Archive for April, 2006

4/28/06 6:30 pm

Mike has been somewhat less responsive today, as he has been tested to determine whether a permanent drain (shunt) will be necessary to prevent fluid build-up in his head.  Apparently, this testing involves reducing the operation of the temporary drain, to see if Mike's body can deal with this fluid on its own.  Of course, when fluid collects, responsiveness can be slowed.

A CT scan will be performed tomorrow, following which Mike's neurosurgeons will determine whether a shunt will be installed.  Please pray that they will have a clear indication of what is necessary and best for Mike.

Please pray also for safe travel for Mike's brothers, Tom and Steve, who will be visiting with Mike this weekend.  Thanks.

April 28, 2006 at 6:41 pm 5 comments

4/26/06 5:00 pm

Mike has shown some excellent responsiveness today.  He has opened his eyes on request, and he has opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue on request.  In addition, shook his head "no" in response to being asked if he was cold.  He also showed two fingers, and "waved" with his hand (having had help to raise his arm).

His physical therapists are working with him, and, during the sessions, they are asking him questions, and asking that he try to do various things.  It's wonderful to note how numerous and how varied the "showings" have been today.  And the week's not over!

Pray that Mike will soon be able to show some larger body movements, like raising his arms and legs.  (You may remember that he raised his right arm previously.)  Being able to then coordinate his movements (for example, to touch his nose) would be an important showing, relating to placement in a rehabilitation hospital.

Beth Griebel shared this hopeful verse:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 5:10-11

April 26, 2006 at 5:06 pm 4 comments

4/25/06 11:00 am

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Mike's surgery went well.  (This was a fairly minor procedure, relatively speaking.)  It was noted by his surgeons, though, that they discovered upon surgery that there was some increased pressure in Mike's head.  So, again, the alleviation of that pressure may allow for greater responsiveness in the days to come.

We have also been assured that Mike will be at Edward through this coming weekend, to monitor the effectiveness of the procedure.

April 25, 2006 at 11:01 am 5 comments

4/24/06 11:00 am

This morning at 2:00 am, Mike was transferred back to Edward for an immediate CT scan which revealed more fluid build-up in his head.  Tomorrow morning, he will undergo surgery which will remove that fluid, and which will provide for the removal of any fluid which may collect in the future.  He has been re-admitted to the ICU, and it is foreseeable that he will remain there, following surgery, for some additional time.

Please pray that we will see the final resolution of this fluid problem.  It is quite probable that the fluid has impeded Mike's responsiveness; and that, once the matter is resolved, Mike could show better signs of progress than any we have yet seen.  Pray that this will be the case, as this will, in part, determine his rehab placement (which remains an issue).

There may be no more information available to us today for a further update.  (Of course, if there is, then we'll pass it on.)  Pray hard.

April 24, 2006 at 11:56 am 8 comments

4/22/06 9:30pm

Yesterday, exactly one month after his injury, Mike was transferred to RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, where he will be under the care of a physician from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  The transfer went smoothly, and Mike is comfortably settled in.  (Sorry this update comes to you late – I cannot update from RML right now.)

Mike showed some responsiveness today by squeezing his right hand to confirm that he could hear us, however he was not consistently responsive during the course of the day.  This is likely due to his having days and nights mixed up, as a result of a prolonged stay in the ICU (where daytime and nighttime activities are not very dissimilar, and where this confusion of time will commonly occur).  Mike did appear to do some tracking today, as well.

Please pray that a treatment program will be developed which will continue to guide Mike successfully through the recovery process.  Pray also for Mike's physical therapy, and that his joints and muscles remain healthy.  As we come to know more, we will be sure to let you know what Mike's treatment will involve, so that prayer can lead the way for him.

Although Mike's recovery began in surgery on March 21st, April 21st saw the true beginning of his rehabilitative care.  The weeks and months which will follow, we are told, will be absolutely critical for Mike.  And so, as much as ever, prayer will be critical — no less critical than one month ago.  On several occasions today, I told Mike to be strong and to be in prayer (as I know he is).  Thank you, all, for being strong and staying in prayer for him.

April 22, 2006 at 10:38 pm 2 comments

4/21/06 2:00 pm

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Mike has been transferred from the ICU at Edward Hospital to a rehabilitation facility.  We will have more details later, but wanted to get this out to those planning on visiting Mike at Edward this weekend.

April 21, 2006 at 2:19 pm 10 comments

4/20/06 7:00 pm

Mike has been a little less responsive today, though he did squeeze and release his hands on request.  Mike's nurse pointed out that he has been very active at night over the last couple of days, and suggested that he may simply be a bit less active during the day. 

Tomorrow, Mike will undergo another CT scan – sooner than originally planned.  Also, he will be evaluated for admission to one of the rehabilitation clinics which is being considered.  Mike may be just on the verge of the level of responsiveness and consistency that would make him a good match for this facility.  While the best treatment option will, of course, be the one that best meets his needs where they are, it would be encouraging if Mike were to be deemed "ready" for the treatment that this facility offers.  Simply pray for the right decision for Mike, though — and that, when he is evaluated, Mike is able to clearly demonstrate "where he is" in the recovery process.  (The right decision will follow the right information.)

I will see Mike this weekend. I cannot wait.  (I'll try to update a lot.)  As always, thanks for checking in.

April 20, 2006 at 7:47 pm 2 comments

4/19/06 4:00 pm

Mike's consistency appears to be improving a bit.  Today he has squeezed and released his hands on request.  He is also showing some tracking with his eyes, some of which may be visual tracking (as opposed to auditory).  Mike has had his eyes open many times today, I was told.

The other day, Mike's left eye showed responsiveness to light by contraction of his pupil.  You may remember that Mike's left eye has been dilated and non-responsive to light since the onset of his injury.  Today, his left eye was non-responsive to light, and it is again dilated, but it is exciting to see that his left eye function may be returning.  So, remember Mike's eyes in your prayer.

Now, here is some (more) good news:  Last night, Mike's nurse asked him to squeeze her hand when she said the name of his wife.  After listening to some randomly-chosen other names, Mike squeezed her hand at upon hearing Michelle's name.  In the same manner, he also indicated his recognition of McKaela's and Eli's names.

(It should probably be said that memory loss has NOT been anticipated to be a problem for Mike, but it is certainly good to have some confirmation that he knows us, and recognizes our voices as we encourage and reassure him.)

April 19, 2006 at 4:29 pm 12 comments

4/18/06 5:00 pm

Mike's physical therapist reported that, today, Mike sqeezed and released both hands on request (still stronger on the right side), and that he opened his eyes on request!  Are you sitting down?  He also raised his right arm for her when she asked him to help her to do it, and she indicated that she saw some flexion of muscle!!!  (Probably just showing off.)

Mike's neurosurgeons want to allow another week for dissipation of fluid before a transfer will occur, so another CT scan will occur on Monday.  The additional time in the ICU will give him more opportunity for better and more consistent responsiveness, which is being evaluated continuously as the rehabilitation facility best-suited to his care is determined.

Excepting only his first day in the hospital – when Mike's life was saved – this may have been his best single day of recovery yet!  Grace really is amazing.

April 18, 2006 at 5:30 pm 16 comments

4/17/06 8:30 pm

(Sorry for the delay with this post.)

Mike's CT scan earlier today showed that the accumulation of fluid in his head was essentially unchanged from Friday's result.  Some further evaluation of the scans may be necessary, and it was suggested that another scan may be performed within the next couple of days.  This situation would appear to represent the last obstacle to a transfer.  Mike's doctors very much wish to avoid the need for a surgical remedy of this collection of fluid.  Let's see if we can help them out by really focusing our prayer on this issue.

It is good to report that Mike did respond to verbal requests today by squeezing and releasing his hands.  It may be that we're seeing some more consistency here.  I'll try to remember to ask specifically if this is so, and report back.

April 17, 2006 at 9:02 pm 3 comments

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