Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Things continue to be insanely crazy and just so unexplainable. We are now to taking just one day at a time. Thankfully, the days themselves have slowed down to almost normal. The hours are passing by like they should but it still seems that my mom's stroke was weeks ago. We tend to forgot that it was recent and obvious recovery shoudn't be expected yet. The past two days were a rollercoaster. I really can't remember what happened on each day but I can go through what has happened in order.

Sunday, I was woken up by knocking on our hotel room at 1:15am by my dad. We told me that he was pretty sure that my mom had had a stroke and needed Jeff to help him lift my mom onto the bed. He had found her on the floor near the bed and could not lift her. She was complete dead weight since she could not move her entire right side. We ran down there to find her laying on her stomach/side. I could see in her eyes that she was absolutely and completely scared. I could easily tell that she could not move her right side indicating that my dad was right. Jeff and my dad moved her to the bed and then my dad just stood there. He was understandably in shock. I remember my mom telling me not that long ago about an older sister in her ward that had had a stroke. She told me all about this medicine that can be given to stroke vicitims within three hours to better help them fully recover. We both found that pretty amazing. So all that I could think about was how we needed to get help fast because helping my mom was all about thinking fast and getting help quickly. I called and help was on its way. I then proceeded to go to each of my sisters rooms. I first told Heidi and then Mindy. It was so strange to all of us being woken up to news like that. My mom was taken to the nearby hospital for help. By the time that she was given t-PA, it was about 2:15am. This particular hospital utilized the robot doctor. It is where a specialist from an affiliated hospitals is basically projected on a screen with wheels and capabilities to move towards everything. The neurologists was awesome and it really felt as if he was right there when in reality he was in his office at home with his dalmation sleeping on the couch. At this point my mom was moving her arms and legs on both sides of her body. She was trying to count and say her name when being asked to and she was very alert. Prior to leaving the hotel, we had called Brent's father in law because he would have oil to bless my mom. At the hospital his wife showed up to help. They are such great people. We greatly love them and consider them as close family. I tracked down Brent and Noelle after calling 3 different hotels with help from Noelle's mom, Katie. The lady at the front desk asked me if I knew that it was 3:48am. I told her of course I did and that it was a family emergency. It really was kind of funny the way that she said it.

It was then decided that she would be moved to another bigger hospital that would better be able to take care of her. The hospital in San Juan is actually much closer to my brother and sister in laws apartment and Noelle's parents house. The robot neurologist is also located at this hospital. They were able to take an MRI to locate the stroke. It ended up being bigger than expected. The biggest blow to all and especially my dad was that they figured that she had the stoke longer than the 3 hour window. The last time that Mindy and I saw her was at about 10-10:30pm when we said goodnight. My dad found her at 1:15am so we have no idea of the exact time. I think that my dad felt really bad that he had not waken up sooner to her attempts. We also wondered about that because he is such a heavy sleeper. Regardless we got her help and that is what counts. Later in the day it was also discovered that she had bleeding in the area of her stroke in the brain which in turn causes swelling. Not good at all. When the t-PA is administered one of the potential problems is bleeding. When the clot dissolves, the blood rushes in causing the weaken veins to break thus the bleeding. Subsequent scans showed more bleeding and swelling. The last one yesterday showed slowed bleeding but more swelling. However the neurologist said that her alertness was surprising with what the scan was showing. He told my dad that he was definately focusing on treating the patient not what shows up in images. We really like the neurologist, neurosurgeon, therapists, physician, and nurses. They have been so great and have been taking really great care of my mom. The last four days my mom has gone up and down. It is just a big waiting game.

Today my mom has been able to move her left leg and toes as well has her arm and hand quite frequently. She is also opening her one eye here and there and can respond to commands. We put a wet wash cloth on her forehead and she started moving it around her face cleaning it. It made my mom and dad so happy. Mindy and Heidi are there right now and Mindy called to say that she is really responding well. She was really trying to say something to them and she laughed when something that they said was funny. There are also mannerisms that she does that reminds us that she really is in there. My dad has been putting his Ipod earbuds in her ears with Christmas music. She loves Christmas music. At one point she pulled one earbud out of her ear and held it in her hand. We wondered why to only find out that she had listened to all of the music and it was over. We laughed over that. We hate to get really excited about things like this because the worst can happen. We are still very aware of the real posibilities of her situation. We were able to attend the Sacramento Temple for a section. It was Me, Jeff, my dad, Brent, Noelle and Heidi. It was a really great experience. We have a joke where we call tears gumdrops. Let me just say that we lost a lot of gumdrops in the temple yesterday. I also learned that names are on the prayer roll in the temple for 2 weeks. Something new learned.

We have been very blessed with the circumstances overall. We are so greatful that we were all together. Every last one of us. That never seems to happen. We are also in an area where some of the best doctors are found and are accessible. We are also close to family and new family. All of us also had dedicated time off and work for employers that have been very understanding. All of you have been very wonderful and we can feel your prayers. We really appreciate all of your kind words towards us. They do mean alot.

And please don't feel too bad for us that our Christmas turned out this way. The great thing is that Gunnar is not old enough to really understand when Christmas is. For all that he knows Christmas could be in 3 weeks. He also doesn't really understand that Christmas means gifts. Thank goodness. It also does not feel like Christmas here because it is rainy/windy or fairly nice. Back home there is snow and for us that means Christmas. Here there are also not a lot of Christmas lights. Pretty weird. However when we go into Noelle's parents house, the place is soooo decked out in Christmas. There are snowmen in every corner. They also have two trees. We love being there because it feels so homey. Tomorrow we plan on going over there for dinner and during the day Marley and Me. We are also pretty excited. We are very greatful for them and love them so much...wait...did I alreay say that? That is just how we feel about them.

Anyway, I couple funny things about Gunnar.
In California you can make u-turns just about every where. We just left the hospital and were sitting at a stop light. I HUGE white truck was attempting to make a u-turn right in front of us. It was too big to really make is so it made like and 8-point turn. Heidi said out loud how bad that was and Gunnar piped in with, "That's an accident."

Today Jeff, Mindy and Heidi were with him while my dad and I were at the hospital. Gunnar asked where mommy, gamma and papa were. They told him at the hospital with grandma. He said show me. They did that a couple of times. Just amazes me at his comprehension and his growth in coomunication as we have been in California.

While waiting in the waiting room the other day, he quickly saw grandma being wheeled back from a scan. He got so excited that he saw her briefly and we told her that she is in the hospital because she is hurt. He repeated to her that she is hurt and that she is resting and proceeded to lay his head down and make louding breathing sounds. He understands that grandma is hurt and resting and that we visit her a lot.

He is trying to do the best that he can. The first day was aweful. We had all been up since 1am, we were all upset and stressed. Gunnar was confused, dad was in shock, we were all forcing ourselves to eat and sleep. Poor Gunnar has been doing so well given the circumstances. He has been such a trooper.

Well, now that i have written a novel, I need to get some sleep and let Heidi on the computer. I will keep all updated and what is happening. Feel free to let others know that they can find updates through my blog. We love all of you!

2 clever remarks:

Beth said...

Our prayers are with you and your family!!!

Thank you so much for posting and sharing the updates... It feels so helpless to be so far away and not able to help out at all yet; but readin the updates help ease that anxiety. Thank you!

We love your Mom and Dad, they have such beautiful faith!

Keep taking care of each other, you kids are wonderful!!

Love and Hugs,
Beth, Jim and Jacob Dayley

Camille said...

Hi Kristi, I just read both posts. I am so glad to hear your mom seems to be doing better. You are still in my thoughts and prayers. Love you! Cam