Friday, December 31, 2010

Aggie Basketball

New Year's Eve is a day for most to reflect on the past year and to look ahead to what the new year will bring.  Honestly, I don't want to think about what we have dealt with this past year and am fearful of what is to come.  When Jamie died my grandma told me that God had something wonderful for us in the future.  I sure am ready for it.  Are you making any new year resolutions?  I am making just one--to be present.  So often I miss out because I am thinking about the past or future instead of living in the present. 

Elizabeth spent the day with Daddy.  He slept a lot, but their did have some good conversation.  Elizabeth said he seemed more like himself than last week when she visited.  Elizabeth spoke with a doctor and he said Daddy's pressure was in the low 40s yesterday when they did the lumbar puncture (<20 is what we want).  Daddy had his 4th lumbar puncture today.  There has been some confusion about whether Daddy had meningitis or not.  The doctor Elizabeth spoke with said that the infection disease doctor has not diagnosed Daddy with meningitis, but all the numbers point to him having it.  Daddy is on very strong antibiotics and will continue them for seven days.  Since, none of Daddy's lumbar puncture results have been below 20% Elizabeth asked if that meant a shunt was to be placed.  The doctor said it was likely, but Dr. Day would make that decision and he is off for the holiday weekend. 

This afternoon we took the boys to there first Aggie men's basketball game.  Jackson refused to wear maroon, which is just like him.  We had a really good time.  I think the boys liked the big bucket of popcorn more than the game.  With about 7 minutes left in the game and the score very close Jackson says, "I need to potty."  So, me and the boys head to the bathroom, but luckily nothing to excited happened while we were gone.  I haven't been to college station in about 4 years and it has been longer since I was on campus--wow it has changed.  We went by the quad and showed the boys were Josh lived while in the Corp.  After the game we went to Wings N More for dinner--it is still the best place to get wings.  It was nice to be out as a family today.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New room

Daddy was moved to the intermediate ICU on the 5th floor last night.  Mom said he was so happy and in a great mood.  Daddy said he hated it up in the other room and didn't like the nurses.  Mom told him they were so of the best nurse he has ever had and they were only trying to help him get better.  Daddy said he still didn't like them.

Grandaddy (Daddy's father) and Diane (sister) came to visit this morning.  They were able to take Daddy outside in a wheelchair and got him a coke in the cafe.  They also has some fun.  Daddy laid flat on his back in bed well Granddaddy drop grapes into his mouth and Diane took pictures (if I can get the pic I will post them).  I sure am glad Daddy was able to play with his sister today. 

This afternoon a pick was placed in Daddy.  It is an IV that goes straight into an artery.  Daddy needs this because the medicine he is being given for the meningitis is so strong it would eat away his veins if given through a regular IV.  Another lumbar puncture was done today as well.  Mom thinks they will be doing one daily for a while.  A new doctor came by today to review all the medication Daddy is on in preparation for surgery.  So we are concluding from this that Daddy will be having a shunt place in his head to drain the CSF, however Mom has not be told that from Daddy's doctor.

Please keep praying.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This morning started with Daddy getting out of bed two times and trying to get water.  His nurse found him at the sink about to drink straight from the tap.  He is not supposed to drink water, because his sodium level is so low.  He can have all the powerade, coke and juice he wants, but no water.  When I called and talked to him this morning he in a low voice asked me to sneak in a water bottle.  He makes the nurse laugh:)

Mom talked with the doctor that performed the lumbar puncture yesterday and she said that Daddy's pressure was a little high, but that could be because he was is so pain right before the test.  She also told mom that Daddy now has meningitis. 
     "Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening infection of the meninges—the tough layer of tissue that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. If not treated, meningitis can lead to brain swelling and cause further disability, including coma and even death.  Meningitis can be caused by a variety of things, including bacteria (the most serious), viruses, fungi, reactions to medications, and environmental toxins such as heavy metals. Although bacterial and fungal meningitis require extended hospitalization, meningitis caused by viruses can often be treated at home and has a much better outcome." (

When one has a lumbar puncture there is a risk of getting meningitis.  The odd thing to me is that a lumbar puncture  is what is performed to also find out what type of meningitis one has.
     "A spinal tap, or lumbar puncture, is necessary to diagnose meningitis. The results of the spinal tap are essential to help the doctor determine first the presence of meningitis and then the type of meningitis. Correctly diagnosing meningitis is absolutely essential to guide treatment. If you are too sick for a spinal tap, you will be treated with antibiotics on the assumption that you have meningitis. The spinal tap will be done when your condition improves. Cerebrospinal fluid is obtained through a spinal tap. This fluid surrounds and cushions the brain and the spinal cord. The fluid is checked in the lab for things like white and red blood cells and protein and glucose (sugar) levels. The doctor then interprets the test results to determine if meningitis is present. The test results can also indicate if the meningitis is due to a bacterial infection or a virus. " (

So, add this to your prayers for Daddy.  I feel like Daddy and our family just can't get a break.  I am thankful for the miracle that Daddy is still with us and overall doing well, but it is hard to not get down and I'm not even the one that has been in ICU for 16 days now.  Daddy should be moved to immediate ICU soon--hopefully this evening or tomorrow morning. 

The doctor is currently or it may be done by now doing another lumbar puncture on Daddy.  I just assume we will not get results till the morning. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Daddy's nurse was able to pull up his lumbar results on the computer and his pressure was around 24%.  The doctors usually want it to be 20% or lower.  Mom was not able to speak to the doctor today hopefully he will come by tomorrow and they will talk about putting in a permanent shunt.  This is still undecided.  I don't know much about the shunt, but basically it would drain fluid from the brain into the stomach.

On KSBJ (I love KSBJ check it out @ today I listened to a song about a husband/father asking God to lead him to be strong for his wife and kids.  It made me think that we all need God's help when it comes to family and friends.  Please pray for our family and that we will let God lead us to help Daddy through this time and to have the wisdom to plan for the future correctly. 

Lumbar Puncture

Yesterday Daddy had a CT scan and everything looked fine.  His drain has been out for 48 hours now and thus far he is doing well.  This morning the doctors will be preforming a lumbar puncture on Daddy.  The lumbar puncture will check his fluid levels (CSF).  Please pray that the levels are good so a permanent shunt is not needed.  Also, pray for Daddy's pain this puncture will not feel good.  I don't know when they will start or how long it takes, but I will give y'all an update as soon as I get the results.  Mom is at the hospital today and me and the boys are headed this morning to Mom and Daddy's house to wait for the repair man.  Their fridge went out:(  Please pray for my Mom as she has to deal with all these other daily issues that are not wanted at a time like this. 

On another note, pray for every mom that is at home with her kids over this holiday break--it is tough entertaining the kids when they are used to so much activity at school and seeing their friends.  We have had a rough morning:(

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Photos

Jackson and Jeffrey just finished decorating the tree.
Grammie gave the boys Christmas jammies in Nov. and they have wore them ever night since including tonight.
Jackson and Grammie Christmas Eve in Granddad's ICU room.
Jeffrey put out cookies for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer.

Aunt Liz and Uncle Matt gave the boys Aggie football helmets.

Jeffrey Christmas morning on his new skateboard.

Removal of drain

Yesterday, Sunday Dec. 26, 2010 Daddy's drain was removed.  We had thought it would come out sooner, but that was not the case.  So, Daddy was in ICU on Christmas, but we did get approved to take the boys back to see Daddy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  However, now the boys must wait till Granddad is in a regular room to visit again.  Hopefully things will go well and the drain will stay out and Daddy can start focusing on getting stronger.  This morning when I spoke with the nurse she said Daddy had been doing fine and the doctor would check later today to see if Daddy's body was responding the way it should and absorbing the CSF correctly.

The prayers that are needed now are that the drain will not have to be reinserted, that Daddy will eat (he has only taken a bit here and there for the last 14 days), that all his bodily functions will continue to improve,  that his mental ability will fully return (he knows things, but is confused) and that he will have a positive attitude and be happy (he has been unkind and had a I don't care mind set the pass few days).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another angiogram

Daddy had his third angiogram today.  The doctor did not find anything to be concerned about.  They have now began to ween Daddy off his drain.  Once he is OK without the drain he will be moved off the ICU floor.  I am very excited because that means the boys can go see Granddad!  The doctor did say today that Daddy would be in the hospital through Christmas.  It stinks that Christmas will not be as we had all planned, but the doctors know best and we will celebrate the birth of our savior anyways. 

Monday, December 20, 2010


Saturday was almost like any other Saturday just in a different location.  Daddy and Granddaddy watched football and Mom, Liz and I talked with Daddy and Granddaddy adding to the conversation every now and then.  On Sunday Daddy took a little walk down the hall.  He did well and only needed a little help on the way back.  He was pretty tired afterwards.   

I got to the hospital around 10am this morning and physical therapy had already come and had Daddy walk again.  He made it all the way around the ICU floor.  He was very tired and slept for over an hour after the walk.  Occupational therapy then came and had Daddy put on a sock, sit in a chair and answer questions (date, address, phone # and things about his science classes).  Lunch was not brought until 1pm and Daddy was ready to eat (at school his lunch time is 10:30am), but he just had a few bits.  We had some other visitors and he was pretty tired by the time I left and was going to nap. 

A Doppler test is suppose to be done today, but I have not heard from the nurse yet--I will have to call.  The Doppler test is like a sonogram for the head.  They will look for any spasms in his arties. 

Overall I think Daddy is doing well.  He still has a long way to go, but I believe he will get there.  So keep prayer that he improves quickly--it is hard for Daddy to just be laying around in bed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours I think start at 6am and go till 9pm.  Only two people are allowed back at a time.  So if you come to visit and don't see any of us in the waiting area call one of our cell phones and we will come out to meet you or there is someone at a desk that can call back to Daddy's room.

Saturday was a good day.  I will blog more later since I am leaving to go see Daddy in the next few minutes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bye, bye tonsils

Jackson's tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy went very well this morning.  He did scream and cry when they took him back, but we knew that would happen.  He is now laying on the couch watching Toy Story with Jeffrey.  He has had two ice cream sandwiches, a bowl of blue bell, a Popsicle and Gatorade.  These are all things I usually don't let the boys have much of so I am struggling.  The nurse told Jackson that if he wanted ice cream for breakfast in the morning is was OK.  I sure hope he doesn't because then Jeffrey will want it as well.  On the drive home Jackson slept and I noticed he was breathing with his mouth closed.  I have never seen him do that.  It is amazing to see results so soon.

Daddy was taken down to have an angiogram around 10am this morning.  He was there for around three hours.  The doctor did not see anything of concern.  Daddy will be in ICU for seven more days and depending on how he is doing will determine where he goes from there.  He has to lay flat on his back for the next six hours to prevent bleeding from the angiogram.  Please continue to pray for good test results and quick and complete recovery.  And please pray that they will let the boys visit Granddad on Christmas in the ICU or that he gets moved to another room before Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hanging Out

When I called this morning and talked with the nurse she said they would just be hanging out today.  Daddy did well through the night.  He slept a lot and had some confusion, but that is normal and expected after what he has been through.  He sat up in a chair for about three hours this morning.  He is eating, but doesn't like the food.  Dinner today was chicken, mixed veggies and mac n cheese.  He said it looked good, but did not taste good.  Mostly today Daddy has slept.  Tomorrow they will do the doppler test again.  It is like an ultrasound.  They will be looking at his arties and seeing if there are any spasms.  Depending on what they find on the doppler test will determine if another angiogram is needed. 

I did not go to the hospital today at all.  I hadn't really seen my boys in two days so me and the boys spent the day together.  It was a hard day.  I wanted to go see Daddy, but also wanted to be with the boys.  I am sure the next couple of weeks are going to feel a lot like today.  Jackson will be having his tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow at 9:15am--please pray all goes well.  Thus I will not be able to see Daddy tomorrow, but Saturday Josh will be home so I will get to go-yeah.

I am so thankful that I can blog about Daddy's recovery.  We have truly witnessed a miracle.  Thank you for your prayers and please keep saying them.  Jackson prayed today at lunch, "Dear Jesus thank for mommy, daddy, Jeffrey, Jackson and Spaze.  Thank you for the food.  Thank you for Granddad feel better. Amen."  I am pretty sure Jackson meant to say please help Granddad feel better, but what he said was great.  We should be thankful and positive as we pray.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Conversation with Daddy

Thank you everyone for your prayers.  Daddy is doing well.  I am here in the hospital waiting area.  I just spent about 45 mins with Daddy.  He was awake and able to talk with me.  He remember things from the past few weeks, but does not remember much from the past two days.  He knows what year it is and his name, ect.  He repeated himself several times, but he does that already.  One nurse I spoke with said everything he is doing is normal.  Daddy sit up in a chair twice today and had physical therapy as well.  It is just amazing to see all he can do so quickly.   Please continue to pray as this is going to be a very long processes.

The middle of the night phone call

At 12:30am Tuesday morning my sister called and said that my Daddy had been taken to Memorial Herman in the Woodlands by ambulance.  We had just gotten the middle of the night phone call that no one wants.  Josh called his brother to come stay with the boys and we drove to the Woodlands.  When we arrived Daddy was having a lot of head pain and not making complete sense.  He was taken for a CT scan and it was discovered that he had bleeding on the brain.  Immediately Life flight was called to take him to Memorial Herman in the Medical center.  They have a neuro something ICU and it is the best place for him to be treated.  The staff in the Woodlands was great.  If you have to go to the ER in the Woodlands go to Memorial Herman. 

Let me back track for a little bit.  Just before midnight Monday evening my Daddy developed a very bad headache on the top of his head and down the neck.  He went to bed, he had been up on the computer doing lesson plans for school (he is a middle school science teacher), but the pain was extreme and then he began to vomit a lot!  My Mom called 911 and within 10 mins. they were there loading him up. 

OK back to earlier Tuesday morning.  We then caravaned down to the medical center.  My sister and husband were in their car, Josh was in his truck and I drove my mom in her van.  We had been told in the Woodlands where a parking garage was and how to get to the Jones building were Daddy would be.  We learned a lesson in the wee hours of Tuesday morning always go straight to the ER if it is after 9pm and before 6am.  We walked around the Jones building for what seemed like forever.  It was erri how we saw no one.  I did finally find a nurses station and talked with one lady who was nice, but not helpful.  I then found a phone and talked to an operator who told us to go to the ER.  A wonderful nice helpful lady in the ER got us where we needed to be.  This all was about 4:30am.  Other family members began to arrive around 5am.  My mom, sister and I talked to many doctors, nurse, PA and such Tuesday morning.  Then a very young lady, not sure what she is, told us she would be drilling a hole in Daddy's head to insert a tube (there is some technical term) into his brain to release the CSF and blood from his brain.  This was done around 7am at his bedside in the ICU no OR needed.  At that point I last complete track of time.  So, sometime later we were able to see Daddy and he looked so much better.  He had color in his face and his blood pressure was lower not great, but lower.  He was medicated so we were unable to talk with him.  He just grunted some and he did tell the nurse it was 1944, but he did know his name.  Then the long wait began.  Dr. Ashely (I think) would be doing a cerebral angiogram to look at Daddy's arteries and hopefully discover the reason for the brain bleed.  Daddy was third in line for the day.  So, we all waited.  We talked, we walked around the hospital, we meet some other families, we complained about the large family who brought all the kids from infants to teenagers who were loud and out of control.  We had lunch in the cafe downstairs at some point--great salad bar.  Around 3:30pm Momma and Daddy's pastor arrived and said so Brett is having his test done now.  We immediately said o good, wait how do you know.  Being clergy he was able to go back to the ICU and was told what was going on, which we were so thankful for since no one had told us.  There was differently a lack of communication all afternoon and evening.  The pastor was told that Daddy should be done in about an hour in a half.  After many more hours of waiting and more visitors coming and going we finally talked with Dr. Ashely around 10pm Tuesday night.  The angiogram had taken about six hours because Daddy's arteries and veins are a mess.  All of his arteries are weak and have atherosclerosis (hardening of arties).  This is cause by genetics, age and a fatty diet.  Daddy's arteries that go up the sides of his neck to his brain were clear.  In the back of the neck one was completely blocked and no blood was going through.  The other one was very weak and the doctor put in a stint.  Once the stint was in he continued to looking at the arteries from that point going into the brain and found a very very large aneurysm that had bleed.  A coil was then place into the aneurysm to stop and prevent more bleeding. 

We now wait and see how Daddy does.  He has the tube down his throat for breathing.  Hopefully that will come out today.  When I called the nurse around 8:30am this morning she said he had a good night, which means he is stable and nothing worst happened, and he was answering yes and no questions and if he continued to do well the doctor would ok the tube to come out today.  Once the tube is removed and he is taken out some of the meds we will know how much brain damage was done by the bleed.  He could have lose of motor skills, speech, difficulty understanding, all kinds of scary things.  Because of family history, age and other risk factors Daddy is at high risk for a stroke, another bleed, brain damage and what I will choose not to think about. 

Please pray for Daddy, the doctors and nurses, Mom and the our whole family.  Thus far the boys have not asked to many questions.  They know Granddad is sick and mommy was with him all day yesterday.  I don't want to tell them to much now because Jackson is having his tonsils removed at TC on Friday.  After Jackson has recovered we will have to get special permission for the the boys to see Granddad in the ICU and at that point I will explain more to the boys.  This maybe weird, but what is most upsetting to me is that the boys could possible not see Granddad for three weeks and if there is brain damage they may not be able to to do all the fun things they love to do with Grandad like planting bean stalks so they can climb them once they grow really big.

I will keep everyone updated as I know more info. What we need the most right now is prayer.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Last week someone told me they were not counting the days till Christmas, but till the new year because 2010 had been terrible.  During that conversation  I agreed.  Several days later as I laid in bed almost asleep this conversation came to mind and I thought 2010 has been sad, but good.  So I have made a list of good things from each month of 2010.

Jan.--I carried life within me.
Feb.--The boys and I had a fun afternoon buying gifts for Josh's birthday and decorating a cake.  Jackson picked out colored pens and Jeffrey choose socks.
March--I went to Romania and was able to love on children and share God's love.
April--I made a new friend.  She is a mother of a girl with Turner's.  She gave me support like no one else could.  She has been such a blessing to me.
May--I felt love and support from all of you.  It has been said that you find out who your true friends are in crisis.  Well, I didn't lose any this year, so thank you.
June--Josh and I were able to take a weekend trip together.
July--The boys and I spent lazy days at the pool.
Aug.--Some very dear friends of mine (many of you) didn't forget Jamie's due date.  I received emails just saying you remembered and I was given a lovely necklace of birthstones for each of my children.
Oct.--Both the boys are in preschool this year, which means three days 9-2pm all alone.  Silents is so nice sometimes.
Nov.--A mini family reunion over the Thanksgiving weekend was nice.
Dec.--The boys are so excited about Christmas this year.  Jackson knows exactly what he wants where last year he said, "I don't need anything mommy."  Jeffrey wants whatever Jackson says.  Jackson will be having his tonsils and adenoids removed this Friday.  This is much needed and know it will keep us from going to the doctor a lot in 2011.  Please pray for Jackson on Friday.

Please comment and share your good things from 2010.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Howdy my dear blog readers.  It has been some time I know.  I do hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving--ours was great.  I got sick but enjoyed myself anyway. 

News.  How do you determine if news is good or bad?  If the news makes you happy is it good?  Or if it makes you sad is it bad?  Yesterday, as I was reading the 3rd and 4th grader Sunday school lesson these questions came to mind (if you didn't know I teach Sunday school).  Mary and Joseph were both visited my an angel and told that Mary would give birth to Jesus.  You can read these stories in Luke chapter one and Matthew chapter one.  The teacher book lays this lesson out that Mary and Joseph received good news from their angelic visits.  The kiddos are going to make paper megaphones and shout good news that should be fun, ha ha ha.  I don't think this was good news for Mary and Joseph.  They had to be scared and asking a lot of questions.  Mary could have been stoned and Joseph had to make a big choice to stay with Mary.  Thousands of years later we read the story and are excited because we know this baby is Christ our Lord, but Mary and Joseph could not of understood all that their first child would be.  So what does this mean for you and me?  When we get news that is bad and we all do at sometime remember Mary and Joseph and how their scary news brought salvation to you and me.  My "bad" news is not going to save the world, but it could help someone someday somewhere--I hope.