Jan 21 2013 in Caring for Spouses by Teri
…is something that I have thought about a lot lately. We truly have been on a journey! I always thought I wanted to take a journey, but my journey always included nice hotels, maybe some traveling, some yummy exotic foods, etc. Instead our most recent journey has been the past 2 1/2 months in the hospital.
I had posted about my sweetheart’s ordeal with meningitis in November, not too long ago. I did not go back and reread that post, so I am not sure where we were in recovery when I posted that one. I apologize if I repeat things, but I wanted to give an update of our current situation.
After a month in ICU for meningitis, Mark transferred to rehab about 30 minutes closer to home. Mind you, this was still about 2 1/2 hours from where we live, but there was no rehab closer to take him and handle his medical needs.
Mark started gaining back strength relatively quickly and was actually feeling pretty good! He was working with rehab and not only taking daily walks in the hall, but walking to the shower (down the hall) and showering every few days. Discharge planning started for him on January 5 but he had some IV antibiotics to finish up. About a week and a half ago (well, two weeks now, really), Mark started having some fevers off and on with horrible chills and also started with some headaches. They changed around his IV antibiotics, did blood cultures, and ran some scans. To make this part of the story shorter, on Tuesday, January 15, Mark’s headache moved to the right side, increased in severity (about 40 on a scale of 1-10), and he began not only vomiting, but having vision changes and left sided weakness.
A STAT CT scan showed that he had a huge bleed in his brain. (NONE of his health problems predispose him to this, so it was NOWHERE in the realm of expected). Within the hour we were on our way back to the original hospital to shock trauma, then to Neuro ICU. The doctors could not believe with the size of the bleed that at that time Mark was able to respond and tell them not only who he was but to squeeze hands, etc.
By Wednesday morning Mark had been taken to surgery to have a craniotomy done to remove the blood from his brain. Two hours after surgery he was taken back to the OR for yet another craniotomy to remove more blood. After this, Mark’s brain began to swell very significantly and on Friday morning a third surgery was done. The third and final surgery (a decompressive craniectomy) was to remove the entire right side of Mark’s skull (which is being frozen until it can be replaced) in order to prevent the massive swelling from crushing his brain stem. Needless to say the past five days have made the past two and a half months feel like a proverbial walk in the park!
Mark has been placed in a drug-induced coma since Wednesday in order to give the swelling in his brain a chance to go down and hopefully heal. We have no clue as to the extent of damage done by this intracranial hemorrhage (also termed a hemorrhagic stroke) 0r what to expect if/when he wakes up.
We hold fast to the hope that Mark will surprise everyone with a great recovery. He has SO many people praying for him around the world and we personally believe that this has made and will continue to make a huge difference. Thankfully we have friends who have set up a fund at http://www.gofundme.com/humphreysmedicalfund where several donations have been made to help with medical bills and expenses relating to this current situation.
My goal is to do better with posting updates here because I know so many can relate to what I/we are going through!
Thanks in advance for the well-wishes, thoughts and prayers for my sweetheart!