Friday, January 20, 2006

Encouraging News 1-20-06

Last night I was really upset with the results of the surgery, but today we saw some encouraging signs that made me feel much differently. Yesterdays surgery was due to a large amount of damage to the eye's retinas. This damage was caused by the bleeding and clotting that took place in the first couple of weeks she was in the hospital. At that time they were unable to perform any eye procedure due to the imunosuppresive state she was in. The doctor who performed the eye surgery knew that her right eye had severe retina damage which would require an extensive surgery. After the surgery was complete he told us that she might gain some peripheral vision in her right eye, but she had little chance of any central vision. This would mean that she could gain some "walking vision" and could read large letters. He didn't make it clear as to the time table she would gain this vision. We expected must vision to be restored as a result of the doctors assessments earlier on. Last night we expected them to remove the patch and for her to be able to see a significant amount. This was not the case and we were very disappointed. Things changed when we visited with the eye doctor today and requested her eye.

The eye surgeon came in to reevaluate her eyes and performed a couple of tests. First he shined a circular light in her eye and asked her what shape she saw. She responded and said that she could see a circle. Then the doctor shined a green light in her eye and she said that she could see green. The doctor said this means that she may gain some central vision. Something he didn't expect after he performed the surgery yesterday. Then he waved his hand in front of her eye and she asked if he was moving his hand in front of his hand. Next he held up two fingers and she said that she thought she saw two fingers. Then we turned off all the lights and asked her what she could see. She said that she saw a single light and pointed right to it. The doctor said that her sight will definitely take time. Something he didn't really express clearly when he completed the surgery. We just have to continue to pray and she will gain more vision as the days progress. The surgery on her left eye will be scheduled for this coming Thursday unless things change. If anyone has recommending for the best retina specialist in the US please feel free to contact me through this site. The doctor we have used is well known and seems to have done a really good job so far. We just want the best possible chance for eyes no matter what the cost.

I forgot to tell everyone yesterday that she got her trachea tube removed and it is beginning to heal. This is just another huge step in her recovery and she continues to breath better each day. Today she walked four times further than she has in the past (approximately 250ft). She did all this with a walker under her own support. At the end of her walk she had 100% oxygen saturation in her blood. Most people's saturation would drop lower after they walked that far if they were having a really hard time breathing. This is just another step for her to get out of the hospital. On the pulmonary stand point she is ready to go home.

Her liver numbers continue to trend downward and get closer and closer to reaching normal levels. The liver doctor feels she can go home at this point and their is no need for her to be in the hospital. She can take all the tests needed for her liver from home. The main thing holding her in the hospital right now is the kidneys. Right now her calcium level is elevated, but we feel this can be monitored from home. The calcium level came down today and we should pray this continue so the kidney doctor send her home.

Let's all pray for her eyes and for her kidneys to flush the calcium from her system so she come home. We suspect that she will be coming home sometime early next week. It could be earlier if the kidney doctors feel comfortable her being at home and getting tested from there. Arrangements are beginning to made for home health care and we already have everything set up for her at my parents house. She can't wait to get there with Zeus and sleep in a real bed. It want be long, but Andrea will continue to need all your prayers and support. Talk to everyone tomorrow. God Bless.


Anonymous said...

keep up the good work. You will be able to go home soon. The lord is watching over you. You are in my prayers daily.


Anonymous said...

Andrea, I am praying for your vision and kidneys to improve. Be not afraid God is with you!

Your Brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 7 : 7,8 (NIV)

7."Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8.For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Andrea, Ask, Seek, Knock!

Your Brother in Christ!

Carolyn Frazier said...

J -- After having five eye surgeries, all through Baylor, I highly recommend the doctors there. Mine have involved the cornea and glaucoma, but I am sending you the website for the two Retina specialists there, and you can read about them. I can also call the two eye doctors that I used at Baylor to get their opinions. Here it is: The eye does take a long time to heal. I have been dealing with mine for over a year, and it is just now considered stable. I have periphery and a little central, but I drive and work and do everything I normally would. I am continuing to pray for Andrea's eyes and for her continuing help. Please contact me if you need anymore information. My cell is 281-455-5889. I also have a friend who is a PhD at UH and his emphasis is on retina research. God bless you all.
Carolyn Frazier

Carolyn Frazier said...

J -- It's Carolyn Frazier again. I wanted to leave you my email address as well: I'm sure my friend at UH who works in the retina department has contacts with lots of retina specialists all over the country.

Anonymous said...

J, this is Amanda's mom. I have a friend whose daughter had severe eye problems. I was telling her about Andrea and she sent me this email which I have copied and pasted for you. I would check into Dr. Richard Lewis.

"There is a Dr. Myles Behrens at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City that she used to see. I believe he is one of the top men in the country (I saw it in some book in the bookstore) plus Tracy's eye condition always had people baffled, and so she alway gradually got to the higher ups in the field. When we were moving to Texas, Dr. Behrens referred her to Dr. Richard Lewis in the medical center. She still sees him to this day. He is also one of the tops in his field. You can give them these names, and if they need someone different, I'm sure they will get pointed in the right direction."

We are still praying daily for Andrea's recovery and for all of you to stay strong and hope she will get to come home soon. Stay strong!


Shanna said...


Stay positive and focus on that wonderful day when all of this will be over. I have no doubt that your eyes will continue to heal and improve. It must be so atrocious to wait and wait but your patience has played an enormous role in helping you heal and it will continue to do so. Keep faith in God and yourself; you will overcome all of this.

On another note, I sure missed visiting with you this week. I caught a little cold and have been unable to visit, but there's not a day (actually a moment) that goes by when I don't think of you and send well wishes and prayers your way. I love you so much! Stay strong and keep your mind focused on the fun and healthy future in store for you!

Much Love,

Anonymous said...

J. please continue to research all the doctors that are recommended to you for Andrea's eyes. Remember that the doctors are only men just like us and some are smarter than others and her eyes need the best. There are none that we, as a family have dealt with it is just the luck of the draw each time you see a new one. Choose one that someone you know has actually used. I certainly do not mean to send you a negitive note but this worries me too. The prayers are working and you are constantly in out thoughts. We love you here in Mississippi. Aunt Peggy

Shelia Calvary said...

J and Andrea:

I am encouraged about your progress with the eye surgery. The doctors really don't even know the time line as to when to expect what degree of her recovery of vision. Even today! Just remember to we are praying and ALL things are possible!!
You have come a long way and HE continues to carry you through. SOMEONE's PRAYING YOU BOTH THROUGH!

Anonymous said...

SAFE IN GOD'S HANDS.....Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Isaiah 49:16 --"Our ways remain continually before Him. Not one fleeting moment of life goes by without His knowing exactly where we are, what we're doing, and how we're feeling." (from Wisdom for the Way, C.R. Swindoll)

I am continuing in prayer Andrea for your complete healing. The journey has been long and weary but continue to rest patiently in His presence and let the healing take are getting there precious. Trust His guidance for the best M.D.'s. He cares for you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea and J.

We will continue to pray for your vision and your continuous improvement. I have emailed my brother in law in St. Louis who is the head of the Opthamology Dept. at St. Louis University. I have asked him to read this blog so that he will have better understanding of the eye situation. Hopefully, he will have some suggestions.

God Bless You,
Alice Henderson

Nancy Neel said...

There is an eye doctor that my dad went to school with (Univ. of Houston...) who is now the Assoc. Dean for Clinical edu there.

His name is Dr. Nick Holdeman O.D. M.D., e-mail: phone: 713.743.1886.

My dad says that he would be able to recommend the best retinal doc around (he knows them all), and that he would really trust/value his opinion.

We can contact him for you to get some names, or you can contact him and say that you are a friend of Dr. Morris Neel (my dad). Just let me know if there's anything we can do (my cell: 817.996.0509)

Janet Holley said...

I know that you are very hopeful of Andrea's eyesight. Just remember it will be in God's time. I agree with you ,J., Get her home and I think she will improve even at a faster rate. That will be the most memorable day and you will cherish it always!

Praying in Corinth