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February 03, 2006

Glasses, Please

Mikey has been a bit more lucid lately, although the morphine keeps him from waking too much.

Anyhow, in one of his clearer moments, he gestured to his wife that he wanted his glasses.

How cool is that?

Posted by Da Goddess at 08:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Da Goddess at 08:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 01, 2006

Smile, Antennae No More

I won't be heading down to the hospital until much later today (if my back holds up), but I did talk with Mrs. Mikey this morning.

The antennae from atop Mikey's head were removed yesterday. I can't adequately paint a picture of that, and I promised not to publish photos of it, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I say that it's a huge improvement. All the drains and such were sticking up and out from the surgery site and it was really something to see. Not that you'd want to see it...but you know what I mean.

The big, big news from yesterday was that Mikey opened his eyes, looked at his wife, and smiled at her. She asked if he was smiling and he smiled again. I'd take that as a big YES! Tubes and tape aren't enough to keep Mikey from letting his sweetheart know she's the light of his life. Gotta love that!

I'll update later when I've actually been to see him.

Posted by Da Goddess at 10:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Da Goddess at 10:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 30, 2006

Mikey's Day

Since it was Mrs. Mikey's first day back at work, I went to the hospital to visit with Mikey today and got there at the end of dialysis. His ICP was good, pulse was good, his BP was a little elevated but that's to be expected with the dialysis. His temperature was up and they had ice packs under both arms and an ice blanket covering him from neck to toe.

He opened his eyes a couple times while I was there and squeezed my hand a tiny bit while I talked with him. He also had a couple of weak coughs. All really good signs.

They've taken him completely off the Versed and they're now using only morphine to keep him sedated.

The doctors have given orders to slowly reduce the respiratory rate via the ventilator and he seems to have tolerated that well.

Mrs. Mikey arrived and we spent some time with him together, talking and teasing him, hoping he'd open his eyes more, but he was tired and continued to sleep. The nurse came in to turn him and noticed he'd pooped. Yay! You really have to know how hard that is for a patient to do when they've not eaten for two weeks and everything has been at a standstill.

So, we stepped out of the room to give the nurses a chance to clean him up and get him settled. We went outside for a breath of fresh air. When we came back in we saw Mrs. Smash standing outside the doors to the ICU.

"Where's Smash?" we asked.

"He's inside. The doors opened and he just walked in. I thought I'd wait and go in after it was cleared by the nurses."

We laughed. Smash is so by-the-book most of the time. He must have been really anxious to see Mikey if he chucked the rules.

The double doors opened again and we saw him standing there, waving Mrs. Smash in. As soon as he saw us, he came out and said hello. We talked for a while and then the Smashes went in to see Mikey while Mrs. Mikey and I went to sit down and chat.

The Smashes came out.

"He was sleeping the whole time. He seemed really tired. He's not as yellow, either," they said.

Smash added, "well, his eyes popped open at the end when Mrs. Smash said she'd cooked dinner..."

Trust me when I say that this surprised us all and fully explained Mikey's response. It's not that Mrs. Smash can't cook, it's just that she doesn't do it often unless it's absolutely necessary. I admire that. A lot.

"I'm so blogging that!" I said. And we laughed again.

One can never underestimate the power of laughter when your life has been full of so much tension and concern. It felt good. More than anything, it was wonderful to see Mrs. Mikey laughing and smiling -- and seeing that in her eyes. If we've accomplished nothing else, we've helped to raise her spirits and that means the world to me. She's a wonderful lady and it's totally apparent why Mikey loves her so much.

After all that talking, the Smashes excused themselves and headed home for dinner. Mrs. Mikey and I went back in to see our patient. We each took a side of the bed and held his hands.

At one point, Mikey heard his beloved's voice, opened his eyes, turned his head, and looked at her. Absolute connection there! His brow wrinkled a bit, as if to say "what the hell is going on?" and his mouth started to move. I couldn't tell if he was trying to talk or if he was hoping to kiss her, but he was trying something!

It was beautiful.

The nurses came back in to perform their hourly checks. Respiratory was in to check his cough response and check the vent settings.

The more Respiratory fiddled, the more Mikey raised his hand like he wanted to bat her away.

Then the nurse started with, "Mikey, open your eyes for me." The eyes opened.

"Mikey, blink for me." He blinked.

"Mikey, squeeze my hand." There was a squeeze, a weak squeeze. "Squeeze again, Mikey." Weaker attempt. And again. Still weaker.

"Mikey, squeeze my other hand." A twitch.

"Wiggle your toes for me, Mikey." Nothing.

Even unconscious, Mikey's stubborn. He can do all of it, but he seems to wear out quickly after just a few commands. I could almost imagine him saying "shut the hell up! I'm trying to sleep!"

Mrs. Mikey and I stood at the foot of the bed, hugging each other, smiling, and cheering him on.

That was the first time I'd witnessed with my own two eyes what he was capable of doing. It was overwhelming and wonderful.

Mikey also achieved his goals on the ventilator today! They've reduced the number of respirations via machine and he's maintained adequate perfusion without stressing his system on his own. Each day will be another step toward weaning him off completely.

His jaundice continues to resolve. The swelling has gone down, but isn't gone yet -- they only took off 1.6 kg with the dialysis today. Awareness continues to improve and it will only be a matter of time before he's back among us.

I'm ecstatic about what I saw today and am more hopeful than ever before.

Posted by Da Goddess at 09:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)
Posted by Da Goddess at 09:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

January 29, 2006

Hanging With Mikey

Little Dude and I went down to the hospital yesterday to see Mikey. This is the first time in a week that I'd been able to go and I was anxious to see him since it had been so long.

Mrs. Mikey was running back and forth between hospitals (one of her dearest friends has been hospitalized - at a different facility - with a serious illness) and during a phone call, I let her know we were on our way.

At the hospital, Mikey was undergoing a "procedure". That's code for deep suctioning for secretions by the respiratory therapist/doc to keep the fluid from overwhelming our favorite guy. Since he was otherwise occupied, Little Dude and I headed down to the waiting room. Eventually, the Smashes and Gracie arrived. We sat and talked and began a round of 20 Questions. It's amazing what you'll find to keep busy when you have to be patient. No pun intended.

Finally, Mrs. Mikey and their daughter arrived. She led Gracie and me down the hall and into ICU to see Mikey while the kids occupied themselves under the watchful eye of the Smashes.

Bedside, I held his hand and started talking to him, his heart rate went up, and the monitors started to go off. I had to tease him! I told him I knew he was happy to see me but that he needed to contain his excitement since he's a married man and his wife was standing right there. Everyone laughed and his heart rate went back to normal. He's in there. Definitely. Mikey's fighting hard and I have no doubt that he's going to pull through this.

I also mentioned that I had considered kidnapping Debra Messing (Will and Grace) and bringing her in to see him, to talk him into recovering. However, I had nixed that plan since I didn't think her family nor the police would be real thrilled with the idea. I have no idea what Mikey thinks of her, but she was at the zoo today while Little Dude and I were there. We were all hanging with the pandas.

Mikey's still in a coma, but he has moments of great responsiveness. The medical team was finally able to perform the angiogram. There is no evidence of an aneurysm nor of any abnormal blood vessel anatomy.

He's receiving feedings through a nasojejunal tube, which is placed down the nose, passes through the stomach, and sits in the upper part of the intestines - the jejunum. This prevents the stomach from filling with contents that could potentially be aspirated into the lungs. Naturally, no one wants that to happen. The fact that the doctors have chosen a minimally invasive method for feeds is good. No surgery is required for the tube placement. And better still, the fact that Mikey's being given any sort of feedings at all is FANTASTIC!

The CT and other tests show that the damage from the stroke was confined to a section of the right frontal lobe. Personality should not be drastically altered. He may experience some decreased ability to mentally focus, but that's a better outcome than what might have been. Ultimately, the only real way to determine the extent of the damage will come once Mikey has regained consciousness.

In addition to the feedings, Mikey is moderately jaundiced. Shock, medications, feeds, and many other factors play a role in how the body functions, especially the liver. Apparently, the bilirubin levels have been steadily decreasing, which is more good news. Bilirubin is a product of hemoglobin breakdown. Normally, our liver will help with processing the old blood cells and they will passed from our system via urine and stool. When the amount of heme and globin becomes greater than the amount the liver and gall bladder can process, bilirubin begins to accumulate in the blood stream and thus, the yellowing of skin and sclera (the whites of the eyes). Mikey was yellow, but not a horrible yellow. I've worked with so many icteric patients that I can pretty much gauge what the lab results will be just by looking at them. Mikey has a fight on his hands, but he's on his way.

He's also very edematous (swollen). The nurse said they took off quite a bit of fluid during dialysis yesterday and that's to be expected. 4 kg is significant. It's important to remove the excess fluid to improve blood pressure as well as to keep the lungs from becoming congested.

The ICP remained under 10 the whole time I was there. Yay! The blood pressure was good. Yay! And, Mikey was in a deep "sleep". Friday had been a particularly arduous day for him - the angiogram was done, a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter as opposed to a standard IV) was placed, and he has those extra special suctionings throughout the day. That's a lot stress on the body. He deserved to sleep.

Next week I'll be spending a little more time down at the hospital since his wife has to go back to work (short days for now) and nobody wants him to be alone all the time.

I'll be taking in comments to read to him. I'm taking a new biography that I can read to him as I keep him company. And, we've all teased him that we're going to bring in music that will force him awake, if only to complain.

There's still a long, hard road ahead of Mikey and his family, but we're all confident that current test results are indicating that things are going to be okay.

Don't forget to donate, even if it's only a dollar or two. Every bit helps.

And, keep praying.

Posted by Da Goddess at 03:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Da Goddess at 03:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


October 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

About Me

Who is Mikey?
Mikey playing with digital camera

Mikey is a forty-something U.S. Navy veteran that is currently taking a break from being a full-time student at UC San Diego studying electrical engineering.

He's also a husband, a father, a former Independent/Democrat and is currently dealing with dialysis and getting on the national kidney transplant list.

The words written here are his opinions and his observations on the stupid things in life. If you do not like them or do not agree with them: tough squishies. In America, you're entitled to Freedom of Speech not Freedom to Not Be Offended.

Help Mikey by not being part of the problem and instead, be part of the solution so that he doesn't have to comment on your sorry actions.

Contact Mikey


AIM: madmikeysblog

YIM: madmikey92037

Any/all e-mail sent to Mikey might be published if you get nasty or it's something worthwhile...


Help Mike deal with his mounting medical bills

What's this all about? Read this to learn more...


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