Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you're having a bad day....

You can think to yourself... "What if I got to the mailbox and find".....


And in case you can't see it....the circled amount is $148,215.69....and no that doesn't include the actual doctor's charges, and yes we have insurance and we will not have to cover even a dent in that so this is why we can joke ;)  We just thought we would share our humor with everyone!  It's not everyday you can open a statement that shows that your health care costs as much as a house!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Home again!!

Well, Brock finally got discharged on Friday from the hospital.  We were there 14 days and 3 hours.....and neither of us ever want to be in a hospital again!

Brock has been doing fairly well all things considered.  He has lots of pain meds to keep him very happy and funny, but occasionally he will still hurt really bad.  His calves have been bothering him the most, although we think it's because he was in bed for two weeks without getting up at all so the walking and moving now is hurting them.  He has a pretty BIG soft, squishy spot on the top of his head we are a little concerned about, but so far it hasn't spread so we think it's just swelling.  He has around 40 staples across his head which is pretty gross, but he will get them out next friday.  He also got a bit of a face lift we are noticing now which is pretty funny.  It makes his receding hair line a little more obvious though ;)

Once again, we really appreciate everything that everyone has done for us during this time of our lives.  It's hard to keep the faith during trials at times, but it was very comforting to know that we had the faith and prayers of others to rely on.  It is great to be home and around family again and to get back to our almost normal lives. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sad news

The doctors came in this evening after looking at all the results and told us that although they found the exact focal point of where his seizures start, unfortunately it is inoperable.  The starting point is right on the motor strip of his brain, so if they were to take it out it would paralyze the left side of his body.  This news is really hard to take.  Based on the blessings we have both received and the feelings and impressions I've had, I thought this was going to work.  I thought this was it for Brock. 

So he will go into surgery for the last time tomorrow morning to get the grids out of his head.  Hopefully we will be leaving the hospital on Friday.  More than ever, I just want to get home now.  So does Brock.  We can't wait to get back into our normal lives.   I just worry this experience is going to make his seizures seem even worse, knowing where they start and not being able to do anything about it.

On the up-side, the doctors said they learned a lot about Brock's seizures from this, and it sounds like there will be some new techniques out in a few years that could help them.  They just are FDA approved yet.  Maybe one of these will work for him, but I wanted this to work for him.  He deserves it, and it's hard to understand why he just went through two weeks of hell for nothing really.  

Thanks again for all your love, support, and prayers.  Please keep us in them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Update

Great news!  You can all quit praying for seizures!  Seriously....please....haha.  He has had four seizures now so they have him doped up on all his anti-epileptic medications so he won't have any more.  Unfortunately, he didn't have the seizures before the OR was scheduled so he has to wait until Wednesday for the last surgery.  He was pretty scared coming out of this last seizure, and rightfully so.  He actually went into one, came out of it for about five seconds, and then went right back into another one!  Scary! Luckily he doesn't remember when that happens because he is unconscious, but it was not fun to watch.

The next step is to do what is called "cortical stimulation."  Essentially, the neurologist will send electric waves through the electrodes in his head.  This stimulation will make his body move in a specific way so the doctors know which areas of the brain they can take out and which areas they cannot.  Although it sounds painful, it's not. The brain doesn't actually have any feeling so all he'll feel is his body moving.  For example, if they stimulate a part that is charge of his hand movement, his hand will involuntarily move.  Right now, it looks like the seizures are coming from his "pre-motor" strip, so the biggest risk of the surgery is that he will be a little "clumsy" on one side until the other side of his brain takes over the particular spot of concern.  The doctor said this only lasts a couple months, but that would mean he wouldn't be able to play in the May-Day softball tournament.  So hopefully that's not going to be an issue.

Surgery will happen Wednesday, and I, along with many others, have felt that this is going to work for him.  I really feel like he will be seizure free after this, so please still pray that will happen.  We appreciate more than we can express the support and love we have felt from many during this process.  We were able to have a good heart-to-heart this morning, the first time we have really talked since the first surgery, and it made me feel so good.  I know this trial has blessed my marriage in ways that could not have been attained in any other circumstance.  Our testimonies have both been strengthened, and although it was not easy, it has been worth it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Update

There isn't a whole lot to report on, but I thought I would mention a few things.  Brock was able to eat a little today which is great.  He has only nibbled on things here and there for over a week now, so I know his body needs the nourishment.  

Great news....he finally had a seizure last night.  Crazy that's great news, right?  He felt it coming on for about ten hours, and it finally hit at about 4 am.  His third and final surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, but he still needs to have two more seizures before they will take him into surgery.  It's really rough for him because he is off all his medication which causes him to have really really nasty seizures once he goes into one.  It's pretty scary to watch and I'm sure it's even worse for him.  

Thank you all for your prayers.  Please keep Brock in them so he can have the seizures he needs to get back to surgery tomorrow.  Thanks and love and appreciation to all!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Update on Brock

So I have had a lot of people asking how Brock is doing so I'm just going to start posting updates on here for people to see.  I can't get reception very well on my cell phone so this will probably be the best way to get updates to everyone.

Brock is having a series of brain surgeries to help neurologists find the starting point of his seizures.  If everything goes as planned, the doctors will find the spot and surgically remove that small part of his brain.  This will keep the seizures from starting and the hope is he will be seizure free after the last surgery.  If they can find the spot, his seizures will at least get better, but we are really hoping to get rid of them.

Brock went in for his first of three surgeries on Friday, March 27.  The first surgery was to put electrodes on top of his brain to get a better idea of which side the seizures were coming from.  He was in a lot of pain waking up from the incision that almost goes ear to ear and the bone they had to remove from his skull to get the strips in.  Unfortunately, the first few pain medications didn't do anything for him.   So he didn't get any relief the first day.  Can you imagine coming out of surgery with no pain killers!! Ouch!!  His sister, Tiffany, was his nurse the next day and she did awesome at figuring out everything that works for him.  It helped him settle down and get some rest so that was great. 

After figuring all that out, the pressure to have seizures started.  The whole purpose of the electrodes is to read the frequency patterns in the brain when the seizures start.  The spot with the highest frequency is the focal or starting point of the seizures.  The doctors took him off almost all of his medications, which in any regular situation would make him go crazy with seizures almost immediately.  Unfortunately, it took Brock until Tuesday to have his first seizure that wasn't medically induced.  The pain killers and nausea medication supress the seizures.  We were also told that the actual electrodes tend to put pressure on the focal point in the brain which also can suppress the seizures.  It wasn't until the doctors told Brock that they were going to go in and take the electrodes out even though he hadn't had a seizure did he finally have one.  He started leaking cerebral fluid from one of the incisions.  This created a risk of infection that the surgeon didn't want to take.  The surgeon and neurologist felt they knew the right area so they could go in and take the electrodes out.  

Brock ended up having a generalized (gran mal) seizure about two hours before his second surgery.  It was absolutely awful to watch and they are really scary for him, but he took it really well.  It knocked him out for a while but it was comforting when the neurologist told me that their suspicions were correct.  

The purpose of the second surgery was to take the electrodes out and put in grids.  Grids are more invasive because they go into the brain, but the electrodes are more concentrated.  By placing them all around the area of suspicion, they can get a 3D look at the focal point if they can find it.  We didn't know for sure if this surgery would take place this stay in the hospital or if we would have to come back in a few weeks.  We were under the impression we would have to come back which really sucked because this is all just awful for Brock and we all felt it would be better if he could just get it over with now.  When the doctor came in and told Brock he was getting the first electrodes out, he gave him the option to get the grids put in at the same time or wait the few weeks.  Brock decided to just get it over with.  That second surgery was on Wednesday. 

He slept pretty much all day yesterday because he was on such a high dosage of pain medication.  Coming out of surgery was a lot better than the first time because the nurses knew what medications worked for him.  He said it hurt worse though which made sense because they took pretty much the top right side of his skull out to get the grids in.  He has been more awake today, mostly because he has something stuck in his throat (most likely from having the breathing tubes during his surgeries) and he's been working on getting it out for about the last three hours.  I tried to eat while he was doing it....that didn't last too long.  GROSS! ;)

Brock is holding up alright.  It's really hard to watch him go through all this.  He really just wants to get out of here.  I was actually really surprised when he told the doctor to put the grids in during the second surgery.  He was so down that I didn't think he would go another step with it.  I think with the pain and the boredom of being the hospital, it's hard to see the positive outcomes that can come through this.  There isn't too much positive for him right now, but I strongly believe this is going to benefit him and help him to have a better quality of life in the end.  We have both received many Priesthood blessings from our awesome families, and that has been a comfort to us.  Although it's hard to not constantly be asking "Why us?" I feel like we will really gain a lot from this.  I hope it brings us closer as husband and wife, although I worry it will take us time to get back into our normal lives after this.  

I'll try to keep updates on here.  At this point, we are just waiting for him to have three seizures....again....and so far, nothing.  So, as crazy as this sounds, if you include him in your prayers, please ask that he will be able to relax enough to have seizures!  It's crazy how the things that in the past you prayed wouldn't happen, I'm now begging Heavenly Father to make it happen.  I know if we put our trust in Him, no matter the outcome, it is part of His plan.  If there is one lesson I have learned lately, it's to quit making plans because mine are never right!  Just kidding, but it definitely feels like that sometimes.  I listened to a CES fireside last night on my iPod from Elder Holland.   It really helped me to feel comforted in my circumstance and taught me to draw closer to the Lord while I am going through this trial.  It was an awesome talk and I recommend all to read/listen to it.  

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support.  We cannot express our appreciation enough.  This is really hard, but I know we'll get through it.