Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Update 10/12

Hello All—

Kari slept through a lot of the day on Saturday and got up around 6:00pm to eat dinner and visit with our friends from Brookside that had driven out for the weekend.  She knew who everybody was, but couldn’t really make much sense when she talked.  She slept about half the night, and on Sunday Kari got up for a few hours around lunch but was a little more “out of it.”  That evening though, she got her first full night of sleep that I can remember since coming to Craig and we thought that the new medicine that she took was doing its job and allowing Kari to rest.  Monday during the day though, she started to get a little paranoid because she was mixing up what she saw on TV and her pictures on the wall with real life.  Since Monday morning, she’s been even more out of it and has had more trouble sleeping.  About the only thing she can do is recognize who people are, although she goes in and out of knowing where she is and almost never is able to speak clearly.  Kari also hasn’t been out of bed since Monday afternoon except for the shower that she got yesterday.  She didn’t sleep Monday or Tuesday night, although she slept for a few hours here and there during the day.  Today, she’s gotten about 3 hours of sleep, on and off, but she is awake now and panicking.  She knows who everybody is, but has almost no ability to make coherent sentences.  I guess she’s actually been a little better today than yesterday, but still not good.  Her spasms seem fine during the day, but last night were particularly frequent (from every 20 sec. to about every 5 min) and she has started to get some tonight.  I can’t understand why she feels like she absolutely needs to say what she’s saying, and when no one can understand her, she gets upset.  Sometimes the best thing to do is just let her scream or babble because if I try to interpret what she’s saying it just gets worse.  It worries me that she is still so far away from being normal, but Dr. Balazy seems not to be too worried and says that this is not an abnormal reaction to the types of medicine that she’s on.  I don’t think he ever sees her at her worst though, but even when I do explain it too him he seems to be okay with her condition.  As of yesterday, he’s started to back her off some of the more sedating medications she has and he expects her clear up in a few days.  It’s very hard to believe what anyone says at this point, but I hope he’s right.  As for how he thinks she got like this in the first place, check out the middle paragraph on the posting titled “Update 10/01 (12:00pm).”  Anyways, the one good thing that has come out of this is that her shoulders and neck have seemed to loosen.  PT and OT report her having much better range of motion and much less pain, so I’m glad about that—I just hope that soon she’ll have her mind in good order and not be in excruciating pain.  I don’t know which one is worse than the other—they both stink and are both the most frustrating and maddening things I have ever dealt with.

The doctors have pushed back our expected return time to the first week of December.  It doesn’t surprise me, though.  I looked back on my blog posts and realized that there really hasn’t been a time since we got here that Kari has felt good.  After reading through the blog entries, I realized that we’ve been writing about Kari having pain in her shoulders for over 2 months and fevers, intense stomach pain, and nausea along the way too.  Just after Kari got here, she got a blood clot.  Then it was stomach pain and fevers from infections along with increased anxiety and shoulder pain.  Just as she was “turning the corner” on her infections, her shoulder pain got even worse, and then even worse again.  Finally, it was just too much for her and it’s been two weeks now since she slipped out of reality.  Its ridiculous if you look at the number of times in the blog that it says “it looks like Kari coming out of…..” or “Kari seems to be doing better now” or “Hopefully the next few days will be good” or something like that.  It feels like we’ll never get out of here or even over to the East side of the hospital.  Thanks for all your support and prayers though—at least we know we’re not alone.

P.S.  If you’ve sent an email through the website to, we probably haven’t read it yet because Kari hasn’t felt well enough to read since about the middle of September.  I promise we’ll get to them though, so keep writing.  If you need to contact me about something, send it to my personal address.  Also, you will soon be able to order bracelets through the website or get them from Brookside Free Methodist Church in Redlands, CA or St. Charles Free Methodist Church in St. Charles, IL.  Details in about a week or so.  If you are connected to the middle school bands in Riverside, you’ll be able to get them at the Band Extravaganza event on Wed. 10/19, provided that the bracelets arrive on time.  


janbarrett said...

You are always...everyday, in our hearts. Love, Mom Barrett, and Gary too!

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron,

From this post, one of the things you said was this, Aaron,
"That evening though, she got her first full night of sleep that I can remember since coming to Craig"
During recovery from this side of a trauma, I tend to measure "success" not in day to day consistency quite yet, but more from the sense of "peaks of success". Again, as I have said in the past, victories will return.

I don't have the best recall, but the 3hr or so rest periods she gets are accumlating. I tend to track rest in how many hours per 24hrs for an ongoing reference.

At this point, the new med I believe has cross the 7 to 10 day mark, and should be basically "mature". The doctor backing down some of the other medications I see as allowing the new med to, what comes to mind, expand helping Kari with "less interference from other meds".

Oh, how you know how nothing happens quickly. Still, it is my faith even now, going backwards, and forwards, you will see, if you can look at it, sleep, and peaceful rest withough sleep, hours per 24hrs is starting to rise. That is healing.

I do celebrate the physical therapy victories. It seems a set back in some ways to be pushing back the release date, but Kari comes first, of course, and whatever it takes to heal her.

Slow progress is real progress...


Charlie +

Anonymous said...

Please don't get discouraged, although I can't imagine how you are holding up. Perhaps we will only see small victories and they will be far apart. Focus on those small victories and the huge victory of Jesus Christ. That will sustain you - even in you don't believe it right now. We are all praying and just waiting for updates and you and Kari are definately are not alone - even in the miserable darkness of night - our hearts are there.
We love you,
Jan Yessa

kathy timmers said...

Dearest Kari and Aaron,
I'm not at a loss for words very often but I just couldn't find them after reading the last 2 updates. All I kept thinking about was this song- and if I could be there with you right now, I would sing it to you:

"Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains seem so big and my faith seems so small
So, hold me, Jesus
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
won't You be my Prince of peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
it's so hot inside my soul
there must be blisters on my heart
so, hold me, Jesus
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
won't you be my Prince of peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
than take what You give that I need
and I've beat my head against so many walls
I'm falling down
falling on my knees

And the Salvation Army Band's playing this hymn
Your grace rings out so deep
it makes my resistance seem so thin
so, hold me, Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
won't You be my Prince of peace
You have been King of my glory
won't You be my Prince of peace"

Praying that Jesus is holding you both tightly and bringing you His peace.
I love you,

Anonymous said...

As Winston Churchill once said "If you are going through hell, keep going".

phyllisanne said...

Sometimes when things are so hard and seem unbearable maybe we can just a minute at a time and don't look too far. Medicine can make things seem darker but soon bring a brighter light. You are both very much in my thoughts and prayers. I feel so much for you and Kari in my heart when I read your words.

The Friendly GLL said...

I hate what you are going through..... but **LOVE** those crooked pigtails from the photos of the visit of your friend. Keep your chins up -- both of you.

We are looking forward to seeing you back in Riverside when the time is right.

And Aaron -Take care of yourself.