Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Extended engagement

Steve is going to settle in to Room 530 for a little while.

They're going to start treating him today (actually right now!) with a high dose of IV steroids (Solu-Medrol) to address the swelling in the pons. He needs one dose for five days, which keeps him here until Sunday. It takes about one hour for the 1-g dose to make its way into his bloodstream.

The steroid is often used to treat MS patients who are experiencing a flare-up. This doesn't mean he has MS, but I get the feeling they're treating him as if he does until they know otherwise.

From the little bit of reading I've done, he doesn't have the classic symptoms of MS, though the disease acts differently in each patient. Common symptoms are blurred vision, loss of muscle strength, numbness or tingling, difficulty with coordination -- none of which he has now, thank God. Other symptoms can include slurred speech and difficulty swallowing, but they are less common. (Of course, there's not much common about Steve.)

The lumbar puncture's early results -- what they could determine right away -- indicated no problems.

So, he'll get the steroids once a day until Sunday and hopefully go home that day. We'll be able to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day outside of the hospital. Then we'll wait to hear results from the other spinal fluid studies. And he'll go back to the neurosurgeon in mid-January for an office visit and repeat head MRI.

1. He's staying here until Sunday to receive the IV steroids to help reduce the swelling, which may reduce the symptoms that started us on this journey in the first place.
2. We'll wait for the studies to come back over the next few weeks. The results may tell us what has caused the lesion or will rule out conditions and diseases.
3. He'll return to the neurosurgeon in mid-January for another head MRI and follow-up.

Other news:
1. Visitors and gift-bearers today included Mary from church and Karen, Ray and Leti from Steve's work.
2. Betty kept us company for a few hours and brought welcome treats.
3. Will, Conor & Holly will visit later tonight.
4. Thanks to Aunt Ami, Katie finally realized her dream of a peanut butter and jelly AND honey sandwich at lunch today.


Jennifer B said...

Thanks for keeping us updated! We are praying and sending all our love and happy thoughts your way.
The Baumgardners

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that Steve will be staying in the hospital longer. We are around for the holidays so let us know if you need anything. Many prayers!

The Kniering's

Anonymous said...

We are keeping you all in our prayers! Please call us if you need anything....we are always a phone call away.

The Colemans

Jackie and Sydney said...

I'm glad to read that you and Steve will be home for Christmas. We love you and are thinking about you.

Jackie and Sydney

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update you are in my prayers! Stay strong!

Sarah Jones