...but because a certain someone wants to know how Nate is doing, I'll copy and paste the carepage posts. Argh. The things I do for friends.... (Please note the humorous tone, KB.) :)
October 14, 9:59 PM
This is Deven posting for the family. Nate's still in the ICU under heavy sedation. I'll talk to Mom and Dad about what to post on here. This is mainly a test entry.
October 15, 10:59 PM
Here is the background story to Nate’s hospitalization…
Early Tuesday morning (the 9th), Nathan texted my mom saying that he needed some help. He had the flu and was unable to care for himself. Living in a house with three other bachelors meant there was no substantive food or appropriate meds, so Mom went to help him. She got his fever down with some OTC meds, made sure there was good food at the house, etc.
Nate talked about going in to work at Target Wednesday (10th), but he was not feeling any better. Dad encouraged him to try to move around, take a shower, etc. as he was able. Unfortunately, this flu bug was pretty bad and was still hanging around when Mom and Dad went to Muncie for their usual Wednesday visit. When I saw them Wednesday after school, they told me that Nate was still sick and that they had started looking into what his insurance required to see a doctor. (At this point he didn't even have a primary care dr.)
He was still sick Thursday evening, leading to a discussion about the weekend’s festivities. Since our birthdays are only five days apart, we usually celebrate together. The party was scheduled for Friday night, so Nathan called about maybe having it at a different time. He also wanted to talk about his girlfriend, Erin, and her graduation party, which was scheduled for Saturday night. After letting him know that, of course, his health came first and that we could celebrate birthdays anytime.
Friday morning, Mom called to tell me that they were taking Nate to the hospital in an ambulance. Dad called at some point and let me know that the reason they had used the ambulance that morning was that Nate was found on the ground in the middle of a seizure. He also asked me to get in touch with Erin to let her know what was going on. I could only leave her a voicemail. As quickly as possible, we all left for Muncie.
When I found my family in the ER waiting room, I could tell that they were slightly overwhelmed. After a bit, the resident on staff came in to tell us that, more than likely, we were dealing with some kind of meningitis. While Mom and Dad waited for a room in the ICU, I went to Wabash to pack a suitcase for them, because we now knew this would not be an in-and-out hospital stay.
Mom and Dad are tired, but steady. I am scared, but hopefully steady too. Erin is doing the best she can. It's hard to see someone we love in pain and struggling.
October 16, 9:43 PM
Since yesterday was a background update, this one will bring you up current with the situation.
First of all, his official working diagnosis is viral meningoencephalitis. The primary goal for right now is to get the seizures stopped. The doctor set a time frame of going 24 hours without seizures, and then we would stop the sedation medicine to see what would happen. The good news? He made it 24 hours at 7:30 this morning! The bad news? He didn't make it to 24 hours and 5 minutes. :( So we'll see what his neurologist says, but we're guessing another 24 hour wait. The neurologist also said something that has been very helpful to us. As difficult as it is for us to watch Nate's seizures, asking someone with encephalitis to not have any seizures is like asking someone with pneumonia not to cough. It's just part of the deal. Now we don't have to like it, but that did make it a little easier to tolerate.
Other than the return of seizures, everything else looks good. Counts that should be going up are slowly going up. Counts that should be going down are slowly going down. Nate had an EEG taken on Sunday, and the doctor who read it on Monday said that his recorded brain activity shows response to stimuli, and that's another good thing.
Today is Nathan's 25th birthday, so drop him a birthday greeting, and we'll pass it on!
October 16, 8:47 PM
Evening update from Hospital Land:
It's Party Time! This evening is Nate's 25th birthday party. His room is decorated with footballs and green and yellow streamers in honor of his beloved Green Bay Packers. (I know fellow Colts fans -- yuck! But what can you do??) There is also cake, so if you happen to be up there, feel free to stop by and eat.
Medical news... Nathan had an MRA scan taken today. It looks at the vascular function within his brain. It will be read tomorrow. Tomorrow will also bring a second spinal tap for further diagnosis, in case something was only in the developing stages when the first one was done. We had two conflicting test results come back today. One said this was West Nile, the other said not. Hmmm... I'll guess we'll have more on that later.
Mom and Dad want to say thanks for the many demonstrations of kindness they have received over the past few days. Nate's co-workers visited today with a bunch of balloons, we've had family stop by, and they have more food than the ICU/CCU refrigerator will hold! Thank you all for your prayers and support!
October 17, 10:35 AM
Last night the doctors back Nate's sedative medicine down from 30 to 20, and he was also on a 2nd seizure medication. Unfortunately, the seizures continued, partially from the reduction of the sedative. They raised that amount back up.
Right now, we want to ask for specific prayer about these seizures. We need to figure out what is causing them and get it stopped. They are doing damage in tiny increments, so that's what the focus is right now. Also (and this is from Deven, not Mom and Dad), I would ask you to pray for Mom and Dad. They're obviously under a ton of stress, so pray that the little sleep they get would feel multiplied, that they would have clear minds to deal with medical questions, and that they would feel the ministry of the Comforter.
So far, the MRA hasn't been read, but we'll let you know when it is.
October 17, 9:47 PM
I just got back from the hospital, and we've got good and bad news again. So far, everything that's been tested looks good and normal. The MRA report was good. They did an echo on his heart, and that looked good. The fluid from his 2nd spinal tap (lumbar puncture) looked good and the numbers came back good. His infectious disease doctor has suggested that we stop looking for the cause of the encephalitis and make the seizures the main focus. And that would be good because the seizures continue. He has had several more throughout the day. Prayer warriors, keep focusing in on this area for Nate.
I'll be posting some birthday party pictures as soon as I get my homework done. :)
October 18, 10:17 AM
Last night Nate was moved to a bigger room that will allow Dad to sleep in room with him, as opposed to out in the hallway. :) He still is responding to stimuli with seizures, but (if I remember correctly) they seem to be lessening in duration. His primary doctor said that was progress in the right direction. He also mentioned starting to take him off of the sedative again to see how he will do without it. Hopefully we'll have some good news about that later.
October 18, 1:35 PM
Just a short update -- Dad just sent me a message that says, "With all the news meds, we are now 1 hour seizure-free!"