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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yesterday worst ever. I give it an F. In fact, I might refuse to participate in March 9th ever again.

Honestly, the day is a blur, with more tests, no improvement, more weakening, much more phlegm coagulating. A tired Ian was losing interest in using his suction thing. His feeding tube finally got installed but then no food was administered. He had several xrays and whatnot.

He had another MRI; this one is the latest spiffy good picture kind. The surgeon ordered it. He checked in after looking over the results and said at this point (whereas he had been extremely tentative), since he wasn't happy with Ian's condition (worsening) and the picture made it seem like surgery might not necessitate much travel through healthy tissue, he was leaning toward surgery. Shock and nausea - the surgery is not a pretty picture. Very risky. Then again, it's forward motion ... and so far we're rolling backward.
Move on a bit later (timeline fuzzy, but evening ish): his breath was shallow and the phlegm interfered.  He was getting more lethargic.  The breathing specialist came up and said he had to get his oxygen levels up or he was headed elsewhere to get that done.  They did some big suction - through the nose and all that.  That helped allow him to breathe but his body was still not doing what they wanted.  His BP was up and his O2 was down.  They did the 100% oxygen to no avail.  They cleared us out of the hall and pushed the button: they "coded" him.  The cart and the mass of people came.  They wheeled him to ICU.  They did a different mask, worked on his BP ... not much of a change.  He started to become delirious.  He wanted to see me, but when I got there he asked where we met, and had much confusion in his eyes.  He became rather belligerent about pulling his mask off, moving around on his bed like a drunk person. 
Again, time line fuzzy, but the ICU part is middle of the night stuff.  Then they ended up putting in the breathing tube, sedating him, restraining him (he's very strong; when I was there, his hands were tied down but he was using his good leg to kick us).
After the tube and the sedation, he had rest.  He hasn't had it mostly since we got here, so it was welcome to see, even though it means his face is barely visible under all the tubes and tape and wires. 
He is now getting an angiogram; more clear pictures.  We are expecting to hear from the doctor within a few hours, and I expect that he will tell us he plans to go ahead with surgery Saturday.
What this means, quite bluntly: He could not improve, he could have new symptoms, he could pass away from surgery.  He could RECOVER.  These symptoms could dissipate and disappear. 
We're circling the wagons.  Family headed into town from out.  I've done the all-day waiting for brain surgery thing before, but this one carries much more trepidation.  The kids haven't seen Ian since Sunday.  I haven't seen MY IAN since Sunday, either.  Our last sort-of conversation was a fight about how he wasn't allowed to not breathe, so he had to listen to what the specialists had to say.  At that point, though, the oxygen deprivation or more brain trouble was causing him confusion and ...
So now we're here, waiting.  That's about all I can say right now.  Except, naturally: pray.  The next two days ... then Saturday ... all powerless, except for prayer.  Dr. Wecht's hands, the surgical team. To God be the Glory; great things He has done and continues to do in our lives.


  1. You guys have been in my hearts and prayers almost hourly as you are in this trial. I long to be there to give you a hug, to say something comforting but because of distance I wait here for results as I plead the throne of heaven. May he be your strength and your comfort today. Praying that The Good Shepherd leads you gently through this time. xoxo

  2. Oh, Rachel. I am praying constantly. My thoughts are endlessly with you. Please try to take care of yourself, too, through all of this. Much love and prayer being sent your way!

  3. Rachel and Ian,

    I am soo very sorry!! I am new to your story, but I can't believe how serious this has gotten soo quickliy!!! Your mind must be reeling.

    I will pray for the Spirit of God to take over and show you clearly what should be done for Ian.

    ♥♥ Love ya!! ♥♥
    C.O.L.E.'s Foundation
    (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally)

  4. Rachel,
    I am so sorry to hear what Ian and your family are going through. I don't even know what else to say as I sit here and cry. You are in my prayers.
    Grace and Peace,
    Deb Trask

  5. Rachel, We are praying for Ian down here in North Carolina too. Please Dear Lord, help her to feel your arms around her. Heal the malformation and make it disappear. Restore him to his family. We pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

  6. Krista Winkle & FamilyMarch 10, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Dear Rachel,
    I can just imagine that there are no words or even actions that would make you feel at peace right now. Do know that you are in many people's prayers, including our very own dinner table grace. I will keep you and your husband and children in the prayer's of myself, my husband, and my children. God's grace is good. May peace and rest and healing come your way. Krista Winkle & Family

  7. Lynne Heller SmithMarch 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Dearest Rachel, I am a childhood friend of your Dad and he and your Mom have kept us up to date with your journey with Ian's trials. Our daughter Faye is your age. My husband and I have kept you and Ian in our prayers through every trip to DC to his current AVM crisis. Your ability to so clearly express your fear and hope shows the strength of your love and faith. Ian is getting the best professional care possible,is held high in an ocean of prayers and deeply embraced in the arms of God's love. May the Lord grant you and your family continued strength and peace in knowing that His hand is on Ian's shoulder. Lord please bless Ian with the miracle of healing and return to health.

  8. Rachel, I have been thinking of you, Ian, Audrey and Ezra everyday. I am praying that good news is on the way and Ian's condition improves. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make this all go away. You are in our prayers daily. The Shallcross Family

  9. Your strength and faith astound me! I will continue to pray for you all, with tears in my eyes. I am sending you a long distance hug and praying you feel it.
    God is hearing all these prayers and He is with you.

  10. Rachel, We are lifting Ian and your family up in prayer.
    Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
    Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Dear Lord, to You be the glory. Let Your hand guide the surgeon's hands. Bring peace and comfort to the family waiting, waiting on You, Lord. We worship You and praise You in this time of trouble. Lord, you never let go. Thank you for holding on. Help Ian to feel your presence and be comforted. I lift my hands in praise and prayer.