Saturday, October 01, 2005

Update 10/01 (12:00 pm)

Hello All-

10:00 am  
I wish I had better news.  I actually talked to Kari on the phone around 2:30 yesterday, and she seemed groggy, but she was fairly normal and able to carry on a short conversation.  When I returned to the hospital around 3:30, she was sleeping and I expected that woke up she would be back to normal.  Around 4:30, the techs came in to take her vitals, and she woke up and started panicking again.  Her spasms at that point got worse, and she started screaming and “help me” along with a mix of syllables and sounds that did not make any sense.  She eventually did relax though, and Kari slept through most of the evening last night, from about 7:30pm till 11:00pm.  After that she slept on and off until 6:00am, waking up when they needed to turn her or take her vitals.  Since about 7:00 this morning, Kari has withdrawn even further.  Her spasms are incredibly strong, about as strong as I could clench my arm, and she has started biting down and locking her jaw.  She bit her lip so hard this morning that it bled.  Luckily, Jan Yessa from our old church in St. Charles, IL, was here and she stayed the night with Kari.  I got my first real sleep since Tuesday night.  When I got to the hospital around 9:30, Kari did not totally recognize me.  A few times, she asked me to help her, but she did not respond at all to me speaking to her.  She is becoming very frustrated with her collar and even pushed it off with her jaw.  Technically, she is allowed to have her collar off, but she is shaking her head and neck back and forth so violently that it would be unsafe to leave it off.

As for the plan of attack, Dr. Balazy was in to see her this morning and I spoke with him about half an hour ago.  The plan to use a combination of muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety and anti-spasticity drugs to try to calm her down and get some rest.  If that doesn’t work soon, which it looks like it isn’t, they will try anti-psychotic drugs.  The hope is that by allowing her brain to relax, they can gradually bring her back to normal.  Dr. Balazy said that he expects her to come out of this, but it could be a couple of weeks.  The anti-psychotic drugs have some possible side effects of making it difficult to control her movements.  I asked him how he thought she got like this, and he believes that she simply reached a breaking point on both a physical and emotional level.  The intense pain for the past two weeks and really for the past month has just been too much for her and she has withdrawn from reality.  Having your muscles being continuously contracted never really allows you to get any good sleep.  Combined with not sleeping at all Wednesday night and the increased spasms, it made Kari feel that she had even less control and raised her anxiety.  By Thursday evening, she just couldn’t take it anymore.

12:00 pm
Well, I got interrupted while writing this entry and by now I have a little bit better news.  Kari can now recognize me and at one point was able to name everybody in the room.  She even asked to give everybody a kiss!!  Even though she’s still not all there, she’s still a sweetie.  Anyways, she’s asleep now and looking very peaceful.  I’m hoping and praying that when she wakes up this time it won’t be like yesterday.  She usually gets scared when she gets woken up suddenly, so we’ve told all the nurses and techs to try to wake her up gently.  They usually try to do their thing without waking her up, but if she does wake up, she’ll probably freak our again, so we’ll see how this works.  I know that many of you have been praying, and we need it now more than ever.  Thanks.



Anonymous said...


Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron,

All the way along I have felt the doctors have shown much concern for Kari. Jan has seen me every week for a long time, and I am grateful she is with you two right now, and that you got some rest, Aaron...

Jan knows pretty clearly what it took to get me some rest in recent months, and Kari knows back something like a decade.

The first active commandment is "Keep the Sabbath". I don't see that as any different than Christ saying, "Do this in rememberance of Me..."

Given rest and nourishment the body does heal so much on it's own. It still takes time. I have no fear of any of the classes of medications the doctors are considering. I also can assure you many new meds have come out in recent years that work way better, with less issues.

Kari has held through this 2-1/2 months. It is hard to see how her body could take "Sabbath", even for a few hours.

I am thankful Jan is there. I give thanks and praise for you getting rest, Aaron. Do all you can to get rest and nourishment.

Angels Over You All...


Charlie +

The Friendly GLL said...

Praying from Riverside, especially for healing of Kari's sweet spirit.

Aaron, take every opportunity that you can to rest - it is good that there is a visitor there now to oversee Kari, if need be.

Rich G. said...

Aaron .. this is Rich G., viola Kate's Dad here in Riverside ... our family has followed your journey since that day in July when Curtis C. told us about your accident. I think I speak for the community of people whose lives Kari and You have touched through her work with various churces and missions, as well as those who know you, Aaron, simply as "Mr. Guzman ... "the best teacher my kid will ever have" .... by saying that the groundswell of support and concern for you and Kari transcends anything you would either hope for or comprehend. Whether we are family, close friends, or more loosely connected to your life (as I am) ... the feeling, at least for me, is that this is bigger than all of us. I admit to not being the most spiritually aware person, but somehow I believe the community of people who know you, have some purpose in this -- whether it is merely to provide support to you and Kari, or to give all of us a special vision into our own humanity. Humanity, hmmm. So much talk of God, which is a mystery to me -- and yet it is our humanity which is becoming more evident. You said it yourself Aaron, "I always wondered how I would do in such a situation" .. Bro, you are representing humanity like no other. We feel you more than you realize -- and whether at times you want us there or not, a part of everyone is right there in that hospital room with you. We obviously want the best possible outcome for Kari -- but at this point I feel a concern for you, Aaron. You are just a man, and you have the right to feel sad, angry and to question all that you have held close to your heart. Nobody would stand in judgement if you were to question your God or even your own better nature. I hope I don't speak out of turn, but Aaron, please make it a priority to do what you need to do to focus on yourself. It doesn't take anything away from your committment to your wife, but rather strengthens it. I don't know specifically how you can do this, but having been somewhat of a caregiver in the past, I know that the more you are able to do for yourself (rest, diversion, catharsis) then the more you can do for your wife. As a human You are by nature both flawed and exceptional. When you played that losing Queen/Four to conclusion in our last Hold'em Poker game -- you were, well ... delusional -- When you took a group of rag-tag, musically challenged children, and in a matter of weeks, did what was seemingly impossible, and tranformed them into a beautiful, beautiful sounding symphony .. you were so incredibly powerful. I guess my point in this rambling monologue (sorry) is not only to express unconditional love and support to you and Kari, and your intimate friends and family ... but to recognize the scope of our humanity, and to embrace it. May Kari soon begin to be relieved from her pain and be able to continue her recovery in earnest. Much love from Riverside... rsg

Kendra (Barrett) Gohr said...

Aaron -

I totally agree with Rich! Make sure that you care for yourself as much as you care for Kari (even in the roughest times.) It may seem impossible to rest, but you are, indeed, only human. I have told many your story... know prayers of healing are surrounding you every day. Hang in there - better days are ahead. Just take it one day at a time and take blessings in the little things.