Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 2006 update: Meds adjusting, Throat healing, Healthier Thankgiving

Here's a picture of Denise during a "heart exam." Yes, her heart was racing, as well as Gracie's. Just look at those faces! Seriously, since her cardiac specialist said a couple months ago that her heart function is returning steadily, Denise thought it'd finally be safe to go on a "thrill" ride at Disneyland. After she got off, she felt "flutter-hearted and light-headed," and in hindsight didn't think it was a good idea to go on this ride. She never wants to go on it again. Neither does Gracie.

Thanksgiving this year was much nicer than last year when Denise was in the hospital and couldn't hold food down due to the SMAS. This year we spent Thanksgiving in Escondido with my nurse aunt's family, my mom and other family. Compare the recent blog pictures of her with this picture from last year: Thanksgiving Huntington Hospital 2005

Medical developments:
  • Denise is trying to adjust one of her meds (Risperdal... neurologist gave her permission to gradually lessen the low dose she's on and eventually discontinue it). That's a bump & go situation. We're glad that Denise is able to sense what the increases and decreases in meds are doing to her and adjust accordingly.
  • We have not heard whether any cocci has shown up in the cerebral spinal fluid from her latest spinal tap, and we're awaiting an MRI to ascertain the status of the meningitis or the scarring in her brain tissue. We have appointments with the infectious disease doctor and neurologist December 12. Since neither doctor has contacted us with bad news, we are optimistic that the news will be good.
  • The surgeon that performed reconstructive surgery on her throat said that the scar is continuing to heal nicely.
Non-medical life continued to head toward normalcy in November. Denise's energy level allowed her to help a little with special class projects for Gracie's & Jacob's preschool classes (Stone Soup Days... it's really cool!) and go to a couple birthday parties for the kids in Gracie's class. Some friends from Coalinga came to visit us with their new baby. They hadn't seen Denise since she was in the nursing home early this year. Denise also went to a women's Bible study at First Baptist Church in Pasadena and finally got to meet a group of women who had been praying for her over the long haul. Denise also took care of the kids by herself for some of the longest periods of time yet while I was away at a teacher convention.

At this point I'd like to spotlight a couple other people to pray for.
  • A while back I was put in contact with a guy whose wife has been in the hospital since September (hit by a car, coma, brain injury, small slow improvements, long rehab ahead). He's got two kids at home. I kind of feel like I know one reason why I went through what I went through: to be able to minister to another guy that's going through a similar thing now. He's doing almost daily web site updates on his wife. Bookmark this:
  • One of Denise's friends just turned 34 and is fighting aggressive breast cancer. She was a huge inspiration to Denise when in physical therapy. She's got a blog much like this one: Kristen's Cancer Battle
  • A woman that I've never met mobilized many people in Tennessee and several eastern states to pull for Denise. Now this woman's dad needs some pull. So we set her up a blog to get the word out: Updates on Pola's Dad
  • Finally, our family... me, mom, brother, grandmother (who lost both of her children and a brother within a short period of time). My dad died in April. The first set of birthdays & holidays are hard after the loss of a loved one. He would've been 64 this Saturday, December 2nd. He liked a fine brew or a dry gin martini almost as much as he liked southern gospel music. So, odd a combination as it is, I'll probably be toasting his memory with a martini (poorly made, but I'll try) while playing a J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet CD in the background this weekend.


Blogger Bill Ferguson said...

Hoist a martini for me in memory of your DAD!Say hello to your mother for us.Great news on Denise, glad to hear that she is doing well. I will be praying for the rest of the group.
Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year what a differance a year makes
Best Regards
Bill & Carol Ferguson

December 05, 2006 11:27 AM  

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