The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Update on Mom – 1/23/09

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I just walked in the door from being at the hospital with Mom since last night.  So, excuse my writing right now.  I did want to write and get some news out to everyone who’s praying for her and thinking about her.

I went back to the hospital last night and relieved Dad so he could go home and get some sleep.  Mom had a very rough night.  The Decadron is really doing a number on her mind and last night was the first time she became delusional and extremely irritated.  She only really got cat naps all night and I spent most of the night trying to calm her down.

At one point, her blood pressure soared to 182/97 and we aren’t really sure (still) what caused it.  I’m guessing it was a panic attack.  She was very freaked out and paranoid.  These are all symptoms of long-term Decadron usage.

About 5:00 AM, she suddenly went from being very talkative and irritated to lethargic.  The nurse initially thought it was because they had given her a small dose of morphine to help calm her down.  But, after a while, it became apparent that it was more than that.  At one point, she became completely unresponsive.  The Critical Care Unit was called and they told me that she either had a seisure or a stroke.  They would need to run some tests to determine what happened.

After looking at all the symptoms, their preliminary diagnosis is that she had a seizure this morning.

Because of the risk of another seizure, she was intubated – which was really difficult for her.  They were concerned about sedating her too much, because it would lower her blood pressure too much.  But, if they didn’t give her enough of a sedative, she would be awake and really uncomfortable with the breathing tube.  So, after a while, her wonderful nurse, Joe, found the perfect amount to make her comfortable (mostly).

Later in the afternoon the neurosurgeon, Dr. Porter, came in to update on what the options are.  He said after reviewing the MRI, he was very excited to see that the tumor in her brain shrunk from 2 cm to 1.3 cm.  It was actually even smaller than he initially thought.  He said “It’s either the Decadron, the Low Dose Naltrexone, or the Vitamin C.  I don’t know what is working, but something is.”  That was really, really cool.  It’s so nice to have a doctor who isn’t trying to convince her that natural and alternative medicine doesn’t work.  In fact, I think he’s very fascinated with her treatment and how well it’s worked.  I got the impression he doesn’t see this type of thing very often.

So, because the brain tumor is so small now, he’s definitely wanting to do the non-invasive Gamma Knife surgery.  He’s trying to get it set up tentatively for next Thursday.  The issue is —- guess —- an insurance holdup again!!!  That’s probably okay this time, as Mom needs time to recover from the seizure and get a little stronger.

When I left the hospital tonight, they were getting ready to take Mom for her MRI.  Dad and Gretchen were still there.  Dad is planning on staying overnight.

I’ll update you whenI get any more info.  Sorry if it’s a little rambling, but I’m really, really tired.


Written by Tracey

January 23, 2009 at 7:42 pm

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