Mark McKenzie Mark McKenzie

First post: Jan 28, 2018 Latest post: Aug 19, 2018
Life can change in a blink of an eye, and in our world that blink happened on Sunday December 3rd when Mark fell down the stairs at the South Dakota farm.  Mark roughed up every body part it seemed but most concerning was the laceration and bruise on his head, bruise on his elbow and progressing black eye.  On Dec 10th, 1 week later, his headache would not go away and so we went to the ER.  They determined with a CT scan that there was no brain bleed and that Mark was just suffering from a concussion.  Three days later, on December 13th, Mark ended up having seizures at work.  Paramedics brought him to the Emergency Department in St. Paul. They ran tests, one was another CT scan which confirmed no brain bleed, but because Mark’s seizures continued he was admitted to the ICU. He remained there while they spent days getting anti-seizure medicine at correct levels, ended up intubating him to protect his airway, and were finally able to do an MRI which showed a contusion and blood on the brain in Mark’s Left frontal lobe. That explained the seizures and they determined that the fall weeks earlier was the culprit and why his headaches had not subsided.  The extended time in the ICU took its toll and Mark had gone into a delirium. This is common with extended stays in the ICU where the body forgets what is night and day, and Mark spent days without sleeping.  Unfortunately sleep is exactly what his brain needed.

Mark was in the ICU for 30 days. During that time he sustained an injury to the nerve clusters in both his armpits leaving him with no feeling and no use of either arm. The diagnosis is a Bilateral Brachial Plexus injury. The nerves in the Brachial Plexus were stretched and injured.  Nerves do re-generate but no one knows to what extent or how long this will take.  Guestimates are in the 2 year range. Yep, 2 years…we do not receive this!

Mark then spent 2 weeks at an Acute Inpatient Rehab facility and then recently transferred to a TCU in Golden Valley for more physical, occupational and brain rehabilitation. Typically, this will last as long as he is making progress. Otherwise the insurance company will not pay to have him there. He remains totally dependent to eat, go to the bathroom, pick-up anything, bath, dress, or give himself any care. The insurance company seems to be ignoring this major complication to the rule of making progress in all areas. Mark has had to leave two hospitals in a state of inability to care for himself due to the injuries to his arms.

It been exhausting to say the least. We are not receiving the message that it could be 2 years before Marks nerves heal as we believe in a higher power that is able to heal through the stripes of Jesus!  We are, however, facing an uphill battle with the looming threat that insurance will end their payment of needed services before Mark can even start to take care of himself.  We are taking it one day at a time and are releasing control to God as he can do great things! We have so many unknowns: physically with Mark's arms, emotionally as we are both struggling to keep it together, financially as we now have one income and unknown how we are going to make this all work if insurance stops paying for services.  Please pray for us during this difficult time.  Thank you for visiting Mark's Caringbridge site!

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