in on Thursday afternoon, but I think after Monday he will have a regular schedule we can let you know about. From what I saw of the other patients' schedules, he will have PT, ST, and OT in the morning AND the afternoon. This place is SERIOUS about the rehab, and we are thrilled!!!
Felisha is staying in Roswell this week, but is not sure if she will stay during the week for the whole time. They definitely will be keeping Randy busy (and worn out by the end of the day) Monday through Friday, but they don't do therapy on Saturday and Sunday, so that's when he'll need company.
Felisha has been absolutely devoted to Randy throughout all of these difficult times, and all of the family is so grateful that Randy has such a wonderful, loving, dedicated person in his life! God truly blessed us all when he led Randy and Felisha to be together.
If you want to send Randy a card, he is at the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center, 31 Gail Harris, Roswell, NM 88201. He is in room 206-A.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Since we won't be going to Lubbock until Monday, we will be going to the Miller Family Reunion on Saturday, July 5th. We are looking forward to seeing everyone, and getting out of the facility for a little while. I will try to let you know how his surgery goes, just as soon as the surgery is over. Hope you all have a joyous, safe holiday!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Randy's recovery has come a long way over the past couple of weeks! He has become quite vocal, and responds to most questions. Sometimes it takes him a few minutes to process the questions and think of an appropriate response, but he has really started to come around in the speech department! He has talked to many of you on the phone, and we can't thank you enough for your calls. It means so much to us to talk with our friends and family over the phone! And, as always, Randy is quite a character! We never know what he is going to say, sometimes he is serious, and other times he is really full of bulls**t!
He is also coming along quite well with his physical therapy as well. He tried to get out of bed several times yesterday. Of course, this is impossible for him, but he doesn't fully understand why he isn't allowed to get up. We have explained that his legs aren't quite strong enough yet to support himself, and that we need to wait for the boneflap surgery before we start trying to get up. I am not sure that he understands that part of his skull is missing, so getting up is very dangerous. He acts as though he understands at the time that I explain it, but he acts very frustrated with me when I try to prevent him from doing what he wants. I suppose this is normal.
Surgery is still scheduled for July 2nd, and we are really looking forward to a quick sucessful operation. Dr. Smith says our hospital stay SHOULD only be a couple of days, but with the holiday on the 4th, we aren't real sure when we will be dismissed.
As always, thank you for keeping us in your prayers. I believe that our continued recovery is due to the many prayers, and continued support from our friends and family!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Dr Smith's office phoned today and said that his boneflaps are made and ready for surgery. Dr. Smith will be on vacation through the last of June, and wants do the surgery on JULY 2nd! They are sending us more details about the surgery and plan of care for pre-op in the mail, and I will post more information as I get it. We are all excited to have this appointment, and anxious to be through with all of the surgeries. As I understand it, they should be removing the stomach peg at the same time, and he SHOULD BE finished with all surgeries at that time.
Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support.
Monday, June 9, 2008
I have talked to Randy about the sale, and he is aware of everything that our friends and family are doing to help us out. Though he doesn't say so verbally, I can really see the gratitude in his eyes. Please know that we love each and every one of you!
Another reminder that we are playing music EVERY THIRD SATURDAY for the residents. We invite you to stop by and enjoy the music and witness what live music can do for the soul! Thanks to Matthew (Wolfe) for keeping musicians lined up for this. So far, we have had Jill and Johnny Mulhair, Ronnie Allsup, Diane Miller, Paul Goad, Adrian Ancira, Lynn Trimble,Tommy Williams, Chris Cox and Joe Mondragon. The next jam set will be on JUNE 21st. Hope to see you there!
If you can't stop by at that time, just come by when you can. Randy really enjoys having visitors!
Love to all!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Just a quick note to remind everyone of the BENEFIT GARAGE SALE coming up this weekend, JUNE 6 & 7, at 4th & Hickory. Debbie and Ron have worked MANY hours puttting this thing together, and there will be SOMETHING THERE FOR EVERYONE! I encourage all of you to stop by and hug their necks for doing such a great job! I know they are also going to have some food there, and no telling what all, so be sure and stop by either Friday or Saturday!
Randy has been talking quite a bit more over the last few days! He seems to be in great spirits, and he even told the preacher that he would be going home soon! He won 50 cents at BINGO the other day. That was lots of fun!
We are going to play music for them on Saturday Morning. This always keeps Randys spirits high. He loves our music!
Thanks for your prayers and support!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Randy is doing well. We have an appointment on Thursday to see about getting his trach out. It isn't clear if they will remove it at that time, or if he will set another appointment for removal. We will be SO VERY HAPPY to have it removed! We have had a terrible time with the nursing staff about keeping it clean, and he has had several infections, and several rounds of antibiotics to clear it up. Hopefully soon we will get it out.
Our trip to see Dr. Smith in Lubbock was a good one. Not only did he write orders to get the trach removed, he also wrote orders to discontinue the stomach feeding. It took a couple of weeks to get the orders faxed to Clovis, but we finally got this accomplished, and he is no longer on the stomach food. He is eating 3 meals a day, along with all the snacks and goodies we offer him. (Nothing wrong with his appetitie or ability to eat!) The stomach peg is still there, and we will remove it when he has the bone flap surgery. We also made a 2nd trip to Lubbock to do a CT scan. From this scan, they took measurements to have new TITANIUM MESH BONEFLAPS made. They sent off the measurements and the new flaps should be in during the last part of June. I am supposed to call Dr. Smiths office on June 23rd to see if they are in, and make an appointment for the boneflap surgery. Dr. Smith assured me that this is a simple operation, and it will take longer to prep him for surgery than it will to actually do the surgery. He said our hospital stay would be no longer than 2 days, at most. They will remove the stomach peg at that time. This will mean that he is finished with surgeries! He wants us to return in another 6-8 months for another angiogram to ensure that he is still out of danger of another anuerysm. (The only coiled 80% of this anuerysm, and he wants to keep a close eye on it!)
Randy is talking some, more on the phone than in person. He seems to talk more in the morning than later in the day, and it seems to be more in response to questions. Not yet speaking his mind, but answering some of our questions. It is yet to be seen if his talking will increase when we get the trach out. Speech therapy has dropped us for the time being, and he gets only a little occupational and physical therapy. It seems that most of the therapy he is gettings comes from the family, as we are with him all day long, and work with him at his pace. Most days he has pretty good upper body movement, and is able to feed himself. (Except when they serve English Peas...you should see him chase those peas around the plate!)
Overall...we have good days and bad days...just like the Dr. said. I think the bad days are fewer and farther between, and are not quite as traumatic as they were. We are still recovering, and gaining ground, but it is a SLOW PROCESS!
BENEFIT GARAGE SALE:
We are having a benefit garage sale on June 6th and 7th---4th & Hickory.
This will be a huge garage sale with many very nice items, including:
Clothes for all ages and sizes
The list goes on and on...
There will also be a bake sale, and will be selling hot dogs at the garage sale.
All proceeds go to defray costs incurred by the family, and your support is greatly appreciated.
PLEASE MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND!
Thanks to Debbie and Ron, and all of those who have donated items for this sale! I know this has been difficult to put together, but we do appreciate all you have done for us.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
- The people I work with at NM Workforce Connection, for being so understanding, and allowing me to take the time off to be with Randy. I know what a hardship this has been, and I appreciate you holding my position for me. Also to Prestige Carpets for being so supportive.
- Roosevelt County Fire Department-for responding so quickly to my 911 call. (This is NOT the first time I have called on them, and BOTH TIMES they were there in a FLASH!)
- Roosevelt General Hospital-for the rapid diagnosis, and for getting him to Lubbock in a timely manner.
- Lubbock Covenent Medical Center and the ENTIRE TEAM of Drs., Nurses, and Staff. They are an awesome team, and were very attentive to all of our needs!
- St. Anthony's Healthcare - Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility- for making the transistion from urgent care to long-term care possible.
I am sure there are others that I have forgotten to mention, but on closing now, I wish to publicly add the following:
I THANK GOD, EVERYDAY--
- That we live in the United States of America, where the technology that saved Randy's life is present.
- For blessing Randy and I with an incredible family, extended family, friends, and community.
- For the many miracles and evidence of His existence.
- For hearing and answering our prayers.
- For allowing ME to witness these miracles.
GOD DOES GREAT WORK! Just ask any of us.
Randy is doing well today, and is especially happy when people are visiting with him. It seems to give him the drive to continue. Again, thank you all!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I apologize for the delay in posting. It has taken a little while to get Randy settled in at our new location. We are now at St. Anthony's Rehabilitation/Nursing Facility located on West 21st Street, in Clovis, Room 216. Randy is doing quite well at this time, and seems to be totally aware of everything that is going on. He is aware of his location, and is aware of his condition. He seems to recognize everyone that visits with him, and he responds well to our questions and conversations. I think having visitors and support from family and friends has really boosted his spirits. He doesn't seem as angry/depressed and confused as he was in Lubbock. We had our first visit with his new doctors office, and got his medication and dietary orders going again. We will be participating in physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy today.
As far as progress, I can see many changes in the past week or so. He uses his right hand much better, and even uses it to wipe his mouth with his napkin while feeding. He scratches his nose quite often, and has even been feeling his head, and scratching and rubbing his incision areas.
On Easter Sunday, he spoke to the nurse, saying "No" to one of her questions. Later that afternoon, he spoke and said "I love you" after I told him I love him. We were not sure if these were just automatic reflex responses, or intentional conversation. On Monday, when we were trying to get him settled in to the new facility, he spoke again, and this time he told Diane "I'm hungry!" This was NOT in response to a question! We are all relieved and excited to see and hear this! We feel confident that with some time and speech therapy, his voice and speech will be fine.
As far as his legs, we aren't making as much progress. He still has some movement, but not quite as much as before. He still wiggles his toes for us, and can shake his right leg around some. Not as much on the left side at this time. The occupational therapist has asked the family to start approaching him on his left side, which should help him to start using that side a little better. They have also asked us to bring in photos and cards that might have some meaning to Randy to keep his spirits high, and to keep his memory active.
Plans for the benefit concert are in full swing!! Paul and Matthew are doing an outstanding job of putting together one of the best concerts you could ever hope to attend. Thanks to everyone that has helped with this project! We have posters and flyers distributed throughout Clovis, Portales, Melrose and the surrounding area. It looks to be one of the best concerts you would ever want to attend. DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS EVENT! For times and locations, click on the link under our picture.
I probably won't have time to blog again until after the concert, as I have a lot on my plate with our grandson's first birthday plans, the concert, and my eye infection. It certainly keeps me BUSY!
Thanks for your patience. I can certainly tell when I am not blogging, because my phone starts ringing off the hook!
As always, we appreciate your calls of concern and prayers. Please understand if we don't have the time to get back with you as soon as you call. We are all doing our best to get settled in.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Just a note to let you all know that things are still improving. We now have his trach capped off, and we are no longer on oxygen. He is on a full liquid diet, and is enjoying his iced tea! He has even had chicken broth and ice cream! As far as I know, as of tonight, we are still on schedule to move to Clovis tomorrow sometime. (But as we all know, this is subject to change.)
We had a pretty lazy day today. The weather made us both pretty sleepy. Physical therapy didn't come by today, so we weren't able to get up into the wheelchair. He is able to reach up to the top of his head with his right hand, and was trying to scratch his scar from the first shunt surgery. I had to explain what all was happening up there, to keep his hands off it. He inquired about the shape of his head. The swelling is down now, and he has two large indentions in his head. (They still haven't put the bone flaps back in. They said this would happen in a few more weeks.) After I explained to him why it was shaped that way, he seemed to be all right with it. I can tell that he is still a bit worried, though. Understandably so.
I hope the next time I blog, it will be from a Clovis location!
Love to all,
Friday, March 21, 2008
Just a quick note to let everyone know that they have capped off his trach tube, and he is doing well with it at this point! They are supposed to do a swallow test sometime today. Depending on how well he does with that, we will know more about how long we will be on the trach. This could be a quick process, or a slow one, depending on how well Randy responds. He had a small temperature 100.2, this morning. This is the first time it has been elevated in over a week. They didn't seem concerned, but are going to run some lab work, to see if there might possibly be an infection in his catheter. It appears that we are still set to move to Clovis on Monday, if all continues to go well.
Thanks to everyone for thier love, prayers and support!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
We got Randy up in his wheelchair for a while today, and did a little physical therapy. Not too much at a time, but mostly just moving his joints around. This morning he was able to mouth the words "I love you", but I couldn't get him to do it again for me. He can stick his tounge out justs a little bit. (Before this happened, he could touch the tip of his nose with his tounge! Can you??!!) The swelling is down quite a bit on the left side of his head, and his left foot is swollen some. The swelling is not down as much, but the right foot isn't swollen much.
He seems to be bored most of the time. Happy spurts, but mostly bored, and he chooses not to answer me from time to time. (I think he gets tired of my company or something!) I am sure this will get better when we take the trach tube out, and we can turn his hands loose. I just can't imagine how hard it is to be restrained all the time. I loosen it up when I am right there with him, but even when I am watching him close, he still tries to pull at his tubes, wires and such.
Again, thank you all for staying tuned. I will continue to post as often as I get the chance. It's just not as easy as it was before. Also, please continue to pray with me. I can tell our prayers are being answered!
Much love to all,
Sunday, March 16, 2008
We had a great day yesterday. Mom, Diane, Ron, Denise and Walter all came to visit. Thanks everyone! Great to get away for a little while to re-group! Sorry our sleepyhead was not too awake for your visits. Last night, after you all went home, Randy was so very alert! He was communicating better with his facial expressions than earlier in the day. We watched the end of Drumline on TV. (We have seen it before, so RQ wasn't too impressed, but he remembered that I liked it and gave me permission to watch the end of it again, though he teased me about the cheerleaders!) We shared some giggles, and some love. He was very loving last night, wanting kisses just every few minutes.
I noted that the swelling was down quite a bit last night, as the left side of his head is very concave. I have only seen it that low once, after they removed the bone flaps. There is still some swelling on the right, as it looked "normal" shaped.
The nurse weighed him last night. He lost 5 1/2 pounds in the past 24 hours! That is incredible...I don't know if it is intended or not...but incredible just the same. They have increased the amount of liquid food, and we are nearly to the maximum amount they will offer him. (They had to start with small meals, and work their way up.) His blood sugars were at little high, at 154. They told me it was probably the food increase that caused it. They gave him some insulin. Another possibility for the weight loss could simply be loss of fluids, because as I mentioned, the swelling on the left side of his brain is nearly all gone. I asked the nurse why they were no longer getting him into the wheelchair, and she is checking into it. I am thinking that it is due to the blood clot in his leg, but I am waiting to hear it from someone who knows for sure.
Not much else to report. I stayed at the RV last night. I needed to get away, and sleep in a more comfortable place. (I had nightmares and a backache the night before.) I slept well last night and feel much better today. I explained to Randy why I was going to the RV last night, and he was ok with this. (Not happy, but he seemed to understand.)
Will try and blog more later.
Much love to all!
Friday, March 14, 2008
We are SO EXCITED! Folks, we have come such a long distance in such a short time! I know we still have a long way to go to get to complete recovery, but I know that God is on our side, and that prayers really are answered. We have living proof! Let us all be thankful for the miracles that we have witnessed, as we continue on the path that He has put us on!
Love to all,
I was reminded that during yesterdays excitement of getting into the new room, that I forgot to mention to everyone that they got his stomach peg in. They won't start feeding him through it until today sometime. It is just teriffic to have the feeding tube out of his nose! So far, his recovery has been much faster than any of us could have imagined! I am so proud of him, and his accomplishments! I should have known this would happen, after all he is a Miller!
Love to all,
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I know you're just not gonna believe this, but.....ok, here goes...Randy has been joking around with me ever since I got back from Portales this afternoon! He has been pretending to spit his chewing tobacco/snuff into a trach tube that the nurses let him hold. Eyes just shining, grinning from ear to ear! He is a very happy person right now, as am I!
I really can't put into words, the amount of improvement I can see over the last 24 hours! His facial movements have improved a great deal, and it is just awesome to see him joking around and smiling. He is very glad I am back, and is just clinging to me, and sqeezing my hand so tightly!
As I was leaving the room tonight, I had to restrain his hand to prevent him from accidently pulling on his trach tube. He seemed ok with this. I told him I was going to find something on TV for him to watch while I was gone. He reached out for the remote. I told him he probably couldn't have that, for fear that he would be hitting the nurses call button, instead of the tv button. He shot me a look. So, I asked him if he could see which button was the TV button(remember he doesn't have his glasses on at this point). I showed him which buttons were which, and he gave me the biggest grin, nodded his head and gave me the thumbs up symbol! He knows how to operate the remote! (I have always known that this was a "HARD WIRED TRAIT!") We have just giggled all afternoon! He really, really seems happy tonight. And I am too!
Love you all,
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
They will insert his stomach feeding peg early next week, and if all goes well we could be going home towards the end of next week...I THINK!
I am going to go to Clovis/Portales tonight and get some paperwork going. Cindy is here, and will be staying the night here, so Randy won't be alone. He is in good hands with Cindy...(I THINK! Ha Ha) I hope to return to Lubbock tomorrow, if all goes well at home.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Randy was awake this evening when I went in for our visit. He was watching Discovery Channel, and holding me real tight with his left hand. He seems to have more strength in it this evening than before. The left side of his head now seems more concave, as the swelling is going down. I assume this is a good thing, and that the swelling is continuing to go down. His mood troubled me some. He seemed to be worried. I told him that I had to go to Portales tomorrow to do some paperwork. He REALLY didn't like that. He almost acted mad at one point, and sad at one point, but overall, I just think he might be worried and scared. He has overheard me talking to the nurses, and I think he is aware that he will be going into a nursing faciltiy, and not home. I am pretty sure that has made him feel down. I have tried to explain things the best I know how, but I still think this is the reason he seems so blue and worried. I can only imagine what he is thinking. He sends his love. I know he understands how much we all love him. He responds accordingly when I tell him.
Going to get some rest. Tomorrow will be another long day. Thanks to everyone for everything.
I was totally shocked this morning when I went in to see Randy. He was SITTING UP in a wheel chair! They have cut his veltilator back to what they call CPAP (don't know yet what that stands for) but it means that he is BREATHING ON HIS OWN! He is totally alert, and comprehending every word. He reached up and shook hands with Kayla, one of our favorite nurses, and I could see the "thank-you" look in his eyes. He even smiled at one point, and the wrinkles around his eyes were absoulutely the best thing I have seen in weeks. I knew at that moment that we were in the midst of a GOD thing, and it was just awesome to witness. The nurse said she would ask the doctor and SEE if MAYBE he might be ready for a private room soon. This process takes several days, due to the many patients, and lack of room availablity. She thinks he may be ready to get on the waiting list for a room, but the doctor may not think so.
Monday, March 10, 2008
While talking to the nurse, she has indicated that he is now on 2 antibiotics, protonix (to prevent stomach ulcers), and a blood pressure patch.
Everything else is as needed meds. He hasn't had any pain meds or even tylenol in a few days now. Ointment for bed sores, IV for hydration, and his liquid foods, and nothing for the vasospasms. His temperature is 97.
They shaved the other side of his head for today's surgery, so now his incisions include the big one that runs from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear, one on his right side that is almost a 2 1/2" circle from Fridays shunt surgery, and a matching one on the left side from todays shunt surgery. He has only one tiny little sprig of hair thats about 4" long on the top of his head. (I think they could have taken it all at this point!)
It's been quite a day for me, so I am turning in early. Overall it was yet another good day.
Love to all,
Not much news to report yet, they have scheduled the shunt surgery for sometime this afternoon. They said they would call me. His white blood count is better than it has been since he got here. One of the doctors said the swelling was down in his ventricles, and he thought todays surgery would go better. This was the first indication that it was SWELLING that was the problem on Friday's attempt. Anyway, all looks good for today at this point.
Had a good visit this morning. He didn't want me to leave, not even for a moment. Everytime I tried to walk away from the bedside, he would squeeze my hand real tight. Several times he reached up to touch my face. He kissed my fingertips and showed lots of response to everthing around him. He acted inquisitive when the doctors were talking about this surgery. I explained to him that he has a drain tube in his head right now, but we were gonna move it today. I tried not to give too many details, and assure him that this was a good thing, and I trusted the doctors. Overall, it was a good visit.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Having a GREAT DAY!! Paul is here, and Randy woke up to visit! Had a nice long visit. As I was leaving, I kissed my fingers and put my fingers to his mouth and he puckered up to kiss my fingers!!! He did this several times. He was very active with his right hand, and was holding a guitar pick that Paul handed him. He kept trying to reach over the bed to hand it back to Paul, as if to say, "I don't use a pick!" The nurses got to see the kisses thing. They were quite impressed, just as Paul and I were. This is just awesome in my book! As we were clowning around, Randy shot me a few dirty looks. (If looks could kill...) Appears to me that he is still RANDY in many ways! Looking forward to next visit!
Gonna close for now, and go out with Paul. He has some friends to introduce me to, maybe go eat some supper. Thanks to all for staying tuned, and continued prayers.
Love to all,
Got his boom box playing some old Calhoon Brothers stuff. This is music that Randy's old band recorded live at the night clubs some 33 years ago! Sometimes it appears that his right hand and foot are moving to the music, but it's really hard to tell for sure!
Going to go find a truck stop so I can shower.
Love to all,
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Well, you know who is still sleeping. Mom and Amber and I tried to wake him up, but he just wasn't having it. Sleepyhead. But after Lupe and Quetta came in and we started joking around some, he woke up enough to see who was here, yawn a few times, and then back to sleep. He recognized Lupe, but I'm not real sure if he got awake enough to see Mom. Thanks to everyone for the visits. It really helps alot.
Other than the visitors, there isn't much to report. Temperature is at 99. Guy Clark is keeping him company. The nurse says he ocassionally opens his eyes and looks around and goes right back to sleep. TYPICAL RANDY! (ha-ha)
Hugs and kisses to Adrian, the almost one year old grandson. Granny-Jo sure does miss you! Hope to spend your birthday with you!
Will report again after tonights visit--If Google will let me!
Not much news here! Randy is sleeping. We know he likes to sleep. Sleep is good for healing, and besides that, I am sure he is miserable when he is awake. He looked rather uncomfortable, and they still have one of his hands restrained. I changed his CD, and talked to him for a few minutes, but he just couldn't stay awake. He seemed to understand me, but was just real tired. Other than that things are just the same. No temperature.
I talked to Paul Goad last night. He is probably coming over tomorrow, Sunday. We will be reviewing some of the details on the Benefit Concerts. So far, it sounds like we will be having a terriffic turnout, so stay tuned to the blog for more details!
For those following Jessica's story: I saw her and her mom this morning at the elevators. She has a DayPass and they were headed for the mall! Continued prayers for her speedy recovery.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Just a quick note to let you know that Randy was doing VERY well at the last visit. He was even more coherent than at anytime before. Had a nice long visit with him. He understood almost everything I was telling him, from visiting hours to Guy Clark and from "the doctors say you're getting better" to "I love you". He was able to close his eyes when he understood, and frown with his eyes when he didn't. At one point he started crying. But we soothed him, and told him not to worry. That's MY job. His job is to get well. We had an AWESOME visit! Two of his doctors came in during the visit. The first doctor, Dr. Smith, said he just wasn't comfortable with this mornings surgery, and that he just decided to stop "feeling in the dark" and wait until Monday when he could use the computer to guide him. I trust this decision. He seemed somewhat impressed with his progression. The second doctor, his infectious disease doctor, was even more impressed and optimistic. He gave Randy two thumbs up! OVERALL: TODAY WAS A GREAT DAY...SO FAR!!! Can't wait for tonights visit.
Thanks to all for the support and prayers.
Love to all,
For those of you that are awake this early, just wanted to drop you another line to ask for your continued prayers. They are doing the shunt procedure this morning around 10:00 or 10:30, TX time. This should take approximately 30-45 minutes. Dr. Smith seemed to think all will go well.
I asked Dr. Smith this morning some questions regarding his long-term rehab that he had mentioned to me one day last week. He says that unfortunately, we are without resources, so the rehab he wanted to send us to would not be made available to us. He said he would check into some nursing facilities in the surrounding area, and see if there is something available, perhaps something close to home, if possible.
I asked him about when he thought we might move his feeding tube from his nose to his stomach, and he said that would be done in a week or so, depending on how quickly he heals from the shunt surgery. I also asked about when we thought we would be replacing his bone flaps. He again said we would have to see how well his shunt works, and make sure all of the spinal fluids are draining properly.
For some more optimistic news: When I went in to see Randy this morning, he was glad to see me, and was moving BOTH arms, and not just a little bit. He was looking at me as though he was pleading for answers, or that he was confused and afraid, and very agitated about something. I tried to calm him to no avail, and had to physically hold his arms and shoulders to allow the nurse to give him a shot of morphine. He has shown a tremendous change in the amount of movement since last night. No doubt they will be restraining his arms when he recovers from the shunt surgery, because he was all over the bed, lifting not only his hands and arms, but also his shoulders. We all know Randy is a strong person, I only wish I could ease his fears. One one hand, the Dr. seemed very pleased with this obvious change, but on the other hand he tried not to let me get my hopes too high, telling me that this could go on for a very long time. It is sometimes hard to interpret his forcast for the future. I suppose this is because each case is so different. Some people bounce right back, others take much longer, if at all.
Again, if I could ask of you to please continue with your prayers, I would be greatful. I will post more as soon as I know more.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Sorry we are late with this post. We have been experiencing technical difficulties trying to get my sound card operating, so we can burn some CD's for Randy to listen to. I think we have it going for now. I can tell by the number of phone calls, that one blog a day is just not enough for you guys! OK, so here's the latest:
We had a really great day. He was sleepy and distant this morning, but by this afternoon, he was much more awake, and somewhat alert. By evening, he was less awake, but when he was awake, he was even more alert! He is moving both hands today, as well as both feet. Not a large range of movement, but more than just squeezing. He sometimes seems frustrated, and other times seems calm and coherent. They seem to think this is mostly due to the meds, and the location of the brain fluids. (When the brain fluids are more on the left side, he seems to move and think better.) His fever is down to 97, and has remained low for a couple of days now.
Tomorrow they will be putting in a permanent shunt. For those that may not know about this procedure, here is my interpretation: The brain normally makes about 2 coke cans of brain fluid each day. This liquid is expelled through veins/arteries to the spinal column, and from there it travels to the body's organs and is released from the body as urine. For Randy, there is a "filter" at the spinal chord that is "clogged up" and so that normal route is blocked and wont let the fluid escape through its normal route. Right now, he has a tube coming out of the top of his head, that is draining out into a bag that catches this fluid. Since we have been here, this liquid has been red, indicating lots of blood in this fluid. In the past few days, however, it has cleared up, which indicates that it is no longer washing out blood from the aneurysm bleed. In tomorrows procedure, (as I understand it) they will run this tube on the inside of his body. It will run from his brain, and outside the skull area, but under the skin, behind his ear, down through an artery in his neck, down to his stomach, where it can then be released as urine. They have told me that this is a very common procedure, that many basketball players have this done. It is also common in children. While it is risky to some degree, it is also a common procedure, and we shouldn't worry TOO much!
I am hoping to catch Dr. Smith tomorrow and get some answers to some questions regarding rehab, and at some point they will move his feeding tube from his nose to a peg in his stomach. Not sure much about this procedure, or when they will be doing it. Also have questions regarding his bone flaps, (skull) when they might be replaced. I have been told that they probably wont replace his bone flaps until after he gets out of SICU.
I am not sure what time he is scheduled for the shunt operation, they just told me it would be tomorrow morning sometime. As soon as I know something, I will keep you posted.
Much love to all,
P.S. For those of you that are following Jessica's story: (The Portales girl that was in an awful wreck a week before Randy got here) We saw her and her father in the lobby tonight. She is progressing quite well. She remembers Matt from the Rec Center, was talking some, and seemed quite alert. She appears to be well on her way to recovery! We have all been including her in our prayers. She has been through some really tough times this past month or so.
Sorry I havent been updating as often. Amber and I are trying to get my computer up and going in the RV, and things have been a little bit wierd getting it set up.
As for Randy, he is still doing about the same. He has been mostly sleepy, and when he is awake, he is slow to respond, and stares out into the distance quite a bit. His fever is down to normal, and it was normal yesterday also.
The Dr. wants to do his shunt surgery tomorrow. I will meet with him this afternoon to sign the consent forms and get more information about the process, and perhaps get some answers about what to expect over the next few weeks. The nurse that was in there this morning said that they wouldn't put the bone flaps back in while he is in SICU. That comes later when he is in rehab center or on the regular floor. Everything else is stable.
I have been talking some with Paul Goad, and Matthew, my son. They are planning some benefit concerts in Clovis/Portales. As soon as they get the details ironed out, I will be positing information here, as well as through e-mail addresses. It sounds like there will be a concert at the Lyceum Theater in Clovis, and it looks like there will be LOTS of musicians gathering to help with this event. Please stay tuned to the blog to get more information.
Keep the prayers coming, this is a slow process.
Love to all,
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
We had a great morning yesterday, he was alert, and turning his head from side to side. Watching everything that was going on. Seemed quite coherent. We were so pleased to see this much progress. Then they moved him to his new air cushioned bed, which is designed to help reduce bedsores. The move from one bed to the next really, really wore him out. He started "hyperventilating", his blood pressure shot up real high, respiration real high, and it took quite some time to calm him down, even with sedation meds. He slept through yesterday afternoon visit and last evenings visit.
Not much new this morning. Still sleepy. He would open his eyes for a second or so, but then drop back out. As I have mentioned before, he is NOT A MORNING PERSON!
The Dr. said we will be doing the shunt operation on Friday. They think his fever is low enough, and unless something changes between now and then, he is scheduled for Friday. Other than that, not much news. The swelling seems to be down somewhat, but while I was in there this morning, they gave him some more lasix to help him reduce more swelling.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I just went to see Randy. Boy am I jealous. He is surrounded by 5 nurses/nurses aides that are there to give him a bath, dress his wounds, brush his teeth (tooth?) etc. I just know how much he hates that! (ha ha) They are trying to get him cleaned and ready for his new bed! He seemed VERY ALERT...(go figure!)
One of his doctors was there, and he totally agrees with me, that he is much more alert, and is coherent a good part of the time. There is talk from infectious disease department that the fever he has MIGHT NOT be from infection. It could POSSIBLY be from allergy to some of the meds, or even just from having the many procedures done. Again this is just talk, and they are not sure enough to discontinue his antibiotics at this point. His temp was down to 98.9 this morning.
They may need to replace his drainage tube, (the one that drains his brain fluids) as it doesnt seem to be working to their satisfaction.
Otherwise, the doc said there is not much to report. Everything seems stable at this time!
Love to all!
Monday, March 3, 2008
I just had the most wonderful visit with Randy!
They replaced the post on his trach tube, and it looks like a good secure connection. His fever is 101. The dr. changed is antibiotic again today. They have ordered him a new bed, as he is getting some bedsores from lying on his back. The new one is supposed to have air cushions that will help him distribute his weight more often. Chesna says she has seen the new beds and they are great. We're looking forward to that.
He has another tiny brain bleed. Again, they have told me not to worry about this, that it was somewhat typical, and that it should take care of itself on its own, but they will watch it very closely.
Better News: He is moving his right hand around very well, as far as the restraints will let him go. He is also moving his right leg fairly well. He doesnt always seem to do it on command, but I KNOW now that it is in response to me, just sometimes delayed.
EVEN BETTER NEWS: He was responding so well with his facial expressions and with his arm and foot movements, that I know for positive that he understands most of what I have told him. I can see by his responses, that when I tell him that I love him, he responds by holding his eyes closed as if to say "I love you, too" He did this same facial response numerous times, so I am very sure that he is understanding and comprehending most of what we say. He would switch from looking at me, to looking at the clock. I'm not quite sure why, if he is not sure about the day, week, month, time of day/night, or just what. I tried to explain everything, but I'm not real sure about his clock question. I know his mind has questions that I haven't heard. And in time, I hope to fill in all the questions with life-long love. HE SEEMED EVEN MORE LIKE THE RANDY WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE.
They let me have a long visit, because they could see that we were making great strides in communication, and he seemed to be holding up well. As I was leaving they checked his blood sugars. It was a little high, so they gave him some insulin and his tylenol for fever.
Friends, this was the BEST SIGN ever that he is going to pull through. I can hardly stop the tears of joy.
Thanks for the prayers, well wishes, phone calls, and visits. I couldn't get through this without all of you!
Love to all,
I tried to stay at the RV this morning and avoid the cold weather, but my heart just wouldn't let me. I remember all the times that my Randy would go out in the cold and start my vehicle for me, scrape my windows, drive me to work, and just overall take super-good care of me. He spoils me! So, I decided to "Miller-Up" and fight the wind and snow to go see my baby. (It's not really all that bad out there) Hope all of you are bundled up, staying warm. I heard you guys have more snow than we have here. Just a light dusting here, but it is still snowing like crazy, but not sticking all that much.
On to this mornings visit. They had some problems with his trach tube this morning. This is not the first issue they have had with it. I got to see his respritory doctor, and he says that Randys NECK is thicker than most...yes I said NECK, not head! The trach tube doesn't quite go in far enough to reach its intended position, so they have ordered a longer trach post, that should reach in further, and secure things in that area.
We got the results from his sonogram. Everything looks good there, gallbladder, liver, kidneys, etc. Found no internal bleeding there. They tested his blood this morning and it is at a normal level, and his blood gases look good.
The lung doctor also came in while I was there. He said his lungs sound clear. He said as far as he could tell, everything appears to be stable.
As for outward appearances...His eyes are open some of the time, and closed some of the time. I can tell by looking at him that all movements are a struggle for him, and seems to wear him out. The nurses told me it was ok to bring in his glasses so he would be better able to focus when his eyes are open. I'm not sure how much it is helping him. We all know how blind he is without his glasses. But it sure helps me to see him with them on! He just looks more like Randy with them on! :)
He is moving his right hand quite a bit this morning, holding it up as high as the restraints will allow. He moved his left hand ever so slightly when I was holding it this morning. No foot or leg movement yet today. As I said, I am just sure that every little movement is a chore for him, so I try not to wear him out by asking him to move around too much. I am so proud of him for putting up the battle that this must be for him. We all know he is a fighter!
Thats all for now.
Thanks again to everyone for everything.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
We had a great afternoon visit. Right after I blogged the last time, I went back up to see Randy. He was responding to my voice, and seemd to have recognition. He was able to move his right foot on command 7 or 8 times, his left foot only a couple of times. He didnt move his hands on command, but shortly after asking him to move his hands, he moved his right hand on his own (This may or may not have been voluntary).
The nurses were pleased.
Tonight however, they were late opening the doors due to Randy. He had gotten upset for some reason that isn't quite known at this time. His respiration went real high and his blood pressure jumped. He is running a 102.3 temp. The nurses said that it was kind of like he was hyperventilating. They gave him some meds to calm him down, and it was working. He was sleeping, and smoothing out. Not sure what excited him. The Nurse said he acts the same way when they take him to x-ray, as if he knows where he is going and is angry about doing so. Hmmmmmm....Go Figure!
This is Dr. Harold Smith, one of Randys main doctors. For more information about Covenant NeuroScience Institute, follow this link: http://www.covenanthealth.org/Facilities/neuroscienceinstitute/default
Not much else to report. The storm is nearly here, the wind is beginning to howl. Gonna head for home.
Love to all the folks back home. E-mail me if you find time.
When I went in this afternoon, his eyes were open, he seems to be tracking my movements pretty good, but not able to blink on command for me. The nurses aide said he had been "watching her" all afternoon. She believes he can understand what we are saying at this point, but we must remember that EVERY NURSE and EVERY DOCTOR and EVERY NURESES AIDE see a different picture of what is going on.
As for me, I think he seemes somewhat better today.
I still have time for one more visit before they run me off, so I heading back upstairs to see my darlin'.
Love to all,
Saturday, March 1, 2008
We had some question for a little while about whether or not they did the sonogram, but I think they finally decided it has been done, so they started him back on his food. There was some confusion if they did the sonogram on an empty stomach or not, so this MIGHT have to be done over again. (Again, the sonogram is to check his gallblader.)
We dont have a progress report for tonight, because they were gonna be late opening the doors, so I opted to blog first, then visit him. I will update again in the morning.
Love to all
They told me again that when his temperature is gone, they will put in a permanant shunt that will run from his brain, under the skin, down to his organs. This will help him with normal drainage, as his current "filter" is clogged, and won't work properly. This is a very common procedure with brain injury patients.
As for me, I am holding up pretty well, although I was not too fond of todays nurse. He tends to be a bit pestimistic, which is kind of scary. I realize he was trying to prepare me for the worse, because that is his nature, therefore, he has no suprises. I also realize that it is hard to explain to families that things could get better, but they could get worse. They have made it pretty clear, that brain injury patients don't have a "normal" healing curve. They don't start at the bottom, and gain progress until they are back to their regular lives. Brain injury patients have good days, and bad days, then good days, then bad days. So, it is much more like a rollercoaster ride, than an uphill climb.
Will post more later. Thanks for tuning in.
I love you all, KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING, PLEASE!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Not much change this afternoon, still running fever. They are going to do a sonagram on his gall bladder sometime tonight or in the morning. They will stop his feeding tonight, because he has to do this on an empty stomach.
Thanks again for all your support
I love you, and miss you all,
Thursday, February 28, 2008
For those of you that have not heard our TERRIFFIC news from last night, I am so excited to let everyone know that Randy is able to understand what we are saying to him! He will blink twice when he understands, or the answer is yes. He is aware that he is in the hospital. He knows he is very sick but getting better. He understands when we mention the names of all of his loved ones, and knows that you all are praying for him and for a speedy recovery. Thank you all for these prayers, we know God is holding us in his hands and answering our prayers! WOOOO-HOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
He was having a hard time waking up this morning when we went in (He never has been much of a morning person anyway). He is still responding with his eyes, but it is real sluggish, because he acts sleepy.
His fever is up this morning to 102. They keep giving him tylenol, and continue with the antibiotics and steroids. We are all aware that recovery is a slow process, but are THRILLED that he has come this far in just 11 days!
Mom got him a boom box that we can keep beside his bed, so we can keep HIS music playing at all times. I am sure he is getting tired of CMT. There is so little music on that channel anyway. Matt is in the process of burning us some of his music on CD, and I am sure this will help keep him calm.
I love you all!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The latest news: They have removed all of his sedation medications. His eyes are open for several minutes at a time, and only closes them for a minute or two and he reopens them. He seems to be staring far off into the distance, and unresponsive this morning. I think he can hear my voice, because he will open his eyes when I call out to him. But when they are open, he seems to be way out in space somewhere. They have tested his hands and feet again with the pinch tests, and they said everything was ok there. They gave him some blood to replace some that he has lost. Still running fever. At 8 this morning it was up to 102. They gave him tylenol then. Otherwise no other changes. It is wonderful to see him "awake" but at the same time, it is a bit scary to see him so distant. I pray this gets better with time.
Love to all!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It is through tears of joy that I have the pleasure of letting everyone know that we are making some improvements! Shortly after my last blog, I returned to his room. His sed meds had been down at 20 ccs for about 30 minutes or so, and when I tried to arouse him, he OPENED HIS EYES, and LOOKED AT ME, and showed some recognition. He acted like he knew who I was and was trying to respond, tho he was very, very sleepy. He kept his eyes open for at least 30 seconds or so, and Matt and I could tell that he was understanding at least part of what I was telling him. He yawned hugely 3 or 4 times, and struggled to stay awake. (He is still under a huge amount of sedation, at this time.)
At tonights visit, he would open his eyes, though not quite as awake. However EVERY TIME I call out his name, he would open them slightly for me. He has moved his shoulder around a couple of times. His temperature has remained low all day, as as of a few minutes ago, He felt like he had no fever, but they havent taken it since 4:00.
OVERALL: ITS BEEN A GREAT DAY!!!
Thanks again for the prayers. God is with us, YES I KNOW!
When I went in a few minutes ago, they had just bathed him, and cleaned his trach tube area, so they had increased his sed meds to 34.5, so he was really too groggy to respond. We played this little piggy went to market with his fingers, pinching each finger, and he tried really hard to open his eyes, but still just too sedated, but I can still see response in his eyes. He knew we were there and messing with him! They did drop the sed meds to 20 while I was in there, and by the time I get back up to see him he may be a bit more responsive. His fever has maintaned between 100 and 101 all day. All good signs I would say! I know Randy is aware of our presence and can hear our prayers, and is fighting to get better.
I feel truly blessed.
I love you all!
Each of these steps are small ones, but each one is a positive one. I know God is with us. I feel the power of his love, and I know how much you all are pulling for us. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. Thanks again for all your love and support. More news later!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.
Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. Let me continue to see sin through God's eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus' example -- to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. It's the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits. I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those who are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don't know You intimately. I pray for those who will delete this without sharing it with others. I pray for those who don't believe. But I thank you that I believe.
I believe that God changes people and God changes things. I pray for all my sisters and brothers. For each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God. Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly..
This is my prayer.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
They think his fever MIGHT be coming from his central IV line in his chest. They will be moving it from the left side to his right side or groin. They seemed to think this is not too uncommon.
He didnt really move or respond much yesterday. His pupils were dialated to a 5 yesterday. The nurse said 2-3 was normal. They are now at 3. But his eyes are still responding to light, which means that the "lights are still on somewhere"
They said he has a blister on his back that they have been tending to. I asked if it was a bedsore or what, and the nurse said no, although she didnt know much about it. This is the first I have heard about that. I suppose when I talk to the doctor we might find out what the origin of this is.
So not much good news to report. But not much bad news to report.
KEEP PRAYING...I LOVE YOU ALL
Sunday, February 24, 2008
He has started running a low-grade fever, anywhere from 99 to 100.2, until right before we went in to visit, and then it had spiked to 102. They had given him something for the fever, and the doctor has ordered and antibiotic to control any infection that may be coming on. He will get that twice a day for a while.
Otherwise, it still looks about the same. TIME AND PRAYERS!
I LOVE YOU ALL, for all you have done.
Dr did the doppler scan thing last night. No changes in the spasms, but felt no need to change anything in that department. He has ordered the doppler scan for every other day, as well as the catscans.
For the more optimistic news...he is showing some signs of life that we've not seen for a while. I can see his eyes rolling behind his eyelids. He keeps moving his mouth without me touching it. His left side of his body moved just a bit at one point. They have given him a more complete shave, and he looks much better today.
Sad news...They cut his pony tail off! There was just no way to save it in that condition. He'll have lots of time to grow it back, but it will take some getting used to it, I'm sure.
So for now things still look pretty optimistic, but we still need your prayers.
I love you all!