Sunday, March 25, 2007

Unbelievable - w/ Update

We are rarely without good reason to pray, and now is no exception.

On Friday afternoon, just before time to go home, a co-worker heard my brother-in-law (Bob - mid 40's) yell out in his office. He went in to see what was happening, and discovered Bob having a severe seizure on the floor. When Bob stopped seizing, the co-worker called 9-1-1. When my sister-in-law (my late husband's sister), Lisa arrived at the hospital, the medical team had done a CT scan on Bob's head, and the neurologist indicated that he had a large (softball sized) mass in the right temporal lobe of his brain. He was speaking and acting normally, and the doctors prepared to take additional CT and MRI scans of his body and head to rule out other masses and gain further clarity about the mass in his head. Unfortunately, Bob started to seize again before the scans could be performed. The doctors told Lisa he had the "worst" kind of seizure, and Bob was unable to speak when he stopped seizing. The doctors attempted to get the necessary scans for the next four hours, but were unable due to Bob's level of pain and agitation. He was given "tons" of steroids through the night to reduce the pressure and inflammation in his brain, in hopes of eliminating future seizures.

By 6 AM Saturday morning, Bob was able to speak again. Throughout the day, Bob complained of severe pain in his left shoulder. The initial x-rays did not indicate a problem, but after Lisa's insistence that Bob be seen by an orthopedic specialist, a dislocated shoulder was confirmed. No wonder Bob couldn't sit still for CT scans the previous evening. By late Saturday evening, the doctors were finally able to get the required CT and MRI scans done. The CT scans did not show any other masses in his body, so the doctors feel confident that the mass in his brain is isolated and operable.

At 8 o'clock this morning, Bob was put under general anesthesia, and the injury to his shoulder was corrected. The doctors also discovered a fracture while they were relocating the joint. Bob will need to wear a sling for two weeks, and the need for future surgery will be determined at that point. He was finally able to get some sleep following the procedure. The neurology team is reviewing the MRI and CT scans of Bob's brain, and will decide how to proceed ASAP.So far, Lisa has been told that "best case scenario", Bob will need to be out of work for the next three months. No one is particularly interested in talking about the other scenarios, but it doesn't get better from there. Lisa has expressed that she has faith that "everything will be fine", but she just "doesn't know what that will look like for her family."

Please keep this family in your prayers. Every moment is uncertain, and the upcoming procedures are serious and scary. To add to the anxiety, due to Bob being at work when the seizure happened, he was taken to UCI Medical Center. That happens to be the hospital where Jeff (my late husband, and Lisa'a brother) died. While that does not say anything about the care Bob is receiving, it adds an emotional element for the rest of us.

I just spoke with Lisa. (1 PM, Monday 3/26)

The MRI on Bob's brain showed that the mass is about the size of a golf ball, right ablove his right ear. That is a BIG improvement over the initial estimate of softball size. Now, the doctors are waiting for the OR to be avilable so they can schedule the surgery to remove the mass.

The orthopedic doctors discovered an additional fracture in Bob's left shoulder, and suspect that the right shoulder dislocated during the seizure as well. Fortunately, it relocated itself. There may be some rotator cuff damage, and it is very sore, but Bob is able to use his right arm.

On a positive note, Bob is sleeping and eating well. In fact, UCI has 24 hour room service. They require only a 30 minute notice for anything the patient wants. The food also seems to be be much better quality than the average hospital food. That should make the stay a bit more pleasant. 8^)


erin said...


My thoughts and prayers are still with you, in this newest trial. I am so sorry your family must go through this.


patjrsmom said...


I am so sorry to hear about this. We've got you covered, in prayer that is...

Big hugs,

Perri said...

Blaine, praying for Bob and Lisa and their family -- along with the doctors - that they may be able to operate sucessfully and Bob will quickly resume his life with his loving family.