Friday, November 2, 2007

China Day 42: Research... research

More therapy today – all I can say is that Dan and I don't have nearly as much fun as our kids did while they were here..! (just kidding.. just wait until tomorrow!) We usually stay in the hospital room and eat food we bought from Wal-mart, send Dan to therapy and research our options for therapy on our return to the USA. I am finding a lot of cool machines and gadgets – I am still looking for the right mix of things for Dan to have the best chance for recovery over the next several months.

GOOD NEWS! Well – it was a good day because the 'directors' come to the hospital on Friday's. The directors are the neurologists and they come and see each patient in their rooms and then have a meeting to discuss progress and provide guidance to the doctors on staff and the therapists for the upcoming week.

I had the MRI films that were taken of Dan's brain before coming to China (fairly recent – April timeframe). Anyway, as I might have mentioned before – this MRI technology was not available when Dan was first injured and I had never seen any films of his condition. So I have always pictured in my mind where his injury was in his head and how it has affected his abilities. Any time we had ever asked for an MRI to be done, the response was – we can tell he has sustained a head injury by a neurological exam – so we don't need to do an MRI to know he has a head injury. But, in my mind, I want to understand how these new cells are going to fix the problem that he has, where is the problem and what needs to happen to help him recover. Today the neurologists took enough time to look at the films, and explain the areas of the brain that have been damaged (in Chinese). Basically, Dan has two main injuries – one on the upper left frontal lobe and another in the brainstem area – the medulla. It is the second area that impacts his motor abilities and is the most noticeable to his current capabilities. Anyway – it was really good to learn and to see on the films where the injury sites are. Also, there is good hope for recovery for Dan – the main improvement will take a few months to see, but we are told that anywhere from two to six months from the treatment is when the cells start to take hold and improvements are seen. The prognosis for recovery was really good from these doctors opinion... pretty exciting news and very encouraging!

It was kind of fun to watch them today – they took the films and held them up to the window and talked very rapidly amongst themselves in Chinese. There were about 10 of them in the room as they go around as a group for the checkups. After they had the big discussion about it all – the interpreters told us what they said. So it was all good!

The only other thing to note is that lately Dan's right leg has been swelling with edema. They have stopped the acupuncture for now as they think that has aggravated something and they don't want the problem to continue. His right leg is noticeably larger and has been causing him some pain in the foot area.

Last and certainly not least – we are going to the GREAT WALL tomorrow! A few of us, including some patients are heading up to the Great Wall tomorrow for a day trip. I am sure Dan won't be able to go very far – but we will definitely make him hike up a few stairs to get a picture on the wall! We will keep you posted on this grand adventure tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan & LaNae,
You guys are simply amazing!!! I think after watching some of the videos today that I understand why Dan doesn't need a pad to sleep on. Those workouts are so intense, I can't imagine how exhausted you must be every night. I just want you to know how much we love you both and that we are always thinking of you. I know you will be rewarded for your amazing faith and all of your hard work.