Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Good News!
Steven Morales, Belinda's brother, is back from Iraq, safe and sound. He's been through a bit of debriefing and acclamation training since he set foot back on American soil, but that's okay - he is back at home now. I know his wife, Julia, who lives in Tennessee, is very happy to see him. While he's on leave, they're planning to come to Virginia and Maryland to visit the rest of the family, sometime around the end of September. We'll be looking forward to seeing them and welcoming Steven back home.


Mack was moved to the ninth floor, room 222, yesterday evening. As of today, he seems to be doing okay there so far. We were a little concerned that he may have more low oxygen spells once he came out of ICU again, but so far, he's doing okay.

Richard talked with one Mack's doctors yesterday about starting him on Sinemet (levadopa-carbidopa), which is a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, a disease of the brain that leads to tremors and loss of coordination. Brain Research of 2004 states that eight patients who had been in a vegetative state for a mean of 104 days following traumatic brain injuries were given Sinemet as part of a research study. All of the patients showed some signs of improvement within 13 days. Seven of the patients subsequently regained consciousness within a mean time of 31 days. More information about this research is available at

Mack was started on Sinemet (levadopa-carbidopa) today. We hope and pray that we will start seeing more improvement in him in the next few days/weeks and that he will regain consciousness soon.

The physical therapist put a brace on Mack yesterday and got him out of bed for a little while. He had Mack sitting up in a chair so that he could administer physical therapy to help improve his circulation and get his muscles moving again. Mack has actually been moving his right arm, hand, and right leg quite a bit lately. Not so much with his left arm, hand and leg, but he has been moving them somewhat. Mack has always loved to listen to music. Mack had a loaner CD player in ICU, but when he was moved to the 9th floor, we had to leave it behind. So today, Richard bought Mack his own CD player/radio today to keep him company. Yes, I made the Elvis CD and a mixed country music CD for him to listen to. We'll let you know his response to the Elvis CD later (grin). If anyone wants to bring a Rap CD for Mack to listen to, please make sure it's "clean", since there are other patients around whom we need to take into consideration.

I haven't been going up to the hospital to visit with Mack for nearly a week because I started coughing and feeling ill. Turns out I contracted strep-throat somewhere along the way according to my doctor. However, with medication, I'm working on getting better soon.

To my friend Susan Farrar in Jacksonville, Florida - thank you for the card and good wishes. It was good hearing from you.

To my cousin Mimi in Florida - thank you for helping me keep focused and sane throughout all of our trials and tribulations in the past year; and especially for doing it "long-distance". E-mails and cell phones are wonderful tools, aren't they? Better than snail-mail anyday!

To Jenny (Mack's little sister) and her fiance,
We want to extend our congratulations and best wishes to you both on your wedding day tomorrow, Saturday, September 16, 2006! May you have a lifetime of happiness together.

Please continue to keep your prayers going for Mack. Please stay tuned - more updates to come as they occur.

Wishing everyone blue skies and rainbows,
Ruth & Richard

(This rainbow developed in front of Dale and Jessica's house last Christmas Day. Isn't it beautiful? )


Anonymous Jenny said...

Thank you so much, Ruth, for your congrats to Daniel and I. We really appreciate it!

10:05 PM  

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