Saturday, June 6, 2009

Up and Down Week

After returning home on Saturday I felt comfortable until the early morning on Monday. I then experienced a multiple day fever (with flu like symptoms) that was eerily similar to one I had after my first pain blocker surgery a few months previous. Fortunately most of the swelling from my brain surgery had subsided by Tuesday night so my headaches where mostly gone. The fever broke by Wednesday, but by late evening I started getting a sharp pain in my abdomen, just to left of the sternum. By Thursday noontime I could no longer control this pain with my medication so I had to be re-admitted to Karmanos for another pain block procedure called a tunnel epidural.

Aside from the nerve block surgeries I've had up to now, most of my home pain control has been through oral medication and pain "patches" that stick to my skin. These are effective for most forms of pain but deliver the medication to my entire body, instead of just the areas where I need it. At the hospital they usually administer my pain medication through an IV, which quickly delivers it through the whole body via my bloodstream. An issue arises when you need a lot of pain relief in one part of your body the oral and IV methods deliver too much pain medication to your brain, which can make you loopy/sleep or even nauseous.

The tunneled epidural procedure places a semi-permanent catheter tube directly in the spinal cord fluid near the center of pain. Pain medication is administered through the catheter and only affects the spinal nerves to about 4 inches from the entry point. The procedure went flawless on Friday morning and had given me immediate relief after waking from surgery. I stayed Friday night at Karmanos just to make sure that things were okay before I returned home. Everything seems to be fine with my abdomen pain control and headaches so it looks like I'll be heading back home as soon as I get my "at-home" epidural pump (connects to the catheter tube to administer the pain medication). I've been told that this should reduce or completely eliminate the oral/patch pain medication I've been taking up to now, which will be great.

I've become cautiously optimistic when returning home from the hospital; you can imagine my disappointment having to return this week after going through the whole neurosurgery experience just days previous. Please pray that the tunneled epidural stays effective as I return home and that there are no complications (i.e. headaches/swelling/tumor regrowth) during the recovery from brain surgery.

Nate

20 comments:

Future Bulldog said...

We will be praying!!
Love Mark and Karin

Anonymous said...

NATE AND FAMILY..

AFTER READING THE UPDATE...OF YOUR PAIN AND MEDS...I JUST SIT HERE AND PRAY AND PRAY..SOMEWHERE THERE IS A MIRACLE OUT THERE FOR YOU...
BUT IT MAKES ME SAD TO HEAR ABOUT ALL THE PAIN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.

I DID THE RELAY FOR LIFE HERE IN ST.CLAIR COUNTY LAST WEEK END AND
POSTED YOUR NAME ON THE SCROLL AND THE LUMINARIA BAG...

THE RELAY FOR LIFE IS A BREATH TAKING EXPERINCE...THIS IS MY 6TH YR...

WE PRAY SOMEDAY THERE WILL BE A CURE FOR THIS TERRIBLE ILLNESS..

I HAVE PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY..


THE EDIE"S

Robin said...

I'll be praying that the new pain pump will continue to be effective. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead at home with your family.

Love & prayers,

Robin M.
COLE Prayer Team

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you had to go back to the hosp. but the epidural should help immensely (sp) You are in the prayers of all of us at St. Alban's. Good luck. Sherrel L. Adams

Suzi Straffon said...

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles and pain. Please know that we are praying for you every day.

Tracy said...

Nate - Praying for you to have more up's than down's. Thinking of you and the whole family.

Psalm 119 has continually encouraged me for the past couple of months and so I share this with you.

Psalm 119:116-117 Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees

Anonymous said...

Nate,
So sorry to hear of the recent setback. We were praying you would be able to go to that Red Sox/Tigers game on Thursday night. I know your heart was there even if your pain prevented it. May God continue to give you strength for each new tomorrow. You and the family lie heavy on our hearts.
With love,
Leslie

Anonymous said...

Nate and Deb,

Thanks for all the recent blog updates to help us know what you are going through. Our family continues to think of and pray for you all.

Deb, I'm so glad you are not having to worry about school right now. Thanks for being a great wife to Nate and standing by his side "in sickness and in health."

I also want to encourage you guys with this verse: He will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because He trusts in Him. Isa. 26:3. Thanks for the example you are being of that quiet trust in Him even in the hardest of circumstances. May you truly find His "peace beyond understanding" carrying you each moment.

Lastly, I continue to pray for Nate's healing. May His will be done and may your lives bring Him glory.

Thank God for a Savior like Him. I know you feel the same way.

Love,
Cousin Rachel

shicat said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us updated. Your strength is amazing! You are in my prayers and my Tuesday night Bible studies prayers. I can only imagine the frustration you must deal with and I pray God helps you through it. You seem to maintain a great attitude and it is great to be your friend!

Chuck aka Charles from Sarasota

Anonymous said...

Nate,
Sorry to hear about the return trip, but I hope the epideral is helping ease the pain. God bless you and Deb and the twins. I'm praying for you all.

Mary Lou

Roberta said...

Hope you are feeling better and on the road to recovery. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Nate and Deb, So sorry to hear that you've had another bout with pain.I'm praying the epidural will be the ticket to bring you some needed relief.
Next month will be our Relay for Life. I want you to know that there will be a luminary with your name on it in Norris Park with the added by-line: "valiant cancer fighter and truster in Christ Jesus"
Thanks for your transparency in sharing this journey with us. You're the best.
Barb and Gary Wiemers in McCook

Anonymous said...

Nate and Deb,
I just spent the day with Marge. She said that the pain is being managed well. We pray that that will continue. Joy and Casey Stengel

Anonymous said...

Nate,
You say the word and Jimmy and I will be at your door with Millers chesse-burgers, fries and Sprite!
God keeps doing miracles in you and we are so thankful for the time he gives us with you. You are an inspiration to so many people and we all keep praying for you, Deb, Landon and Morgan.

Bob, Sue & Jenni

Roberta said...

Praying for you here in Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you and your family know we are praying for you in Southwest Nebraska. Don Moore presented your video/testimony during our communion mediation at McCook Christian Church this past week and then ironically I found your blog posted on Carrie Johnson's facebook site. Although I don't know you, your story has touched my heart and I think of you and your family quite often. May you continue to see God's purpose in your life. I pray that a miracle is near for you, Nate.

Anonymous said...

Nate and Deb, Thanks for keeping us posted on events in your lives. We will continue to pray for you and we hope and pray the new epidural pain
delivery method will help you keep alert and able to enjoy more time with your great family. We love you all! John, Rosemary, Rob and Janna

Anonymous said...

Hi Nate, Deb, Morgan, and Landen~

Hopefully this week is finding you pain free and mixed with some fun family time with the kids being out of school. We are thinking about you all,

Love the Blaszak's

Chris said...

My favorite verse so far is this:

"What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race" John 1:3-4.

I continue to pray for a miracle and good days for you. I hope that my prayers are answered, but we just don't understand/know the will of God.

It makes me sad to hear that you are hurting so much and having so many bad things happen to you, yet I am amazed by the strength and faith that persist in your life.

You're a great person Nate. We all miss you here at work and talk about you as a great engineer and even greater person.