Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wednesday May 25th Update

  I was going through Erin's pictures and found one I took of here right after the Saint's won the Super Bowl at the victory parade.

 Erin loved to have her picture taken and I am glad that she did. She may look different now but she is still a beautiful woman.

I will never be ashamed of my wife and I will always love her. This week has been a tough one I am learning things that no should ever have to think about and certainly not this early in life. It is easy to think that everything in life will come easily and I wish that was so. Erin and I have had a great marriage and have been truly blessed to have found each other. We get along so great and have had an action packed relationship. I enjoy reading anything she has written and recently found a diary which mapped out our first years together. She really was head over heels for me come to find out. Erin has had a good week with positive results from therapy. Her anticipated release date is now June 8th. I have been hard at work to determine where we go from here. I'll keep everyone updated with any news.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Evening for Erin Information

I would like to share some information about the upcoming benefit on June 9th.

- the time has been changed to 6:30-11:30

- must be 21 to attend the benefit at Southport

- Cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted. However, if you purchase your tickets at the door, you must use cash or check.

Speaking of tickets, if you would like to avoid the rush, tickets are available to purchase before the event. You can email and our ticket sales team will be happy to arrange to get you the tickets.

It is going to be a great night and all for a great cause! There will be lots of food from local New Orleans restaurants, awesome auction items and some raffles that you will not want to miss out on! Thanks to the benefit committee for all of your efforts and thanks to all who have already made donations to ensure the success of this night. Hope to see everyone on the 9th and keep the prayers coming for progress for our girl!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday May 21st Update

Erin and I did are usual Saturday routine. Well usual for the last few weeks.... We went outside for a few hours and caught up. Of course Erin did all the listening, for those of you that know Erin you know how much she liked to talk. She is doing a lot more listening lately. Hopefully she will be back to her old ways, telling stories and bossing me around. Erin is doing well, just minor medical issues. It's hard to stay healthy when you don't get out of bed for a couple of months. They are doing an excellent job taking care of Erin here and I am worried about what the future of her medical care holds for her. Extended medical stays cost tons of money and insurance companies want to see results. I understand this, everyone wants a return on investment. The problem is that results are coming slowly. I hope Erin has a big week and shows some solid results. It is difficult to think about it but much of the decision making processes on Erin's near future are based on purely numerical data. Putting it simply, each week numbers are tallied in accordance to her abilities if the numbers are not rising the insurance company starts thinking about throttling back funds for rehabilitation. I guess it could be worse, some companies just allot a certain number of rehabilitation days and once you reach your limit you wait until the next calendar year. Regardless of Erin's short term prognosis I remain confident that she will continue to make gains. We will see how the next few weeks go. Her projected release date is still June the 1st. This is only days away from now.

 I am still amazed by everyone's generosity. All of the good folks at Tulane University greeted me this week when i stopped in to pick up my diploma. I almost lost it, but was able to keep it together enough to shake some hands and thank everyone. I got out of there without balling my eyes out.

 Erin got a great surprise this week from my mom who made her an awesome quilt. The quilt has different patches depicting some of Erin's old favorite things: Mardi Gras, Saints, wine corks, and school stuff. It also has a new favorite thing: dinosaurs. Erin just hasn't had the chance to realize her true respect for a dinosaur's strength and tenacity.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday May 16th

Well the weather isn't really very pleasant for too much of the time here in southern Louisiana. This weekend was an exception. Kelley, Kay, and Henry came in and we had a nice time. We were able to take Erin out on the deck at Touro Saturday for a few hours. Sunday we went back outside with Melissa and a few friends. Just sitting outside feels so much better than in the hospital room.  It has to be nice for Erin too, even if there isn't much to look at. Kelli was a sweet sister and painted Erin's toenails last night. Erin has been doing okay. She has avoided any fevers over the last few days. I apologize for the reduced frequency of updates, but there is less to report lately. I will keep everyone in the loop on any news though, you can be sure of that.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday May 12th Update

Today, Kelli and I met with Erin's case manager and her main doctor. Erin continues to make baby steps in her recovery, and her therapists are happy with her progress thus far. We were reminded again, how early we are in the grand scheme of things. Erin has been having some "minor" medical problems that of course side track her progress. There were predictably no predictions of eventual outcomes. The doctor went over the possible complications and all the outcomes that we need to be possibly prepared for.
The doctor told us that Erin has moved on from a comatose state to a vegetative state. I suspected this was coming. In the last few weeks Erin has started spending more time with her eyes open. The presence of "sleep/wake" cycles indicates the progression from a coma to a vegetative state. I have also read that only a very small percentage of traumatic brain injury survivors remain in this vegetative state. Erin can still progress with the continued therapy and stimulation. We remain hopeful that she will continue to heal and continue to show more signs of awareness. She has made steps in the right direction. The therapists all report that she has progressed nicely in the last month that she has been here at Touro.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday May 8th Update

Erin had a quiet weekend. Now that she is off of all the "extras" like oxygen and iv's I was able to roll her outside. There is a concrete "yard" right outside the unit she is in. It looks like a prison yard minus the guys working out and barbed wire. The positive is that it is outside and for Erin to get to have some sun on her face and fresh air in her lungs does my heart well, and hopefully her's as well.
Erin is starting to have longer periods with her eyes open. It is nice to see, but there has been little movement and her pupils are still fixed. We are still hopeful that she will continue to progress. She did great with her tracheotomy out all weekend. Please keep Erin in your prayers.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday May 5th Update

 Well I walked into Erin's room today and low and behold she had her tracheotomy removed. Erin will now be able to vocalize. Her speech therapist even fed her three spoons of pudding! It's amazing last week I was told she would have the tracheotomy for the foreseeable future, and today it's history. I sat in with her therapists today for an hour or so and they are an amazing team. She is doing well otherwise. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday May 1st Update

I took a break from the hospital today and was picking up a cup of coffee and bumped into a celebrity. I bumped into Tracy, who was Erin's nurse during the first few days after the accident. We instantly recognized each other and exchanged pleasantries. He will never know how much he did for our family by reassuring us and explaining what in the heck was going on. Thank you Tracy, and everyone else at Ochsner. Heck, he was even wearing a red "pray for Erin" bracelet. A friend of mine recently wrote an essay that she shared with me entitled "Humanism in Medicine". In the essay she explains the care that different staff members have displayed while treating Erin and how that care translates into comfort for both families and patients. These are intangibles that can not be reflected in data or statistics but from personal experience I can say that humanism in medicine is a concept I can get behind.
Erin had a restful weekend. I tried to work with her over bending her legs and arms, trying to keep her loose for therapy and prevent muscle tightening from taking place. She had a slight fever this morning, but seems to be doing alright. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Here's a picture of our girl gobbling up some spring rolls at last year's Jazzfest.