Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alaska Providence Medical Center



I have flown up to Anchorage, Alaska to be with my family by the bedside vigil for my brother, Doug.

I received a phone call from Doug's wife, my sister-in-law Rebecca, telling me that my brother's condition was even more serious and more complicated than they had thought. A spinal tap led to another MRI, and the belief that the MRSA ( a drug resistant and very, very serious form of a staph infection) has spread through his blood supply, from his lungs to his brain.

I made plans and got a ticket on Alaska Airlines late that night, for the next day. By that next day, two of my brothers, and myself joined Becky and her three children, in a bedside vigil. Our only other brother, has stayed in Douglas, an island near Juneau, to care for our mother.

By that day, Thursday, the 29th, they decided the mass in his brain was not MRSA but an unknown infection. While at first, that seemed so much better, it is not. In fact, is far, far worse. MRSA can be continued to be treated by massive doses of the best antibiotics they have in attempt to overcome it. The infection can only be treated by the use of general steroids.

At this time, he is being treated with zovirax (anti-viral), mirram (antibiotic), diflucim (for possible yeast infection), propafol (a strong, strong sedative), vacomiacin (antibiotic for the MRSA), solonemedol (steroid), and dilantin (to control the seizures).

A group of doctors are working in tandem through the primary doctor and they all agree they have never seen anyone being given so high of a dose of all of these and not crashing from the sheer magnitude of drugs. To stop the continual brain seizures, they have literally given a dose of medication that would be enough for a very large elephant..far more than 5 times larger than that which they would normal use. Attempts to lower doses have resulted in increased seizing and therefore potential damage to his brain.

The prognosis is acutely serious, if not dire, but they will continue to monitor him in the acute critical care room and every means they have to evaluate, or treat a litany of symptoms and a pattern that is not even a know response in any of the years that they have dealt with any of them.

Providence Alaska Medical Center is Alaska's largest and best, state of the art, hospital. We wear masks, gowns, and gloves each time we enter his critical care unit room, and don a complete new set of each of them, every time we have to leave and re-enter the room in tandem with continually washing our own hands before leaving the unit and throughout the hospital. The photo is of myself, of course, next to my brother in his bed. Out of respect to him and his family, I am not, of course, showing him.

My brother continues to be in a deep, induced coma and is being treated with as many drugs in the highest doses that they knew he can stand without his crashing from the amounts he is being given and that is what can only be done.

The doctor is extremely compassionate, very honest with any, and all explanations. Doug's 30 year old son, is also a doctor based in Arizona, in his last year of an extensive/intensive program as a radiologist of the highest level, trained to use equipment that they only have a in a few major medical centers and he, of course, has been given full access to view all films etc and be a part of all medical information.

We are informed on a regular basis of any changes to the regime and we watch the many monitors in the room for changes of any kind. His high fever is now under control and he is breathing closer to the range they want but still attempting to control his own breathing against the machine..which should be impossible at this level of sedation that they have never, every used before.

The doctors are very honest in telling us that they have never, ever seen a case as challenging as this, nor a patient that has needed, and tolerated such massive does of medicines and sedatives. We have a conference table meeting, yesterday, with 9 of us, and the doctor could not have been any dearer, kinder, or more open.

Without his using the word 'miracle', that is really and truly, in the deepest sense of the word, what my brother needs.

Please continue to send positive thoughts and the continuing belief that all things are possible, miracles truly do happen, and if that is not meant to be, please send my brother's wife, and his three children and their spouses, the strength to bare whatever needs to be born.

Doug's wife, Becky, continues to travel to another center where she still needs to receive dialysis for three times a week at four hours a day. She is so heartbreaking dear as she simply stands by his bedside, holding his hand, rubbing his arm, for hours at a time, sending him such, deep, deep fountains of love.

Linking Posts:


Latest Update on Praying for a Miracle
Praying for a Miracle
Two Steps Forward, one Step Back
Praying for a Miracle
Crisis
Providence Alaska Medical Center
Providence, Divine and Otherwise

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska and all of her AAQI Quilting. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!

37 comments:

  1. Still praying for your brother and all of you as you keep vigil over your brother. Believe in the miracle....

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  2. Again, Michele, I can only reiterate, "what can I say?" my thoughts and prayers are with you, your brother and his family at this time. May the Lord who sees all things, hears all things and knows all things, bring about His perfect will in this situation. Further, I pray that each and every one of you will have the strength and courage to trust His will for all your lives.

    Lord, wrap this family in your loving embrace. May they all feel Your peace and Your love in this situation, today and all the days that follow. I as this in the precious Nane of Jesus. Amen.

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  3. Anonymous8:15 AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Take care.

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  4. Prayers for all of you. I am awed by the strength all of you are showing while waiting for your miracle.

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  5. Michele, te mando toda la energía positiva para que tu hermano pueda salir bien de esta situación...Espero que todos los adelantos de la medicina le sirvan para mejorar....un beso

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  6. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  7. Minnesota prayers, strength and guidance are flying your way!

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  8. Praying for you and your family...

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  9. My prayers continue for your brother, sister-in-law, you, and the rest of your family. May God give you all strength to get you through the days ahead, whatever they may hold.

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  10. How heartbreaking to standby helplessly and watch while his body fights the unseen enemy. My prayers are with you and yours.

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  11. Sending lots of healing thoughts, prayers and strength to you and yours!

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  12. One breath at a time - for Doug, for each and every family member, and for each caregiver who is fighting this war to help Doug survive and recover. Blessings and prayers abound . . .

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  13. So sorry to hear all you and your brother have been through. Having been through many close calls with my own brother, my heart just goes out to you. Big Hugs

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  14. Our prayers continue to be with you and your family. Providence does indeed have great doctors and staff, and I know they are doing the best for him. Blessings!

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  15. Sending all good thoughts and prayers your way.....hang in there...one day at a time.

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  16. I was listening to Maya Angelou the other day. She said that the greatest of all the virtues is courage. So, I am wishing that for you and your family. In turn, your sharing and great articulation gives courage to me..and so it goes around. Sending hugs.

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  17. Thoughts and prayers to you! Wow, how much can one family endure? Lord keep you and your family dear!

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  18. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sending a big warm healing hug.

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  19. Oh dear Lord, Michele, I have been off of the computer (for the most part) for the last month or so. I have not done much blog reading at all---I am so very very sorry for you and all of your family. I'm calling on angels to surround you all and praying for miracles right alongside of you. Sending hugs of love.

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  20. King James Bible
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    In faith we know that He is holding your brother in His loving arms right now. I will continue to pray for your family and the medical team. Praying the Lord will give the clear direction. Holding Becky in special prayer.

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  21. Dear Michele,
    Sending good thoughts and prayers for your entire family. One breath at a time... Julie couldn't have said it better. Hugs to you.

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  22. I'm deeply sorry your family is facing such challenges. Best Wishes for the best possible outcomes, solace and peace.

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  23. Sending thoughts your way.

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  24. Oh, Michelle.......my prayers are with you and your entire family that your brother can get his miracle and recover.

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  25. Sending prayers your way.
    DD

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  26. Continuing my prayers on behalf of you and yours: strength, faith, healing, miracles.

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  27. My prayers for you and your family during this difficult time. Miracles happen, just believe.

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  28. Stay Strong, Michele. Your friends here are praying for you and your family.
    His fate is in strong hands.
    xx, Carol

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  29. I know that miracles can and do happen every day, so never stop beliveing. The Bible tells us that, through Christ, all things are possible. i belive this with all my heart because it has happened in my family. And if it is His will, it will happen in yours. So stay strong and know that He is always with you. My prayers are for you and your family.God Bless.

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  30. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Add my prayers to everyone else's. Hoping for the best for all of you.

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  31. Praying right now. I believe in miracles and will pray Doug gets his. Hugs

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  32. I continue to pray for your whole family.

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  33. Sending good, positive thoughts and big virtual hugs your way.

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  34. I am so sorry Michele, I will continue to keep your family in my prayers.

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  35. My prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

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  36. Thinking of all of you and adding in my prayers!

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  37. Anonymous6:27 AM

    Greetings from Finland. Hope is what carries us through hard times. All the best to your brother, you and your family.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.