Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bald Eagle WebCam

A friend recently shared this site and I thought I'd pass it on in case anyone else wanted to see it, too! I'm looking forward to watching this bald eagle family thrive. What a patient momma!

Streaming live video by Ustream

Saturday is "Catch-Up" Day!

The week seemed to fly by...guess that happens when you have work pile up on you. The good news is that we made our deadline, and it's always a nice feeling to have a project finish on a Friday so that the weekend is open. :)

My friend is steadily improving, and we continue to pray and count our blessings for her and her family. I am really looking forward to visiting her again, hopefully Sunday morning. I know the road ahead is a long one, but I think they have such a fantastic support system and group of cheerleaders to encourage and help. It'll all be ok! Here are updates from her husband about yesterday and today's events...I am consistently in awe of his strength through this whole process (and by hers...such a great match!).

11:17am: Another exhausting day of therapy. Brain drain will likely come out tomorrow. She continues to not be exactly herself but improves. She tends to act a little childish and unemotional. Daughter knows she is in hospital and is starting to want to see her. I am going to wait till we are out of ICU. I'll update again later.

9:45pm: The feeding tube is out of her nose. She is a lot more comfortable. She has really enjoyed the milkshakes everyone has brought her. The brain drain may come out tomorrow. Possibly real food on monday. We had a battle with physical therapy today. She won but I am sure PT will win the war. She was happy to have visitors today. Everyone is welcome. Good night.

8:08am: Pretty good night sleep. CT this morning will determine if the brain drain comes out. Her surgeon returns Monday. Can't wait for him to see her progress. Round #2 with therapy today. Her 1, Therapy 0. Doctors seem confident she will walk again. They are unsure regarding her memory and personality. Time will determine that.

12:15pm: The drain is out of head. She spent two hours in a chair today. She is peacefully napping. I have been trying to get emotion out of her other than anger. So far I have been unsuccesful. I'll settle for a laugh. Any ideas?

7:54pm: With all the recent good events I am spending the night at home with the kids and having a drink (or 3, or 7). PT didn't go well again. Her 2, physical therapy 0. We had a nice talk about going home, rescheduling the cruise, and getting out of the hospital and she agreed to try harder. Good night everyone. I am off to watch the Princess and the Frog with my Prince and Princess.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More updates on my friend...

I was so excited because I got to visit her in the hospital on Tuesday evening. She was pretty alert and recognized me immediately, and it was so nice to just give her a big hug!!! I was working most of the day yesterday and didn't have much time to post her husband's updates, so I'll post yesterday's and today's below. Thank you again so much for continuing to pray for this beautiful family!!!

3:14pm UPDATE: Done for tests today. They got her out of the bed and into a chair for two hours. She is cleared for pureed foods. The brain drain could be pulled tomorrow. Possible downgrade from critical to stable this week. We continue to move forward. I slept for 10+ hours!!!

9:13am UPDATE: Her voice is getting better. Still a little scratchy from the tubes. Her personality is a little off. Docs says its typical for her act a little immature or childish. That will get better with time. She is very hungry but not able to swallow very well so she is eating pureed foods. We are working on her being able to sit up but her neck hurts after awhile. CT tomorow. Good night everyone!

9:10am UPDATE: She had a good night of sleep. Speech is getting better. She talks a little slow. Personality is still off and docs say that is normal and wiill improve. She does have some ultra short-term memory loss. More physical therapy today. Docs say it will take months of therapy. Right side works better than the left side. I am spending the night at home with the kids tonight.

6:16pm UPDATE: I am spending the night with the kids. Daughter was up late crying for daddy. She was tired most of the morning due to a lot of physical therapy. They clamped the brain drain which means they might take it out tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prayer is working!

I have always believed in prayer. Prayer is what got me to hang on through 11 weeks of bedrest so that my kids had the best start possible. Prayer is what pulls the faithful through many times when we just feel like we need guidance in some way. And prayer is certainly contributing to the miracle that is my friend. One week ago she went into the hospital with a life-threatening blood clot in her brain. One week ago the outlook was not the greatest, and her family and friends could do nothing but wait helplessly for any shred of good news that could boost our spirits. For the past week we were clinging to good news like a life preserver in an ocean of fear. I am completely amazed by the number of people praying for her daily. And it's, we got the best news imaginable! Here are her husband's Facebook posts from today, so that you can read about it in his words:

8:15am UPDATE: Tough night for sleep. She thinks she can do whatever, whenever (typical). She is not supposed to move a lot because the drain in her head works on gravity. If she moves too much it will drain the fluids too fast and could be fatal. We struggled all night with this but I think she gets it now. We are waiting to do a CT later today and compare it to previous CTs to analyze the change in brain swelling.

10:13am UPDATE: Doctors say her heart is 100% and NORMAL!!! Physical therapy helped her stand next to the bed. Speech therapist said she can start with ice chips for now. More tests later today. We are having a great morning.

3:04pm UPDATE: Because of all the positive progress, the CT was put on hold till tomorrow or the next day. The next big things will be eating food and removing the drainin her head. She has been resting most of the day. I am spending tonight at home with the kids. I need sleep. Unless something happens, this is my last post for today. Thank you again for your love and prayers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Great News on a Monday (how ironic!)

My friend's husband has already posted a couple of updates this morning and I just had to share...I'll add on his updates if he posts more later today, but for the time being here are the first two updates of the day!

6:52an UPDATE: Chest Xray is done. There is a greater than 50% chance of the tubes coming out. Lots of tests scheduled today. She had a great night sleep. She is a little uncomfortable but should get better if the tubes come out. Mobility gets better everyday. If you're visiting today, please call ahead. Doctors should be by soon. I'll let you know about the tubes.

8:56am UPDATE: The tubes are out!!!!!!!!! She is talking. No slurred speech. Doesn't appear to have any memory loss. She asked for bacon, eggs, and coffee. She says she feels much better and looks great!!! Heart is stable which is good. I'll update again later. Today is the best day yet!

Tonight's post --- 9:35pm UPDATE: Sorry for the late post. Went out with the family to celebrate the good day. She was able to read her patient board from about 10 feet away. Doctors are amazed with her progress. Heart is the same. She is in good spirits. More of the same tests tomorrow. Good night everyone.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Updates for Sunday

My friend continues to improve! I knew she was a strong woman, but she's proving just how strong and all of her friends are so proud of her. We are grateful for everyone who is praying for her, and the prayers are certainly working! I was hoping to go visit today, but when I woke up I still had some leftover sinus and allergy issues from last I didn't even try to go because I didn't want to risk exposing anyone in the ICU. I really hope I'm back to 100% later this week so I can go visit though!

Here are today's updates from her husband:

6:03am UPDATE: We both had our best night's sleep since we have been here. Chest Xray is done and head ultrasound later. Maybe CT scan as well. She just had a bath and is doing well this morning. She is excited about visitors today. They keep talking about downgrading her from ICU to a regular room. Fingers crossed. I'll update again after the doctors make their rounds. Today is starting out good.

9:39am UPDATE: The doctors are reducing her meds to the minimum. If she remains stable, they will remove the breathing tubes. They pushed the CT scan to tomorrow. The swelling in the brain continues to goes down. The heart is stable but remains the big concern. She is very active in bed. We are off to another good day so far. She is looking forward to visitors today.

8:52pm UPDATE: Sorry for the late post. Things move much slower around here on Sundays. They did not remove the tubes today. She refused to nap and doctors thought she was too tired. Good chance it will happen tomorrow. Lots of tests scheduled tomorrow. They continue to drain fluids from her lungs. Pneumonia seems to be under control. We make progress every day. Good night.

And a bonus post from her husband (in regards to the messages left by people who were able to visit her today!): FYI...Some of you haven't commented on her feistyness. She continues to try and spit out her tubes and bite anybody who tries to adjust them. She moves her legs likes she wants to jump out of bed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Updates

Here are today's messages from my friend's husband...every step, no matter how small, is a miracle, and I continue to pray and ask others to pray for her:

5:05AM UPDATE: Another peaceful night. She needed rest after all the tests from yesterday. Just a chest Xray and a head ultrasound scheduled today. Breathing is great! Heart is stable which we will take. She just got some lotion for her skin. Skin color looks good. Headed home today to shower and take the kids out to lunch so I will update again in the early evening. It's been great to hear from all of you.

5:56AM FAQs: She has a shaved stripe on the top of her head for the drain to draw fluids from her brain. The back of her head is also shaved for the surgery, so she is not completely bald. Per hospital ICU rules, please do NOT send flowers or food. Teddy bears, balloons, etc. are acceptable. She has one nurse assigned to her and stays in the room at all times. I'll post more FAQs later. Pray for a good day!

4:06PM UPDATE: Xrays came back clean which means fluid is not in the lungs. Waiting on the cardiologist for the next step for the heart. She is off sedation so she is more awake than ever. Doctors say she can have visitors by appointment. Let me know if you would to stop by. Keep in mind she still has tubes in her mouth so if you don't want to see her like that you may want to wait.

7:11pm UPDATE: Doctors say the heart is not better but not worse. For now they want to stick with the current plan. She is off all sedatives and just using pain killers so she is awake a lot. Visitors are welcome. Just let me know when you want to come by. Just remember, she still has her tubes in her mouth. If you choose not to see her like that you may want to wait.

8:19pm UPDATE: The respiratory therapist said she is on the smallest amount of support with the breathing machines. Small possiblity she may be taken off the machines tomorrow. She in good spirits and communicasting (blinking) a lot. Had a nanny this morning and she quit two hours after I hired her. 0 for 2 with nannies. Good night everyone!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Updates for Friday!!!

These are updates posted by my friend's husband today regarding her status...he's been posting from his Blackberry at the hospital since it all started on Tuesday, and I am just grateful that technology is allowing this so we can stay on top of the updates without having to bother him for information.

6:36AM UPDATE: Another good night. Breathing contnues to improve. Heart is about the same. Waiting for doctors to look at it and figure out if the meds are working. A lot of tests are scheduled for today-chest Xray (looking for fluids in lungs), head CT, and a variety of heart tests. It's possible she could be taken off the breathing machines in the next 2 days. Lets keep our fingers crossed. I'll update later.

10:33AM UPDATE: They successfully drained the fluids from her lungs. This could be a daily thing. She off for a CT scan of the brain. The heart remains the primary concern. They are trying a new med to get the heart going. Time is our biggest friend. We have made progress but our worst fears are still possible. We feel your love and thank you!

12:19PM UPDATE: Still waiting on CT results. They just gave her a bath and washed her hair (what is left). That brought her resting heart rate down so she seems to be relaxed. They are starting a cranium test for clots. Waiting is the hardest part. Thank you for all of your love and support. She is going to love seeing all of this.

4:13PM UPDATE: The doctor looked at the CT from this morning next the CT from two days ago. The swelling is starting to come down in her brain. This will improve her motor skills as the swelling comes down. They started a new treatment for her heart this morning. We will know more tomorrow. The doctor said there is a tiny light in the tunnel. Prayers are working!

9:56pm UPDATE: It's been a long day of tests. She is sleeping peacefully. Finally went out with the family for dinner. Good to see the world outside the hospital. Light day of tests tomorrow. Still looking for improvement with the lungs and heart. Looking forward to spending a few hours with the kids tomorrow. Good night everyone and thanks again for your prayers and support.

I will continue to post updates as I get them on Facebook. Thank you for reading...and thank you even more for praying!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A new day...

Today was a new day, and we got an update first thing from my friend's husband. She had an angiogram around 5 a.m. and they determined that her brain is clear and problem areas remain there. Such great news! The most recent update came around 2:20 p.m., when her husband notified everyone that the doctor ran some tests...her heart isn't getting any better, but it's also not getting any worse at this point, so we'll take that as a positive thing. Her breathing is becoming easier, so hopefully that means the fluid in her lungs won't be as much of a problem. And the fever she had in the wee hours of the morning is gone. Always a good sign. He also said that the doctor has "upgraded" his own opinion of her case from "dire" to "cautiously optimistic." I know that means she may not be out of the woods yet, but as far as I'm concerned, optimistic is the way to be.

Our crusade to get as many prayer warriors as possible praying for her has been continuing. I sent an email through the prayer chain at a church I attended a while back, and that was forwarded on to everyone. Last night we started a Facebook group just for this situation. Less than 19 hours after the group was started, we found out that 100 people had already joined the group. That's 100 people, just on Facebook. 100 prayers. And many of those people are praying constantly. It's such a small triumph, but we know it's helping. At least I feel like we're able to contribute in some way. Feeling helpless and useless is not a good thing.

THANK YOU for continuing to follow this journey. We have hope that everything will be ok, and knowing that there are so many people praying for a positive outcome just helps bolster that support even more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More prayers needed

My friend's husband updated us on Facebook at 8:42 pm. She was given a full-body ultrasound that did not reveal any other clots in her body (they removed two from her brain last night), so that's good news. More good news is that when she's awake, she's responsive. She blinks to answer yes/no questions, so that's great.

The downside is that her heart is operating at less than 50% capacity. She has pneumonia, and there is fluid in her lungs. These are not good findings...but I know that there are so many people who are praying for her, and I know that prayer is the most powerful weapon we have at this time. I feel so helpless, and I wish there was more I could do to help...but for now, I will continue to recruit more prayer warriors for her army.

Thank you for reading these posts, and for praying for my dear friend.


The latest update on my friend is that she woke up from her coma this morning...she opened her eyes. She is also wiggling her toes and squeezing her hands, so that's definitely progress. I continue to pray for her and I know she will continue to do well...thank you SO MUCH if you've been reading and praying with me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prayers please...

A very good friend of mine collapsed at the gym this morning and was taken to the local hospital where they found a blood clot in her brain...she was life-flighted to a hospital in Jacksonville 45 minutes away. I heard all of this news at 11 a.m. this morning, and the last update I got was about an hour ago from her husband on that time she'd been in surgery for two hours. I don't know how many people read this, or how often, but I'd like to ask that anyone who does PLEASE say a prayer for her and for her family during this time and for the near future. She's a wonderful mom to two wonderful kids, and I know that there are lots of people praying for her between family and friends...but I firmly believe there's no such thing as too much prayer. Thank you in advance for helping her out.

UPDATE at 10:40 p.m.: She was done with surgery somewhere around 10 p.m., so the good news is that she survived the procedure. Her heartbeat is irregular, so that's a concern at this point, and her lungs are causing concern as well because during this process she has developed pneumonia. We'll know more tomorrow...they are keeping her in an induced coma to help her recover. Please continue your prayers for her and her family, as well as all of the medical professionals overseeing her care.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Weather Outside Is...

BEAUTIFUL! The weather in Florida is known for being hot, and humid, and just not my cup of tea. I'm one of the few Florida residents you will ever see getting excited when the temps drop for the winter. I grew up as a Navy brat, moving up and down the east coast. We lived in Canada for two years when my dad did an officer exchange program. We had three feet of snow at Christmas time and loved it! Not saying I need three feet of snow in Florida, because people can't figure out to drive when it rains here as it is (and snow would just really mess everyone up!). But I LOVE the winter weather so much because it's nice to put on a sweater and cuddle with the kids under a blanket and watch movies. You just can't do that in the summertime, unless you're willing to face the wrath of the electric bill when you run your AC system way too much.

Anyway, today was the first time in a while that we had temps in the low 70's. If this was the warmest it ever got in Florida, I could be a very, very happy woman. I'll survive when we get back to the 90's and even the low 100's, but I'll be secretly thinking back to today and remembering how nice it was to open all the windows in the house and air it out. Everything just smells so clean when there's a fresh breeze passing through the house. It (almost) makes me want to start spring cleaning . Almost.

It's almost 10:15 p.m. (EST), and our windows are still open. They'll get closed before I go to sleep tonight, since we're supposed to get rain off and on for the next day and a half and it's forecasted to start around 1 a.m. But they've been open for a long time and it's amazing how much better the house feels. I have been so messed up with allergies (because my car is now yellow instead of gray, which means pollen is out in full force already!) that I haven't enjoyed being outdoors much lately...but bringing the outdoors inside just feels so great. With some luck, maybe the rain will wash away some of the pollen and ease my stuffy head. And wash my car off while it's at it.

Tonight I'm counting my blessings and being thankful for this beautiful weather.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Mini-Reunion

My blessing message for this post is that I am thankful that we had the opportunity to reconnect with one of my cousins!

My cousin Tim and his wife and three daughters were in Orlando this past week for a vacation. They traveled from Canada to take the girls to Disney and Sea World for a week of fun and laughs and memories, and I really hope they got all that and more. My parents and I drove down to Orlando (it's only 2 hours from my home, so not a bad run at all) on Wednesday this week and met them for breakfast on Thursday morning, and then we all went to Sea World together for the day. We drove back home Friday and then Tim and his family flew back to Canada this morning.

I haven't seen my cousin in at least 12 years. I don't even know if it was summer of 1997 or 1998 when I last saw's just been so long that I don't remember! I only got to meet his wife once or twice, and I had never met his daughters (his oldest will be 11 this year, so none of them had been born when I was last in Canada visiting family). My parents try to visit him once a year during their annual trip to visit my mom's sisters, so they've gotten to watch his girls grow up. They're all very sweet and kind and just as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside. It was so nice to meet them and spend time with them. Megan and Jeremy were also very happy to have them along for the day at Sea World! I confess that my kids weren't exactly on their best behavior that day though. I suppose when you figure they had less than eight hours of sleep the night before (as opposed to their usual 10-11), and no break for a nap at the park all day, I couldn't have realistically expected them to be perfect angels. All in all, it was a wonderful day, and I took lots of pictures to remember it by. Kate, the youngest, and Ali, the oldest, were both chosen to participate in a show at some point during the day, so that was also very entertaining!
Jeremy took a special shine to Tim (even if he didn't want to smile for the photo at left...he kept asking Tim to pick him up and show him all the animals). I think Jeremy really missed his daddy on the trip. Unfortunately, Steve had to work and couldn't join us in Orlando, but we're planning to get down to Sea World for a visit again sometime soon, just the four of us. My parents now have Fun Cards and can go to Sea World from now until the end of the year with those, so we will probably ask them to join us, too!