Sunday, January 31, 2010

The First Night

I want everyone to know that I am at a loss for words at the outpouring of support we have received over the last few days. Between the comments on the blog, the texts, and the dozens of e-mails, I am moved to tears thinking about the love you have for Elana. Don't think I don't realize that this all about Elana. On her worst day, Elana is kinder and sweeter than I could ever hope to be on my best day. This is not false humility. Anyone who knows me will tell you Elana is everything that I am not. All my friends like Elana more than me. My own parents, I am pretty sure love Elana more than me. Who would blame them. I know they would trade me and about 10 first round draft picks for her any day of the week.

I have received e-mails from people who I have never met, who know Elana from her pharmaceutical rep days. I have even received e-mails from friends of friends of Elana who maybe met her once or twice but remember how warm and caring she was to them however many years back it may have been when they met her.

I was not sure if I was going to do this, but I know Elana would want me to share this with you so you can be a part of this coma process in a way more than words will allow. I have attached a photo of her in the ICU unit from this afternoon after the doctors induced the coma. If your not comfortable with seeing someone, especially someone you know and care about, in this sort of condition, be comforted in the knowledge that she is receiving excellent care. She has no less than five different doctors here who are all involved in the coma trial. In addition there is a nurse stationed at a desk immediately outside her room (not to be confused with the nurses station) whose only responsibility is to monitor and make sure Elana is cared for.

Again, I want everyone to know that I have read each and everyone of the e-mails, posts and texts that you have sent. I just can't respond to them all so I am using the blog to respond to all of you to say thank you and please keep in touch. I'm am saving every message for Elana to read when we get home.


Coma Day

Five minutes ago (10:30 am local time) my mother, Elana's mother & I walked out of the ICU. We had the opportunity to be there with Elana as they were getting her IV started (it took three pokes to get a good vein). I was the last one of us to kiss her before they asked us to leave the ICU. As I was telling her that I love her she started to fall asleep.

Right now they are preparing the feeding tube and ventilator and they will begin administering the ketamine. The doctor told us that unlike what most people envision when they think of someone in a coma, Elana will be moving her arms, legs, head and even her eyes. Because of this they have to restrain her arms and legs to prevent her from ripping out the feeding tube and IV. I don't imagine it will be a very pretty sight to see her in this condition. However, I am comforted knowing that this is road to a better quality of life. Whatever short term pain she and the rest of our family have to suffer through as a result of the coma procedure, will be well worth the potential result.

I'm am in a little bit of a daze right now as I am still internalizing that the next time I see my wife she will be in a coma. Obviously we have been thinking about and preparing for this for a long time but it still has not set in.

I feel like I want to write more, but I am having a hard time finding words right now. Maybe later or tomorrow I can share more.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Meeting the Doctor

Today we met Dr. Fernando Cantu for the first time. I'm already feeling encouraged. He came to our hotel room because Elana can't get out of bed today. We spoke with him mostly in general terms about what lies ahead the next few weeks. Tomorrow he is coming back to the hotel to discuss more specifics and will spend private time with Elana as well. I believe he is a talented and capable doctor, BUT I KNOW he is a warm and caring person after spending an hour with him.

Earlier this morning my mother and I visited the Hospital San Jose to get a tour of the ICU (where she will be during the coma) and the patient rooms (where she will be post-coma). I can say without a doubt this is the NICEST, CLEANEST & FRIENDLIEST hospital I have ever been to. You can eat off the floors and the patient room is bigger than our hotel room. While this won't apply to us, they even have a flat screen tv in the waiting area that monitors the progress of surgeries so that the families of the patients can know the status of the surgery (ie: 30%, 50%, 90% etc.).

I have attached a link to the website where you can read about and watch videos of all of the Coma patients, including Elana.

We all know that Elana is in bad shape, yet today we met the mother of 22 year old girl from New York who, if you can believe it, is in much worse shape. Jessica Stevens developed RSD when she was 11 after a bout with mono. She was able to get the RSD into remission with physical therapy. Several years later she developed lyme disease after she was bit by a tick. That caused the RSD to come back much worse than before. She has been in the hospital in Monterrey for FIVE MONTHS! After the coma she has had many complications because of the lyme disease. While I feel that we have gotten more than our fair share of perspective since this all began, I guess a little more can't hurt.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Travel Day

We arrived Monterrey this afternoon. It took a while for us to get through security in Miami. TSA doesn't react well when you tell them NOT to touch the foot. Thanks Underwear Bomber.
However, the flights were on time and we got to the hotel with no problems.

Tomorrow we meet Dr. Cantu, who is in charge of the entire clinical trial. We have only heard great things about him from the other coma patients who we have spoken to.

I am exhausted, so I am going to bed.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

8 days away

As many of you know, Elana is going to Monterrey, Mexico on January 28, 2010 to be a part of clinical trial that calls for her to be in an induced coma for one week. In the past, for Elana's previous treatments, I have sent e-mails out to friends and family with information and updates. However, Elana asked me to create a blog and post the events of our time in Mexico. I am not really sure what is the difference between sending an e-mail out and blog post, but this is what Elana wants, so this is what Elana gets. Since I have never been on facebook or twitter nor have I ever posted a blog before, I feel quite technologically forward as I write this today.

While we know the coma will begin on Sunday January 31st and the Doctor plans on reviving her the following Saturday, there is very little else for certain about the treatment. According to the doctor, after she wakes up from the coma, Elana will need to remain in the ICU for several days until she can eat solid food and respond to commands. Once she gets released from the ICU, Elana will spend the next several days in a regular hospital room, where the doctor will continue to monitor her recovery from the coma. If all goes according to plan, and there are no complications, Elana's total stay in the hospital could be around two weeks. No need to list the potential complications that could extend her time in the hospital.

As we begin another chapter in Elana's battle against RSD, I want to thank all our friends and family who have continued to support Elana and me with your visits, phone calls, e-mails & texts. Every time you reach out to Elana it helps immeasurably. I look forward to sharing good news with you over the next few weeks.