Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tessa and Sandy

No real story here. I just love this photo that I took today of Tessa and Sandy. Tessa is working at an animal hospital and it turns out that her love for dogs is mutual. Some dogs that no one else is able to work with are putty in her hands.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Surgery Evaluations

Yesterday Bob and I traveled to Birmingham for the evaluations required in connection with the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. It was a very long day and tiring day, so we were happy to come home and be treated to a supper of pizza (supplied by Charlotte Campbell, who stayed with the kids during the day) and sushi (made by Jennifer). OK, so maybe we have eclectic meals at times. Keeps things interesting! ;-)

The neuropsych testing was scheduled to last 4-5 hours, but we were finished after about three hours. I was beginning to think they were not going to believe my answers on their questionnaires (mood type questions - I answered them all with a zero, indicating that I had no problems with that part of my life), but Bob backed me up in his interview. They also were quite impressed with my cognitive scores, apparently, which lent credence to my psychological answers. At one point the technician mumbled something along the lines of, "I have never had to go this far before," (in regards to the memory portion of the test). I am certifiably sane now!

My brain was pretty scrambled after the hours of testing, so we had a lunch break before heading for the brain MRI. I told the technicians that the MRI noises made my dystonia worse, but they didn't seem too concerned. I put in my own ear plugs and used their headphones on top of those, but the noises still caused very intense dystonic spasms. Although it was a relatively short MRI (15 minutes), I was in tears and unable to walk by the time it was finished. At one point during the test the technician came and asked me if I was having a seizure, but I told her it was the dystonia. I guess they understood what I was talking about then...

There was a woman in the waiting room who was waiting for her MRI when I went in to have mine done. Her eyes got pretty big when she saw the shape I was in after mine, though! I tried to assure her that it really wasn't THAT bad, but she looked a bit dubious as they led her back.

The DBS surgery nurse came to talk to us and she videotaped me while I was having the intense spasms. I apologized for being so "bad", but she seemed excited at all of the dystonic activity. She said that the worse I was, the more likely the committee would be to recommend the surgery.

Before she left, she let us know that the committee is meeting next week and she would call me and let me know their decision. She seemed certain that they will consider me a "good candidate" and then the final decision will be left up to me.

I have learned much about this surgery over the past couple of weeks, but have not come to a final decision regarding whether or not to go ahead with it if the committee considers me a good candidate or not. Prayers for wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jennifer's Home from Michigan...At Least for Now

Jennifer returned home from Michigan on Tuesday, having had a wonderful two weeks with Micah and his family. This photo was taken at a waterfall which was near his house. The family took a walk to see it and Jennifer took lots of beautiful photos there.

They are planning an April wedding now - just a small family gathering at the chapel on Green Mountain. Hopefully we can have a reception at church the following Sunday, but that is not a certainty at this point.

A heartfelt thanks to those who have been praying for Jennifer and Micah. God's grace has been wonderful to behold. We very much look forward to having Micah has an official son in law, although he is already that in our hearts.