Archive for July, 2006

7/11/06 10:35 am

Mike is still not quite out of the woods with this latest infection.  While his fever seems to be gone and he has been off sedation for a few days he is slow to “wake up”.  He is opening his eyes as of yesterday yet he is still not responding in any other way– no purposeful movements of hands, head or anything, no response to commands.  The doctor said that this is taking longer than expected but Mike is not the average patient either so all we can do is wait (AND PRAY).  He is also missing out on his tube feedings through his belly because he was not handling them reliably and threw up at one point.  So they are attempting to balance how to get him nutrients without making him aspirate vomit into his lungs.  He is still on the vent and we have not heard from the pulmonologist yet on the schedule for hopefully weaning him off.  With the fever down we were feeling like everything was fine so I felt the need to clarify that there are some extra concerns that we are still dealing with before we can predict Mike’s discharge and return to rehab.  Thanks as always for your faithfulness. 

 an extra thought from Craig Barnes’ When God Interrupts— “After she discovered that life is too mysterious to predict, she was able to live in the hands of her Creator, grateful for each day that was NOT promised to her.”

Remember to praise.    –michelle 

(by the way, anytime i don’t sign my name it is that mysterious Dan character that is posting with such anonymity–everyone always asks or thanks me when I did not post!)

July 11, 2006 at 10:50 am 4 comments


Mike is doing better now.  His fever has been under 100 for a couple of days, which means that the antibiotics are working.  Apparently, Mike had a rather severe throat infection which eventually caused him to go into toxic shock. He is still sedated and on a ventilator, though he may be relieved of vent support sometime mid-week.  It is expected that Mike will remain in the hospital through this coming week.  A spinal tap (rather than a shunt tap) was performed yesterday.  Test results to determine the presence of an infection in the cerebrospinal fluid are not back yet, but, having discovered a serious infection in Mike’s throat, it may be unlikely that a further problem exists.

On another positive note, when Mike returns to therapy, this event may by then have allowed the botox injections to take effect, and to enable him to make some better progress.

July 9, 2006 at 5:43 pm 5 comments


No news really, except that a “shunt tap” is scheduled for tomorrow morning to determine whether there is an infection in the shunt.  The fever is still down, and Mike is on antibiotics.  Please pray that the C-diff does not return with the use of the antibiotics. 

July 7, 2006 at 8:35 pm 5 comments

7/6/06 Latest

Mike’s fever is down to 101, but it is still unclear what caused the spike in temperature.  He will remain at Central DuPage for a couple days, it is expected, while tests and observation continue.  At Michelle’s request, a CT scan was performed which came back negative (so it does not appear that any pressure or fluid build-up is an issue).  Mike is still on the ventilator, for now, but it appears that the situation is coming back under control.  We may know more tomorrow.  (It is not at all likely that we will know anything more tonight, so this should be the last update today.)  Thanks for checking in on the situation. 

July 6, 2006 at 9:35 pm 8 comments


Mike was transferred from Marionjoy to the iCU at Central DuPage this afternoon, following his developing a fever of 105 and experiencing labored breathing.  His doctors suspect that Mike may have pneumonia, and he has been placed on a ventilator.  Please pray that the problem can be quickly determined and treated.  Also, please pray for Mike’s physical comfort throughout this situation.  As we know more, there will be immediate postings.

July 6, 2006 at 7:21 pm 2 comments


Mike is doing well at Marionjoy.  He has days where his speech is quite good, and others where he may just not feel like talking. His caregivers would like to see more progress in the way of physical and occupational therapy than Mike has shown, but, of course, a number of obstacles have been thrown into his path since he started at Marionjoy.  Thankfully, it appears that many of them have been removed.  

There have been no fluid issues since the shunt was put in place, and the c-diff infection is now resolved (which is great because it can cause flu-like symptoms and weakness which could have impeded Mike’s progress).  Tomorrow, Mike is scheduled to receive some botox injections in his muscles which should relax them and hopefully resolve the spasticity which he has had in his legs and (more recently) his arms.  This should clear the way for more effective physical and occupational therapy, making the effectiveness of the botox a most obvious subject of prayer.

Mike will only be at Marionjoy for another two weeks (as it is now projected).  From there, he will go to a “sub-acute” facility, which does not support some of the needs beyond which Mike has progressed, and where he will continue to receive physical and occupational therapy. After that, Mike could possibly go back to Marionjoy (for therapy relating to more advanced movement and activities) or he could go home (and having a caregiver come in daily to assist him).  Of course, everything depends on Mike’s progress and his needs.  (Keep praying.)

I feel compelled to mention this, so please forgive me, but some may have wondered about the reduced frequency of updates.  The problems (I think) are mainly two: First, the ICU atmosphere, and the constant oversight of Mike in the ICU by nurses to whom we had direct access 24/7, really allowed for a free-flow of lots of information.  In the physical therapy environment, the nurses who care for Mike daily, and who are available for questions, are not the therapists who have the answers about Mike’s progress.  (And, of course, the therapists are not with him constantly.) So, there are certain practical difficulties of getting information and of just how much information is available.  (I myself often do not know how things are going day-to-day.)

The second problem is really a good problem to have, which I would summarize (maybe badly) this way: the better a person gets, the less obvious (in some ways) the progress becomes, and the harder it is to pass on.  When Mike was fighting for his life, every single response and every inch of movement was truly a milestone, and something to be eagerly reported.  These were changes (in a way) from nothing to something, and so the changes were qualitatively infinite.  Now that Mike is in therapy (thank God!), every movement does not now represent what they once did.  Rather, we are looking at subtle improvements in strength and range of motion, which are harder to identify and quantify, and, so, harder to report.

I know that you probably will have guessed all of this, but I wanted to say it because the reduced frequency of updates to you has bothered me.  We know that you are faithful in prayer (thank you!).  Be encouraged to remain fervent.  Prayer has brought Mike to where he is, to where he is praying with us.

July 4, 2006 at 12:02 pm 8 comments

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