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11/14/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated. We appreciate your support and prayers. Please click the button below for Bruce's story.
Bruce Long has been struggling with an AFib/aflutter condition for the past month and a half. He was in in the hospital in Shelton Washington at the beginning of September 2016 for a week. The doctors put him on some meds for his high heart rate and released him. Two days later he was back in the ER again with a high heart rate. They adjusted some of his meds and released him again. A week and a half later he was well enough to fly home to Alaska. He had an appointment with his cardiologist at Elmendorf hospital the following week and when his doctor saw his heart rate was once again very elevated and his blood pressure was low, he sent him immediately via ambulance over to Providence hospital. Once there, he underwent a cardioversion to get his heart rate back to normal. Two days later they performed an angiogram in preparation for doing a heart ablation to prevent the AFib issue from reoccurring. Most likely during, or sometime around, the time they did the angiogram, Bruce underwent what the doctors referred to as a "shower stroke". Afterwards, Bruce was confused and had difficulty walking. A few days after the stroke his heart stopped beating for 11 seconds and the cardiologist placed a pace maker later that afternoon. Several days after the placement of the pace maker, it was discovered that Bruce had suffered a second stroke. He was rendered even more immobile and confused. He initially did not show signs of movement in his left arm and left leg, but in the last day or so has been able to move them and even stand with assistance and take a few steps. At this point, Bruce's heart is stable, the main concern is his recovery from the strokes. He has been laughing at some jokes and recognizes some close family and friends but he is still confused and may not recognized everyone.
Wanda is at the hospital most days and is open to short visits, but please call or text her first to check her schedule.
Please keep Bruce and Wanda and the family in your prayers and thoughts. Some of Bruce and Wanda's children have been able to go up to Alaska to be with them for short periods of time but the road may be a long one for Bruce's recovery. Pray for strength and endurance for Wanda and for wisdom as Bruce's family plans for the future and the decisions that need to be made along the way.
Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your continued prayers for Bruce and his family. He is currently still at Providence hospital. He has had some improvements in the past few days. Bruce was able to slowly walk the length of the parallel bars twice today and he has also been able to lift a spoon to his mouth a few times. The doctors have discovered that there is some fluid around his heart. They suspect the fluid is possibly an irritation from when the leads of the pace maker were attached to the heart. They are monitoring the fluid via echocardiograms and as of today, the amount of fluid has not increased. The doctors will perform another echocardiogram tomorrow.
Bruce still suffers with mental confusion, but he has been more alert and verbal the past few days.
Thanks for your prayers.
Bruce had an echocardiogram this morning which did show that the amount of fluid around his heart had built up since the last reading. The doctors are still thinking that the fluid is most likely caused by one (or both) of the pacemaker leads irritating the pericardium (sack surrounding the heart).
Bruce is currently undergoing a procedure to place a drain to release the fluid and then they will likely do a surgery tomorrow to move one, or both, of the pacemaker leads.
Please pray that both of these procedures go well and resolve the issue.
Thank you all for your prayers. Both the drain placement and the pacemaker lead replacement have been done. The doctors monitored the fluid levels around the heart after the leads had been moved and no further fluid built up so they were able to remove the drain today. Bruce has been more responsive today and was even able to walk a little with the assistance of a walker. Please pray that Bruce will continue to build up his strength and for comfort and peace for Wanda.
Thank you everyone for your continued support. Bruce is doing better with his physical and occupational therapy sessions. He has been able to walk everyday with a walker and even able to feed himself and do other small tasks. The staff overseeing his care is hopeful that he may improve enough for a rehab program. The issue holding him back from that at this point is the recurrence of the AFib/aflutter issues. The doctors are working to find the best medications to keep that condition under control. Please pray that they could soon find a medication that would keep Bruce's heart in rhythm so that he could soon be admitted to a stroke rehab program. Bruce's ability to speak full sentences has improved in the past few days although he still has some confusion in regards to where he is and why he is there.
Praise the Lord for Bruce's improvements and please pray for these continued blessings for Bruce and Wanda and family.
Bruce's AFib/aflutter condition had persisted so the doctors did another cardioversion (shock to the heart) on Nov. 9th. The procedure went well and his heart is now back in normal rhythm. Bruce is still struggling mentally so pray that the Lord would fully restore his mind and thoughts. Pray for comfort and peace for Wanda during this difficult time. It helps to know that friends and family are praying.
Bruce's therapists are currently trying to decide the best course of action to take regarding a rehab program for him. Pray for wisdom for his doctors and that Our Lord would make a path known for Bruce and family.
Please refer to the Journal section for further updates.