Saturday, March 4, 2017

Jess In The ICU

I am very sorry for the delay in getting information out to you guys, I realize I left you out on ledge with no answers. Again, sorry about that. Jess is recovering in the ICU, and by all accounts is doing as good as can be expected today. Almost immediately after writing my the last blog we got a call in the waiting room saying that one of us could go and see Jessica. Bonnie and Bob were gracious enough to ease my eagerness to see her and allowed me to go first. Or maybe I just left...When I arrived at her room, my heart sank. I found her screaming in pain, nearly hyperventilating, with tears streaking down her face.

Jess has an incredible tolerance to pain medications. It has been an issue with every single brain surgery. We thought we took steps to eliminate this prior to the surgery by informing anyone and everyone who would listen, and showing documentation the on her charts, but it did not help. Either the information never made it across departments or no one can fathom that Jess needs the same amount of painkillers as a women literally twice her weight. After entering Jess's room I quickly relayed all the information that we had already told so many people and after 45 excruciating minutes she started to feel the effects of the painkillers and began to level off. The nurse stated that she did not think anyone in the room would still be conscious after taking the amount of painkiller they administered to Jess. Needless to say this was extremely difficult and not what I was expecting. This experience started the cycle of me not leaving Jess until this exact moment. This is why I was not able to write an update blog and give everyone the information they were seeking.

Once Jess got her proper dosing in order, things have been going. The staff has been incredible (besides the obvious) and Jess is quickly becoming friends with every single person who enters the room. It is important to explain what 'good' means in terms of a craniotomy recovery. First off, I will say that she seems to be doing better then the previous surgeries relative to the same time frame. unfortunately what this looks like for Jess is; occasionally slurred speech and word finding issues, blurry vision, loss of motor skills and decrease in cognitive abilities. Lots of tears. Lots of stress. Lots of worry. Some of these deficits are an expected byproduct of surgery, but none are guaranteed to diminish. We all hope they will, but nothing is certain. There is an tremendous amount of healing that still needs to take place. There are going to be hard days in her future, but if there is one thing I know, it is that she has done it before and she can do it again. Amongst all this pain and worry Jess still manages to be polite and caring to everyone. After the tears comes one of those smiles, the type that somehow reassures everybody in the room. Just as quickly as she gets sad from not accomplishing something, she is elated at one of her tasks conquered and puts both hands up in the air as if she won the ICU rehab championship.

I only mention her deficits to ask everyone to be cognizant of her healing and remember that the work will continue long after we leave California. Please continue to send your love and prayers her way, she is very moved by the amount of support she is receiving. Thank you all so much.

Here is the girl..



24 comments:

  1. Thank you Dan for taking the time to update all of us. So sorry she had to go through the pain until they understood you were telling them the truth. She is such a trooper! Thank God she has you!!!! Hang in there Jess. Still praying for a quick recovery. You definitely get first place ICU championship. Can't wait to see your infectious smile. Take care kiddo. Dan give her hugs from me please. (My daughter says from her too)

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  2. Dan,

    Thank you so much for the update. I know how much energy this takes and we all so appreciate you informing us. Thank you for being such an advocate for Jess. We love you all so much. Please just focus on her, you, and your family. We are so thankful for this news. We will continue to send massive amounts of prayers and love to you all. One day at a time. Love you guys, The KW's (Steph, John and girls) xx

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  3. Thank you Dan. You guys are incredible and I'm holding you in my heart ❤️

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  4. No need to apologize for taking care of yourself and jess first! Yes, everyone is anxious for news, but there are other priorities here. Thanks for the update and remember how much we all love you guys. K mullis

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  5. Thank you Dan. Bless your dear heart and take of yourself too. Oh my gosh so glad were able to advocate for Jessica and her medication need for the pain. She IS !!!! a champion in all aspects of life. We continue to pray for Jessica, you and your families. God bless you and Jessica.

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  6. Thinking of those smiles and sending so much love! Jessica, you are amazing!!! You got this. xoxo

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  7. Gosh Jess is one tough cookie. So relieved to hear she is smiling. Dan, you are being such an amazing advocate. Praying for you all and sending so much love your way. Meagan, Jay, Maya & Emi

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  8. Thank you Danny. We have all been on the edge of our seats but don't feel like you have to make this even a fifth priority. I'm sure we can all figure out a way to know that she's doing OK without you having any added stress of feeling like you have to do anything extra than what you already have on your plate. You have got everybody behind you and we all love you very much.

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  9. Love you Jess and love you Dan!

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  10. Thank you for taking a moment to write to all your friends, angels, and family. It is totally understandable that you needed to stay focused on Jessie. That is what we all want you to be doing. Please take care of yourself so that you can be there for Jessie. Sending you warm and loving thoughts from Mexico.

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  11. Thank you Dan for keeping us updated. I an praying for you both through this recovery. It doesn't surprise me that she is smiling and polite because she is one of the most caring people I have ever met. Jess, you bring a ray of sunshine wherever you go. You are so loved! We have been praying and will continue to pray or you, Dan, your family, medical team and for your recovery.
    Love, Sarah, Joey, Tyler and Kaitlyn Burnell

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  12. Thanks for the update Dan. I have yet to meet you but so grateful Jess has you in her life. Please send Jess my love. She's in my constant thought and prayers!

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  13. Thank you again for the update! I'm so sorry she had to go through such pain! Sending prayers, sunshine and love from your GBM friend!

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  14. Dan, Thank you so much for the update, you are sweet to keep us all in the loop. We love you, guys! Go grateful to hear Jess made it through the surgery and that things are under control as best they can be. So sorry to hear about that initial painful experience. Jess, you are an incredible warrior and you are doing a great job. Even from the ICU you inspire us all to live more fully and with more love in our hearts. Gracias chica! Many prayers and well wishes going out to you both for a smooth healing experience. Blessings, Mary P. and the fam.

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  15. "So Cal" PattiMarch 4, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Thank You Dan for the update and for your continued love and caring for Jess! So sorry that she had to endure all that pain in the beginning! You both look great in the picture even though you have been through so much! Continued love and prayers for Jess as she passes each hurdle in her recovery, and love to you and her family! "So Cal" Patti

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  16. Jess, I am so relieved you have such an amazing supportive partner to help you through this! Thank you dan for keeping us posted and for all that you do. I will continue to pray and send love from Texas🙏

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  17. Dan, we never hung out growing up (which considering how small out class was, is kind of impressive) and I'm sure at the time that you put as much thought towards me as I towards you (not much), but following your story with Jess, I just want to say how impressed I am with you. I don't remember if our paths have crossed since 96, but you've shown your true colors as you and Jess have had to navigate a situation that would be called difficult as best. I've never been the religious or spiritual sort, but you two are most definitely in my thoughts.

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  18. Great photo. Hugs to you both. Xoxo xoxo Annie

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  19. Thank You Dan...not only for the update, but for being the man you are. We love you and Jess.

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  20. Aww I'm so sorry she had to go through that pain at the start. I'm so glad she's already smiling though!! So happy you're already on your way to recovery. Wishing you the best always Jess! And Dan you're amazing, what a God send :) I hope you're doing well too.

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  21. Jozann above said it so well, thank you for being the man you are, Dan! You can tell by the photo (and many other examples) of the love you and Jess have for each other - truly a match beyond words and I only know of you two thru the blog. :) (J's info has been so helpful as my step dot has similar dx). I gotta say Jess is one amazing gal and an inspiration to us all! Sending Jess, you and your family good thoughts and prayers now and onward!

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  22. Danny you win husband of the year...actually the past few years!! Your love for Jess is contagious. Your (love) story is an inspiration to us all, you are so blessed to have each other in your lives. God knew you two needed to be together, forever. Praying for you both, & for Jess's parents...it's hard to watch your little girl go through such things. Lifting you up with love & prayers.

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  23. Sending so much love and healing energy to Jess! You guys are in my thoughts and heart. ~Nik

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  24. I'm sending all my love and visualizing Jess' complete recovery. I love you both. ~Elle

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