Monday, June 13, 2011

PT Day 22, by David

It is Sunday evening.  They have again started backing down on My Precious Little Darlins sedation.  I can not keep the lump out of my throat, the quiver out of my voice or the tears out of my eyes.  I am as afraid now as I was when this first happened.  She and I both believe in quality of life. The reality of her brain injury will start becoming more apparent now.  I am so afraid that she will not recover to live the quality of life she loves living and it is tearing me up.  At the moment she will open her eyes but is totally unaware.  I hope and pray this is the drugs.  There are other subtle neurologic signs that bother me.  Many of my friends who have a combined massive medical knowledge and experience have reenforced that what I am seeing is at least partly related to the level and duration of sedation she has been given but Jan is my life and I can not help but fear the worst.  I still know how severe the impact of that car hitting her was and can not get that out of my mind.  There have been prayers said for her by a Methodist Minister, Catholic Priest, My Father, innumerable churches and most everyone who knows Jan and knows of Jan.   I have prayed and I have also questioned my faith because of this.  I feel totally helpless.  She is here because of a stupid senseless act.  The sad thing is there is no doubt the same stupid senseless act will be repeated and another life will be wasted or ruined.   This is an almost unbearable hurt.  I just want my solemate back.

Morning, PT day 22.  Her body body functions continue to do well.  Her blood gases are very good on 30% O2.  The next step will be to see how she does with less pressure the ventilator uses to help her breath.  Getting her off the ventilator is a slow weaning process.  Her sedative has been decreased.  Now it is at half the rate it was the past few weeks.  Last night it was at 1/3 the rate but needed to be increased because she was getting agitated.  The way she shows agitation is by breathing faster and less efficently.  Her tube feeding rate is where it is needed so I expect the IV nutrition will be tapered off and stopped in the near future.  Her GI tract is active.  She is still having fever up to 102 F.  Still do not know why.  Her WBC (white blood count) remains normal.  She is well covered on antibiotics.  Her bilirubin (liver function) continues to improve.

Her neuro status weighs very heavily on my mind, as if you could not tell by the note I wrote last night.  I  discussed my concerns with her neurosurgeon this morning.  I have a very high respect for and confidence in this man.  Her recovery from this will be months if not years.  The subtle neuro  changes are not surprising given the severity of the head trauma.  She is to get an MRI today.  As I suspested and he also suspects she likely had some degree of shear injury to her brain that can not be seen on CT.  The MRI should not change what is currently being done but will give a better idea of the extent of her brain injury than the CT and will give a better idea of expected long term recovery. 

There was a front page article about the danger of cycling on the road in the Jackson Clarion Ledger yesterday.  The newspaper blog for this article generated the most comments of all.  Many of these were written by thoughtful intelligent people.  Most reflected why Mississippi remains at or near the bottom in education, health and intolerance to being from different from their way of doing things.   Jan and I have traveled the world and have found that no matter where you are, what language you speak, what religion you practice or what color your skin is the overwhelming majority of all are kind, compassionate and caring people.  That includes Mississippi.  There are a very few who are not this way in all societies.  This was painfully apparent by the blog comments.  These few are an embarrassment  and danger to us all.

My former Mentor and Chairman of the Radiology department where I did my training sent me an interesting link , listing the number of countries that ban cell phone (52) use while driving.  He told me two of his Grandchildren who live in Germany were visiting last summer and were astounded that people use their cell phones while driving.  How many more people are going to have to lose their life before this is changed in this state and or country.  Is it worth the inconvenience to you before or after this happens to you or your family.  Think about it!!!

Jan was always joking that she wanted a bicycle that would allow her to go fast without sweating or breathing hard.  She also wanted to write a book with the title "How to do an Ironman Triathlon on a Ding Dong Diet".  I would give anything for her to ask me to go get her a Ding Dong and to see her on a bike again.  I do not know if either will ever happen.


I Love My Little Darlin more than anything, She is my Solemate.  Unless you have lived it, this hurts worse than anything you can imagine.


  1. I understand your fears about your beloved wife's mental condition when she wakes. Who wouldn't be terrified? I understand that the uncertainty, the not knowing, is very, very painful. Just remember that uncertainty means there IS hope. Until you know for certain, anything is possible, and that includes recovery, given time and good care and love. Hope need not be rational. Hope need not be based on what we know, because we don't know everything. While you have a fierce, unyielding will to help Jan, there is hope. While you have hope, your will is strengthened. Hold on to hope like you would a lifering in the ocean. I understand you need to consider and prepare for the worst, but don't forget the best has not yet been ruled out. I know it is easy for others to say "don't despair", but hard for you not to at times. No one can blame you. Maybe you could adapt your "no quitting, no crying" slogan? How about "cry sometimes, quit never"? We wish you and Jan both may heal.

  2. Hi David. I'm Susan Marquez from Madison, MS. I'm just catching up on this story--I spent the month of May in Maine writing a book on my own daughter's tragic accident. (Nicole Marquez, age 25, fell six stories from the roof of her apt. building in NY. She laid on the ground over eight hours before being discovered. She had a broken neck, back, pelvis, ribs and punctured lung. You can read about it at
    It's a little different, yet reading your blog, I know we've shared alot of the same experiences. One thing that really got us through was a message a friend sent us on our Caring Bridge guest book:
    "May God bless you, keep you strong, and carry you throughout your recovery. An angel must have held you and watched over you for you to
    have been found alive and God apparently has a plan for your life so it is a matter of believing now that He has already sent His Son Jesus to secure good health for you. Now you just have to “claim” what is yours already and know that you will have it because God said so. Believe, never doubt it, never speak doubt regarding what God promised you. Live each moment in faith of the truth in His promise of good health. It is yours, speak it and it will be so. There is power in the tongue and
    what you speak. You will be healed completely. Do not speak doubt against it and it will be yours. Our prayers are continuously with you
    all!" So, our "team" of family and friends made a pact to only speak positive when it came to Nicole's condition. We were realistic, but we were also hopeful. We only spoke the things we wanted for our daughter and her health and recovery.
    Today, after being told she would be a quadriplegic for life, she is walking without a cane. She serves on the board of directors for the MS Brain Injury Asso. if you haven't contacted them, please do so. Lee Jenkins is the executive director and she can help you in many ways.
    If we can help you in any way--providing information, knowing what to expect, or just a neutral person to talk to (we've been in your shoes!), please don't hesitate to contact me at
    I'll keep you all in our prayers, and pray for a FULL and MIRACULOUS recovery for Jan, as it is what we claimed for Nicole. God bless you all.
    --Susan Marquez

  3. I read Jan's story in the Clarion Ledger yesterday and have not been able to get her out of my mind. I am so sorry that this has happened to such a wonderful person and family. Please know that you all are in my prayers daily. She is so blessed to have such a caring and optimistic husband. Stay positive and keep praying and please know that so many people you have never met are praying for you all as well.