Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hasn't my motto all along pretty much been "baby steps"?

Well...more baby steps are ensuing!

Leslie had a follow-up visit after her ER visit. First was with the cardiologist. Amazingly, her defibrillator provides a cardiac monitoring strip of any time we want. The cardiologist could see exactly what her heart was doing, even if she wasn't on the monitors. It was very, very cool. He was NOT concerned with the rhythms Leslie's heart would go into at all. He also assured us that Leslie, right now, has a VERY healthy heart.

We also took her to her primary doctor. Her primary doctor didn't realize that the defibrillator could do this, and wanted her to wear a 24 hour Holter monitor. This was fine with us, but it is just another reminder how these doctors are all working for HER, but none of THEM are working TOGETHER, and it gets tricky. It's all on us to relay information, and that gets stressful!

Anyhow, after rehashing the ER visit (and her doctor seemed a little more concerned, which prompted her to do the Holter, but also prompted her to start Leslie on Magnesium pills).

As soon as she mentioned a new pill and another prescription, George and I kind of smiled at each other... that lead into our OTHER reason for the visit. Her meds.

We all feel she is over medicated. All of her medications serve a great purpose...improve memory, help with depression, etc. But all of them TOGETHER are too much for HER.'

At first I could see the skepticism in her doctors face, but I wasn't backing down on this. I know my sister and while I may not understand her brain injury, I know there are certain parts of her that are her, and nothing will take that away.

Therefore, her dose of Lexapro is cut in half (5 mg) and her Aricept is also cut in half (5mg). Her doctor said if we didn't notice much of a change, they could be eliminated altogether (like we already did with the Namenda).

Now I know I'm not with Leslie as much as George and my parents, but I noticed a pretty big difference! She smiles now. She has expression. She gets excited. She plays with my kids. It has been such a significant change, and I love it.

Last night, my mom and I took her out to RIM (Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan) where she spent about 2 weeks of her recovery to take her to a brain injury support group. I had my daughter, Paris "Hollywood" Hilton" with me (more on that another time..) so I missed a lot of the meeting, but I was able to hear the introductions and they were very refreshing for me. For one, I saw so many people that were just like my sister. A little forgetful, and they'd lose their train of thought while speaking. That's her! One gentleman spoke up, saying how he had just graduated from college as an accountant when his brain injury happened. I literally almost wanted to stand up and shout, "That's not fair, too!" excitedly, but I knew that would be inappropriate.

You see, I really struggle with how unfair all of this has been. Not just the fact that it happened to her, but the timing of it. She just got married, FINALLY landed a teaching job, bought her own home. Things were darn near perfect. Why did it even happen, but why did it happen THEN? The support group was a great way to learn that these things do happen, we aren't alone, and there are people out there that truly understand. I hope to get more involved in it. I thought it was quite powerful.

I love you, Les. Every single day I give thanks for you. You have no idea how much you mean to me. I will forever honor you.

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