hlmauera: (On the cat)
My aunt just called Mom. They just got back from taking Andrea to her doctor's apt. The doctor was pleased that she is still making progress but he had some bad news to share too. It appears that several nerves were severed in the encephalitis attack. They will never regenerate. However, the body is a marvelous thing and it has many redundancies for just that purpose. There are other nerves that will compensate and Andrea will continue to improve as long as she is putting in the effort. However, the doctor's last warning was dire- he said that she could get the encephalitis again and in that case she would not likely survive. Of course, we knew that but to hear it said so starkly was hard.

So we continue to pray for her recovery and do the best we can to encourage her. I think at this point she needs a good solid push to get her going but no one wants to be the bad guy that does it.

Visiting

Jul. 10th, 2009 09:39 am
hlmauera: (Default)
I went to visit my cousin Andrea last night. She's been asking about me and my knitting for a couple of weeks so I thought I should go. Besides, I had a captive audience to whom to talk about knitting. It was a pleasant visit but difficult. Andrea still can't talk very well so I got about one word in every sentence and had to ask her to repeat herself. The up-side is that I could use that one word for a context clue and figure out the other words most of the time when she repeated herself. Being ever hopeful, I took the large knitting needles with me on the off chance that she might be able to manipulate them. It would be good for her, but she doesn't have that level dexterity yet. She couldn't even hold onto a skein of yarn yet. She also can't see well enough to read anything or see small things, like the charms on my watch. It's got to be frustrating! However, she is able to sit up and eat if someone feeds her--which means she's swallowing easily. I've attached mom's note from last week below.

I took a bunch of different projects, books, patterns, and yarns to show her. I wanted her to be able to feel the different fibers. She has a large collection of yarns but not high end stuff. So I took the cashmere and cashmere/merino blend as well as the alpaca and wool/silk blends. She seemed to enjoy feeling them, even though she really couldn't hold them well. She has so many ideas of things she wants to do but her body just won't allow it.

I need to find a blanket pattern with spiders on it. She wants to do that for a friend. I know there is a sock pattern so I'll take a look at the Ravelry patterns.

She was curious about color work. I took my sweetheart hat that is in progress and showed her how I worked on it. I didn't actually make any progress on anything. Too many distractions to work on complicated patterns. I did read a bit from a couple of Yarn Harlot books to her. She laughed out loud a couple of times.

It was difficult to assess her level of interest because her eyes won't stay open. Her right eye wouldn't open at all while I was there and her left drooped a lot as the night went on. I asked her several times if she wanted me to continue and she always said yes.

I left about 10:00 after introducing Mike and Marilyn to Two Lumps. It was a two hour drive home and I was so sleepy. I'm glad there were no cops because I was swerving all over the road. I never fell asleep but I wasn't very good at keeping the car going straight forward. I made it home safely and crashed into my bed immediately.

Mom's note )
hlmauera: (Default)
Hello everyone,
A little more progress to report on Andrea this last week. The
biggest thing is that she was able to take a fork and spoon to her
mouth. Marilyn put food on the spoon for her over the weekend and
she was able to get it to her mouth with only a couple of spills.
Yesterday, I had made a sandwich for her and she asked for a fork to
feed herself with. I was not too sure about it; her movements are
still not completely controlled and I could just see her stabbing
herself in the cheek or eye! But she didn't! I had to get pieces of
the sandwich on the fork for her, but she did it the rest of the way
and ate half of what I had made--so, progress! She was able to stand
twice for 25 sec. on Tuesday with the help of PT and Mike. The
physical therapist plans to try to stand her by the kitchen counter
today so that she can use her forearms on the counter and brace her
knees against the cupboard doors. She is hopeful that she will be
able to be more stable that way. Andrea is scheduled for another
dose of Cytoxan on Friday and has an appointment with the neurologist
at OHSU on Monday, so maybe I will have more to report next week.
Mike went to the doctor on Tuesday and they changed his medication
to reduce the amount of steroids he is taking and increase the amount
of other medication. He seems to have a little more energy and feel
a little better, but his colitis is still somewhat active.
Until next time,
Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
Hello all,
I've just come back from my three days at Mike and Marilyn's and
have a little more progress to report. Andrea took two steps on
Tuesday with the physical therapist and Mike. Andrea said they were
"weanie" ones, but we said that's better than none! They had her
standing beside the bed and Josette (the physical therapist) asked
her to take one step to her right, then bring the other foot to it.
She was able to do that with support and then said, "I can't" when
Josette asked her to do it again. Josette helped her move her right
foot, then Andrea brought the left to it; she almost immediately
collapsed back on the bed--but it was two steps! On Monday, I made
the decision to turn off her tube feeding during the day (from 8 a.m.
till 8 p.m) to try to get more food into her orally. It didn't work
very well on Monday, but she took in about 600 calories on Tuesday
and was on her way to that much on Wednesday, so.... maybe we're on
the way to getting rid of the tube feeding, too. We still run it all
night at a little higher rate than we had been, so she gets at least
1000 calories from it. I had talked to the dietician and she said
that should be adequate during a transition phase, so, we're doing
it. Marilyn was to get some flavorless protein powder yesterday and
we can add that to most anything that she eats to boost her protein
intake. In addition, they were going to try some Ensure Plus to
boost her calories. Andrea now has hand and ankle weights and is
supposed to be doing some exercises with them--it's a push to get her
to do them, but that will become easier with time, too. I believe
she is to get another Cytoxan treatment on the 8th and she goes to
OHSU on the 11th for an appointment with the neurologist. So
progress continues.
Mike seems to be feeling a little bit better, but the colitis still
isn't totally under control. He has a little more energy and is
getting outside to do some chores--mowing, weed pulling, etc. So, a
little progress there, too.
Thank you all for your thoughts and support! It's easy to get
discouraged when progress is slow and it helps too receive your
encouragement!
Love,
Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
Woo hoo!!! Andrea made a milestone today! Chuck and I ran to
Vancouver today to take his dad to a doctor's appointment, visit Jim
in the hospital after his very successful knee replacement and did
some business for Chuck's dad. Chuck had driven to Mike and
Marilyn's on Wednesday, we stayed the night there then drove up to
Vancouver this a.m. When we got back to Mike and Marilyn's late this
afternoon, Andrea told us that she had stood for the first time
today--three times, only about 15 seconds each time, but Mike said
she was holding about 90% of her own weight (Mike was holding her
under one arm and the physical therapist was holding her under the
other). Andrea seemed to think that her goal of walking by summer is
very realistic now. When she was told that standing was the goal for
her PT visit today, Andrea was very upset and felt like she couldn't
do it. We had assured her that if Josette (the PT) believed Andrea
could do it, she could, but Andrea wasn't convinced. It's obvious
that this is a real confidence builder for her! The speech therapist
this week told her that she needs to start eating meals and said
there were very few restrictions on what she could have (those
restrictions are hard or difficult to chew foods, e.g. nuts, apples,
meats that aren't tender, etc.) We're still struggling with
tapering the tube feedings off so she's hungry, yet making sure she
gets adequate nutrition (she still eats only very small amounts).
We'll have to keep working on that. She still has some rash on her
back and left leg, but, for the most part it is getting better, too
(a patch on her leg is being a bit slow to respond, but it is looking
better, also). Her speech is still hard to understand at times and
we're trying to wean her off of a muscle relaxant that the speech
therapist says can really affect speaking ability, but we don't want
her to start getting muscle spasms again, so we are being very cautious.
Marilyn went with Andrea last Friday for her Cytoxan treatment.
They arranged for it to be done in McMinnville and Yamhill County has
a van available for transport of people with disabilities. They were
able to put her in her wheel chair and just left her in it for her
treatment and the trip home. She did very well--and the whole
process was only 5-6 hours instead of the long day and overnight when
it was done at OHSU. And a bonus? The trip cost them $1 each way!
They didn't charge Marilyn because they said she was a helper for
Andrea! They really benefited from this spending of our tax money.
Mike went to the doctor on Tuesday and they did quite a few lab
tests and a couple of chest x-rays trying to find out why he is
getting such a fever in the afternoons. The doctor also put him on
another medication for his colitis since he can't take the new one if
there is any possibility he has an infection. He felt pretty good on
Wednesday, but tonight his temperature had spiked again--104° F! So
he still has something going on and feels pretty miserable with it.
He goes back to the doctor next week, so hopefully they're going to
figure this out.
Until next week---
Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
Here it is, Saturday, and I still haven't gotten this note written.
When I get home on Wednesday evening, the treadmill seems to speed up
and I don't always remember to sit down and get this written. Andrea
continues to improve a little each week. It's a little harder to
describe something new, but she is moving her legs more and with
greater strength; she is staying up in the chair for longer periods
(2-3 hours) and we are making some changes in her tube feeding to try
to allow her to get hungry and be willing to eat a little. The
speech therapist says she is able to chew and swallow safely now,
but her stomach has shrunk with the continuous tube feeding and she
gets full really easily, so coaxing her to eat is a bit of a
challenge. She was scheduled to go to McMinnville for her third
Cytoxan treatment--yes, they were finally able to make the
arrangements to have it there! There is a wheelchair bus in the
county and Marilyn found out that it would come to there place to
pick up, so she and Andrea were going to go in for the treatment on
Friday--I'll have to let you know next week how it went.
Mike has not had a good week; his colitis is acting up and he was
afraid it might have progressed to pancreatitis again. He had blood
work on Wednesday that was within normal limits, so he was relieved
about that. Marilyn called me Thursday night to talk a bit about
Andrea and said Mike was feeling a bit better. He had had a fever on
Wednesday night, so I am wondering if he had picked up some "bug"
that was adding to his misery. Because of the fever, he won't be
able to take his next dose of medicine for his colitis for a week (it
was to have been on Friday this week), but, if it was something else
making him feel badly, hopefully he will begin feeling a bit better now.
I'll keep you posted.
Jan
hlmauera: (Snarling Cat)
Andrea has been getting better, albeit slowly. However, on Wednesday Mom found a rash on her hip and Friday the emergency room diagnosed it as shingles. Isn't immune suppressing therapy fun?
hlmauera: (Default)
Hello everyone,
I'm back with a quick report on Andrea, again. We're continuing to
see little improvements: she is able to do a "leg lift" from the
knee this week, has a little more wiggle in her toes, her neck is
getting stronger and her range of motion in her arms is increasing.
She is still not able to hold her head up when she is in a totally
upright position, so she is using a slant-back wheelchair when she is
up. Getting her into the wheelchair is still very frightening to
her--we use the Hoyer lift--a mechanical lift with a sling-to move
her from the bed to the wheelchair and back. The "seat" of the sling
is open and she tends to slide down in it a bit so that she feels she
is going to fall, so it is a bit trying to get her into the chair; it
is getting better. Her movements with her arms aren't very
controlled, yet, and I had to pad the side rails because she keeps
whacking her arms on them. She's also banged her chin a couple of
times with her hands--which isn't a problem unless she has the hard
hand splints on! Speech therapy is going to work with her a couple
times a week on swallowing and we are working on tongue exercises
with her in between--did you know that your tongue can get weak when
you don't use it? She also has arm and leg exercises to do every
day, so the days can be pretty busy. She is sleeping a little better
at nights, but she is often awake by 4 a.m., so if you don't go to
bed early, you don't get enough sleep--just ask Mike! Mike is still
having trouble with his colitis, so he is really having problems
sleeping! The doctor said they may try a new medication for him--an
injection that is done once a month, so hope that will help him.
I'll keep you posted!
Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
We're seeing a little more improvement (though just baby steps). The speech therapist worked with Andrea on Tuesday and Andrea was able to eat some canned pears and mandarin oranges (she had a little problem with the swallowing, but I think it was a result of fear, rather than actual inability to swallow). Last Sunday when I arrived there, Marilyn said, Andrea has something to show you. Marilyn pulled back the covers and said, "Show her" and Andrea was able to move (actually just twitch) some of the muscles in her thighs--both sides. She isn't able to move her legs with that amount of muscle movement, but it is an improvement! Tuesday afternoon Mike was reading to her and he looked up and she was rubbing her chin with her right hand! (She hasn't been able to reach her nose yet, so we still have to scratch that for her! :<)) It is very encouraging, but also sobering, as we realize that this is probably going to be a very slow process, but at least with continued little changes, we have hope that she will continue to progress!
Love,Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
Well it appears that Mom will have some good news to report in her next note. Andrea was able to unconsciously scratch her chin. She was so unconscious of the fact that she actually denied she'd done it, although Mike witnessed it. She also has been able to consciously flex the muscles in her legs. She can't make her legs move but she's able to make the muscles kind of "dance." So that's all good! The speech therapist is working with her on her swallowing; she is improving but the gastric tube still ensures she is getting the nutrition that she needs. She still cannot support her own weight in a sitting position but if given a little support, she can hold her head up. Hope is building! The Cytoxen seems to be working (She had another dose last Thursday at OHSU). I'll try to post Mom's note when she gets home and sends one.
hlmauera: (Default)
Here I am again. It's been more than a week since I updated you
about Andrea and it has been quite a week! Andrea was discharged
from OHSU on Tuesday and taken by ambulance transport to Mike and
Marilyn's. They had gotten a hospital bed and some other equipment
to help take care of her at home. Unfortunately, some of the
equipment will have to be changed out because it isn't adequate for
her care. Home health will be visiting her; already the nurse has
been out and made an assessment and helped us set up her tube
feeding; a physical therapist has visited and is working to get a
Hoyer lift and a reclining wheelchair that will be safe to use to get
her out of bed. Andrea isn't able to hold herself upright and needs
to have something that will support her head, as well as the rest of
her body. After I left on Friday, the occupational therapist and the
speech therapist also visited. There will be a definite focus on
rehab with her. Not a lot has changed for her, though her speech is
clearer most of the time--especially when she gets angry! We are
walking a fine line of giving adequate medications to keep her
somewhat comfortable, yet not "snow" her! I think we have a ways to
go with that. She is having a lot of pain from her arthritis; it
seems to be much worse when she is immobile--and she has been that!
The meds we have to use are limited: Tylenol, ibuprofen and
oxycodone. We're trying to minimize the oxycodone, but she has had
to have it on a regular basis to minimally control the pain. Marilyn
plans to talk to an accupuncturist in Newberg who is willing to make
home visits. I don't know whether that could help with the pain or
not, but it is worth a try. She is tolerating her tube feeding now
and is receiving it at the rate the doctors felt was necessary. She
has had some "gross" arms movement (i.e. not controlled, but
definitely initiated by her). She still isn't able to do anything
purposeful--like scratch her nose when it itches. (Do you realized
how many times a day we scratch our nose, our cheek, hand--anything?
It's really frustrating for her not to be able to do that!) .Marilyn
called this a.m. to tell me that she had moved her toes this a.m.--
only about a half inch, but it's more than had previously occurred.
She is also able to squeeze your hand when you ask, though the
movement is pretty week at this point. She doesn't sleep through the
night at all, though that is some better. The doctor at OHSU asked
if she would like to try a sleeping pill and Andrea agreed; that has
helped, though she still wakes up several times during the night. We
try to reposition her at least every 4 hours during the night and
more frequently during the day. Mike and Marilyn's chiropractor is
planning to come to the house a couple of times a week to give her
treatments. Something is helping, though we aren't sure what it
is. She was supposed to be readmitted to OHSU on Thursday next week
for another Cytoxan treatment, but Marilyn is trying to get it
coordinated to take her to the hospital in McMinnville instead; that
would minimize the travel for her. That still hadn't been
accomplished as of yesterday.
I'm sorry this is a bit disjointed, but I'm pretty tired tonight--
couldn't get at this any earlier. So, if you have questions, you can
e-mail. I will check before I leave tomorrow and will try to write
another note when I get home on Wednesday.
Love,
Jan
hlmauera: (Happy Baby)
Note from Mom:

Dear family,
Here I go again with a note about Andrea! But this time it is
better news! She has some movement in her arms and was able to grip
the doctor's hands this morning. I doubt that I have all the details
correct, but I will tell a little of what has transpired in the last
few days. I was with her on Monday and Tuesday as Mike's colitis had
kicked up and he had to go home and "take care of himself" for a few
days. Marilyn took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off and came up
late Wednesday morning to stay with her. She was about the same as I
had reported when I got home and e-mailed you all. She has had a
terrible problem with constipation with her immobility and pain
medications so they gave her something for it on Thursday. Mike was
up there on Thursday evening with Marilyn and Andrea had some
explosive diarrhea, but when they went around the bed to tell her
they would get her cleaned up, Marilyn said her eyes were wide open
and her pupils were totally dilated and they couldn't get any
response from her. They were terrified and called and said they
needed a nurse right away and four of them came running. When they
saw the diarrhea mess they said, "Oh, we'll get this taken care of."
Marilyn said she told them, "You don't understand, her pupils are
completely dilated and she isn't responding at all! The nurse did
some checks and called the doctor, who checked her and concluded,
"We've got her overdosed!" In trying to get her pain under control
they had tried a narcotic patch, as well as giving the IV morphine
when she seemed to need it. So they have backed off on those
medications and her speech has cleared up and she's more alert. I
believe it was Friday night, a chiropractor that Mike and Marilyn
have used for years came in to see Andrea at Mike and Marilyn's
request. When he saw Andrea's condition, he told Marilyn that he was
very reluctant to do anything, but Marilyn just told him, "Nothing is
happening, nothing else has helped. If you want me to sign a waiver
absolving you of all liability, I will do that, but we need to try
it." He was able to fairly easily make an adjustment at C1-C2; he
said she also had some problem at C3, but he couldn't make that
adjustment on a soft bed. He left saying, "Marilyn, call me if we
have a miracle." A little later, Andrea was very angry about
something and began to just throw her arms around (it doesn't sound
like there was much controlled movement, but at least it was
movement.) This morning Andrea was able to grasp the neurologist's
hands with hers when asked to do so. (Marilyn called the
chiropractor and told him, "We have a miracle!") Marilyn said that
they really can't know that the chiropractic treatment was the cause
of the change as this is about the time they expected the Cytoxan
treatment might begin to show some effect. Whatever has helped,
we'll take it. Mike and Marilyn are hoping they can take Andrea
home on Tuesday. The doctor's feel that the abscess is clearing up,
though they are reluctant to do another CT scan to check as she has
had so much radiation with the various tests in the last little
while. They have restarted her tube feeding and she is receiving 40
cc an hour and seems to be tolerating that pretty well. Let's hope
this is just the start of improvement! I'll keep you posted,
Love,
Jan
hlmauera: (Default)
Hi,
Not much new news to send regarding Andrea, but want to keep you
updated. She is still at OHSU. Last week they put a PEG tube into
her stomach (it goes through the abdominal wall) for the purpose of
feeding her as she is having difficulty swallowing. They stopped her
feedings on Sunday night because it wasn't being absorbed well and
they were concerned that she might have a bowel obstruction. They
did a CT scan of her abdomen on Monday night and found that she has
no obstruction (thank goodness) but that she has a small abscess near
where they inserted the tube. This is always a potential problem
when they put in one of these tubes, but of course Andrea is more
susceptible because of her compromised immune system. They have
started an antibiotic to try to get rid of the abscess, but if they
are not successful with that, they may need to do surgery to put a
drain in the abscess. They will do another CT scan in a few days--
they didn't tell us how many--and check the status of the abscess,
then go from there. It seems like things move so slowly, but getting
rid of an infection does take time. I left about 2 p.m. today and
they hadn't restarted her tube feedings yet, but I suspect they will
pretty soon. They are still giving most of her medications through
the tube, then clamp it for 30 minutes, then put it to drain. The
nurse was concerned today that not everything was being absorbed, so
that issue will have to be addressed (they can probably just clamp
the tube for a longer period). They are also concerned because her
urine is quite dark and they thought she might be dehydrated, but I
don't think that is the case. They are giving her fluids IV and the
rate seems to be high enough to meet the needs of most adults. She
is having a lot of trouble with pain--mostly from her arthritis--and
has had to have IV morphine to control it and the doctor's say she
will have to be off of it before she can go home. They have her on a
Fentanyl patch now, but it takes a few days to become effective and
isn't doing the job, yet. The doctors are going to reorder her
ibuprofen on a schedule as that is what she takes at home for it, so,
perhaps that will help. She woke at about 4 a.m. this morning
screaming that she was scared and it just happened that the CNA was
getting ready to take her vital signs: her blood pressure was
155/113 and her pulse rate was 127. I don't know if the high VS are
the result of a panic attack, or something else...so another issue to
be addressed. I really feel for Andrea--it's got to be terrible not
to be able to move anything--not to scratch her nose or shift her
body or anything. I don't think it's possible to fully comprehend the
feeling of complete helplessness, as well a wondering whether it is
going to change. Marilyn and I did note a slight improvement in a
couple of things today. Her speech is somewhat better..a little
clearer and more understandable, though she let her Mom know that
"Aunt Jan doesn't understand me as well as you do!" Also she
requested some sips of water today and though they were very small,
she was able to swallow them without choking. Small improvements
like that make hope bloom again! Time will tell if anything else
will improve. I also found out that they plan to repeat the
chemotherapy treatment at month intervals, as many as four times..I'm
sure it will be based on any response she has to the treatments.
Mike is having a severe flare-up of his colitis, and had to go back
to his doctor. He will be on a steroid drug for a while again to try
to clear it up. Marilyn had taken Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
off this week because they thought Andrea was going to be going home,
so she is staying with Andrea and giving Mike a break. (Mike is going
to have to stay away awhile, anyway as he also has a sore throat and
Andrea doesn't need exposure to anything right now.) Marilyn will
keep me posted and I will go back up if Andrea is discharged, or by
next Tuesday as Marilyn needs to work on Tuesday.
I think that's enough for now...I'll try to keep you all posted.
Love, Jan
hlmauera: (Tears)
Dear family,
Chuck and I visited Andrea at OHSU yesterday and I wanted to give you my "picture" of her. She is essentially quadriplegic at this point: she has no ability to move her extremities and limited mobility of her head. Unfortunately, she also has a fair amount of pain--"everywhere" and it is very difficult to make her comfortable. She gets occasional spasms in her muscles; they give her a muscle relaxant for that and Mike has found that moving her legs gently though a limited range of motion gives her some relief. Her speech is extremely slow and unclear; Mike and Marilyn often have to have her spell what she is trying to say--obviously her mental capabilities are intact. She gets quite upset when she can't make herself understood. They still do not know what has caused this: they do say it is an autoimmune encephalitis--antibodies are attacking the cerebellum of her brain, but they don't know what triggered it or why it is occurring. She now has a gastrostomy tube (a tube through the wall of her abdomen into her stomach) and they are providing feedings and her medications through the tube. (Andrea also has a great deal of difficulty swallowing.) They have tried several treatments with no improvement--plamapharesis to remove antibodies, huge doses of steroids to try to reduce the inflammatory swelling in the cerebellum and IV administration of immune gamma globulin. The next step is to administer a dose of Cytoxan IV. Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) is a chemotherapeutic drug that usually reduces the number of lymphocytes in the body. T-cell lymphocytes are what manufactures antibodies in our bodies and they are hopeful they can reduce the number of antibodies that are attacking her brain. This results of this treatment are not immediate; the physician said they could see some improvement in a couple of weeks, or it may take a month or more. And even, then, they are not sure it will cause a response. During this time she will be vulnerable to infections. The administration of the drug requires a great deal of preparation--large amounts of IV fluids before administration to protect the bladder from negative effects and they have found that it seems more successful when it is given in the evenings, so they plan to administer it this evening. One of the nurses from the oncology unit will come up to the neurology unit to administer the medication as they are certified in chemotherapy administration. At this point, the physicians seem stumped about anything else to do, so we certainly pray that this works. Mike is very weary: he has been with her almost 24/7 only going home an occasional day when Marilyn can stay with her. Emotionally, they both are on a very tight rope, as you can imagine. Marilyn continues to run her post office route and goes up every evening, so she is very weary, too. They all need our prayers! Nothing has been said definitely about her going home, but Mike and Marilyn are making plans to take her home when they discharge her. I will go up a couple of days a week so that Marilyn can continue to work some, but otherwise, Mike and Marilyn plan to care for her themselves. If you have any questions I'll be glad to try to answer them, or you can call Marilyn or Mike.
Love,
Jan
hlmauera: (Tears)
So it doesn't look like the Prednisone is working and worst still, the insurance company has decided she's not making progress so she should go home. It's likely they will be discharging her from the hospital next week. She is totally incapable of controlled movement and is not eating. But the insurance knows best! (heavy sarcasm) They may have to put in a stomach tube. Mom will be going up a couple of days a week to help care for her. There are tests out to the Mayo clinic that won't likely even have results for another three weeks. In the stages of grief... I've hit anger today.
hlmauera: (Default)
As you may know, Andrea took a turn for the worse about a week ago and lost most of the progress she had made. They transferred her to OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University) to see if they could figure out what is causing her nausea and vomiting. This last week she has been unable to control her movement in any of her extremities and her speech was again impaired. She lost the reflexes in her legs and it has looked very bleak. The doctors at OHSU told the family that they wanted to try mega doses of prednesone. Marilyn told the doctor that the they had tried that at St. Vincents. The doctor asked what dosage and was told that they had given her 80 mg/day. He smiled and told her that they were talking about 1000mg/day. Apparently, the two hospitals differ greatly in their definition of mega doses. ;>D
Andrea had had two doses of 500 mg each as of yesterday evening and her speech was improved and she had some movement back in her arms. It seems to be helping. We'll just keep our fingers crossed and our prayers flowing.
hlmauera: (Tears)
Andrea lost the reflexes in her legs today and is unable to sit up on her own for more than a few minutes. They've done CT scans and MRI's today. Looking for cancer or anything that could be causing this. They are clueless right now.
hlmauera: (Tears)
Andrea has taken a turn for the worse...She's been fighting dizziness and nausea from the very first. She's been vomiting daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Now she's so dehydrated and malnourished that they've had to start an IV. And since they can't figure out what is going on they've decided to send her to OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University). Hopefully, they can figure out what's going on. She's doing better with her motor skills but until she can kick the nausea there is no progress.

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