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In the hospital

Okay, this is a bit of a deviaiton from my regular blog format, but it seemed the best way to only have to write up the full background of what’s happening and not have to keep re-typing it.

Main point: I’m in the hospital, and probably will be until around December 7. I had a brain hemmhorage in which, the doctors believe, a vein leaked. The good news is that things like this in the veins rarely happen again, and I’ve seen no sign of damage due to this. My extended hospital stay is so the doctors can continue to monitor me to be sure it is indeed a vein issue and not an aneurysm.

How this happened: Yesterday, November 29, While out for a run, I experienced an excruciating headache. The pain spread to my neck, and I initially thought the headache was cused by a muscule strain in my neck.

I walked home and tried to rest it off. When I started vomiting, Nancy took me to the Urgent Care facility near our house.

The urgent care facility evaluated me and called for an ambulance to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. They did a CT scan on me and saw the blood in my brain. St. Joe’s does not have a neurology department, to they transferred me to the University of Michigan Medical Center.

At the UM medical center they gave me another CT scan. They aslo gave me an angiogram, in which they thread a catheter into my body at the femoral artery (by my groin) and up thourgh my body and nect. From there they can inject dies that show up on X-rays to see if the bleeding was from a vein–which would be good (but not as good as this never happening) or an artery (which would be very bad, and in which case they would have to have surgery to repari the artery).

The result of the angiogram showed no sign of an aneurysm (thank God), so they believe the probelm to be one of vein bleeding.

Vein bleeding heals itself, and is very unlikely to re-rupture. The damage, if any, will be minimal, and I have not noticed any decrease in function from this ordeal.

The doctors are keeping me in the hospital for about a week so they can continue to monitor me–they want to be sure that it isn’t an aneurysm. They have another angiogram planned for about 7 days from now, and I”m hooked up to all the proges and monitory.

The pain from the bleeding is still very intense. That is, it is whne the pain relievers wear off.

Nancy, of course, had been pretty scared during all this. She’s done well and has been grateful for the support of her friends and family.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
1. I ill be out of the office for at least a week. Any meetings I had scheduled will need to go on without me or be re-scheduled.

2. I will be in limited cell phone and email contact. My cell phone number is 734-663-1870, email is chuck@icpj.net. With a week laid up, I am willing to stay involved when the balance between pain and pain medication allows me to, but I cannot commit to anything.

3. I’m feeling as good as could be expected (back to that balance between pain and pain medication), and I have books, podcasts, and my computer to entertain me. That said, you are welcome to stop by if you like. Right now I’m in the Neurology ICU, they plan to move me to a regular room in a few days. Please don’t feel obligated! For many of you, I will be asking enough of you to re-shuffle the pieces while I’m away.

4. I’m also giving thanks. Between the fire last week and the hemorrhaging this week we’ve experienced two things that were really scary, very inconvenient, but overall quite minor. I give thanks for the person who called in the fire and the fire department–If the fire had gone 10 more minutes more the whole place could have gone up. I’m thankful for everyone in the ICPJ community who wished us well after the fire and who helped step forward to get things done. I’m thankful for the medical professionals who have been caring for me, and the friends who have been there with Nancy as she has sat and worried. I’m also very happy for whoever invented the pain medicine I’m on right now.

In peace,
-Chuck

17 comments ↓

#1 Jen Chapin-Smith on 11.30.09 at 10:38 am

Let us know if you need any help either at ICPJ or at home. Nancy, don’t be afraid to turn to us for help just as you’ve helped us in the past!
–Jen & Lexi

#2 admin on 11.30.09 at 11:32 am

Thanks Jen and Lexi. Right now we’re pretty well covered. If there’s anything we need, we’ll let you know.

#3 Kelly Mendenhall on 11.30.09 at 12:11 pm

Chuck,

EMU Student of Rich and Judy’s, and their first class trip to El Salvador, here. Have been in contact with you here and there in the past, and have attended a couple of sessions put on by the ICPJ.

Just wanted to wish you well, and wish you a speedy recovery. Glad things seem to be going fairly well so far, and will keep you and Nancy in my prayers. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if the EMU gang can be of any assistance.

Take care,
Kelly

#4 Joel on 11.30.09 at 12:19 pm

Melissa just informed me about this. I’m SO thankful that you’re doing relatively well, considering. Obviously please let me know if I can help out in any way. Our thoughts are with you and Nancy. (I’ll come visit if I can!)

-Joel Devonshire

#5 Jamie Browning on 11.30.09 at 12:26 pm

Holding you and the wonders of pain medication in the light.

#6 Mira Sussman on 11.30.09 at 2:50 pm

Chuck–Oh my goodness! I am so glad to hear that you are fine enough to write a blog post. Clearly you are blessed.
Continue to enjoy better living through science.
Mira

#7 Nancy Taylor on 11.30.09 at 3:12 pm

We’re so very sorry to hear of this second tribulation (in addition to the fire), and – with you – very grateful for fast and effective medical help. We know that you and Nancy have lots of ICPJ support, but we hope we can help if/when it’s needed. The CDs/DVDs you ask for, Chuck, are not in our repertoire (need any Brahms? Bach?), but we’re ready with food or flowers when called for. Sending you much Light and Love,
Nancy & Thomas Taylor

#8 Jesse Worker on 11.30.09 at 5:09 pm

Chuck,

What a scary and unexpected situation. I am so glad that the prognosis is good and of course I will be thinking of you until we hear the all clear. Take care, don’t think too hard (you’re frighteningly lucid above), and we’ll talk soon.

-Jesse

#9 Merilynne Rush on 11.30.09 at 5:27 pm

Take it easy, Chuck. Don’t try to get anything done. You’ll be amazed how fast the time goes and how easy it is to get used to just lying there!
I’ll bring some DVDs by Tuesday.
Merilynne

#10 Chuck Warpehoski on 11.30.09 at 9:31 pm

Today is feeling much better. I can’t walk around because I have a leash (okay, it’s an arterial line so they can monitor my bood pressure in real time), but I can stand. MRI tomorrow morning. Time to sleep.

#11 Bob Fisher on 12.01.09 at 9:12 am

Chuck – Holding you and Nancy in the Light.

#12 Chuck Warpehoski on 12.01.09 at 8:02 pm

If things keep going well, they plan to try to get me in for my 2nd angiogram on Friday, maybe even out on Friday (God willing). Thanks for your support everyone.

#13 Chuck Warpehoski on 12.02.09 at 7:28 am

Progress at the hospital. They just unhooked me from my arterial line, and they are moving me out of ICU into a less closely watched room today. Best of all, now that the a-line is out, I should be able to change my shirt 🙂

#14 Pat Schock on 12.03.09 at 7:59 pm

Best wishes always and keep us informed.
We also give thanks for all the procedures and for pain relief.

In peace,
Pat

#15 Chuck Warpehoski on 12.04.09 at 11:13 am

Okay, I just talked to the physician assistant, and they didn’t actually put an order in for that 2nd angiogram. So, it’s 1:00 on Friday, they don’t know if they will be able to squeeze me in today, and they don’t know what plan B is if they can’t get me in today.

This sounds very similar to when they had me ready to get into an MRI, only then to find out it had been canceled. Overall communication works well with so many people involved in caregiving, especially with the daily details like medicine doses and diet restrictions. Somehow the major things, though, are slipping through cracks and there is not a way to be sure who is bottom-lining things like scheduling an angiogram or canceling an MRI.

#16 Chuck Warpehoski on 12.11.09 at 10:01 am

Quick update: I’m back home. The headaches are 95% gone. I’m off pain meds. I’m waiting for my follow-up appointment to be scheduled.

And I’m REALLY glad to be home.

#17 ken wilson on 12.18.09 at 9:52 am

Chuck,
Thanks for your great comment on my blog. It sent me here and I saw this about your health situation. So I’ve got you on the prayer radar now. I hope our paths cross someday. My wife is also named Nancy. And my sister as well. A wonderful name.

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