Friday, May 22, 2009

Saturday, May 17, 2009



John Randolph Nursing Home -Hospital Week Event.

Richard's band "No Bounds" played for the Hospital Week Event held on Saturday, May 17, 2009. Richard took Mack out on a day-pass so that he could enjoy being out and about, meeting new people, and listening to the music. One of the nurses' aids brought her pit bull puppy to the event and asked Mack if he would like to "puppy sit" her dog for a while. Of course, that's all he needed to hear. His answer was "heck yeah", and from then on, for the rest of the day, he and the puppy were buddies. The puppy even went to sleep on Mack's lap for a couple of hours, which thrilled Mack. Mack has always loved animals, especially dogs.

For the past few weeks, since an adjustment was made to his baklafin meds, we have seen a big change in Mack's speech level. He talks more and in longer sentences. He is also reaching for what he wants, if he can reach it, which he hasn't done before. Mack's general attitude and disposition is very good, he seems to be fairly happy most of the time, and is cooperative with the staff at the nursing home. Within the past two weeks he has started taking meds by mouth and is very successful at it on a regular basis.

On Tuesday, Richard will be taking him to see Dr. Young, a Neuro-specialist at MCV, to have a spinal tap test done to measure the degree/level of hydrocephalus. Depending on the outcome, Mack may need to have surgery in the near future, if it will improve his chances of being mobile again and regaining his short-term memory.

God Bless You All,

Richard and Ruth

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Trip to Pennsylvania - University of PA Hospital














On Sunday, Richard took Mack to Pennsylvania. He had an appointment to see Dr. Mary Ann Keenan, Orthopedic Surgeon, for an evaluation of his legs and arm muscles/tendons. The objective is to get Mack mobile again so that he can at least transfer himself from his wheelchair to the bed and go to the bathroom. She was referred to us by Dr. Nathan Zasler. Dr. Zasler said that there were other doctors here in VA who could do the surgery to repair Mack's muscles in his legs and left arm, but that Dr. Keenan is the BEST in the country. That is why Richard took Mack up there this weekend. While they were there, Richard took Mack to the Philly Diner to have cheesesteak subs. I didn't go to see it for myself, but based on the picture, those sandwiches were huge! Mack ate over half of his sandwich, plus he also ate about half of the fries.


Dr. Zasler has changed some of Mack's medications so you may notice a few changes in him when you go to visit him next time. Dr. Zasler is trying to achieve the optimum combination for Mack to allow him to be more aware and alert on a regular basis. We've noticed that he talks more and in longer sentences, plus he initiates appropriate responses more often than before. For example, today Richard went to visit him and when he got ready to leave, he told Mack goodbye, to which Mack replied "Be careful". It was raining outside and Mack's comment indicated that he was aware that the weather was bad.

Later this month, Mack is scheduled to see Dr. Young, Neurosurgeon at MCV, for a spinal tap to evaluate the degree of hydrocephalus Mack has remaining from the accident. There is a possibility that he may have to have a shunt implanted to control the cereberal spinal fluid pressure on his brain. I will post an update as soon as we have further information.



Much love to all,

Ruth & Richard