11/23/2018: Florine Blackstock suffered a stroke. This stroke came completely out of the blue to us (the family). Daddy called 911 and she was taken to JRMC in Pine Bluff. She was diagnosed with a blood clotting behind her left ear adjacent to the brain - which we learned is the main blood flow vein to the right hemisphere of the brain. After consulting with Jerry’s and the family’s good friend Dr. Bo, the family had her transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock. After admission (and long story short), Dr. Dunagan performed a procedure to remove the soft blood clot out of the main vein. However, he found the blockage was not a soft blood clot but a deterioration of blood vessels with many months of plaque build up on both sides of the vein that had culminated into a total hard block. Therefore, after a couple of attempts, the hard blockage did not respond to removal. She was brought to ICU for the night. Her vitals remained stable.
11/24/2018: Florine’s condition, now under the care of Dr. Krisht, remained the same this morning. She was given an IV of Potassium for fluids and Oxygen to help her breath. This day was simply a window of time to monitor her heart rate, pulse rate, oxygen, and responsiveness to the procedure, i.e., any internal tearing, bleeding, or what. We were told that a 72 hour window of time is of the essence for healing and monitoring and allowing her body’s energy to heal the brain.
11/25/2018: Florine is still sleeping deeply. An AFIB condition has sneaked in this morning so a cardio consult has been ordered. Dr. Krisht was in earlier and said her resting means all the body’s energy is focused on the brain healing. Again, the blockage is in the main gateway to the right side of the brain (this is the motor function area that controls her right side mobility in the arms and legs, and also her speech control center. He told us that through the previous months of this hard blockage growth, the body had found other smaller arteries to flow through, however, the main hard blockage may be permanent but it is too soon for him to tell. Also, a Physician Assistant came by and asked questions (Why, I do not know). More scans and MRIs will be required. He also stated that with this part of the brain being blocked from blood flow, her ability to speak may likely be zero and her right side mobility may be seriously limited. She also had her first Physical Therapy session. The Therapist felt her responses were positive, however, after the exhausting session, she fell right back into a deep sleep.
11/26/2018: Dr. Krisht was in very early and ordered for all her fluids to be increased. His intent is for her blood flow to be increased to and through that blocked brain area via the smaller arteries and hopefully get her out of the sleepy mode. She had both another scan and an MRI. An Internal Medicine Doctor came in and asked questions. (Why, I have no ideal) Another Physical Therapy session ensued and again, the PT was pleased with the results. The PT did aggravate Mother to the point of heavy huffing and crying (This broke my heart and I hated this). She was settled back into the bed and back into a deep sleep. So now she has her fluids increased to keep her blood pressure systolic level elevated between 160 and 190 for increased blood flow to the brain. Note: The Pulmonary Dr., Dr. Borg, came to her room, he examined Mother’s charts, scans and listened to her heart. He stated to us that he would recommend to Dr. Krisht a low dosage Med to address the continuing AFIB condition and that in the coming months, she’d need to be on a routine AFIB medication prescription.
11/27/18: The night nurse gave Mother a bath and they cleaned her mouth again, which they have done every day. As stated yesterday the blood pressure was increased and an Arterial Line was installed to keep a moment by moment watch on the pressure. Well, 3 things have occurred to cause concern today. 1. The intake/output ratio caused alarm to the night nurse, so she lowered the ordered raised blood pressure. The day nurse has been ordered to supply her exactly 100 mils of fluid, period. 2. The arterial line began to malfunction all morning so with the help of another nurse, the pulled it out. BAM, a clot was stuck up in the head of the iv which was a great discovery. So another art line will have to go in sometime today (this didn’t happen) 3. Dr. Krisht said the the latest MRI and SCAN indicate that previous clots may have been released and made it into the right hemisphere even before the hard block on the 23rd. He stated that another MRI and SCAN will be in order for tomorrow. On the other hand, she is coughing today and really fighting the nurses when they mess with her arms and IVs, so this is supposed to be good. Physical Therapists came in around 5:00pm and Mother responded beautifully. She opened her eyes a couple of times while sitting up and when they laid her down she opened both eyes even more and longer and held her head up by herself and had tears of what I am going to call of JOY. Note: the coughing ended up not being a good thing because it indicates fluid in the lungs. The input/output ratio was coated by giving her lasik (misspelled).
11/28/18: Mother is getting antibiotics for pneumonia. The Day nurse told the family that today there was no real progress on her condition. Xrays also indicate congestive heart issues. The doctors and nurses are providing outstanding treatment for all conditions and every new development. In addition, Dr. Krisht, the neurologist, agreed with Dr. Borg, the heart doctor, to have a mild medication administered to treat her arithmetic condition AFIB. Continue Praying!!! Jerry is going to stay overnight with Mother.
11/29/18: This morning started out pretty much as yesterday’s story ended. Which in my opinion, is good news because it seems in the nights past when we left Mother at night in good condition, we’d return in the mornings to find her with some new concern. But not this morning! It is 8:50am and waiting on the Dr. Krisht to come by. Well, I (Karen)am back in TX as of yesterday. Mother’s condition is like one step forward and one step back. So it is hard to give a daily report cause one day is hope and the next is “what?...”. The family is needing to consider what to do after ICU can no longer help her improve but her condition remains the same. Just pray.
11/30/18: Mother has had her eyes open since 10:15am and kept them open all day (it is 3:30pm right now). She continues to be on the elevated blood pressure IV but it is now being maintained at a systolic rate of 137. Praise The Lord! Mother is holding her head up on her own. Her Oxygen level is being reduced from a level 4 to 3.
12/1/18: Not much has changed today. Mother continues to old her eyes open. Her heart rate jumped up and the resident came in and administered a mild medication. Barbara isn’t sure she knows who the family talking to her is. She also is getting Respiratory Treatment every 4 hours. Keep Praying!
12/2/18: Dr Krisht visited her this morning and she did not respond very well to his stimulation and would not squeeze his hand. She is still keeping her eyes open and holding her head up. The Arterial Feed for monitoring her blood pressure moment by moment was removed today and the IV meds for her blood pressure have been reduced. Her systolic rate is steady at 100. She does reach her left hand out and hold the bed rail and scratching her head and will wiggle her toes randomly. Keep the prayers flowing.
12/3/18: Everything except the feeding tube has been removed from Mother. She is alert and looking at folks around her. I called and talked to her on Barbara’s cell phone speaker and she looked at the phone and made some noise. They are going to put a feeding tube in her tummy tomorrow. So she will stay in ICU at lease another 48 hours and then to a regular room after that. Praise The Lord. We are taking these baby steps as positive signs that Jesus is not calling Mother home and that the next phases of rehabilitation will restore her back to the quality of life that that she is accustomed to. Keep Praying!
12/4/18: Before Mother gets her Tummy feeding tube, Dr. Williams, who will be inserting the tube, wants her to have a CT scan. This is to verify that there is no bleeding on the brain so blood thinners can be administered with the tummy tube insert. Tummy feeding tube has been inserted today. She will stay in ICU for observation and get to move to a regular room soon. But we need Mother to come out of her sleepy mode and acknowledge her surroundings. Keep Praying!
12/5/18: Mother has her tummy tube installed. Her nutrition was started back with the tummy tube. 12/7/18: Mother got moved with her tummy tube to a regular room. She then was transported around 4:30pm to the White Hall Rehab Facility in Pine Bluff. 12/8/18: Mother stayed alert and watched the goings on and people around her for several hours. She was even st up in a chair. I contribute this to Brad (Barbara’s second son) being there with her. 12/9/18 - 12/10/18: Mother is back in resting mode at the White Hall Rehab Facility in Pine Bluff. 12/11/18: Mother is in the JRMC ICU getting treatment for the flu. PRAY for her healing! 12/13/18: See Journal Entry for today. 12/16/18: See Journal Entry for today.