Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Night Update

Sorry for not updating sooner. There really hasn't been too much news this week. Erin has has had a fever that got up to 104.5 yesterday morning, yeah I know scary right? The good news is that they have ruled out infection. It seems that her brain is just not able to regulate her temperature, up or down. The nurses will now be able to just treat the fever with medication and not be worried they are masking other problems. The pulmonologist said that Erin has a weak reflex cough. This means that she will not be coming off of the tracheotomy anytime soon, they had thought she could be weened off of it in the next couple of weeks. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things it really isn't a big deal.
Nurse Ina reported today that Erin was able to nod to a question. She was stoked to be able to give some good news, as i was stoked to get the good news. She seems to be coming "to the surface". She seems to have more periods of awareness. These mostly happen during the day while they are doing therapy.

Here's a picture of Erin taking some time to smell the flowers.

Here's Erin with one of her favorite men.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Update

Erin continues to fight the fight. She continues to fight a fever as well as an elevated heart rate. She is maintaing her weight, they weigh her weekly to make sure that she is meeting her dietary needs. Me and her sisters attended an informational seminar yesterday and it was very insightful. Unfortunately some of the information was hard to swallow. Of course the not knowing Erin's outcome is the most difficult. I am a patient man and will wait and work with her every day. The doctors and therapists had their staff meeting today, predictably with the same results from last week. She has made improvements since her admission such as an increase in tone and withdrawing from pain more readily. The therapists have been teaching me some physical techniques as well as caregiver tips.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Evening For Erin & Easter Update

 Erin has some wonderful friends that are organizing some great events on her behalf. Here is a flyer that Angie Daigrepont designed for "An Evening For Erin" on June 9th. I'm sure this will be a great time and I am looking forward to seeing everyone come out. This is the Thursday before the "Fishing For Erin" tournament so if anyone comes in from out of town you have 2 great events to attend. 
 Erin had a nice day, she had her eyes open for a few hours this afternoon and hasn't had a temp in a few days. I think she is starting to become more aware. she was moving her arms and fingers spontaneously, more so than usual. We're looking forward to this week and are continuing our hopeful, but patient approach to this process. Thanks again to everyone's support Erin couldn't do it without you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday April 23rd Update

Erin's doing okay. Yesterday they did a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to determine if she has an infection. The unofficial results came back negative, thank goodness. I talked with her doctor yesterday he seemed to think she was doing well.
One of Erin's doctors at Ochsner, Dr. Paul McCarthy came up to me one morning several weeks ago and slipped me a CD. He asked if I liked the blues and we talked a little music. He told me that he produced this CD of Louisiana artists in which proceeds benefit: Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, of which he is on the board of directors. It's nice to know that he has a genuine interest in the advancement of TBI research. The proceeds go to funding neuroscience research and helping sufferers of stroke and TBI all over Louisiana. But it really is a good CD of blues,jazz, and zydeco. Louisiana Swamp Stomp can be purchased at Amazon. Dr. McCarthy along with all the doctors at Ochsner and Touro so far have been very attentive never hesitating to come and answer any questions or to just chat.
The doctors have ordered up another CT scan for Erin to have a look at her brain. This will be her first brain CT in weeks, I am interested to see if there are any marked changes, or what a different set of doctors have to say about it.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival starts next weekend. Erin loved to go every year, here's a picture of her enjoying a beautiful day and good music.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday April 21nd Update

Erin is doing good. Today she wasn't as zonked out as she usually is. It was nice to see, yawning and looking looking around. The nurses all are great. The all poke there head in checking in on Erin and checking out her pictures and cards. They said that they come in the morning and turn on the iPod that I have in the room to play music for her. One of the nurses said that they all think she has the coolest music on her iPod. When you think about it I guess looking at someone's music is like looking into their medicine cabinet, it tells a lot about the person(or so you may think).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday April 19th Update

Well today was first meeting of Erin's staff to determine some goals for her. I won't get into all the details here, but the initial outlook was less than stellar. They listed off all kinds of functions and a level at which they are predicting Erin to function at after completion of Rehab at Touro. Of course they cautioned that these were just predictions and they could be moved forward or back each week after evaluating the week's progress. At first it was a little hard to swallow. I have yet to hear any predictions and this left me with more questions than anwsers. I decided this evening that we can't totally get caught up in predictions this early on. Erin has been at Touro for only eight days and I know that she will be kicking it into overdrive once she becomes a little more aware. A friend at work reminded me this morning that, "doctors are practicing medicine, they don't know everything so they are still practicing." I totally respect the doctors and staff but I've known Erin for awhile and she is stubborn and will surprise them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Update

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I miss Erin. I'm not lonely, but I sure miss my wife. We did everything together it seems like. We had a lot of plans together. So many things are up in the air now. I do not know what the future holds for us and that's tough to think about. I was sitting with Erin tonight and it was almost as if she knew I needed her today. She kind of half way opened one of her eyes. I'd like to think she was listening to be ramble on about the last few weeks, filling her in on the dogs and her friends. Hopefully as this goes on more light will be shed on Erin's condition and the doctor's expectations of her rehabilitation.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday update

Erin had a great day today, the therapists worked her hard this morning and said she did great. They are very pleased with her progress so far. She had her trach "plugged" all day and she tolerated it , so the nurse said that also was very good. She had some good sister time today and cheery visitors and was resting peacefully tonight. No therapy tomorrow so we are looking forward to her break and rest on Sunday. She will start again on Monday with the intense rehab. Thanks agin for the continued support and well wishes coming her way as she starts the next phase in her recovery. Keep the prayers coming for our girl!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday 4/15 Update

Erin seems to be doing well at Touro. Her speech therapist is optimistic and upbeat about Erin's abilities so far. The staff there all are taking great care of her.
The fishing tournament that the guys are putting on for Erin is going to be real nice. A few people have asked how that's going to work and I really don't know, because I'm not much of a fisherman. What I do know is that there will be plenty to eat and drink and there will be live music and some great raffle prizes. Email for raffle tickets or any other information. A huge thanks to all the guys and gals that are getting this put together. Additionally I think there may be another benefit announced in the near future, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday 4/13 Update

Not too much to report.
I talked with Erin's speech therapist today. She reports that Erin has a strong swallow. She said that getting her weened off the traech will be a priority. I also had a chance to speak with Erin's case manager from Touro. She seems very nice.
Tonight I am in Houston on business. It will be hard not seeing her, but she is in good hands with her sister Melissa tonight.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday April 12th

Today starts the next leg of this crazy journey called life. Erin is less than one mile from where she has spent the last 10 years growing professionally and personally with the good folks at St. Georges. Yesterday I met with Erin's new nurses and doctors at Touro. They confirmed what I already knew, Erin suffered multiple injuries to her brain that are all very serious by themselves and compounded even more serious. They seem to have a really nice staff and facility. Hopefully Erin is knocking their socks off today. Erin will be working with three groups of therapy daily, each of these therapies will increase in complexity as Erin progresses. The doctors and staff will meet each week to give a projected finish date for Erin that will move forward or back depending on that week's progress.
Erin is in room M4-11. Touro's visiting hours for Erin's section are as follows: Monday-Friday 4:00-8:30 P.M. Saturday 12:00-8:30 P.M. and Sunday 10:30-8:30 P.M.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Update

Well Erin made the move to Touro today. It was long day, but she should be resting well in her new home away from home. I'll give a better update tomorrow morning. Suffice it to say that today was long one. Sorry for the abbreviated post tonight.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Update

Erin got put in her chair again today four hours. She handled it pretty well, but was pretty tuckered out this afternoon. Today Kelli, Liz, Tina, and Jen came over to the house to help pack up some things for Erin to prepare for Touro. Thank goodness they came to help, it would have taken me hours and I would have screwed it up for sure. Tonight Erin is going to get a leg shave and a pedicure from her girlfriends.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday 4/9 Update

Yesterday we received some great news. Erin was accepted into Touro Hospital's Neuro Rehabilitation program. They felt that her age and prognosis is good and she can benefit more, the earlier they get her in. This may happen as early as Monday. She remains unconscious, but they start with the very basics, sitting her up and moving her around and build from there. This stimulation will help push her along.
Today when I came in nurse Tiffany and nurse Mandy already had her in her chair sitting up. Its great to see her out of the bed. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Here's a picture of Erin and Jennifer on one of Florida's best beaches.

Guest Book

I made a picture book for Erin and would love to have everyone sign it. Please make sure to sign your name in one of the margins the next time you come visit. I know it may be difficult to think of the perfect thing to say, but the most important thing is just to get your name in there!

P.S. Erin is AMAZING! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Physical Therapy Friday

Erin just got physical therapy. They got her sitting up in the bed and she was really able to get her lungs cleared up a bit. She was able to cough up quite a bit on her own. They worked on her legs, arms, and hands too. The two therapists who came in were so nice. They were just chatting with Erin like it was nothing to meet a girl in a hospital room under these circumstances. I tell ya', It stinks being being in a hospital but if you have to be in one Ochsner is second to none. The staff here have all been amazing. I'm always curious to see who Erin's nurse will be for the day or night shift. Everyday I am greeted, not just by her nurse but all the nurses. They all check in on Erin daily. The doctors will leave messages for me just to say hello if they don't have the chance to stop in. I am sure much like any job nurses, doctors, and medical staff have "off" days but I have not been able to detect anything but the most courteous professionalism day in and day out. Thank you.
I want to thank everyone for all the thoughtful things you have given and done for me and Erin. My lawn has never looked as good as it does now, thank you. Erin's room has had a steady stream of wonderful plant and flower arrangements. They really do brighten up the room. All of the cards and letters get read over and over daily. I especially enjoyed the cards with letters and well wishes addressed specifically to me. I am not a father but the parents and teachers of the kids who have written have got to beam with pride to know how sweet their kids can be. I have had petit fours, sandwiches, salads, mints, cupcakes, and everything in between. I loved it all. My waistline, not so much. I am grateful to everyone for their thoughts and words of encouragement.
Anyway, no more PT till Monday. Hopefully Erin will have a peaceful weekend and be ready to get back to work next week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This moves to the top.

You don't know me, nor do I know you, but I am a friend of a friend that told me about your beautiful wife Erin and the tragic accident that you both are going through. My husband was hit by a freight train 13 1/2 yrs ago and suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) to the right frontal and right parietal lobes. He also suffered a broken neck and many other injuries as you could imagine. He laid comatose for 63 days in ICU with Drs telling me he would never wake up, and if he did he would be a quadriplegic and a vegetable. I prayed so much that I'm not sure I left room for anyone else's prayers to reach God. But to everyone's amazement my husband woke up and is back to his old self again. As you mentioned about Erin, Daniel's age was on his side and after Five long years of rehabilitation and determination he started walking working name it he does it. The only thing that he sometimes has problems with is his long term memory, but after a moment of really thinking it comes back to him! I am a registered nurse and had trouble understanding all that he went through, so I can only imagine what you're going through. Let me tell you this...a brain injury is like a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle gets tossed up in the air and comes down in 500 little pieces, and then that person has to put all the pieces back together again. I will keep Erin and you in my prayers and pray that my words have given you some kind of hope! Take care and God bless!


Thursday 4/7 Update

Erin is still comatose. She responds to pain, but not to commands yet. As most of you know she has responded to a few commands in the past such as thumbs up or opening of the eyes. Her pupils are still unresponsive which is not a good sign overall (they have been this way since she got here). The longer someone is in a coma, the greater the likelihood of residual symptoms, particularly physical disabilities. The doctors are optimistic that she will be able to come out of the coma eventually but the severity of any impairments will be a mystery for probably months. Erin's youth is a distinct advantage as well as her pre-injury intelligence level and personality, as these have been identified as possible indicators for levels of recovery. Her vitals are all stable and she continues to breathe on her own. The doctors are talking about an EEG later today which measures brain wave activity. Apparently there is an EEG severity index used on patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I will update the blog with any information as it becomes available to me. Just to verify, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I am just a concerned husband with a silly internet connection, and a lot of questions.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

RSVP for the Blood Drive

Ochsner would like to have as accurate as possible head count for the blood drive that is being held on Tuesday April 12th. Mandy Ducote is trying to get the number as accurate as possible. If you plan on attending please email her at So she can get you on the list if you haven't already done so. Let's make Ochsner pull out all the buses next Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Weeks

Erin is resting tonight. Tomorrow she will get another CT scan in the morning to make sure everything is going as planned.
I have of course had plenty of time to think about "stuff" lately. One thing that I have been reminded of is just how precious relationships are. Erin and I have an unbelievably strong marriage. We never went to bed without a goodnight smooch. We never hesitate to break out in song and dance at a moments notice. We try to never take each other for granted. These are just a couple of things that get me through the day. I can't wait to have her back dancing around the house. People ask me how I can be so strong, Erin makes me strong. She wouldn't have it any other way.
Erin has a ton of friends. She is going to need you guys more than ever as she recovers. This won't be easy, but Erin will know she has the best friends during this process.

Post Op Update

Erin is back in her room and recovering. The procedure went well. She will be recovering for the next 36 hours or so. I will give a more detailed update later tonight. Thanks Guys!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Update and Blood Drive

Erin is having another operation tomorrow morning. She will have her drain ran permanently. She is unable to regulate her ventricular pressure on her own. The doctors attribute her quiet weekend to this fluid build-up.
There will be a blood drive at Blessey Marine at 1515 River Oaks Road East in Harahan next Tuesday April 12th if anyone would like to drop by and give blood on behalf of Erin. I think the bus will be there at 0800-until? She has not needed blood since she came to the hospital but I have a new found respect for blood donation. Erin diligently gave blood as often as she could and was luckily the recipient of someone's donation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Zee and Shrek

We had new guests today at Prissy's Palace! Many of you already know that our family has dinner together every Sunday at the infamous Metairie Restaurant named Prissy's Palace.( a name that we came up with when we were younger, when we played waitress at my mom's restaurant!) This has been a family tradition for at least the last 20 years and it is something we all look forward to, home cooked meal, free refills and the price is right! Both of the boys asked me this morning if Nan and D would be there. So we started to think of something we could do for them. After gathering 2 stuffed animals, clothes and paper and pens, our project was complete.

My boys have decided to hold the spots at the table for Nan and D until they come back. Brady made signs with their names on it and insists on leaving it there, even "if its for 2 months". So Zee is in Erin's spot and Shrek is in D's spot, waiting for them to join us again at Prissy's Palace.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Night Update

Erin had a quite day today. She is stable though. I am fortunate to have some awesome visitors this weekend. A few of my high school chums came into town along with both my brothers and Sis in law and nephew. I thought I was having a great weekend, little did I know that it was going to be kicked into overdrive with a special homemade treat pictured here. And yeah the cupcakes have Dino shaped sprinkles! Thanks JAB!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Night Update

Erin was officially zonked after her morning of moving back and forth from the chair. The results from the EEG show no signs of seizure. They also said there the were no large areas of inactivity. The brain is moving slow, but is to be expected from a coma patient. The doctors are going to monitor her brain ventricle drain this weekend and determine whether or not to internalize it, making it a shunt.

Look Who is Out of Bed

Today they moved erin out of bed and into a chair. The chair is a special chair that allows Erin to sit almost upright. This will help with her bruising as well as challenge her lungs. Sitting also will make her use muscles that laying can't do. She will be allowed to sit for no more than 2 hours and will be fatigued afterward.
She is continuing to move her left side more which is so encouraging.