14 March 2010

A Lot Going On

I wanted to post an update regarding our doctor's appointments on the 8th and 9th but so much has happened that I haven't had a chance.

We had a cardiologist appointment on the 8th and they did an echocardiogram and everything looked really good. The bacteria on his aortic valve seemed to be barely noticeable as well which was good news. On the 9th we had appointments with both infectious disease and the neurosurgeon. This is when we found out the results of the MRI Nathan had on the 5th. Apparently, the abscess hasn't gotten any smaller. Both doctor's seemed really surprised with how well Nathan was doing given the results. I think they both feel like the abscess needs to be drained but the neurosurgeon especially wanted to wait since Nathan was doing so well. He was scheduled to have another MRI on the 19th with another appointment with the neurosurgeon a week later but unfortunately, Nathan is now in the hospital.

On Thursday evening, Nathan pulled out his PICC line about 4cm. He was laying in bed and we heard him scream. The end of the line was sutured to his arm and those broke. We don't think this was intentional because he doesn't like to know that his PICC line exists but we're not sure what happened. It's possible he was chewing on it and pulled his arm. We don't know. We called our home care nurse and she came out and looked at it. By the next morning, our doctor had set up a chest x-ray to determine what was going on with the PICC. We went into the hospital and they decided to change it. They changed it out with no problems and we were home by 3:30 in the afternoon on Friday. Less than two hours later, we started to realize that Nathan couldn't see us. He wasn't focusing his eyes on us so we started to test his sight but putting our hands close to his face to see if he would blink or flinch. He didn't do any of this. We called the doctor and while we were waiting for her to call us back, Nathan layed down on the sofa and his eyes started to roll back. We thought he might start having a seizure so we called for an ambulance and they took us to the hospital.

Once in the ER, Nathan regained his sight but he was understandably irritable. Overnight into Saturday he did fine and actually did well most of Saturday. He had an MRI on Saturday and that determined that the episode on Friday night was a stroke. A blood clot from somewhere in his body traveled up to his brain and blocked blood flow and consequently oxygen to that portion of his brain. Then around 7:00PM on Saturday he had another one. He was then moved into the ICU. Since then, he had three more strokes overnight and one this afternoon. They are calling them mini-strokes and apparently they are to be expected. They put him on an anticoagulation drug to thin his blood to prevent further clot formation.

Today, they checked his heart to see if that was the origin of the blood clots and they found his heart to be fine. He also had a CT scan today but we haven't gotten the results of that yet. They are going to do some ultrasound-type test to check for blood clots in his extremities. The hematologist mentioned that his PICC line could be the source of his clots and although we have no evidence to support that, I think that might actually be the issue. I hope he doesn't need to have it taken out because that is how he gets the antibiotics to treat his brain abscess. They are also planning on doing an EEG to check his brain activity.

Okay, that's a lot of information. And if you can believe it, I'm sure I am leaving something out.

As far as how Nathan is doing, he is not quite himself. He perpetually leans over somewhat and his coordination is not quite normal. The left side of his face droops a tiny bit. His speech, although it was never perfect, is a little worse. It is really hard to watch him. But I read something last night that really spoke to me. We are not here to live a comfortable life. Although I know this, I sometimes need to be reminded. Sometimes I start focusing on myself and how hard this is for me. Yeah, that's selfish because Nathan is the one who's suffering. Thankfully, God puts me back on the right path and shows me that this isn't about me but Him. It's about giving up your life to live a life that's infinitely more rewarding.

Oh, a couple cute things about Isabel. She is doing so great by the way. Amazing actually. When we got to the ER, a girl took her to the waiting room to make some necklaces and the girl asked her if her brother came to the hospital in an ambulance and Isabel told her, "No, he came from China." So cute. Then last night while Nathan was having his episode and they took him over to ICU, I was crying and Isabel was telling me that it was okay. I told her we needed to pray for Nathan because he was sick so she told me that she would pray. Here is what she said, "Dear God, please help mommy stop crying. She always cries when Nathan is sick. Please help Nathan to get better. In Jesus' name, Amen."



Tami said...

Amen indeed.

I'm crying here for you guys. I wish I could just give you a big hug and lend my shoulder.

No words....just sending up prayers and sending love.


Tami said...


Could you email me when you get the chance? randclan@comc@st.net. I would love to send something for Nathan. Thx.

WilxFamily said...


My heart sunk when I saw your post, but God is good, so very, very good, and He will see you guys through. He'll give you exactly what you need. Know that we are praying for your family.



Isabel is an amazing little girl

Aaron and Erica said...

I'll be praying for your sweet little guy and for the rest of your family...