Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Update

Erin had a good day. Tonight she was moving her left hand, squeezing and holding my hand. This is her hand that hasn't been responding too well, good news. Nurse Bob told me they did an EEG today. An EEG is used to measure brain activity. None of the doctors have evaluated the results yet, maybe I'll get some more info tomorrow. I didn't even now they planned on doing one and maybe they are looking for something else. Erin looks restful, right before I left I got another huge yawn. Everything else is stable, she's off antibiotics as well as the ventilator. We're hoping for a great weekend!

Strong and Sassy

I could not help but post this picture. It is so Erin, just posing and showing us just how strong she really is. Dustyn is so right about the families, we are all very blessed. Some family members are established from birth and many others you gather along your life journey. Regardless of where and when you meet, your family becomes an important part of who you are.

Thanks to all who attended the Rosary and who prayed at their own location last Friday. What a powerful showing of support and prayers for Erin! We appreciate the continued support and prayers. Keep it up Erin- we are so proud of our Nan!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Nights and Green Lights

Well were two weeks into this now. Tonight I had a nice break, I had dinner with a hundred of my friends tonight at a great Metairie restaurant, Dragos. Each year we bring all of our Captains in a week of meetings and conferences. A couple of us were talking and it dawned on us that we have been working together for so long that we practically grew up together. When you grow up with people they are your family. When all else fails, you lean on your family. I have been blessed with an unbelievable family. I love you all. You have taught me the gift of a hug, an offer to help, or a bran muffin. I will not forget these gifts. I will "pay it forward". We will get through this and I will make sure that those in need in my life in the future get these same simple considerations. It really makes a difference. After laughing and talking and eating I took off to the hospital to see Erin for my hour of "ICU therapy". I have become an ICU regular. Every morning there is a new family confused and upset. Their loved one has had an unfortunate accident or circumstance and the family doesn't know how to act. This morning there was a family that couldn't figure out how to get into the ICU unit. I told then how the little card reader on the ICU door turns green during visiting hours, a fact I wish I didn't know. All the nurses and doctors wish me a good morning on my way back to Erin's room, comforting but not somewhere you want to have VIP access.
Tonight, on the way to the 8 o'clock visiting hour I got every green light on the way to the hospital. It felt good. Erin had opened here eyes for the first time in two weeks just hours earlier and I was eager to see her again. Tonight Erin yawned. As cheesy as that sounds it sure was nice to see such a relaxed, natural action. Erin will continue to heal and her body will show new progress. I am thankful for this progress and mindful of certain setbacks. Hopefully tomorrow will bring continued success for Erin's
recovery. If you've hung on this long to my rambling, thanks!

Wednesday Update

Erin is showing her determination today. Today she was able to move her eyes toward me when held open. This afternoon she opened her eyes for Dr. Smith. These are steps up the Glasgow Coma Scale towards being conscience. This is great news!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Words of Encouragement

I think this sums it nicely. Erin just needs to be strong like a dinosaur. Thanks to all the kids at St. Georges for the words of wisdom!

Love this picture!

Small Victories

Erin was resting quietly after her procedure. The shunt is draining her excess cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) effectively. The physicians are also measuring her "opening pressure" each hour which is an indicator of how much intracranial pressure Erin has. So far, her ICP has been within an acceptable range. The other good news is that the fluid that is draining is clear and pale yellow(non-bloody). When Erin's nurses came in to assess her, they asked her to give them a "thumbs up". Instead, she lifted up her bossy index finger! :) She also squeezed Dustyn's hand. V for victory!

A very important thing to remember is that this drain has direct access to Erin's brain and spinal fluid. Although we are always concerned about infection, it is of greatest importance to keep this area infection-free! Keep up the great hand washing! She is on prophylactic antibiotics at this time.

Like Dustyn said today, "It's a small victory in the grand scheme of things, but we'll take it". Well said!

Surgery Update

Erin just got back from her surgery. The doctors report that it went well. The nurses are getting her situated again. She will have a CT scan tomorrow morning to have a look at her brain and determine the operation's success.
She will remain in the ventilator for her protection. She will require some quiet time until tomorrow and we are cautioned to please keep stimulation to a minimum when visiting. Keep up the prayers and positive energy!

Tuesday, back to the Operating Room

Erin's brain is still experiencing swelling. The doctors don't think it is up from yesterday, but it is still cause for concern. They are performing a ventricolostomy shunt. This is a drain placed in her skull to relieve the blood from the ventricle in her brain. Normally we have fluid in a healthy brain, Erin had blood as well as fluid. By draining the blood it will allow the brain more room for the swelling. Erin will in turn need to recover from this operation over the next 36 hours or so.
I may not have all of the facts straight, but I'm only playing a doctor on a blog. Please forgive any medical misinformation in this post.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Night Update

Erin is keeping us on our toes. Today the top notch staff at Ochsner noticed Erin hasn't responded as well as she had late last week. They gave her a CT scan at around 1400. After reviewing the scan it was determined that she may be experiencing an increase in swelling. They will give her another scan tomorrow morning to decide whether or not to put in a shunt to relieve some pressure.
This is one of the setbacks the doctors have warned us about. We are staying positive that she will bounce back and continue to improve.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Update

Erin had a relaxing day. She seems to be healing every day. It is amazing to see her every morning. It is human nature to want to see her make an "improvement" every day. We have to remember that she does. Her body is healing itself. Every day that she rests is a day that the trauma subsides and her brain swelling contracts. The doctors and nurses aren't expecting any further swelling, but are constantly monitoring her vitals 24 hours a day.
Erin had an awesome show of support today from all of her friends and family. My cousin Shawn and his wife Tracy came in from Canada to help out for a few days, it's great to visit. Erin had a slight temperature last night, but it quickly went down.

Erin found St. George's 10 years ago and we are so thankful for the experience and support she gets from her "Dragon" family. This week the 8th grade is making their yearly trip to D.C. and Erin is absent for the first time since I can remember. I think I've mentioned this in a prior post but it is worth mentioning again today. She always looked forward to the trip and loved to see the kids learn about our country's rich history and take part in a future generation learning about our government, an aspect that is uniquely American. Sorry for the late update. I am looking forward to a positive week in Erin's recovery.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Visits are my Therapy

Everyday I realize how many lives Erin touched. Here's a picture from last week of Julie H. And the gang. It was great to visit them. It is great to visit with everyone. Erin has stacks of letters and cards to read while she recovers.
The doctors enforce the fact that this recovery will last months. I don't think they know just how strong Erin and her support group are. She will need everyone to continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers and keep the visits up. I believe that talking with her let's her know how loved she is. Thanks to all!

Saturday Update

Erin is resting up well. She has had some moments today of strong movement. Dr.Smith seems to think she is progressing nicely. He confirmed that the swelling has in fact gone down and the brain is recovering from the shifting that occurred.

Erin Crossin Grenon Foundation

A not for profit account has been set up for Erin.  You can walk into any Regions Bank and make a donation to the fund.  All you need to know is the name "Erin Crossin Grenon Foundation" and the account number, would not hurt either 0083988572.  If a Regions is not convenient to you, you can mail a donation.

Region Bank By Mail
P.O. Box 2527
Mobile, AL 36652

I am also gonna try to link this account to Paypal.

This is gonna be a long road for Dustyn and Erin.  Lots of expenses will be incurred.  This is the easy part that you and I can take care of, for Dustyn and Erin.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Ventilator!

I just got word that Erin was taken off the ventilator completely. What great news. Nurse Robin is confident that she will zoom right along. It is great to see this progress!

Friday Afternoon Update

Erin was resting well this morning, ready for her procedure. Around 1015 she started to stir and I could tell she was "waking" up. It is like there is another level of consciousness. Her grip strengthens and she straightens her head up. I shook her right arm and asked for a thumbs up, to which she replied with a thumbs up!
Her procedure went well and when I came into the room to see her afterwards she had tears running down her cheeks. I've never been happy to see my wife cry, but to see her display emotion was a great sight. Nurse Colleen promptly gave her something to ease her pain. so no worries.
Erin's CT scan from last night shows slightly reduced swelling. The doctors think that she may be off of the ventilator in a few days.
Tonight is rosary Praying for Erin at St. Edward the Confessor at 5:30 Central.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reason to Sing

Here is a view of the serenade that Erin got tonight from the late crew. She was tuckered out from all the work they put her through. Nurse Robert said he'll work with her tonight. She will get her rest all day tomorrow after her procedure. CT at 0400 also, they'll check for swelling as well as any other abnormalities.

Erin's First Physical Therapy

Well, while I was at work today Erin had her first workout. Melissa was supervisor/coach along with the nurses and doctors. Erin started her workout by giving a thumbs-up. For real. She resisted with her legs when asked by the nurses. Everyone was ecstatic, there were tears of joy, staff included!
Erin is getting her tracheal intubation Friday morning as well as her feeding tube directly into her stomach. This is a tough step but is a step towards her long term recovery. The doctor was very optimistic and thinks that she may be able to get off the ventilator and breath on her own days after the trach with only oxygen as a supplement.
On a side note one of her doctors comes in and states how popular Erin is. He said he doesn't really go anywhere except the hospital or home but he can't go anywhere without being asked about Erin Grenon! He stated that due to HIPAA laws he can't say anything and doesn't. I assured him that HIPAA laws be damned if he told someone it was the whole truth and nothing but the truth so go ahead.
I'm expecting we'll have some minor setbacks but today was a victory for Erin's recovery!

Moving on and Baby Steps

Erin is still stable and resting. As this progresses I am coming to the realization that I will progress along with Erin. Tonight will be the last night staying here in the Brent House Hotel. I am ready to "hold down the fort" at home until Erin makes it home.
Due to everyone's generosity there will be "credit" upon my checkout. If this isn't credited back to those who gave please rest assured that it will either be returned or held on to for Erin's recovery costs. Thank you again for the outpouring if love, prayers, hugs, and generosity. I think we are all figuring this thing out as we go. I have changed so much in the last few days. I think this is how a soldier must feel that trains for years and then is called to combat. You don't really know how you are going to react when you need to but somehow you just do, if that makes any sense.

Rosary for Erin

Please join us to pray the rosary for Erin. All are welcome to attend.
Friday, March 25th
5:30 p.m.
St. Edward the Confessor Church
4901 West Metairie (corner of West Metairie and Transcontinental)
Thanks again for your support and prayers for our girl!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kicking Butt and Taking Names

Erin is resting up for the night. She had a good day. No news, but no news is good news. She is stable, comfortable, and healing. Erin is tough, but she does love her rest! To prove how tough she is I have included a picture of her practicing for the apocalypse.

Love from a student!

Beautiful, Alexandra! Mrs. Grenon will LOVE it!

Wednesday Update

Erin is doing okay. She has a Chapelle girl working on her! Not the first Chapelle girl though, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Nurse Ashlie wrote "Go Chipmunks" on the note board before I even got there. For those of you not "in the know" Archbishop Chapelle is a Catholic girl's high school in New Orleans. Their alumni all seem to have great things to say about it and are a loyal bunch, to say the least.
Erin is quite feisty today. While its hard to watch, sometimes it is good to see her seemingly aggravated. Who wants a tube in their throat? While they were suctioning her today she bit down on her breathing tube and would not let go. The nurses were excited to see Erin put up such a fight it signals to them some type of reflexes.

Erin & Ava news report... A lilttle something to hope make you smile!

Here is a little clip of Erin and Ava. They take the 8th grade to Washington D.C. every year. Michael was kind enough to dig this up and share it. You have to watch it until the end though.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Pretty Young Thing, Michael Jackson. I had dated Erin for about three weeks when we were somewhere and this song came on. She jumps up and proceeds to dance throughout the entire song performing her dance interpretation of it. I knew then this girl was special. She still danced every time she heard this song, every time. I was right, and she was special.
Erin is doing good she had a quiet day and seemed so peaceful today. I played her song for her and thought about the day I get to see her break PYT down one more time.

How can you not dance to this?!

Erin Loves New Shoes

Erin got new shoes today. A nice faux fur pair with teal accents. I think they match her pink nails nicely. These will help keep her feet at a right angle and reduce muscle problems down the road.

Tuesday March 22nd

Most of you guys know that I am a runner. I get these little daily devotionals via email that I usually just delete. Well I just got one that I thought was pretty appropriate for the situation, " DON'T EXPECT EVERY DAY TO BE BETTER than the last. Some days will be slower than others, and some days might even hurt a bit. But as long as you're on the road, it's a good day."
I just met with Erin's nurse for the day. Erin is doing good. Stable with the same vitals. I will meet with the doctors in a few minutes and let everyone know if there is any news.

Happy Birthday, Dustyn!

Thinking of you on your birthday today! I know you told me that today is "just another day" but I feel like it's important to celebrate your birth today. Without you, I probably would not see Erin laugh and smile as much as she does. You bring her so much joy! You have the wonderful gift of being able to light up a room with your smile- one of the many things you have in common with Erin. You are an amazingly strong, selfless man and I could not have hand-picked a better husband for Erin. Thank you for taking such good care of her and for constantly demonstrating your love for her. You are simply the best.

So, as today may just be "another day", let it remind everyone how thankful we are for Dustyn. We love you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fortune Cookies and Foot Rubs

One of Erin's close friends and co-workers Ava brought over a fortune she got recently. It said, "A gathering of friends brings you lots of luck tonight."
I am hoping this comes true. I certainly had a gathering of friends, thanks guys.
Tonight I took the three layers off "accessories" off of Erin's legs and feet and gave her a good old foot and leg massage. She just looked like she needed it. She had a good day and looked very relaxed tonight on her new "airbed".

Here is Erin running the Turkey Day Race, Thanksgiving 2010.

Monday evening update

Erin did well today. She was started on some prophylactic antibiotics yesterday when she had the fever and they will probably discontinue those once her cultures come back negative for a certain number of days. Although Erin was placed back on the ventilator, she is breathing over the vent. Basically, they set the ventilator to give her a certain number of breaths per minute and she is getting more breaths per minute because she initiates them herself. The doctors told Dustyn that Erin will have a tracheostomy later in the week. For people who are expected to be on the ventilator for an extended period of time (around 2 weeks), a tracheostomy is a better option. It has been shown to decrease the risk of developing pneumonia. It also decreases damage to the larynx that can occur from having an intubation tube in place for an extended period of time. It is considered in people with facial trauma or neurologic injury. It would be difficult for Erin to cough and to maintain her secretions, so a trach prevents her from having to perform these tasks. It will allow Erin to always have a safe and reliable airway throughout her recovery. Overall, she is looking great and I know she is constantly in our thoughts and prayers.
Only Erin Could look this happy about a controller from a heating blanket!

Erin's temp is down.

This morning Erin's temp went down she was 97! No other news but that is good and I'll take it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family Thoughts

We truly cannot begin to express our gratitude for the tremendous amount of support, love and encouragement for my sister Erin. The many visits, texts, and prayers have been incredibly touching and overwhelming just trying to take it all in. From family, friends, coworkers,
students, parents, and waiting room friends, it is a true example of the strength that Erin will need to get through this. My mom, dad, Melissa, Pat and I appreciate everything that you all have done for my sister and Dustyn. We feel blessed beyond words.

For those of you fortunate enough to have a sister, you know the bond that exists between you. You are best friends at heart, always there for each other, and want to protect them no matter what the situation. Melissa and I thank you for praying for our sister and for most that know her, know she is a very kind, loving and determined person. She is a fighter, she is our hero, and I truly feel in my heart that her giving new life to Melissa, God will give her life and take care of her.

To our superhero Uncle D:
It is beyond putting into words to witness your love and encouragement towards Erin. You are inspiring to watch. So while you thank everyone, my mom, dad, Melissa, Pat and I thank you for being so STRONG for Erin. We are forever grateful for your constant love for her. You have been so awesome. Your wife would be so proud, and don't worry she will get a full report, organized and filed by day, time, and event, just in Erin fashion. She may even freely and cooperatively let you eat off of her plate on Sundays! If you remember at your wedding rehearsal, I said in my toast that we always wondered who the hell was going to marry Erin? We are so lucky and blessed it was you.

Thanks again to everyone, and remember to live a little lighter, laugh a little more and dance like nobody is watching...I've learned that from Erin.
With much love and gratitude,

Sunday Night Update

Erin had a good day other than the fever that persisted all day. She was about 99.5 at last check. She was relaxing tonight and is going in for a CT scan in the morning. I usually get an update from the doctors in the morning and will update everyone when I know something. We had a great day visiting today. Laughing and crying all within the same conversation is pretty much the norm now and I am more than happy talk to everyone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My New Haircut

Erin is getting a haircut tonight. Tonight she has has a halfro

In the morning she will be a beautiful bald girl.

This should make her much more comfortable and it will be easier to keep clean and maintain. I totally understand how important a woman's hair is and this decision wasn't taken lightly. I can't wait to kiss her on that head.
I'm having some quiet time now and wanted to say a few thanks. I have witnessed some to the most selfless acts of kindness over the last few days. Medical workers who haven't had a weekend off since 2010, and 14 year old boys baking cookies. People worrying over my wife more than they worry over themselves. Neighbors who cut my grass before it even needs to be. There have been more random acts of kindness than I could have ever imagined. My boss and friend has visited and called me and has relieved me of worry and for his support I am humbled. To those of you that are reading this, know that you are all special to Erin and are part of her recovery. She could not do this without your help and support. Know that I am forever grateful. I love you all and am sure you know Erin loves you too. Thank you.

A Friendly Reminder

As Dustyn mentioned, Erin's temperature spiked. The doctors took blood cultures from her to see if she has any bacteria in her blood stream. The culture has not grown any bacteria for one day. They will keep checking the sample to make sure they don't need to start her on any antibiotics. As of now, they are attributing her fever to her injury. I thought this would be a good time to just remind everyone how important it is to use the hand sanitizer as often as you can while in the hospital, and especially before touching Erin or anything else in her room. We all have so many invisible "bugs" on our skin which may not make US sick, but could potentially be harmful to Erin. The last thing Erin needs is an infection. Let's all continue to lend a hand, but make sure it's a clean one! :)

Also, I am putting together a photo book for Erin that people sign when they come to visit. If you have any pictures you'd like to email me, please do! I'd love contributions! My email is

Lastly, just to clarify some rumors, Erin is in a coma as a result of her injury. She is not in a medically-induced coma as many may have thought. She looked restful today when I saw her and is still tolerating her feeds well. Keep the prayers coming!


Sunday Update

Erin is having a good day. She is resting up and isn't on any blood pressure meds today. The doctors were able to elicit a response from her this morning. She is still experiencing swelling, but we have time. They will order another CT scan for tomorrow probably. Her white blood cell count is normal. She has been running a bit of a fever, but the nurses are watching her like a hawk.
I got awesome news this morning about one of my cousins from Canada, Shawn and his wife Tracy are coming in next Sunday to help work this miracle. I'll give some more news as soon as I can.

Visiting Hours

It seems that when you call Ochsner you may get any different combination of hours when asking about visitng hours. Visiting hours in the Neuro-intensive Care Unit are as follows: 0900-1100, 1300-1800, 2000-2100. Or for the "non-military" 9:00am-11:00am, 1:00pm-6:00pm, 8:00pm-9:00pm.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Night Update

Well the doctors have said that every day won't be easy and today was one of those days. Erin is doing good though she was easily agitated as the doctors are tweaking her meds and judging her reactions. No CT scans. She still has swelling of the brain but the doctors are confident that it is "normal". Erin's recovery will take time, this is something that I realize and know that we have all the time she needs, and will heal on her schedule.
Kay treated me with a wonderful surprise and got a room for me for two nights at the Brent House Hotel. Ochsner has a hotel connected to the hospital that is only about 100 yards from the ICU. (too cool) This will allow me to sleep in a bed instead of the waiting room floor, Thanks Kay. I am just not prepared to leave Erin overnight yet. She may not need me, but I couldn't rest being any further away yet. It comforts me to know I am steps from her and her awesome nurses and doctors.
Again I want to thank everyone for the support! I love you all and am humbled by your kindness, it is obvious how great a gift we have in Erin!

Here is a picture of Erin and her awesome Mom. Priscilla is the best mother-in-law, mother, grandmother on earth and is solid as a rock!

The girls!

The girls from Chapelle stopped by and decorated up the room.  Full of positive energy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

My unprofessional, professional impression.

Erin is inspiring. I know we all felt inspired before this event took place, but she has met milestones quicker than I could have ever imagined. She is tolerating her feeds well. They will continue to increase the rate and amount at which she receives her feeds until she gets to her set calorie goal. Eat up, Erin! Watching her breathe without assistance brings tears to my eyes. She is amazing! She is also currently off of her pain medication and they are weaning her off of some other medications as she progresses. The prayers and loving thoughts are working! Erin's determination and spunk are working to her advantage too :) Keep dancing towards the finish line, Erin. We are all cheering you on!

Dancing Shoes

Erin is breathing unassisted tonight. They have turned off the assist on her ventilator allowing her to breath. If necessary they can turn the assist back on, they're leaving the breathing tube in as it would be difficult to replace quickly if needed. I have attached a picture of Erin in her new dancing shoes, you all know how important a nice pair of boots are to Erin.

Some Erin Humor.

Friday Night Lights

Erin is resting and had lots of great support from her friends today. The Doctors are confident that she will eventually be able to breath on her own after some tests they performed today. She is squirming around and as usual I can raise her blood pressure simply by talking to her. It is actually amazing to watch her vitals as she is being talked to, her heart rate increases and she starts breathing over her ventilator. There is tons of support still pouring in and we have kept an upbeat atmosphere here at Ochsner ICU.

Fantasy Football Champion

Guy Johnson stopped by and delivered Erin her trophy.  Yes, Erin won a competitive fantasy football league.  She will be so happy go see her trophy!

Friday Update

Nothing major to report. Erin had a good night with her morning CT scan. The doctors report that they were pleased with the results. Erin is stable and is finally getting something to eat. They are feeding her,although through a tube and for that we are grateful. Dustyn

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2200 3/17/11

Well as day two comes to a close one thing is for certain. Erin Grenon has an awesome support team. Father Paul, who married us came in today to pray over Erin. He was great and touched us all with his kind words, he is working a miracle. Erin has a wonderful team here at Ochsner! Her doctor is pleased with her progress. She will go in for a CT scan in the morning. I will of course update this blog with any information as it comes in. Until then here is a picture of the always photogenic Erin. Thanks for all of the positive thoughts, prayers, visits, texts, etc. Keep em' coming. I love you all, Dustyn

Location:Marconi Dr,New Orleans,United States


Doctor was able to get a response from Erin.  He pinched her on the chest and was telling her to open her eyes! open your eyes!  She lifted up her right arm to stop him.


Blood Donation

Hey this is Kelley (Dustyn's brother).  When Erin was admited she needed two units of blood.  It took me ten minutes to donate one unit.  Erin is proof positive that blood donation works and is needed.

Here we all are holding it down.
We will update her status on here.  So please check here for all information.

Yesterday was Erin's first day on her road to recovery. Due to injuries sustained during her fall, Erin's brain began to swell. On admission, Erin received a craniotomy in order to relieve the pressure within her skull. A CT scan revealed broken facial bones and swelling, but no brain herniation through her foramen magnum (the opening of the skull leading to the spinal cord). She is currently on a ventilator in order to protect her airway and to assist with her breathing. Throughout the evening, she remained stable. Her kidney is functioning well and she has no signs of other internal injuries. Her heart produced some arrhythmias around evening time, which was corrected after providing her with some electrolytes. She had no acute events overnight.

This morning, she had a repeat CT scan which showed no new changes. Good news! She also looks less swollen today. She attempted to take a few breaths on her own which is a good sign. She will remain on the ventilator, however, as her airway must remain secured. She is also still in a coma which is what she needs to fully recover. She has not regressed any throughout her journey so far, but she has a long road to recovery. Erin is certainly a beautiful, brave, and strong woman and she is getting exactly what she needs right sleep and lots of love and prayers.