Thursday, May 15, 2008

My brother Jay is doing much better today, we are very optimistic about his recovery, so today I am posting some pictures. I finally have some lambs. Yeah for baby lambs!!!

As you can see Britta has turned out to love the farm too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

update on my brother Jay. Here is the current happenings from Emma his fantastic wife. I tell ya she is a trooper.
So… the last few days have been a little tough.

After the elation of moving out of ICU on Friday, Jay suffered a setback and by 4am on Saturday was back in Intensive Care.
A precautionary CT scan taken after he managed to somehow get himself out of bed in the early hours of Saturday morning revealed a small amount of bleeding inside his head and within ten minutes of returning from the CT scan we were back on our way to ICU – back into the same room we had left !!
Over the next day or so it became evident that he also had some fluid on his lungs and by Sunday morning he was having real difficulty breathing, even with an oxygen mask.

Sunday afternoon the decision was taken to sedate him and put him on a ventilator. It’s a pretty scary moment to see someone you love being hooked up to all those tubes and to accept that a machine is needed to simply help them breathe. I shed more than a few tears as I sat at the hospital on my own. Big thanks to the lady who delivers the meals in ICU for spotting that I needed a hug!

The long and the short of it is that he is now doing much better. The bleeding in his head has been monitored, has not increased and is not considered a concern. The fluid on his lungs is possibly a touch of pneumonia, possibly the result of aspirating some vomit (he was pretty sick on Friday night), possibly the side effect of being pumped full of fluids over the last week and possibly the result of another clot forming somewhere in his body. The jury is still out so they are treating him for all of the above. They have detected a hint of a clot forming in his right leg so they have inserted a filter in the main artery that leads to his heart. In case it were to break free the filter will prevent it going to his heart or brain, and he is on antibiotics for the possible pneumonia.

His lungs are now much clearer, and as of tonight when I left the hospital he is breathing on his own, even though he still has the ventilator tube inserted. He is still sedated and the positive side of this episode is that he has been able to get some much needed rest. He is being fed through a tube so he is also able to catch up on some much needed nutrition. For both of these reasons the doctor has decided to wait until tomorrow to take him off the ventilator.

After the shock and the trauma of the setback (they say to expect them you know ……… but it doesn’t make them any easier!) I too have also managed to get some much needed rest. I have spent the last two nights at home knowing that he is stable and sedated and it has really helped me to recharge my batteries. Dani, Laura and Gemma have been wonderful – so helpful and so supportive. They all remembered Mother’s Day yesterday and I even got breakfast cooked for me.

Even though Jay is sedated he is only ‘just under’. He responds to instructions from the nurses and flutters his eyes open now and again. I am pretty sure he can hear me so I have been chatting to him a lot over the last day or so. I have told him that everyone is thinking of him and wishing him better. I tell him about what’s going on in the world and at home and just prattle on and on about everyday stuff. When he wakes up he’ll either tell me it was a comfort to hear my voice or he’ll tell me that he wished I would have shut the hell up! Either way I won’t mind ……… it’ll just be nice to have him back


Friday, May 9, 2008

Saturday morning my 36 year old brother Jason Schlotthauer had a stroke. It has been a rough week. It was only a year and a half since my Brother Steve was struck and killed by a car crossing the street in Blaine. My parents just retired and moved in with Jason and his family. Jason has been working hard to make a nice little Aptment for them. Please send prayers and positive energy. Here is an e-mail from his wife Emma.

I promised many of you some regular email updates on Jay’s progress.
Please feel free to forward this on to anyone else you know that would like an update

I think that most, if not all, on this distribution list know that Jay suffered a stroke in the early hours of this past Saturday morning.
Since that time he has been in intensive care at St Joseph’s hospital in St Paul.
The stroke was significant and was caused by a blood clot in a major artery in the left side of his brain. For much of Saturday he was in critical life threatening condition and completely paralyzed on his right side. Attempts to remove the blood clot were not successful and we were fearful of the worst.

I count all my blessings that he is still with us and has made remarkable progress in the last few days. The affected area of the brain, whilst still significant, has turned out to be not as massive as first thought. The right side of his body is indeed affected but little by little he is starting to get movement and feeling back in his right side. He has lost almost all his speech but again, day by day, he is starting to form more and more recognizable sounds and words, even a few phrases now and again.

As of today he has officially been taken off intensive care status and whilst still in the Intensive Care Unit he has significantly stabilized.
His blood pressure has returned to normal levels and he is no longer hooked up to multiple IVs. Each day is a roller coaster for him, both physically and emotionally, as he struggles to come to terms with what has happened. His comprehension and understanding is completely in tact. He knows exactly what I am saying to him and both of us experience high levels of frustration as we try and find ways for him to communicate.

His frustration and restlessness have been at an all time high in the last 24 hours – the doctors think that nicotine withdrawals are playing a significant factor in this and are now treating him accordingly. Even though he cannot walk he is desperately (and inventively) trying to escape the confines of his bed. The strength and dexterity he has in his left side is remarkable and nurses have had to employ ever more sophisticated restraints to keep him confined and to prevent him from hurting himself. He is a fighter and doesn’t give up - all great signs for the road ahead.

He has started physical therapy and today moved a few steps supported by a walking frame and two therapists. Small steps but wonderful to watch.
He also works with a speech therapist daily and again, every new sound brings us a little closer to being able to understand each other better.

Not sure what the road ahead is yet. Still too early to tell. He may still have some surgery in the next couple of weeks to bypass the artery where the clot is located and provide improved blood supply to that area of the brain – an important factor in preventing a further stroke in the future. I anticipate that he will move out of the ICU soon and into a regular hospital ward but I’m still just taking each day at a time and I’ll let you all know when he’s ready for more visitors.

Thanks to all of you that have sent messages of love, prayers and support. They mean so much. Every day is a roller coaster for me too. I can go from intense joy to floods of tears in a matter of seconds. I am still not sure that the events of the last few days have really sunk in.
I am sure that it will hit me sooner or later but for now I am just intensely grateful that he is still here and is making the progress that he is.
He is not only my husband, he is my best friend, and I can’t tell you how hard it is not to be able to chat with him and how hard it is to watch his frustration and feel so helpless. But for now, I am just glad that he can squeeze my hand and tell me he loves me (one of the few phrases he can manage) and that I can look at his eyes, expressions and mannerisms and see the real Jay. I am full of hope for his recovery.

I’ll send out another update in a few days and let you know how he is doing
In the meantime…….take care…….and don’t sweat the small day to day stuff…….it really really doesn’t matter… me!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We haven't had any lambs born yet. We have had two really cute little Highlander calves born (both girls) I did take pictures but forgot the camera at home.
I'm suppose to have my sheep sheared Saturday if the weather holds. This sure has been a very strange spring.
I'm spinning yarn from Connie's fleece (last years) I found a nice vest pattern I'm going to try. Lately my knitting really SUCKS!!!!! It's like I totally forgot how to do anything. I'm working on a sweater for myself right now. If it doesn't turn out I'm going back to crocheting doilies!!!! (not that doilies are bad but I went thru that phase in my life and have have millions of doilies.