Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Update 12.30.08

Tom and I have been blessed with a beautiful Christmas. Except for an unexpected two-day hospital stay it was very peaceful...but I get ahead of myself.

A while back, not so long ago, Tom took a rather dramatic fall on the way into TIRR. He ended up getting a heck of a headache and was quite disoriented. By the end of the day we were in the ER getting a CT scan. All looked fine so we headed home.

The headaches persisted as did some pretty significant physical and mental deterioration. We were in constant contact with Dr. Kew (who was on break in India) and decided to check into the hospital for further tests. Dr. New was covering the department during the holiday and took good care of Tom. His steroids were increased (to reduce swelling and pain) and his Keppra was increased (in case he was having unidentified seizures). He improved right away.

We were released Christmas Eve and spent a wonderful quiet evening together. We have been blessed with the best holiday food ever from Penny and John's breakfast, to Flynn pasta, Klein (or Uncle Ralph's) enchiladas and virtually anything my mom makes.

Here is Tom wearing his new headlamp from Nic and Austin!

The love and support and help from our friends and family has been unbelievable.

Tom is now doing much better and gave such a good effort at PT yesterday he went home and slept until dinner after which he slept through the night. His MRIs indicate small if any activity, which is very good.

In a few days Nicole (my sister) is coming from Phoenix to spend a month helping Tom and I. Nicole is an AFT agent. While she is here I anticipate a surge of crime in Arizona while the criminals get it out of their system before she comes back and kicks butt again.

Finally, I hear the fund raiser planning is going great! We already have so many donations for the silent auction and the RSVPs are many many.

We are so grateful and blessed to each and every one of you. Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Update 12.16.08

Hi everyone,

Tom has started PT, OT, and Speech Therapy. We are working through TIRR which has a great reputation. In OT the direction is on fine motor skills, and Speech is really about memory. In PT Tom is focusing on balance. Apparently balance is largely accomplished through visual feedback, feeling in our feet, and the vestibular system (something about his inner ear)

Tom also had a special eye exam which taught us that his peripheral vision is badly damaged and of course the feeling in his feet has not come back. He has learned to compensate for these well but the damage done to his inner ear is serious and requires a lot of therapy to overcome.

As such, his balance is very bad. He took quite a fall this morning resulting in a trip to the ER for a CT scan. Fortunately it came back negative. We were back on the road in a few hours and treated ourselves to a Big Mac. Sometimes fat and chocolate are just necessary.

We are both learning a lot. One my recent gains has been in learning about Gerstmann syndrome which is neurological condition brought on by brain trauma. It presents with difficulty with math, left/right distinction, and something else I can't recall now (probably something to do with memory haha). While we wish it was not occurring in Tom it is and it is good to have a name and action plan associated with the situation.

All this sounds bleak but it is not. Tom is so happy and we are loving this Christmas season. We laugh a lot and really enjoy being together.

We have terrific support from friends and family all the way from food delivery and rides to an amazing fund raiser in January.

We are so blessed.
Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa