Saturday, April 4, 2009

Notes from Ruthie

No surgery today! That, in itself, is a good thing, but day by day he is adjusting to his return to the world. He was awake and sitting up in the chair for some time in the early afternoon. He requested a Dr. Pepper and later water. He asks for these things very matter-of-factly, but unfortunately some wishes can't be met yet. He wanted to get up from the chair, or at the very least, roll out of the room. Several times he asked Bonnie or me to help him up to his feet. Unfortunately, we said we could not do it. He felt, I believe, that we must have been just too weak because he really grabbed onto Michael when he visited. (Now here's a guy with some strength!!!) Again, no luck. The nurse mentioned a future time when he might be wheeled outside, but he will have to get off the vent first. FORGET THE VENT---he was quite interested in that idea. That sounded like a wonderful prospect and he brought it up a few times. I did request that since he was now awake, we would like to transfer to the ICU Patio Suite instead of STICU Room 1, our current home. The nurse couldn't believe we were not pleased with our picturesque view of a cement wall. (I'm sure the nurse thought "Geez,these people are so needy!) I can imagine lovely french doors leading to a sunny fragrant garden area with comfortable seating and cool drinks. We ARE on the 3rd floor though. Hmmm, that could be quite a jump.
On another note,Wayne and Wanda came by later this afternoon. Wanda proved herself to be a good lip reader and they had a great conversation. Louie even laughed!! Wow--its been a long time.
He is coping with all of this well as he takes time to process things, little by little, bit by bit. We are praying that the healing of his body will catch up with his mindset as we move forward to wean off the vent, get that bowel to heal, complete the surgery marathon and cheer on the liver and kidneys to work efficently. Your prayers mean everything!! Don't stop---we can win this race.

Love to all, Ruthie

Friday, April 3, 2009

Moving

I am very happy to report that Dad is already moving his arms and legs after surgery.

Out of Surgery

Dr. Duke worked some more on the bowel today and new microsurgeons were put in. Dr. Duke said that surgery went well and dad is already moving his arms!

#39

In surgery now. Please pray that all goes well.

CAT Scan

Dad had a CAT can this morning, and it was clear. Thank God!

He's been awake a lot today and communicating. He's made it very clear that he wants to get up, have his feet on the floor, and go home. One day, one day.

He will have dialysis today to help flush the contrast from the CAT scan. (it was a scheduled dialysis day anyway) Also today he will go back to the operating room, and we pray that this time he has no difficulty with anesthesia.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

End of the Day Report

Dad had a scary day. Scary for us, but even more so for himself. As of this evening he is able to move both arms and legs. He's still not moving as much as he has in the past, but as the day progressed his movement increased dramatically. They never did take him for the CAT scan they mentioned earlier, but since much of the paralysis has seemed to wear off, they believe that this possibly was just a bad reaction to anesthesia.

This afternoon I was able to talk to him, and he was very coherent. More coherent and focused than he even was yesterday. He was able to mouth questions to me, and I did my best to read his lips and answer. He asked about Cayla and Tate, he asked about how mom was, he asked about the various machines around him.

Shortly there after is when his heart rate and blood pressure went haywire and it really, really scared him. We realized that we've had nine weeks to cope with this and watch his progress. He's only been awake for a few days (and has been disoriented for some of that time and under anesthesia during surgery as well). Today he wakes up and feels paralyzed. Of course is unbelievably scary for him. They were able to calm him down with some Ativan. His echo cardiogram and the ultrasound of his heart were good. After all of this his vitals stabilized. Later on, cousin Jenna (Luke's wife) was able to see him with mom. This was perfect because she teaches the deaf and she's much, much better at lip reading than any of us. She was able to interpret his questions for mom to answer. We never realized that he was worrying about so much. They covered everything from his job, keeping his word to his farmers, to finances, and his own fears about his recovery. Mom was able to reassure him that everything was being taking care of and let him know just how much progress has already been made.As I was leaving he was sleeping. Hopefully he will get a good nights rest, because he was awake most all of the day.

Please pray that he will be able to cope with all of the struggles he's facing. Pray that he will be able to believe he can recover and feel the support of all of those who have lifted him in prayer.

Update

He's moving a bit more, but now his heart rate is very erratic, his blood pressure is high, and he's been changed off of CPAP to the full vent. Continue the prayers please.

Urgent Prayers Needed

Need Prayers! This morning dad is unable to move. We pray that this has something to do with anesthesia. The anesthesiologist is on his way back to to try to reverse anesthesia. It doesn't make sense that he'd still be under anesthesia 12 hours later, but it is just one avenue to explore. They will also take him for a CAT scan soon to see if he possibly had a stroke or has some other sort of blockage. He's able to communicate. He specifically told mom "I can't move". He's obviously scared. He's able to blink his eyes, but not close them. He was able to slightly move one hand, but not his toes. Please, please Pray! We know God listens, and hopefully he is just still under anesthesia.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Post Operative Report

We were able to speak with Dr. Duke today. He was very excited to report that Uncle Louie's organ systems (kidneys and liver) are improving. He said that not only is this aiding in his brain function but it will also help with the healing of the bowel.

Thanks for your continued prayers they are so appreciated.

Abby

Another Good Day - Surgery 38

Dad woke up again this morning! Hopefully he was able to sleep well last night since he spent a lot of time awake yesterday. He's still trying to communicate with mom, unfortunately she's not the best at reading lips. (the rest of us are equally bad at this) Today he is saying that " _______ comes and goes". If only we knew what that something was. This must be so frustrating for him.

The STICU has gotten a new group of residents, so there were LOTS of Dr.'s on rounds this morning. Of course mom is hoping to get to know dad's doctor (Dr. Campbell) better. I'm sure it won't take mom long at all strike up a converstation with her.

Dad is still off of antibiotics, he's making urine, he's not very yellow so his liver must be improving, and he's waking up regularly. EVERYTHING seems to be moving in the right direction.

This morning he had dialysis and did well during that. I'm not sure what he thought about it, but I doubt he liked it much. His blood pressure is very good today (actually higher than usual), so he's set for surgery.

They are taking him back to surgery now. This is the first time he's been awake for the ride - he must be so confused! Please pray that the bowel Dr. Duke repaired on Monday is healing and surgery goes well.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chris' Speech from Dinner/Dance Benefit

Donna and her son Derek were kind enough to video much of the evening and send me these clips. (Mom's message and Chris' Speech) Not to bombard you guys with the same thing over and over again, but I think it's better when watched rather than read.

Dad is still waking up. He dozes off here and there, but then wakes up again. Great News!

video

He's Waking Up!

This is unbelievable. We just asked for these prayers yesterday and they are already being answered! He's still groggy (and drifts in and out) but he's the most alert he's been. His eyes are open, he's able to focus (and the Dr. says he's able to follow objects), he's looking around at his room, his lines, and his machines. He's nodding answers to some questions, and mouthing some words as well. He has said that something is "Sore". My gosh, I can't imagine why? He's "stretching" a lot - his arms, legs, fingers, you name it. He's trying to itch his wounds and is probably curious what's going on in there. Mom asked for a kiss, and he puckered up as if blowing one. He will go back to surgery tomorrow. We know that it is very possible that he might not be this alert tomorrow(or even this afternoon for that matter). For now though, this is just amazing!

Please continue with the prayers - you people must have direct lines to heaven.

Slide Show

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ruthie's Message - Played at Dinner/Dance

For those of you who missed it, here's the message from Ruthie.

video

Post Surgery Report

Uncle Louie made it through surgery and generally the surgery went well. The abdomen and the exit wound areas look good but he is still having some issues with his bowel. One of the the areas is having a hard time staying together. Dr. Duke had to restitch it again tonight. Because of the massive injury his bowel took at the time of the injury he can't afford to lose any more bowel. Please continue to pray for his bowel and for him to start waking up from all of the sedation.

Thanks so much for everything you do!

Abby

#37

In surgery now; please pray.

Surgery 36 and Notes from Rounds

According to Dr. Duke, Saturday evening's surgery went well. After Saturday morning's scare we were anxious to hear Dr. Duke's update, and thankfully surgery turned out being very routine.

The Benefit Dinner Dance on Saturday night was perfect! I am stunned at how many people came and supported dad. I know that El Campo has done amazing things before, and maybe I shouldn't be shocked it was so successful, but it was far beyond what I imagined. I cannot thank you all enough.


Now for the daily Round's Update:

Rounds went well this morning. Dad has bounced back incredibly quickly, and is already back to where he was before Saturday's bleeding scare. He's making urine and most all of his other functions are picking up as well. One place we are directing our prayers to right now, is for dad to wake up! They have stopped the pain medication drip (even though he does get some pain medicine through patches), and we would love to see him awake. In the past week or so dad has woken up very little (possibly not at all). We've seen first hand just how much all of your prayers have worked, so we're calling on all of you to pray specifically for him to wake up.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chris' Speech

For those of you who missed it, here is Chris' speech from last nights very successful benefit Dinner/Dance.


Good evening everybody, I'm Chris Perkins, Louie and Ruthie's son-in-law. I want to take a few minutes to thank all of you for coming tonight and showing your support for Louie. Please know that Ruthie would have loved to be here, but she wouldn't miss a minute at Louie's side, and I do believe that Dr. Red Duke might actually miss her if she were not anxiously awaiting his every update.
Since we are here to support Louie tonight, I wanted to take a few minutes and introduce you to some of the other people that your prayers have blessed, your generosity has inspired, and your kindness has graced. Louie and Ruthie have three beautiful daughters and two grandkids. My favorite and the first of his daughters is my wife, Tracy. We have a six year old daughter - Micayla, and a one year old son - Tate. Micayla prays for her Paw Paw every day and wishes for his speedy return to just being her Paw Paw. Tate simply misses his buddy, the guy with the moustache who rescues him from our female dominated family gatherings.
Bonnie is the middle daughter. She is by far one of the most strong willed people I have ever met, and as of somewhat recent history, one of the luckiest but most deserving people I know. We would be remiss to not mention her boyfriend Michael Kaspar. He has been around a long time and is considered part of the family. Anyone who can hold their own against Bonnie definitely deserves some family privileges. Last but not least is his baby, Suzanne. Suzanne is considered the favorite - a title that has never been disputed by Louie or Ruthie. Suzanne attends Texas A&M University where she majors in Accounting. She pretty much lives with Tracy and I in College Station, so much so that we have affectionately nicknamed her our "Foreign Exchange Student".
As I sat and wrote this speech, I set out to write the words that would give you a picture of who Louie Buzek is. It didn't really take long for me to realize that trying to explain to you who Louie Buzek is was unnecessary. You all came here tonight because you already know a great deal about Louie. It is those of us who have only known Louie for a few years that have the most to learn about this man.
You know, since I have known Louie I have always felt sorry for him. Mostly that is due to the fact that he has spent most of his life living with four women, female cats, and female dogs. You name it, the man has been surrounded by women most of his life. Being surrounded by women wouldn't cause most men to complain, but in Louie's situation, he has had to accept his lot in life and move on down the road.
In the time I have spent with Louie, I have learned from him that three things really matter: your faith, your family, and your friends.
Until I met Ruthie, I never really knew that you could pray so much about so many things. I have always assumed that God enjoyed quiet time and wished that she would leave him alone sometimes. It wasn't until Tracy and I were expecting Tate that I learned that Louie does have a strong prayer life. We had several reports of possible birth defects, irregular tests, and all sorts of other sidestreets to navigate, but in the end, Tate was born big, mean, and healthy. If Tate would have been here tonight, he would have been the kid that chewed the leg off your chair. Joking aside, Louie told Tracy that all during the pregnancy he and Ruthie prayed for Tate - and for that we are grateful. Nevermind the fact that Louie has also prayed for good grades on tests, favorable results in cheerleading tryouts, and whatever Ruthie or the girls strived for. If he believed it would make his family truly happy, he prayed.
I will tell you this - it is a fact this group is a tight knit family. Being an outsider to this clan can be flatly intimidating. I was raised an only child. I was excited to get married. I got a new Dad, a new Mom, two new sisters, a wife, and maybe - God willing - one day a new brother or two. That being said, taking in all this family can be a little overwhelming.
I'm smarter than I look and figured out early that Louie is a family man. He has always put Ruthie and the girls first, and that aspect of Louie I have always admired. He makes me want to be a better husband, father, and man. Louie is that type of a person - always there to do what he can. The type of man who isn't standing behind you, he's standing next to you - willing to give all he can. I am honored to be Louie Buzek's son-in-law.
For the family, thank you - you have provided an incredible support system. Since this accident you have been there, just because of who you are and what you mean to one another.
So far as friends are concerned, Louie's friends happen to be some of my favorite people as well. You have all been great. Louie finds true value in your friendship, and for you guys he would do anything. He is lucky to have friends like you, and you are lucky to have a friend like Louie. You guys are more than just friends, you're brothers - and I have never had to wonder why he loves you guys so much.
We can't forget to thank all of you who have never even met Louie and are here because you know Ruthie, the girls, or you just have that special sort of goodness in your heart. Family, friends, all of you who came here to show your support for Louie - Thank you all. We see that your prayers are working and appreciate you more than you know.
In closing, I am reminded that the true measure of a man is not by what he has, but by his family and friends. By that measure, Louie is rich beyond our dreams.
Thank you again, God Bless You, and let's bring Louie home!