Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Slow but steady decline

There hasn't been many dramatic changes in my condition since my last blog post.  I've been slowly losing sensation in my lower body starting with my toes and moving its way up my abdomen and back.  At least now I do not feel any pain in my legs at all.  The scary thing is I don't feel anything in my legs at all.  The scariest thing is the slow but pursistant advancement of the numbnexs up my body.  

There was a small flurry of activity the last few days.  I've been having bloody noses which concerned the home health care nurse who checks in on me.  They did a blood count on me and found I was very low on platelets and red blood cells.  This lead to a ride to the hospital on Friday to recieve 2 units of platelets and 4 units of bed blood cells.  I didn't feel much different, but I was told my cheeks regained their normal nosy glow.  It took most of the day for the blood products to slowly drip into me, but the time flew by thanks to a nap in the morning and lots of company in the afternoon.  A few different carfulls of friends came down, some expected and some surprise, to visit and see how I am doing.  It was great seeing them all, playing cards against humanity, and catching up in general.  

Monday was also very busy.  I finally got physical therapy to come out after a week of calling around to various people.  It was very productive evaluation, and my physical therapist seems like he will be a big help.  He ordered a mechanical hoyer lift to get me out of bed, a recliner wheelchair so that my back will be ok, and a wheelchair pad so that I won't have to sit on the plain seat.  Surprisingly for all parties, this equipment arrived about 4 hours later in addition to a trapeze bar for my bed and oxygen machines.  The trapeze will hopefully help me adjust myself in bed, but I haven't tried it out much since I've been pretty sore today.  The oxygen machines are for my low O2 levels and has helped a lot with my wakefullness.  

Even more surprising was I was able to use some of this equipment right away.  The oxygen concentrator was ready to go and easy to use which I'm sure helped me be able to use the wheelchair for a bit.  Thankfully, both my regular home health care nurse and a nurse who will be helping me out to give my parents a break were both here at the same time.  We used this opporunity to use the lift with experienced people to train my mom how to get me into the chair.  It was a little more awkward than I would like, but we managed to get me fully upright and sitting for the first time in weeks.  My back and abdomen did not appreciate this transition, and I was extremely sore and rigid for the rest of the night.  I was only up for 20 minutes so this will be something I will have to work on to be able to go anywhere outside of my apartment.  PT comes out tomorrow so that will be a good test to see how I'm progressing.

Next up is more chemo and scans on the 4th to see how I'm doing and treat me with a new cocktail of drugs.  My sisters are coming down for Thanksgiving which will be fun and a good distraction from life. Here's wishing you a happy Thanksgiving too.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you Greg! Keeping you in our thoughts!

  2. Have a great thanksgiving the Smiths are thinking of you!

  3. Thanks for the update. Thinking of you every single day.

  4. hope you are able to enjoy thanksgiving!