Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Icey You -- I see you -- ICU
This entry comes from the hall leading to the University of Utah's Neuro Intensive Care Unit. Jamie is inside visiting her dad who is being treated for a blood clot in a vein in his brain. Normally most patients who suffer a similar illness recover to full strength with no lasting effects. It's a little scarier in her dad's situation, however, because his family has a history with blood clots --his mom, oldest sister, and two brothers have all suffered from them. His oldest sister passed away from a blood clot in her brain. She reacted with the blood thinner medication and her brain hemorrhaged. Jamie's mom is a nurse, so she has been able to communicate with the doctors and make sure they take extra precaution with his situation.
So far no neurological damage has been found with her dad. He is alert and responsive, but also very tired and on a lot of different medications. The pain is diminishing, but the pain killers have taken a toll on his heart rate (he has been dipping into the low 30s). Right now the doctors are giving him additional medication to help speed up his heart rate. The doctors are hoping to have everything stabilized within the next day or so. I'm optimistic that her dad will pull through. Her mom is having a harder time (her being a nurse has been both a blessing and a curse - -she knows too much and has seen too many situations go different ways). But we are confident and faithful that all we be well. We all feel that this is an eye-opening event--one from which we are all gaining faith and insight.
Jamie and I received a call from her mother early Sunday morning and were on the next flight out. Being back around our families and in the "shadows of the everlasting hills" has made us realize just how wonderful it is to be home.
We've been looking back on the past month and realized how many blessings we have: we had visits from both Jamie and my family. I led a service project with 12 students where we provided free HIV/AIDS testing for people in the Bronx; additionally, we worked with an AIDS organization in the city to help educate others and serve food to people with HIV/AIDS. Afterwords I had a nice spring break where all I did was study for the MCAT. I will be taking the MCAT near the end of the summer.
Jamie has been busy at work, and despite her last entry, she shined during the GEMS hair conference. One of the head directors called her the "American Idol of GEMS." Jamie is a great presenter, though certain eccentric Frenchmen find perms distasteful--he must have had a run-in with a young Howie Mandel. She is looking forward to her next (and last) rotation where she'll be working with Redken's US Marketing team on haircolor.
We feel blessed to have so many good people in our lives. No matter where we go, we tend to attract wonderful friends and family members. Joe (Jamie's dad) is such a happy guy--it really is amazing. He has remarked how much like heaven it is to have his two daughters nearby. He is in good spirits and continues to share valubale insights that he is gaining from this recent challenge. We are hoping that he will be moved from the Nuero ICU to the neuro floor soon. Until then, we'll keep praying hard and bringing in chocolate malt milkshakes.