Update – September 11, 2016

This past week, Martin began his first days in occupational therapy and also saw his neurologist.  There is no sign of permanent brain damage or neurological issues and Martin is expected to make a full recovery with 20-30 minutes of crossword puzzle exercises and brain games per day to help improve his memory.

During occupational therapy, while Martin uses his left side without thought, he still has a bit of neglect.  He is unable to tell where his arm is in motion when he cannot see it but demonstrates pretty good strength.  We did some strengthening exercises for his shoulder and arm using an elastic band, worked on hand-eye coordination and exercises sending messages from brain to hand.  What he struggles with most in this aspect, is there are times when his hand and arm feels desensitized, yet over-stimulated as though in pain or irritated to touch.  This is something that will get better in time and can be improved with therapy; searching for small items in a bin of beans or rice.  This helps activate the neurons and get them “running”.  Also, having Martin close his eyes while a small item is placed into his hand and he must guess what he is holding.

With the exercises Martin did during occupational therapy along with a little bit of research at home, we bought all the things we needed and duplicated what we learned.  Now we work at home, diligently to help Martin back to full recovery.  He is encouraged to type and I get to use tying me up as an exercise (lol).  Any thing that requires him to utilize his hands and fingers and use both hands simultaneously.  We have yet to see physical and speech therapy, so we still aren’t sure when Martin is able to return to work.  We don’t expect to be seen by occupational therapy for any more than 3 weeks.  We will have a better idea once speech and physical therapy evaluation is complete.

There are MANY sleepless nights which stem from Martin mentally struggling the most during this time but I am confident that, also, will get better.  Overall, Martin continues to improve and become more of himself with each day.  It’s still a long, stressful, physically tiring, emotionally draining, and trying process, but the road to a full recovery is promising.

Martin will continue to recover and rest here most days and nights, so we apologize for the Bedroom and Bathroom Cams being in an unusual angle.

Slowly but surely, we will be back to normality.  We expect Martin back at work soon and that will also get my days and nights back in regular routine.  I can’t WAIT!  I miss my days and nights with you guys so damn much.  Love you all for your emails, messages, thoughts, concerns, love, support, loyalty, friendship, and just for being here during this time.

 

UPDATE – September 2, 2016

Just want to keep everyone in the loop.  Martin is scheduled for occupational, speech and physical therapy starting next week.  Until then, we will not know how long it will be before Martin is cleared to driving and working (at his day job) again.  It will be up to rehab to determine when that will be.  Until then, Martin will be staying with me here until he is well enough to go home.  While he’s here, there will be times when the Bedroom and Bathroom Cam will be out of place.  Also, there will be weekends where we will be away at his house so that we can spend some time in his household as well.  Thank you all again for your continued patience and support as we work ourselves back to normality.

 

Update – August 29, 2016

Sorry for the lack of updates since Wednesday.  The last few days at the hospital were rough on Martin, therefore, they were rough on me.  Since we’ve been home, it has been hard on Martin facing the reality of his hospitalization, what has happened to him, an**d now, coping with every day life itself.  He’s aware that he has trouble with what he believes as “everything”.  Thinking, reasoning, sleeping, feeling tired, having the desire to do something, yet, unable to carry it out, feeling hot, then cold, dealing with depression, feeling out of place, the inability to do the simplest things, and not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  While I’m aware that all these feelings are normal and to be expected, Martin does not.  This doesn’t make things any less difficult to deal with.  The first day we left the hospital, the drive home was overwhelming for him.  Being in public, being around a room full of people, the noise, the traffic and with so much going on, Martin experiences over-stimulation.  I quickly learned that we must move slow and take it one day at a time.

Day by day, Martin continues to progress, regain his strength, and has less episodes of confusion but as he becomes more and more aware of his situation, it also gets harder because he recognizes.  Night time is the toughest time for him because he is unable to .  He has trouble falling asleep, when he falls asleep, he sleeps for very short increments of time, and each time he wakes up, he’s completely confused and sometimes delusional.  (it has not been said by doctors, but from what I read, his inability to might have something to do with the part of the brain that was affected by the stroke.  I will address this issue when we see the neurologist)   We are still in the process of scheduling follow ups with the neurologist, primary care, outpatient rehabilitation and the interventional radiologist so we are unaware of how long it will be until Martin is cleared to work and drive again but I expect 4-6 weeks recovery time.

On a side note, Martin isn’t quite the same.  We don’t know how long it will take but I do make sure that he gets some type of occupational and cognitive therapy at home with just the two of us.  Things such as engaging in conversation, eating our favorite foods and watching TV together, listening to him express his thoughts and feelings, making sure he remembers how important and loved he is, encouraging him to go out at least once per day to run an errand with me, having him go to the kitchen and grab a , get dressed, and function the television.  He converses perfectly, remembers everything except for many days at the hospital, and has no permanent physical damage.  Doctors expect a full recovery but only time will tell when Martin will truly be himself again.

 

Update – August 24, 2016 7:52pm

We are now settled in to our new room on the 6th floor. As full as it is down here, we are so lucky to have scored 1 of 2 of the only private rooms they have here  . It’s a lot smaller but now we have a little more privacy and a shower so Martin is a million times happier! He has eaten dinner and took his first shower since we’ve been here.

 

Update – August 24, 2016

We are still in neuro ICU waiting on an available bed. There is a long wait because the hospital is in a Code Purple situation, meaning there are no available beds. Whether we remain in ICU or get transferred to the 6th floor, doctors believe Martin is healthy and well enough to home but because Martin is on Nimodipine which is administered every two hours, he cannot go home until that treatment is completed. Nimodipine is what prevents the vasospams and also a that cannot be taken at home. This medication must be taken 21 days post aneurysm coiling and the 21st day ends this Saturday. So Saturday is the day we finally get to go home!

 

Update – August 23, 2016

Great news! They feel that Martin is too high functioning for rehab so they will be down grading us to neuro inpatient for a day out two and then we will be discharged. Martin will only need to follow up with outpatient after coming home!

 

Update – August 22, 2016

Martin is still not sleeping at night. During the day, naps come natural, but night time flips a switch. He’s restless, every irritating element in the room becomes amplified but I’m sure he’ll eventually get into routine soon. He’s had a great appetite, getting up and down, and starting to do more things independently and for the most part, is normal. Once in a while, not so much. Overall, looking great.

Today they did another doppler scan and the doctor is happy that things look much, much better. They are slowly working on weening Martin off of both pressure medications until eventually he is completely off of all meds. They will continue to monitor him here in ICU over night until the doctor does another evaluation tomorrow to see how his pressure maintained.

From what we understand, if Martin does well and his pressure does not drop too low or go too high, we will finally be discharged from ICU and go straight into rehab for the next two weeks. We are hoping for the best.

 

Update – August 20, 2016

Yesterday’s doppler scan came back with some small signs of vasopsasms so we will be staying in neuro ICU until Monday when they will run another scan again. Martin had some good friends and co-workers visit yesterday and the staff, myself and everyone else are blown away at how quickly Martin becomes Martin. He is his normal self with some slight confusion, but as soon as everyone leaves, he’s a different Martin again. I’ve seen and experienced other family members sick or dying in the hospital but when it comes to it being your significant other, it’s a completely different feeling and experience. The toughest part in dealing with a loved one in the hospital is when that person refuses to comply, is constantly anxious and antsy, gets angry or feels disrespected when being corrected, repeatedly attempts to escape the hospital, feels as though everything that’s being done for them is a joke, and truly believes they are right and everyone else is wrong is extremely difficult to deal with.

And now my emotions are being transferred to these reports because we will soon be able to reflect on each of these posts and remember what it took to get through this journey. I also feel that it could help others who might go through the same thing. To help others understand that it isn’t easy, but you WILL get through it.

 

Update – August 19, 2016

Yesterday, Martin had a very difficult time. He was able to get out of bed, sit in recliner and watch TV but was very anxious. He repeatedly tried get up and kept insisting that I get us out home. Good news is, right now, that’s the hardest part to deal with compared to what Martin has been through for the last two weeks. But this has everything to do with his confusion, which is getting better by the day. We try to re-direct him and remind him that he’s made a lot of progress and we’ll be getting out soon. Physical therapy worked with him and he did well. Walking faster but still not so much aware of his surroundings. He worked on writing his name, mimicking shapes, and drawing a clock – still needs much improvement. He got a little bit of last night but was up most the night very anxious.

Today is a little better. More alert and aware, he really enjoyed his breakfast, and physical therapy came by and this time, he walked on his own! Now, we are waiting on the results of the last doppler scan of Martin’s brain. If the tests come back clear of any vasospasms, they will be discharging him from ICU and downgrading him to inpatient. From there, they will monitor how he does without all the medications he’s been on, and then discuss moving him to rehab. I will update again once we know when, where, and how long he will need rehabilitation. We are confident that we’ll out of ICU by tonight.

20160818_122916_HDR

20160818_122936_HDR

Update – August 17, 2016

So far, Martin is doing well. Yesterday, he slept most the day. Wasn’t too interested in breakfast or lunch except for some fruit. Dinner, he ate half a hamburger but was horrified at the french fries he was given lol. He watches TV and is able to focus his attention to what’s on the television. They have moved him from Q1’s to Q2’s, which means they will be assessing him every 2 hours instead of every hour. Physical therapy came by and he walked around the unit faster than he did yesterday and this time, is not running into things. He did AMAZINGLY well during speech therapy today, answering every question correctly – yesterday, he struggled tremendously. They did another scan for vasospasms and results show he is still clear of them! Today, he did not eat breakfast or lunch because he slept all day. Was awake all last night and slept majority of today. He ate half of his spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and is now watching TV. He is now able to get up and use the toilet with assistance and is even aware that he needs to wash his hands afterwards. Sounds silly, but given his condition, remembering these little things show much progress. He continues to show more strength in his left arm and leg and uses it without second thought. Martin asks me several times for his cell phone. I watch over his shoulder and see that he has the desire to use it, yet, still cannot carry out the task.

All around, he’s doing better each day, but still has his moments of confusion. One moment, he understands and that he is a patient in the hospital, the next, he’s back to thinking he is an IT employee here. One minute, he states that he’s in no rush to leave and knows that taking the time to recover is best for him, then suddenly turns around and reminds me that we need to escape this “Starbucks hospital in our getaway car that’s parked in the garage”.

This event is definitely hurtful and heartbreaking to watch and tough to endure. There are moments when things are looking great and Martin is sounding normal, then things take a turn and he becomes confused and agitated. Yes, I am aware that this is normal and yes, I am aware that this is not uncommon. I am just expressing my feelings.

One day at a time. We will all get through this together.

 

Update – August 16, 2016

Martin was doing well yesterday. Eating, watching TV, conversing with staff, then by the evening, he FINALLY went to . He slept good for an hour and a half but when he was awakened for his hourly assessment, he was so tired and confused that he was not cooperating nor was he able to answer any questions correctly. This is always going to be a concern because if he cannot answer correctly during his assessment, it could be an indication that he is losing consciousness. He was able to move his left arm and leg and knowing he had not been sleeping the past few days, they determined he was still OK, just very tired. Last night was rough. He repeatedly some up in angry fits again and they had do a new arterial intravenous line because the old one was no longer reading his pressure accurately. In the middle of the night, because Martin had become very agitated and confused, he managed to rip the arterial line out again. This morning, he seems normal again. Passing his assessments with flying colors and coherent again. He was not hungry for breakfast but did enjoy a sip of his decaffeinated latte for the first time in two weeks. Good news is, all he wanted to do was to back to . Seems now, like he is just catching up on . The neuro surgery team will be clearing him from the 21-day post aneurysm window since he has been showing improvement in his left side. Doctor also came in and stated that since the last two brain scans show no sign of any more vasospasms and Martin is doing better, he would like to keep him here at least until the rest of the week. All good news so far.

 

Update – August 15, 2016

The last two days, Martin has been his best so far. He has been regaining his strength in his left side with moments of neglect. Sometimes he can feel sensation, sometimes no so much. He has been awake and alert all day and able to converse with the staff. No complications and no complaints of pain. He walked for the first time yesterday and was very slow with no ability to focus on where he is going, but he is able to walk just fine. He walked again today and was much faster, but still unable to stay focus and steer the cart in the direction he is walking. Speech therapy came today and Martin has a lot of difficulty with memory and problem solving but they believe that has much to do with his lack of . At times he asks for his phone but does not know how to carry out what he wants to do with it. I’ll share photos with him but he has no comprehension on what he’s looking at, even when I explain to him what it is. He has a great appetite and has been eating each meal they serve him. The catheter was finally removed yesterday and two out of four IV lines were removed. Things are looking better each day. They did another CT scan earlier and it’s said that the last two brain scans they did show no signs of vasospams!

We have come a long way so far and he is looking better each day. Only obstacle we have yet to overcome is his confusion. Doctors have weened him off all narcotics and sedatives which were a major contributor to his delirium, but now what we face is his deprivation going on 3 days and this is what will ultimately help him recover faster and alleviate a lot of that confusion. If we feed him something to help him , he becomes delirious when he wakes up, if we give him nothing, he stays awake which only makes him more confused. It’s a vicious cycle in which we must allow him to try and get some on his own.

So far, speech and physical therapy will continue throughout the week, Wednesday, they will do another scan of his brain to make sure there are still no vasospasms, and we are expected to stay at least until Saturday – the standard 14 days post aneurysm coiling.

 

Update – August 13, 2016

The angioplasty that was performed Wednesday night went well.  Thursday morning, Martin was fine, but by night, things changed drastically.  He had become agitated to a point of ripping his IV’s out of his wrist and having a team of security in the room to restrain him to the bed.  While the nurse was adjusting his catheter, he continued to jerk around and caused himself an injury to his bladder which caused a massive amount of so they had to do a bladder irrigation due to the clots in the catheter.  While they were inserting the new one, he moved around again and jerked the catheter out but luckily, the third attempt was successful. Martin had become completely delirious and continued to fight to get out the bed.  Things did not settle down until 4am.  He slept 2 hours and was back at it, full by 6 in the morning.

All Friday morning, Martin was completely out of his mind.  He was uncontrollable but sedating him was no longer an option because the narcotics that were given to him were contributing to his delirium, yet, pain meds were not aiding to his agitation or pain.  If he was sedated, they could not perform his hourly assessment which was important in determining whether there were any changes in his brain.  Later that day, another CT scan was performed because he had been experiencing frequent vasospasms.  It was found that Martin had suffered another mild stroke but it was not as significant as the doctor had thought.  Late afternoon, another angiogram was done where they went in through the groin again to inject another dose of Verapamil into his brain to stop the vessels from constricting.  I had gone home for a few hours while this procedure was being done and later returned to the hospital that evening.  The surgery went well and I came back to more alert and peaceful Martin.  He was awake and able to hold conversation all night.  We watched TV, and he did not constantly try to get out of bed. I read some Get Well Soon cards out loud to him and read some text messages from friends and family.  He was a little anxious all night and for the most part, normal with the staff, but between he and I, he was formulating an escape plan for us to get out of the hospital discreetly lol.  He finally went to around 2am and I was able to the rest of the night.  First peaceful night so far.

Today is looking much better.  He has been steadily calm with some slight confusion and 100% cooperative.  He has been conversing with the staff, watching TV, and looks forward to eating breakfast for the first time.  Moderately confused but things are looking better now.  I have yet to speak with the doctors on his progress but I will do another update once I learn more.

 

Update – August 10, 2016

Martin had an aneurysm vasospasm last night and has been having spams since. Very similar to a stroke and something not uncommon after suffering an aneurysm. They ran a CT scan and it came back normal,which means no re- or hemorrhaging. Same night, they did another 4-vessel angiogram through the groin to inject a medicine called Verapamil to try and decrease the vasopasm but found out this morning that it did not work. So they have now taken Martin for another procedure called a Balloon angioplasty where they will insert a tiny ballon inside the artery of his brain to keep it open and keep it from clamping down. Surgery will be a couple hours ago I have finally decided to go home, shower again, and maybe get a little rest before I come back. I will let everyone know how the survey went once I hear from the doctor.

 

Update – August 9, 2016

Yesterday morning, the MRI results showed that Martin had suffered a mild stroke. He started speech and occupational therapy and has already been showing signs of improvement in his left side. There are still times that he feels no sensation on his left hand and foot, but can feel pain when pinched. He is on a regular diet so he can eat anything he wants! and he can stand and walk with assistance. Martin was his normal self in the morning, but as the day progressed, he became very anxious and agitated. Last night was the hardest so far. With coming down from the anesthesia and pain meds, the trauma in his brain, lack of , feeling confined to the bed, restricted to get up and walk on his own, feeling sick, taking in the news of suffering a mild stroke, I’m sure had taken a toll on him and to put things nicely, he was not himself. Still complaining of headaches, wanting to check out of the hospital, and having difficulty cooperating as to not get up on his own or remove the IV’s in his arm. It has been an emotional, stressful, and draining experience for everyone, but more importantly, Martin.

While I sound weak and vulnerable to everyone else, please know that I have not and will not leave his side unless I have to. The team of doctors and nurses at our side are absolutely fantastic. They are very patient, compassionate to not only his needs but mine, and are taking excellent care of him with me monitoring, assisting, and showing him the love and support he needs to hear and see. This is not about me, but it makes me feel better letting everyone know I am being strong for him and I see that it is really helping him push through. Last night, he asked that I go through his phone and respond to any calls or texts of those who might have tried to reach out to him. He is aware that his friends and family know what’s going on with him and his spirits were definitely lifted as I read some of the messages. I have not yet been about to share the comments with him on Facebook, but I am sure we will get to that soon.

Please know that all your prayers, love, support, well-wishes, and those who have called to check on Martin and or I, REALLY, REALLY helps during this time and we appreciate it more than you know.  I will also do my best to keep everyone posted on his well-being. Please continue to keep Martin and I in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Update – August 8, 2016

Yesterday was roller coaster of emotions. Surgery went well and Martin did fantastic, but post surgery was quite the obstacle. The anesthesia had him extremely amped up and agitated. He did not want to cooperate with me, nor the nurses, he repeatedly tried to get up, rip the IV’s out his arm, and wanted to go home. It took about 3 hours for this episode to subside until he finally took a short nap. Shortly after, he complained that he was having another severe migraine. Pain meds were administered but it did not diminish the pain. The migraine pain then became a concern, which ordered for another CT scan to make sure there were no complications with the surgery. While waiting on the CT scan, during routine evaluation, Martin’s speech became slurred and he was unable to formulate sentences on his own, he was not responding to touch and could not lift/move his left side – sending everyone into a panic thinking he was having a stroke but then regained himself minutes later. This episode prompted for an MRI scan to eliminate the question of whether or not Martin had one or not..

CT scan came back normal! Thank goodness! Just before he went in for his MRI last night, I took the opportunity to go home, shower, gather my thoughts and myself together and pack for the hospital. Came back and he was sleeping good. Slept all night, even with the nurses coming in and evaluating him every hour. This morning, Martin seemed to be more himself. A lot more normal and alert but again, very agitated and anxious to get out of bed. It took a couple hours to relax him and a nice warm sponge bath seemed to do the trick. He is sleeping now and we are waiting to see the speech therapist in hopes that we get clearance for him to finally eat, and waiting to speak to the doctors regarding the MRI results. Great news is that he is no longer in pain or experiencing a migraine. He also was able to feel me hold his hand and seem to be regaining his sensation and strength in his left side!

 

Update – August 7, 2016 1:20pm

Before Martin went in for surgery, doctors said that he is truly lucky. Only 5% of those who experience this make it to the hospital. Doctors performed an aneurysm coiling to stop the and the procedure went perfectly!  They filled the aneurysm with 6ft of coil and was able to completely block off the !  They are settling him into his room where he will be here in neuro ICU recovering for the next two weeks. He will be so happy to read all the love and support everyone has shown him.

God is good.

 

Update – August 7, 2016

They just took Martin in for an Aneurysm coiling. I am scared and worried out of my mind but know he’s in good hands.

 

Update – August 6, 2016

Earlier today, we had called for the ambulance to get Martin back to the hospital where they found a small in his brain.  He was air evacuated to another hospital where we are now in neuro ICU for evaluation.  I will continue to keep you all posted.

 

Update – August 5, 2016

Since yesterday’s Dr appointment, the medication has not helped.  Nothing has helped so far.  Martin has been in constant pain with the inability to or eat since Monday.  Last night, Martin’s migraine was so severe I had to call the ambulance 3am in the morning and get him to the hospital again.   We are now home and he is sleeping due to the pain meds to keep him comfortable.  This is such a frustrating situation and I feel helpless.  With multiple visits to the hospital, being seen by too many different doctors and in my opinion, just drowning Martin with a cocktail of pain killers only masking the pain instead of getting rid of the migraine!  I will be scheduling an appointment to see a neurologist in hopes that they will be the ones to help Martin get better.

 

Update – August 4, 2016

Took Martin to the Dr this morning. We FINALLY have the meds to control his migraines.

The arthritis in his neck was more than likely the underlying factor that has been triggering his migraines all this time. He has not been doing well the past two weeks but
now we have him on the right treatment. He is advised to stay home from his full time job until he is seen again next Tuesday so he will be here, at my house until he
is well enough to be independent again.

 

Update – August 2, 2016 

I’m sure we all know that last week, Martin had suffered the worse migraine and anxiety attack he had ever experienced last.  Throughout the week, his backside was in pain and he had a lingering headache that never went away.  While we expected him to get better, last night everything got worse.  Having to drive to his house 10:30pm and re-live last week’s episode.  After hours of cold sweats, severe pain in his neck and legs, along with the migraine, I was able to convince Martin that a hospital visit was urgent and necessary.  (Oh, how men are so damn STUBBORN when it comes to hospitals and being sick!!!)  Long story short, he was diagnosed with arthritis in his neck.  He somehow irritated the nerves in his neck, which affected the sciatic nerve, which was the cause of the pain in his lower extremities, the trigger of his migraines, which also developed into painful muscle spasms.  Martin has a hard time walking, moving and sleeping is almost impossible.  He was prescribed pain meds to ease the muscle spasms and migraine headaches but the pain seems to overbear the medication.  Doctor says he will start feeling better in a couple weeks but we hope for a quicker recovery.

Martin needs constant attention so he will be here with me so that I can care for him, so if you don’t see us around, this is what’s going on.  It is also a hectic week for me but please know that I never neglect you guys <3   I am happy that it is nothing serious and confident that Martin will be up and on his feet sooner than we expect.

I’ll keep you guys posted.