Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ups and downs

Two neurologists examined Steve today -- a resident and his attending. They took Steve's MRI scans from last week, huddled outside the room and returned.

The attending said she saw two or even three lesions, not the one lesion that five doctors have reported. She said this could point to multiple sclerosis. She thinks it doesn't look like a tumor. The resident and attending left for a while.

Then the resident returned to let us know he was going to do the lumbar puncture soon. I asked him how so many doctors could have missed an additional lesion or two. Without blatantly saying so, he said he disagreed with the attending's reading.

The resident returned in a bit to perform the puncture. Steve at this point was very anxious and needed some extra comforting. The RN and I held his hand, rubbed his shoulders, smoothed his hair and talked him through this rough patch. He relaxed and did a great job staying still and calm while the resident tried to get some fluid.

After two needle sticks in Steve's lower back, though, the resident stopped. He was not able to reach fluid. Instead, Steve will go to radiology in the morning for a fluoroscopy -- an X-ray guided lumbar puncture.

Before the lumbar puncture attempts, the RN gave Steve a little morphine. There's a reason folks like this drug. For the first time in 6-7 weeks, Steve felt no pain in his head. He had about three hours of complete relief.

To recap today's medical news:
1. CT scan (looking for possible primary tumors) was performed this morning. We don't yet have those results.
2. For the first time we heard that there may be more than one lesion, which could indicate MS, which is a treatable, manageable condition.
3. The first spinal tap attempt failed.

Looking ahead to tomorrow:
1. Steve has a vision test at 9:30 a.m. at the Aston building.
2. We think his new lumbar puncture appointment is at 11 a.m. back at Zale Lipshy.
3. We don't know if they'll keep him beyond the LP appointment and the requisite 2-hour recovery period.

In other news:
1. Four of Steve's co-workers (Ray, Lori, Sondra and Kathy) stopped by for a fun visit. His hospital room was like a little party for a while.
2. Betty & I discovered that the cafeteria here should be visited as a last resort. Our lunch was really awful.
3. Sarah saved us from a night of hunger with a delivery of great Vietnamese food.
4. Ami & Sasha report that Katie & Cooper are doing well.

I'm staying the night here at the hospital. There's a sort of bench/sofa that will serve as my bed, just a few feet away from brave Steve.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Why do they make hospital food so miserable? You would think that's one of a very few things they could do right that would make patients and their families so much more comfortable. Hang in there. You're in our prayers and thoughts!