Welcome to Jennifer’s CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Here are the medical update’s my husband, Brent, emailed/texted for me during the first week to keep everyone up to speed:
May 21, 2018:
I wanted to request you positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers for my wife, Jennifer. She had a stroke last night in the left frontal cortex, Brocca’s area. Lingering symptoms are difficulty with word finding/production (expressive aphasia) and right side facial weakness.
She has regained use of her right hand/arm since last night, and she is doing better today with written word finding and basic speech. Her vitals have stabilized, and they are working on more tests to determine the origin (echo cardiagram, etc.)
As with any stroke, it has thrown us a major curveball! Our son Carter is here helping out, and the rest of the family is en route from VA, WV and SC.
We could use your collective concern and lifting up!
May 22, 2018:
All of our family has arrived from VA, WV and my oldest son, Spencer from NC. So they are bringing in anything needed. Jenn is resting well this morning between staff visits. She continues to speak more (basic one or two word responses). Receptive abilities are fine. Motor function is good - PT says she doesn’t need any PT. She had an MRI that confirmed the stroke in Brocca’s area yesterday morning. She had a clear cardiac echo yesterday afternoon. She is having a cerebral angiogram this afternoon to investigate a potential dissection in her left carotid artery. If that is found to be the case, it is likely the cause of the blood clot. If just clotting there, they will treat with medication. If any narrowing, etc., then maybe a stent procedure tomorrow. Through it all, she is really keeping good spirits. She is joking and smiling and claiming that she only needs “1 week” for recovery and plans to train for a 5K. She will likely have 3-6 months of speech therapy, OT, and of course MT. Overall, she is really doing well given how bad it could be. Thank you all for your concern and offers of help! I’ll keep you posted.
Thurs. May 24th - Update on Jennifer
Hello everyone! Jenn had her cerebral angiogram on Tues. to check out her carotid arteries. The left carotid (and somewhat on the right also) had irregularities in the wall/lining that likely led to the blood clot that caused the stroke. The good news was there wasn’t any clinically significant narrowing or residual clotting present and her blood flow was good. This condition of the arterial walls doesn’t take additional procedures or surgery to correct. It is treated by putting her on blood thinners (Warfarin) for 3-6 months, which typically allows them to heal themselves. She has been started on the blood thinners, and will be monitored in the hospital for a few more days until she is at a stable targeted blood level.
Long-term, Jenn’s main symptoms are in speech production with a little right side weakness in her face. She has no mobility or arm/hand use issues, so she won’t receive physical therapy. She will receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, and of course music therapy for relearning speech. Short-term, she has really made strides each day this week. She has come from being unable to speak, to one or two words at a time to telling stories in sentences using much more content and complexity the past two days. Given what all she isn’t dealing with, that can come from a stroke, she is in great shape with a positive and determined attitude. We are planning to set up a blog in the next few days (probably on caringbridge.org (http://caringbridge.org/
)), so that we can post updates for anyone interested.
Family has been here all week, and we are getting lots of good support! Riverside Methodist’s Neuroscience facilities and staff are excellent!!!
Thank you for everyone’s continued concern and offers of support!
Sun. May 27, 2018 Update:
We are just mainly playing the waiting game at this point. Jenn is on her Haparin IV and Warfrin blood thinner. In order to be discharged the blood thinning ratio (INR) needs to be stabilized in the 2 - 3 range with a 24-hour overlap on the IV. In the past three days, she has moved from 1.1 to 1.4 to 1.5 to 1.9 (close but no cigar). So, assuming she can get in the 2 - 3 range with tomorrow and it holds, we hopefully will be heading home on Tues.
Today, Sun., starts the 8th day since her stroke last Sun. May 20th. The first wave of family has come through, and we thank them for their quick response and help in these early days. Other family and friends are continuing to reach out and come visit, although many live a state or two away. It means a lot to both of us. Luckily, it is the beginning of the summer, and I don’t teach in the summer, so I will be able to focus on Jenn and get her to all of the doctor and therapist appointments that are starting to be scheduled, and since I am a music therapist, she will of course be getting supplemental music therapy at home. Jenn is already talking about getting back into running and training for a 5K, and she wants take a trip to the beach this summer. Maybe we will make some stops at her parents in VA, and our son, Spencer and his wife Katie, in SC along the way.
We are spending time in the hospital just talking, doing some artwork, and reading. Jenn is doing incredibly well, and while she understandably gets tired, her spirits have remained positive! Going forward, we have talked about most of the journal entries coming directly from Jenn. I will help her as needed, but we want this page to come from her voice and experience. Check back in from time to time, If you register with the site, you can leave her a note to say hi and wish her well.
Thank you to you all for your support, thoughts, vibes, prayers, and energy!