Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another Day

Well, another day of life after brain surgery. I think that is a fair representation of the way Tracy feels. It's the drudgery of feeling the effects of everything all the time. The surgery, the medicine, the dry eye and the long days of not being able to do anything but sit in a dim room.

Now, that sounds pretty depressing, and it is, but she's pushing on. She's antsy for more out of her life. She doesn't give up or give in. She is feisty. That's why she feels the way she does. She lives life.

Oh, you want proof. Ok, you know how I've been saying that she can't really walk around outside because of her eye? So, I picked up a treadmill and set it up in the living room. Now, she didn't feel well today, because of the new medicine she is taking (we think), not drinking enough water (bad, bad girl - I was gone a little today [when the cat's away...]) and the ever aggravating eye. So, after a meal literally laid out as if for royalty (and extremely tasty), provided for us and delivered by three ladies with smiles I will not soon forget, Tracy wanted to "get out of the house". We took a little road trip to her parents house (a couple of miles away) and stayed for about 15 or so minutes before her eye started itching like nuts. We came home and took some allergy medicine and put some allergy drops in her eyes and she rested. THEN she got on the treadmill and walked about 1/2 a mile at 1.6 mph for about 15 minutes.

WHAT?? Jeff, let that girl rest! She I guarantee it. Hey, Dr. Oghalai said she could sweat. Now we're not sweatin', but she did say she was getting hot on her walk. We turned on the fans and she finished what she wanted to do. I'm telling you, this girl is an inspiration. Listen, I guess I'm saying this because I see her feelin' icky and just dealin' with it. I love her, you know?

A little technical stuff. The medicine she is taking is like a diuretic, so it works to get water out of her body. That is what will help reduce the production of spinal fluid and allow the incision to heal. Well, since that is what the medicine does, she needs to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. You know that when you don't get enough water in your system, you get fatigued and you just feel icky. Water is important to the body; 70% of our physical self is water, so....

We're back in the chair and couch for a while. It's just more comfortable and less intimidating than the bed.

I've talked to some of you on the phone who have said you have been waiting to visit because you don't want to overwhelm her and tire her out. Go ahead and call, so you can set a time to come. Her days get long and boring. I should be back at work next week and there will be people here or "on call", but call and see what you can do, if you want to.

Ok, I'm gonna sign off. You guys have a good evening or day or whatever when you're reading this.


Never say die! As day closed into evening and Tracy was getting ready for her bath, she was complaining of her vision being blurry and just an overall odd feeling. I looked in her eyes and noticed that her pupils were different sizes. I got a flashlight and checked dialation reaction, which was fine. But I couldn't explain what was going on, so I did like any red-blooded, American male would do...I called my mom.

Now, to be fair to me, my mom was an intensive care nurse for something like 13 years and worked for the Texas Board of Medical Examiners as an investigator after that. She was a coroner and worked with dialysis and breathing machines later. So, she is a resource we have always used before we jumped into any serious medical situations. I imagine she has saved us a bunch of money and a lot of aggravation.

We talked about what was going on and she gave us some advice about Tracy's odd sensations, but said we should call Dr. Oghalai for the pupil problem. We did and after exchanging some information he figured out that the allergy eyedrops we had put in Tracy's eye caused it to dialate. Mom, later pointed out that we would never have noticed had we put the eyedrops in both eyes. Dr. Oghalai also told Tracy to stop taking the Acetazomid (Diamox) as he felt as if the compression bandage was doing the job it was supposed to do, because the incision was not leaking so far as we could tell. The Diamox has some uncomfortable affects on some people and he said as long as the bandage is working, she didn't need the Diamox. Tracy was glad for that. She did not like the way that medicine made her feel.

So if the incision is still leaking after Saturday, we will go back in on Monday and have another compression bandage put on. I asked him if he would consider stitching it up tighter and he said he didn't want to, because what needs to happen is for the fat to fill the hole and stay there. That is the goal of the repairative procedure; that the fat would act as a plug. So, the compression will keep it in there tight enough until it stabilizes and stays on its own.

So, the nights always end up late, 'cuz we just don't have enough fun during the day. Different sized pupils is a bad deal, but in this case, it was, again, not a big deal. It did require some attention, however.

Ah well, it's what makes life interesting and keeps the adventure alive. Sorry this is so long. Hope you don't get bored.

Jeff 2


Anonymous said...


For those of us too far away to make a dinner, what are some things we can do to lift Tracy's spirits? You said she can't read much, but are there any books on tape you think she would like? Is she ready for a dinner out somewhere? Any CD's you think she would like to have?
Thanks you sweet boy!
Susan (TL)

Anonymous said...

Good Morning!! Sorry to hear things have been a little rough, we continue with the prayers. You are such an amazing lady!! I know your family is SO proud of you. Hang in there. I know it will get better with each passing day.


Anonymous said...

Hello my sweet friend. You know that these days will soon pass. Just think of them as, perhaps, childbirth. Sounds weird, hun? But, remember the pain and then the blessing, and all the pain went away! Well, most of it anyway. The teenage years could get a little painful at times, but I won't go into that here. My prayer is that you remember the blessings and know you are loved. Talk to you soon.