Diane’s Story

Site created on October 8, 2019

Welcome to our 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.

Late on Thursday October 4th, Diane fell down some stairs at home. We (Dena & Joe) had just said good night to her so we were down the stairs in 2 seconds. We pushed her life alert button and called 911.  We came to the hospital ER & they immediately started treating her for a traumatic head injury, brain damage from the fall, a broken clavicle near her shoulder, and a temporal skull fracture. A few hours later they admitted her to the Trauma ICU where a neurosurgeon named Dr. Parry came and told us he could perform surgery on her brain bleed but that it would strictly be for life-savings measures and that she would never be able to speak, move her right side, etc. He then told us we had to make a decision immediately. We knew this wasn't the end of Didi's story so we authorized the brain surgery. It took about 4 and a half hours and they came back and told us that she was recovering nicely but she had extensive bleeding and swelling. They had to remove part of her skull to allow for her brain swelling to heal correctly, and she has drainage tubes now in her brain to continue with any excess drainage from her injury and surgery.  Mom did start having some small and very minor seizures but not the kind most people think of when they picture seizures. Her seizures are mostly imperceptible while watching her but can be seen on an EEG. The neurologists then decided to put her on an EEG machine for close monitoring of the seizures.

After a few days in the Trauma ICU, we got moved to the neuro sciences ICU so that she can be on a constant EEG with real-time monitoring of her seizures. The 2nd day we were in, we got a visit from a care coordinator to start discussing her recovery and discharge from the hospital in a few weeks. To say that this is MIRACULOUS would be an understatement considering where we sat in terms of prognosis just a few days before that. We are now looking into options for what is called Long Term Acute Care Hospitals or LTACH for short. These places are like rehabilitation facilities but with extra medical care for patients who need rehab and medical attention. Mom will be in one of those facilities and after that, a traditional in-patient rehab facility with help relearning things or practicing actions that her mind or body may have forgotten.  We are still trying to decide where would be best for Mom to go because all of the ones approved by Medicare are about an hour drive from us.

Please keep checking back for updates!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Dena McCormick

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but every time I call, they always say mom is stable, no changes. Today we had her care plan meeting over the phone.

Mom's care plan meeting:

Wound care nurse. Bottom stage 4 looking better than when she came in. Using silver nitrate causes like a lil chemical burn to restart healing. Infection has cleared up around her bottom wound. Toe wound still not great, stage 4, but looking better. When she came in they could see the bone & tendon & they cant anymore. Doing fine overall in the wound department, all are improving overall.

Nursing lead says showers have been bedside for a while but they are reopening the showers on the B side. Reschedule neurologist for mid to late July when they reopen because otherwise mom needs to be quarantined for 14 days & retested. Nursing CNAs do spend quite some time with mom & haven't really seen any indications that mom is more aware. Sherry her nurse says she agrees with Mary that she doesnt see much hope for recovery for mommy but it may help us to have the neurologist confirm that. They are scheduling zoom meetings once a week for family so we can zoom with her weekly until they open. I scheduled our 1st zoom meeting for this coming monday at 1pm. They will call us with the meeting ID right around 1

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