Thursday, June 25, 2009

Update from Dr's visits

Mack in downtown Philly, across the street from where he and Richard got themselves Philly Cheese-Steak subs for dinner that evening.

We've had several people question us about "when will Mack have surgery?"
The answer is:
The spinal tap revealed that Mack does not have hydrocephalus because his fluid pressure was much lower than most normal people have. His was about 2-3, where most people have a 10-15 level. His doctors are continuously adjusting his medication levels to ensure he has the right combination in order to be aware and function as much as he is able. Eventually he may have surgery to straighten out his legs and left arm so he has use of them again. In the attached picture, notice that Mack's left arm is almost level with his waist. That's because he's trying to move it more than he used to. Richard will be taking Mack back to see Dr. Zasler on July 15th, where he will review Mack's medical records from the nursing home to determine how much change there has been since his last visit.

This past weekend the evening nurses told Richard that Mack has had another incident of biting one of the nurses the previous week. We've made it a point to tell the nurses to talk with him and tell him what they're going to do with him before they attempt to do it. Richard and I are convinced that he only does that whenever he's uncomfortable, upset or feels threatened. If you go to visit Mack, please talk with him BEFORE you touch him or hug him, so that he can recognize who you are. Still, after all that, please be mindful of what he is doing at all times so that he doesn't bite you.

To those of you who have sent us notes of thanks and encouragement over the past 34 months, thank you so much. You don't know how much we appreciate it. It does get tough at times, not knowing where all this will lead Mack and us eventually. God has given us both strength and guidance to do what needs to be done for him, and that, along with your words of encouragement, has kept us going, not giving up on him. Mack has come a long way from where he was, but he still has a lot further to go - there's always room for improvement. We quiz him whenever we visit with him about his birthday/birth date, place of birth, his age, where he was born, etc. Other days we quiz him by asking him what he thinks of when we mention certain colors. Of course, he gets a bit graphic and vulgar sometimes, but we correct him and guide him to the answer we expected. We hope by doing those kinds of things on a regular basis, much of his memory will return and hopefully, the undamaged portion of his brain will retain most of this information. Mack still has trouble writing legibly, but he tries. (he never did have very good penmanship) In the mean time, we just need to work on that with him more frequently.

Please continue to keep Mack in your prayers.

Much love to all,
Ruth & Richard