Thursday, July 05, 2012

Providence: Divine and Otherwise

I am still up in Anchorage, Alaska at the Providence Alaska Medical Center, as our family has banded together in support of our brother, Doug, who has been battling MRSA Pneumonia and ADEM...basically an auto immune response to the MRSA, resulting in brain inflammation which has created multiple brain seizures.

It is now these seizures, and the need for this level of deep sedation to keep them at bay, that are now our single biggest worries, out of everything he has been through in the past month.

He has been placed in a deep coma since shortly after he was admitted to the ER on June 8th and been through weeks of massive does of propofol and now two other sedatives besides previous antibiotics, antivirals, anti seizure, anti-yeast, and other drugs.

After many, many days of daily (and often multiple times a day) visits to his critical care room where we suit up in masks, gowns, gloves, plus repeated hand washings before and after all entrances and exits...I can honestly say that I am feeling continually hopeful, and never more so than today as we are all evaluating our time here and the changing of the guard of who goes home to their own families, who continues on, here and who will return to help out as needed down the road.

While Doug still has the serious brain inflammation and the need for large doses of sedation drugs for his induced coma, those drugs have been reduced some and replaced by less long term problematic ones. It is am almost daily trial by error and learning by experience situation for his doctors, as many of these experiences and results have been very different in scope with unexpected problems and results.

But as of today, my hope is ever renewed and I am feeling really good about this day and his place (and ours) in it.

First, the MRSA is totally gone. Not only in his lungs, but from his entire body that often lies dormant in us when we don't even know we have it after hospitalizations etc. Gone. Things like yeast infections of the skin (bed sores etc) have healed faster than one nurse told us she had ever seen happen.

And while he has been resistant to regular doses of almost all of the medicines and required massive, massive doses of them, we were told that his body not only accepted them ....but when other patients would have needed a crash cart, he did not. That has been amazing.

Those are the wonderful (and to me) miraculous things. He is still in acute critical care, but for the first time he was assessed for 'recovery' placement down the road. ....a very hopeful sign. This is not to be taken as meaning he is ok in a medical sense...just that this is huge to me, to our family, and to his nurses... when we were all so on the edge of not knowing if he would even, or ever, get to this point.

I am so filled with gratitude for being able to be here.....with him and my extended family.... and for all of the comments, emails, and prayers that you have shared with me and with all who read here. They have meant the world to me.

This is a small step for him, but to me this is huge and I feeling deeply grateful that we have gotten him and his family to this point. We do not know, medically, what tomorrow may bring. But my strength and faith in where we are at, for even just now, is feeling fortified and deeply grateful for this time, and this place.

Thank you for your comments, your private emails, your sharing, your prayers and the community of caring.

Linking posts: past and current

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

shown above:
Providence's "Carpenter's Star" Quilt that was no doubt made with caring hands and loving hearts
This quilt was one of the very first synchronistic and meaningful discoveries as I entered Providence Alaska Medical Center on the first day, of my first visit to see my brother, Doug, in the Adult Critical Care Center. Amidst the energies of so many facing pain, loss, fear, and reminds me that there is peace, beauty and layers of soft healing held together by the stitches of love and caring.

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!