Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pate is Great

Sorry for the long duration between posts, i have a brain problem :D Anyway, things are progressing well here at Pate. I walked with a horse, I do water therapy twice a week (this is where they tie you up and drip water on your head while screaming "GET BETTER!!!"), I practice walking with a cane during therapy and I get around exclusively in the walker (haven't used the wheelchair since Friday). I am set to go oupatient (i.e. get released home!) on August 7th, after which I will only come up for therapy. My follow up with Dr. White was rescheduled for Aug. 18th, so I get to be home for a week or so before anything major could potentially happen. Pate is super-great because it's so much closer to my girls, Jess brings Quinn up just about everyday (thank you, Jess). Other than that, I spend my time reading and preparing for the next school year, when a computer is available.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Progress at Pate

I have been at Pate for a week, and things seem to be moving right along. During therapy, I have to get around in a walker (as opposed to a wheelchair), walking is becoming more fluid, and typing is coming a little easier. I get to work-out in the treadmill pool tomorrow, and I walked with a horse on Friday. At this point, I am fine tuning basic skills I once had. I have almost gained a functional level of independence.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I arrived at Pate on Monday, July 6th (whoops on the "Next Step" post) at about 10:30am. I was assessed and evaluated in many areas, a process that continues. It's a nice facility, very rigorous. So far, in therapy, I have -

Built a swingset (out of pipe)
Walked with the walker
Prepared for stair-climbing
Read about the dangers of driving after a brain injury (I was a very safe driver before :D)

I don't even have a full schedule yet and they are keeping me busy (I think I left off a few activities to boot). I will have a conference later this week to determine goals, discharge date, etc.), I will write more then.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Next Step

On Monday, July 7th, I am going to another rehab facility in Anna, TX (closer to home WOO!) called Pate, which specializes in brain matters (pun intended). The projection is 6-12 weeks...then (hopefully) home!!!

Thank you

I want to go ahead and thank everyone for the cards, visits, prayers and all other contributions. Your support has kept me going through this and will continue to see me through the long road ahead. I especially want to thank my wife, Jessica, for all she has sacrificed to be with me and keep my spirits up. She is a phenomenal person, Quinn and I are so lucky to have her.

Location, Location, Location

My cavernoma is located in the Pons region, located on the brainstem which controls (from what I understand) -

- Autonomic function (breathing, heart rate...stuff that just happens automatically *gulp*)
- Sleep (This I know)
- Messages between the cerebrum and cerebellum
- Hearing
- Fine motor skill (This I know)

There are more, but these seem to be the most prominent. Again, this info. is from my limited understanding.

The Doctor Visit

On June 30th, Jessica, My parents and I met with Dr. White, a neurosurgeon, at UT Southwestern. I also got an MRI. The doctor (and the scans) suggested I wait a while longer as there is still too much blood in my head. BUT, surgery is possible given the current location. I will go back in two months and do the same thing and hopefully the blood will have absorbed (enough to operate anyway). The surgery itself is risky and will likely send me back to rehab (if not worse). The tradeoff is a lifetime without fear of this recurring with some permanent damage or the possibility of recurrence and the fear that that possibility brings. I am opting for the former (surgery).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to (a) Hospital

Jess and my dad worked diligently to get me into inpatient care. After a few days, I was admitted to a rehab hospital in Allen called Twin Creeks. I have been there for about six weeks. The staff has been phenomenal (though there have been a few incidents) and the food is great. My progress has been steady...but still a ways to go. When I got to Twin Creeks I couldn't walk, barely talk and could hardly stand up straight. As of this writing, I am able to walk (assisted) with a walker, balance myself while standing, talk and type (obviously). I still have very disorienting double vision, wonky balance and slow speech. The battle continues!

The Target Incident

I have to post this because it's funny. On the way back from Zale, my dad and I stopped at Target to fill my prescriptions. We waited for what seemed like an eternity (I think it was 30 minutes or so), all the while, I was stumbling around like a drunk. On our way out, an employee was coming in through the out door, I just had to inform her of this. I told her then promptly slammed into the same door she was mistakenly entering. Gonna keep my mouth shut from now on.

Back at Home

I went back home where my symptoms got worse. I fell over a few times; walking became very risky and eating hurt (due to Strep), a great diet! The stairs were a deathtrap vehemently avoided (I slept on an air mattress downstairs). Fortunately, my dad stayed with us, he and Jess made sure I didn't maim myself. In the meantime, home health came out. We quickly realized that home was not a good place for me at that time. So begins the next phase...

The Diagnosis

The doctors at Zale told me I have a brain hemorrhage called a Cavernoma (more info here: My stay at Zale lasted 4 days, after which I went this time I was starting to have major balance problems and Jess and I picked up Strep Throat.

The ER

An abnormality was found on the scans at Wilson N. Jones in Sherman, as a result I was flown (that's right, in a helicopter) to Zale Lipshy in Dallas. So my great adventure 1:00am on a Sunday morning.

How it Began...

Hello Internet! In the manner of my father and so many before him, this blog was created to keep my circle of people informed about what’s going on in my head (literally).

It all started the week of May 17-23. I noticed a slight headache on Monday that persisted the whole week. On Thursday night the pain became excruciating. Friday, I still had the headache and started throwing up. I skipped work that day and went to my GP. The good doctor gave me shots for pain and nausea/vomiting, he told me to go to the ER and get a CT Scan if the headache didn’t go away by the next day. It didn’t. Jessica took me to the ER on Saturday and I got my head scanned. By this time, I was having a little trouble with anything fine-motor related, my left side was going numb and my right eye was drooping (in addition to the headache).