The last couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs. I now have the first opportunity to share with you some of the highs and lows of this roller coaster. On June 15th, Todd was admitted to the hospital with a 103˚ fever. The weeks leading up to this moment were not without concern but they had all seemed to fade away or found some explanation that quieted the mind temporarily. The antibiotics Todd was put on did their job, while the search for the cause of the fever was thorough. The fever was on its way down by the next day and we were released back to rehab by end of the week Thursday. The staff was so relieved to see the ever inspirational Todd and our room was active with the rounds of docs, nurses, and therapists sticking their faces in to welcome Todd back. Clearly this team is going to be just as happy as sad to see us head home. They all are rooting for Todd!
Tuesday came around as did a follow up CAT scan and the comparative results of them. Looking back it appears that we came to the US with a slightly clogged shunt. The pressure has been building ever so slowly and things were coming to a head. The fever could be considered a gift…. Something which had people looking closely at Todd in a way that he hadn’t been examined in some time, this does in no way suggest he is getting anything but excellent care in our current facility, but there are so many grey areas. Mostly we have been on cruise control you could say. With brain injuries there are no answers, no road maps to guide and provide dependable answers… it is without a doubt a path riddled with discoveries, challenges, and both small and large battles. It is impossible to determine at times what is a result of the injury? What is a result of the massive medications? …..and so on. So the team here must examine every approach and issue individually, systematically isolating each in a process that can take a great deal of time and attention.
Tuesday as I returned from lunch the doctor told me Todd would be going in to surgery the following day for a shunt revision procedure. I was in such a state of disbelief I actually phoned the neurosurgeon’s office myself to confirm we were indeed on the schedule for Wed.
Wednesday was the longest day in quite a while which really didn’t end until I went home for a shower the following day. In the beginning of the day Todd’s surgery was almost bumped to the following day but with some patience and perseverance we made the day’s schedule. Todd was most likely the last surgery of the day. The surgeon removed and replaced the primary shunt and removed another shunt in its entirety. The shunt that was removed was the first one to be surgically placed during our time in Amsterdam. To see it gone is most welcome change for Todd.
Wed June 25, 2008. The day some big problems found a SOUND resolution. As the days have gone by we have found a fresh, new Todd remerging. Drugs gone, shunt gone. Now we can really get to work. We are seeing some amazing transformations and we are just a few days post op! Can’t even wait to see what comes by the end of the week, never mind the following week. Todd is happier and more clear than I have seen him in a long time. We both are.
Some have said in response to these last few weeks, why wasn’t this found sooner and I will tell you that it is all in good time. Things must be ruled out systematically and Todd was in a good and solid place when this discovery was made. He was slipping away but strong and ready and understanding of what was going down. It was just in time.
Our trajectory remains the same ……we will head home but the discharge date is now up in the air. We need to make sure Todd first receives all he needs for us to succeed at home…and more importantly that he is medically stable and safe. We are back under the watchful eye of the rehab facility with a lot to look forward to.