Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

I went by to see John and Holly at the hospital today and I am happy to say that John is doing well. He was in a lot of pain last night but it seems to have subsided and it appears that he will be released from the hospital sometime later today. Once he is released, John will be heading back to TIRR. The reason for this is that since he now has the Baclofen pump administering medicine directly to his spinal cord, there is no better time to start moving his muscles. We feel really blessed that John has been given the opportunity to go back to TIRR because we saw such improvement when he was last there. Over the next few weeks, John's physicians will tweak the amount of medicine the pump administers until the perfect setting for him is reached. The neat thing about this is that they will be able to adjust the dose, rate and timing of the medicine given using an external programmer.

This medicine is used to treat a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis and other causes of muscle rigidity and spacisity. I recently decided to ride the MS150 bike ride from Houston to Austin to help this wonderful cause and have found it coincidental that some of the same treatment modalities will be used to help John. The last time I rode this bike ride was several years ago and John came out to cheer me on at two of the training rides. I will miss him being there this year but I intend to wear my Coaches Crew t-shirt for many of the training rides so throw a banana at me if you see me out on the road!

One of the things I've noticed lately is the fact that I forget how much time has passed since John first had his heart attack. The other day, I was driving through the medical center and a building near TIRR which I frequently passed while John was at TIRR is now almost complete and if I counted correctly, has 25 floors. This is unique in that the last time I was by there was when John went from TIRR to Mentis and they had just broken ground on it! Holly is with John every day and is still at the extended stay hotel. I never cease to be amazed at her commitment to John and his well-being and while I could never put in a blog how many times on a daily basis she has to advocate for him, suffice to say that it's a lot. Holly can crush John's pills and get him to take them, help him with bathing and other toileting issues and carry on a conversation all at the same time...and make it look easy. She does this while working full-time. She makes sure that John gets his medicines and receives great care and although some might say it's a wife's responsibility to do so, I would tell you that she is omnipresent and everyone at each facility knows her and John by name. John's mom, Paulette and brother Ray have also been incredibly helpful and take turns being with John and helping him eat. This is a team effort with the common goal of making sure John receives the ultimate in care and that he is given every opportunity to thrive, regardless of his injury.

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