Monday, December 31, 2007

End of 2007

Almost 2008 - I know, I know, Everyone says the same thing - where did 2007 go? Personally I'm glad 2007 is done with. The first few months of 2007 were tough for Lowell. He was getting over some medical problems that all started with a chemical reaction to a procedure he had done in Feb of 2006. The doctors at St. Joseph's hospital in St. Paul said that 95% of people have no problems with the cyber knife procedure. Obviously Lowell was in the 5% :(

Anyway he developed fluid in the right side of his head and gradually over the summer of 2006 he began not being able to get out of a chair without help and if he slipped to the floor I needed to get David or Sharon down to help me get him up. A few days after Labor Day David said to me "Mom we have to do something about dad" I told him that I had an appointment with a neurolist the end of september. He felt we couldn't wait any longer and did I want to call Dr. B or should he. I told him to go a head and call him. Dr. B told David that we should just take him to the emergency admittance at Merit Care. He would call and alert them. That's where they discovered fluid on his brain and proceeded to give him steroids to reduce it. I was sure I would have to put him in a nursing home and the girls didn't think he would get out of the hospital but by Wednesday he was walking and by Friday I was able to bring him home.
The steroids did reduce the fluid but also caused fluid retention in the rest of his body and an enormous appetite. And diabetes 2. You wouldn't believe the enormous bowls of oatmeal he would eat!!! It was almost impossible to control what he ate - several times he said that I was starving him. Fortunately the diabetic pills helped control the sugars. We made a bed in the music room so he wouldn't have to climb he stairs. Little by little the fluid left his brain and after quite a few trips to the hospital in St. Paul, Dr. N and Dr. K said that the mri's showed a significant improvement. I asked if we could have his reports sent to Fargo since it would be closer. And besides everytime I drove to St. Paul I got lost either going there or coming home. I HATE driving in the cities. And they agreed to that.

The last steriod pill he took was Thanksgiving day in 2006 but we coninued to pick his finger and take the pills for diabetes. A few months later after several visits and blood tests Dr. B said we could discontinue one of the pills. Good news.

A few months later I noticed that when we reverted back to our old style of sunday meals (mostly snacking: popcorn, sandwiches, icecream) he would have hullicinations: One Sunday evening he started getting dressed to go out and when I asked him where he was going he said "Well, Debbie and Brian aren't going to want us to stay overnight" He got quite upset with me that I didn't believe him that we were at someone else's home. (he had been visiting with Brain in church that morning) The next sunday he visited with Todd B and that night he thought were at his house. About that same time no matter how I tried to convince him otherwise he was sure that he had left a tractor up at Two Inlets after he had pulled out some logs. I decided that the only way to convince him was to drive to Two Inlets and show him that there was no tractor. He knew exactly where the tractor should be but, of course, it wasn't there. So then he wanted to go the police station to report the tractor stollen. But I convinced him to wait on that. In these same weeks he was upset with me because he couldn't understand why I had bought a house at Two Inlets without his knowledge. As I'm writing this I'm wondering what there was about Two Inlets - we never lived there and never spent much time there. Oh well, the mind can really do strange things. We finally were able to discontinue the diabetic pill and little by little as his body and mind got back to normal these episodes stopped. And as I look back I realize these episodes happened when we/he didn't eat well. As he got stronger he was able to go up the stairs to bed and no longer have to sleep in the music room. So now except for some short term memory loss we are back to normal - that is if there is such a thing as norma. :) I'm so grateful to the Lord for the doctors who were able to figure out the problem and get it corrected and for my children who were so helpful in so many ways.

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