Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Friday, January 30, 2009

What We Know

The Damage: Serious head trauma has caused a brain injury called DAI (Diffuse Axonal Injury). Doctors have used the words "very serious" and "bad" when they talk about Neil's brain.

Bolt Monitor: To measure the pressure in his brain (ICP), doctors have inserted one of these into his upper forehead on his right side. (I'd include a link to some drawings of what's involved here, but it's a little gruesome. Feel free to search the internet for yourselves if you're so inclined.) Studies vary, but most say the monitor loses its integrity after 3 to 5 days. Neil is on day 7 now because his neuro team believes it's still working. It is registering numbers, but we're not certain if they're accurate now or not. It will surely be removed in a couple of days and then perhaps, we can try to wake him up.

Coma: Although the doctors haven't used the word coma, that's probably what we're dealing with here. And it's not like in the movies. Coma patients don't just wake up and start talking to you. It could be quite a while before Neil shows any signs of alertness--and by quite a while, I mean weeks or longer.

Pneumonia: It's very common in patients with a breathing tube. Neil hasn't had any pneumonia. Yay!

Tracheostomy: Neil's breathing tube will probably be removed within a few days and replaced with a tracheostomy. It involves an incision in his throat to attach his ventilator to. It's routine to do this as it is actually a safer way to help him breathe.

Feeding Tube: Right now Neil is being fed a mustard-colored puree through a tube that goes in his mouth and down his throat. That will most likely be changed in the next little while to a tube that goes directly through his side and into his stomach. This is supposed to be more comfortable for the patient. If there is any way to make Neil more comfortable, I'm for it. Let's pamper this boy!

This is probably all Too Much Information, but I think it helps to be prepared for what we're looking forward too. And looking forward, we are!

--Lori

5 comments:

Polly said...

Lori,
Thanks for taking the time to write these updates.We check several times a day. I will look up some of the terms you referred to. I like to understand what is happening.WE are keeping you all in our prayers.You and Scott must be exhausted. Glad Shelley and Grandma are there also to stay with Eric and keep the cat company.hugs from Cindy and Carl

Julie Sandman said...

Lori, Scott and family, We want you to know that Neil is in our prayers. He has a very large prayer chain throughout Iowa and South Dakota. His name (and your's) comes up often at work in terms of hoping for the best. We wish we were there to help. I check the updates often and try to relay information to others. PLEASE let us know if the IBF group in North Sioux City can do anything to help your family.
Love - Julie and John Sandman

Anonymous said...

Geri
You are doing an awesome job at keeping us informed Lori.
Thank you so much!
We won't stop the prayers either!
luv you guys
the gosselins

Anonymous said...

Hey Mrs. Stone,

I don't know if you've heard already, but I just wanted to let you know that everyone in MADE has been giving donations towards Neil and your family and I was wondering where you would like me to drop the gift off. If you could please email me when you get the chance at nash3@verizon.net I would really appreciate it!

Thank you so much for keeping us updated with Neil...not knowing anything was as bad as not being able to do anything, everyone really appreciates it and we are all praying for the absolute best for Neil :)

Ali..( Artie's Mom) said...

Good Morning Lori,

It means so much for all of us to be able to come hear and read of Neil's progress. We care so much about Neil and all of you.. anything you can share is appreciated and there can never be too much information given. It helps us understand it all and be right there with you. Thank you so much for doing this. I see why Neil is such an incredible person..he has an extraordinary Mom.

Your words here comfort us ..and help us to see there is a process to it all and a timetable. As much as we all just want him to wake up.....he needs his rest right now. I am so grateful there were no other injuries..that is it's own miracle.

Your journey will be a long one..hard to understand how life can change in an instant of time..but it has and you are coping remarkably well. I wish there were a way we could make this easier for you....All we can do is love Neil and all of you and send our prayers and strong healing energy to Neil.

Artie is doing fine. He was in school on Friday for one of his midterm exams...so have no worries there. He is hoping to get to see Neil soon.

SO much love and prayers and strength being sent to you, Neil and your whole family. ♥ ♥ ♥

Love,
Ali