Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Update On My Father-In-Law

When my in-laws came for an extended visit over Labor Day weekend, none of us anticipated what was actually in store.  It's hard to fully verbalize the last few weeks, but here's a basic overview of the events:
Thursday, August 28th:
Randy, Lori, and Christopher (their nephew) arrived to Austin with plans for a fun, relaxing weekend.  Throughout the next few days my parents, brothers, sister-in-law, and niece all were all coming into town for a visit as well.  We had intentions of go-carting, grilling out, playing games, etc.  We were a little spread out with a portion of my family at our house in Buda, a few at a hotel, and most of the Rousch family at Andrew and Carolyn's place in northwest Austin.  Our goal was to coordinate time together as one big group.

Friday, August 29th:
Pretty much all of the Rousch family (minus a few of us with other commitments) went to play a round of golf.  The Keeler crew was still making their way to Austin to meet up with us all.  That evening everything seemed to be fairly normal, but over the night Randy grew concerned about some swelling that he was having in his joint along with some chest pain.  

Saturday, August 30th:
Early on Saturday, Randy went to the Seton Northwest ER; Randy had thought he was just having an allergic reaction to ibuprofen.  After several tests and x-rays the doctors discovered clots throughout his body, particularly in his legs, left arm, and lungs.  They also noticed a small spot of concern on his lung.  Over the days there were discussions about a biopsy. However, the focus was on addressing the blood clots, so they could later perform a lung biopsy without worry of dislodging the current clots.  Randy was given blood thinners to help with the clots, and the plan was that he would take those for 30 days before having a biopsy performed back in Little Rock.  
Thursday, September 4th:
Since Randy seemed to be doing fairly well we got Christopher on a flight back to his car in Arkansas, so he could make his drive back to home to Tennessee.  Randy was released from Seton Northwest.  Randy and Lori headed down to Buda on that Thursday to spend a few days with me and Ryan before they planned to drive back to Arkansas.  Around 10:30PM, Ryan drove Randy and Lori to the Seton Hays ER; at that time we thought Randy was having a heart attack.  Lori, Andrew, Carolyn, Ryan and I spent the evening in the hospital waiting for answers.  Through pain medications they were able to ease some of Randy's discomfort; it appeared that his chest pain was actually being caused by the clots in his lungs.

Friday, September 5th:
Randy was moved to a room in Seton Hays.  The doctors had joked with him about his hospital tour of the Austin area.  Randy was doing fairly well, but it was obvious that he was still in discomfort.  Randy's appetite seemed to disappear; he ate very little throughout the weekend. Over the next few days, Randy, Lori, and their boys enjoyed watching their teams (Tennessee, Arkansas, and Miami) all win their games...which is a rare occurrence for all three to have a victory on the same weekend.  As the weekend progressed, we anticipated that Randy would be released on Monday morning.  
Monday, September 8th:
Ryan received an urgent call from his mom asking that he get to the hospital as soon as possible.  Around 6:30AM Lori had assisted Randy in walking to the bathroom, and on their way back to his bed it was obvious that something was wrong. He stopped Lori as they were walking, hugged her, and the he began mumbling and wouldn't respond to directions.  Lori somehow managed to get him to the bed and call a nurse for assistance.  Thankfully a nurse made it to their side within seconds.  Randy suffered a major stroke that morning, and initially the prognosis was grim.  There were clots on both sides of his brain, and the right side of his brain was the most significantly effected. It was evident that Randy needed additional care and attention, so the hospital had Randy transferred to Seton Main (in central Austin).  Throughout the day, we saw more hope for improvement in Randy as he was able to recognize and remember everyone.  He was also able to speak fairly well and move his limbs, although it was obvious that the stroke had taken a toll on his left side.  Due to the effect of the stroke, Randy experiences something called Left Side Neglect; essentially he can see things that are in his left side sight-line, but his brain cannot process that anything is actually there.  For example, if he had a plate of food in front of him, he would only eat from the right side.  It was definitely a difficult and emotional day.  He stayed in ICU for a few days under close watch.  The doctors started to investigate how his body could still produce clots while being on blood thinners.  The information seemed to point to the node on his lung being cancerous.
Tuesday, September 9th:
Shannon (Randy's niece), David (Randy's brother), and Larry and Mary (Lori's parents) all came into town.  Over the upcoming days, additional friends and family members came by to visit.  Randy seemed to improve a little bit each day, and I think all the time with family and friends continued to be an encouragement to Randy (and the rest of the family).  If I remember correctly, I believe that this is the day that Randy received a feeding tube.
Thursday, September 11th:
Randy was moved out of ICU to IMU (Intermediate Care) which meant that more family/friends could be present with him at one time.  It was also a small sign of progress.  The doctors performed a lung biopsy on Randy that morning, and scheduled and MRI for that afternoon.  Between physical therapy, occupational therapy, visits with several specialists, etc...it was apparent that Randy was fatigued.  Through the course of the evening (or early on Friday) Randy's feeding tube came out.

Friday, September 12th:
The doctors confirmed that the node on Randy's lungs is cancerous. They spoke with Randy and Lori about chemotherapy, and the doctors allowed Randy some time to process and think about that decision.  Randy also had to go through a swallow test to see if he could have liquids and pureed food instead of having the feeding tube reinserted; he didn't pass the test on Friday.  However the speech therapist offered an X-Ray swallow scan that could clear him of needing the feeding tube.
There were huge milestones on Friday.  Randy moved out of the bed to the chair for a while, and he was able to stand with assistance during his therapy. It was his first time to do both of these things since his stroke.
Saturday, September 13th:
After the X-Ray swallowing scan Randy was cleared to have liquids and pureed foods on his own.  Larry made his famous creamed potatoes for Randy, which I know was a real treat after weeks of hospital food.  

Tuesday, September 16th:
To my current knowledge, Randy's chemotherapy will begin tomorrow.

Even though Randy is improving daily, he is still facing a long road to recovery.  I know that the entire family would appreciate any and all prayers for the following:
1.  For Randy to continue gaining physical and mental strength each day.
2.  For Randy to remain steadfast in his sense of hope and faith, despite the discouraging circumstances.
3.  For Randy to continue developing his speech and physical mobility.
4.  That the chemotherapy will eliminate any cancer present in his body.
5.  That the elimination of cancer in his body would resolve his blood clotting issues.
6.  That those who surround Randy would be granted the words and tools to best encourage him during this difficult time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Tonight, I learned that spending a late evening working on a database and my contemporary folk pandora station do not mix well....

My solution?

The creation of my *NSync pandora station....!

I went from snooze-fest to sing-a-long party within the span of a minute!!

Currently jamming to a Backstreet Boys tune.....I feel like I'm a senior in high school all over agin.
Flirty 30, ftw  :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

meet me in st. louis

or more aptly titled...
Lessons Learned: St. Louis edition
  1. If you're picking friends up at the airport....whatever you do....DO NOT accidentally use the bus lane.....it results in lots of yelling and honking.
  2. Drury Inn offers free appetizers and three free drinks for guests during Happy Hour...a big time win for anyone on a budget.
  3. The Big Bang Piano Bar attracts bachelorette/bachelor parties like you wouldn't believe.  I think we counted around 8-10 bachelorette parties alone....pure insanity!
  4. You DO NOT get complimentary bread if you order an appetizer at The Spaghetti Factory (even though all meals are advertised to come with bread, soup/salad, etc)...unless you ask the waiter, then he'll bring you three loaves just to be snarky. 
  5. To have a delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch, just visit Roosters for a yummy crepe.
  6. The older I get (ahem, which is still on the younger side of the line), the less travel-friendly I become.
  7. The free Anheuser-Busch tour is totally worth the time...which is saying a lot since I don't drink beer. For you beer lovers, they give two free nice-sized samples.
  8. If you're in the mood for a movie....I suggest checking out Chase Park Plaza, which is actually housed in a hotel....the theater even has a man playing an organ to entertain the crowd prior to the previews!
  9. On the movie subject.... "Midnight in Paris" is a very endearing movie...it harkens back to older Woody Allen films.  Definitely a charming film for those who love Paris and have a nostalgic disposition.
  10. Oh, and don't start watching "Reservation Road" when you're getting ready to go out....it's a serious downer.
  11. I feel like all the fleur-de-lis around town made more sense after I made the obvious connection that St. Louis was named after the canonised king of France. 
  12. St. Louis is actually home to a cathedral housing the largest mosaic installation in the world.
  13. Holly = Patron Saint of Hospitality (at least to Carla, Damona and me!) ....after some research in relation to one of our many convos, I learned that St. Louis is the Patron Saint of many areas (including, but not limited to):
*button makers
*difficult marriages (really??)
*distillers (this could be why it's the home to Anheuser-Busch!)
*tertiaries (which I'm choosing to believe that this relates to the definition pertaining to birds)

I think I relate to Saint Catherine of Alexandria much more....I mean, she is the patron saint of old maids, spinsters and secretaries. ;)

As you can probably guesstimate, the trip was great....it even included a cruise through downtown with the windows rolled down/sunroof open just so we could blare "Just a Dream"(even though "Country Grammar" would have been my first choice) ....such a great way to commemorate being in Nelly's hometown!

I only wish I would've watched "Meet Me in St. Louis" before the trip!

random mondegreen moment of today:
singing the lyrics to Ke$ha's Tik Tok as.....

The party don't stop til I walk in

yeeeesh...I certainly don't want a party to end just because I show up....that's probably why the actual lyrics contain the word start.....

Monday, June 6, 2011

buzz worthy

My friend, Jen, sent me this photo a few days ago....which we both found pretty humorous....

You can read this previous post to understand why!

Makes me think someone at Louis Vuitton might be reading my blog..... ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

flightless bird

The realization has set in that my passport has officially expired...and it makes me slightly anxious.  I've always liked the idea of being able to leave the country at a moment's notice (not that I act on such opportunities...often)...but alas, I cannot run away to Europe (or even Canada) today...