Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 29

Today was a better day.  The GI issues of yesterday have largely resolved themselves although it will likely happen again.  Part of how our digestive systems work depends on us moving around regularly, which stimulates things inside to keep moving as well.  For someone like Billy who is not moving, and for whom movement has some negative consequences (see the low heart rate episodes of the past few days) this presents a bit of a problem.

He was bradycardic (the medical term for his low heart rate episodes) this morning, but they were able to bring him back up with drugs.  In the meantime, his body decided to forget how to thermoregulate and his temperature dropped pretty low.  From what we are learning, this is all fairly standard for people with spinal cord injuries.  There is an enormous shock to the body and everything gets thrown out of whack.  His spinal cord is swollen and even though the areas that control his autonomic nervous system (which is responsible for keeping your heart beating, your lungs working, your body temperature at 98.6, etc) were not damaged in the initial injury, they are affected by the swelling. 

He asked me to take his picture today.  I've been secretly snapping grainy pictures with my phone over the last couple of weeks and at some point I will show him those.  I also told him that I was keeping this blog and asked if it was okay with him to post the picture here.  It meant a lot to him to hear that so many people are concerned.

Oops, I forgot to mention this bit: both chest tubes are out!  He was pretty pleased to inform me of that this morning.  I don't know if he knows just how many tubes and holes there are in his body or not, but he's excited to see them go!


  1. Love the picture. That's our sweet Bill. Hugs and love.

  2. Hi Sarah,
    I'm not sure if you and Bill will remember me, I am a friend of Amber. We all spent many summers together when you visited the Cape. I have been reading your blog since the beginning and I am really impressed with your strength and selflessness during this incredibly difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I wish for Bill to make a full comeback and for you all to continue to have strength for the recovery process.
    Love, Rachael

  3. Sarah,
    I've been waffling over whether to post a comment. Like Rachael, I am so impressed and proud of your strength, love and downright good sense you've shown in your blog and our conversations. You continue to amaze me. The hardest part for me is reading and knowing the terms and descriptions and not being there to offer support, encouragement etc. You are both on a big prayer chain with my church family and with other family members as well. I love the picture. Bill looks good. Communication with him seems to be improving incrementally based on your blog. I will continue to read every day....and pray most of all.
    Love, Edie

  4. Dear Sarah,
    David and I have been reading your comments daily and it is nice to see that in spite of the downturns there does seem to be a little improvement over the days. Your comments are excellent and David so much appreciates your efforts in spite of the pain all of you feel. David wants you to tell Billy that he thinks of him and prays for him.
    Your strength is certainly a big help to Billy and the rest of the family. Please tell Steve and Nancy that we are thinking of all of you.
    Thanks for keeping us updated.
    David and Margaret