Saturday, May 16, 2009

Complications…

Hello, this is Tolan. In addition to the facial paralysis and loss of hearing we discovered another complication today that’s potentially serious. Jodi is leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) out her nose. We didn’t initially notice it because it isn’t noticeable when she is lying on her back (because it drains down her throat) but when she sits up it happens. We’re not talking about a few drips; it’s a pretty steady stream. This explains the continuation of the severe “spinal headaches” that feel just like the ones she had about a month ago when she received a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and had to get a blood patch. The blood patch solved the problem for her that time because the leak was from the spinal area but since the leak is in her head this time the solution may not be so easy and according to Dr. Shelton there is a risk of meningitis. As Dr. Shelton explained it, the brain is surrounded by the CSF which is a clear liquid and the brain essentially “floats” in it. It acts as a cushion or buffer for the cortex. If there is a leak and the pressure is low when the patient sits up the fluid flows down the spine leaving the brain without the optimum cushion effect and leads to debilitating headaches forcing the patient to remain lying down constantly, which is exactly what Jodi is experiencing right now. Any doctors/nurses out there are probably laughing at the way I botched the above explanation…

Since we had the fluid tested earlier tonight and the results confirmed it is indeed CSF Dr. Shelton ordered a large dose of antibiotics to protect her from bacterial meningitis and they are in the process of putting a catheter in the spine to create a slow drain, called a “lumbar drain”. I’m not sure exactly how that works but it’s a first attempt to help resolve the leak problem. I suspect she won’t be released from the hospital until we can resolve this problem.

We continue to receive lots of support from family and friends daily. The Young Women in our Ward planted flowers around our house and pulled weeds Friday night and it looks wonderful and someone (I don’t know who) mowed our lawn today while I was with the kids up at the hospital. From meals to help watching our kids the support continues to be tremendous and has allowed me to spend valuable time at the hospital with Jodi. I sincerely appreciate and support.

Tolan

Here are a few pics I took today...








8 comments:

annie said...

Oh darn Jodi. I am sorry you are having complications. I hope tomorrow is a better day. Hang in there! Also, your children are beautiful. Treavor is home from DC for a week. He wanted me to send his love and well wishes for a speedy recovery.

The Hall's said...

Hang in there, the prayers are still coming! We were all excited about your news yesterday, don't let this stop your postive thoughts. You will get through this - Never give up the Faith!!
We love you!

Flints Facts said...

Hey Jodi, Hang in there...I hope tomorrow is a better day for you. Know that the postive thoughts and many prayers continue in your behalf. Stay Strong!!!
Lots of love...

Kristi said...

Jo, It was great visiting with you on the phone today. I miss you!! I am SO proud of you. You are amazingly brave. You have always praised me for my strength over the years, but the truth is you are the Angel my sister and friend! I love you and cannot wait to see your beautiful face and give you a hug and kiss!! All my love and aloha, Kristi Marie

britt said...

so glad the kids got to come see you, but know it may have been short and caused a bit of stress (with them bouncing off the walls-as Tolan said). hang in there my friend-lots of love to you!!

Suzy Q said...

Tolan, you did a wonderful job of explaining this complication. Just thought I'd tell you that since I'm a nurse in neuroscience stuffs, you did great. Jodi, I love you as always. You are so amazing and I hope you know it.

Curtis said...

Hi Jody,
Vener and I have been following your progress from this site. This is my first blog; this is your first brain surgery - now which is really harder?
Don't freak out, but I picked this picture of myself holding a pig heart in lab... that is NOT a brain. Let's just think good thoughts about brains, all brains, just staying put, lying still, and not leaking.
We're sorry that you're having to be so still and quiet, but we know how sedate a person your are, so it shouldn't be too hard, right? OK, enough sarcasm... for now. Later I will take a wack at Tolan's medical explanation (actually, it was done very well).
In all honesty, I'm glad to see you doing so well - truely. This will pass, you'll get better, and we'll see you soon. Our love, and our prayers are with you and your family.
Curtis (and Vener, if she were here).

Curtis said...

OK, the picture of the pig heart didn't show up, so you'll have to use your imagination.