Sunday, November 25, 2007

I went to Church

I felt well enough to attend worship services today. It was good to be at church. I slipped into the pew just before the service started and left after I took communion. I enjoyed seeing everyone. Maybe next week I will be up to coffee hour!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Feeling Stronger

I am feeling better each day. Each day the effects of the surgery recede a bit further. I am having to take fewer and fewer pain meds. The sites seem to be healing nicely. I am over the anesthesia “hangover.”

The docs were very confident that the shunt would deal with the symptoms of the hydrocephalus--I share their confidence. I can’t, however, verify that improvement. After brain surgery headaches are “normal.” Don’t really know what I am dealing with in that area. I am, however, assuming that the headache is surgery related. I will go to the opthamologist to take a look at the optic nerves and see if the swelling is going down. I will also be going to get a CT scan of the brain and see how the hydrocephalus is responding to the shunt.

The docs said that I would be my new normal in two weeks from surgery. So, next Friday I will report on the new normal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I'm back. We got in Monday evening and I went to bed. I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I do, however, feel better than I felt yesterday. I guess I was thinking that this surgery would be like the last one--but this has been different. the doc said I would feel like myself in a couple of weeks from surgery. I don't think it will take that long.

I have a great deal for which to be thankful. I will certainly be giving thanks tommorow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


We are waiting in the hospital room for Charles to be released. He has seen the surgeon this morning and things seem to be going as planned. We are going back to the hotel room for the rest of the day and to spend the night. Charles is pretty tired. We will get up in the morning and drive part of the way home. It's going to take awhile because the doctor wants him to get out of the car every hour and walk around to prevent blood clots. We should be back in Louisville on Monday afternoon. I think we are getting out of Minnesota just in time because it is snowing this morning. They aren't expecting accumulation yet....Katherine

Thursday, November 15, 2007

5:45 a.m.

Mayo called. I have to be at the hospital at 5:45 a.m. Better go to bed!

link to National Institutes of Health site

If you want to read about the procedure, click the link above.

Brain Surgery

The neurosurgeon has suggested a particular surgical procedure to deal with the hydrocephalus. He will perform the surgery on Friday morning. Don't' know what time yet. As brain surgeries go, this one is pretty routine. We should know in a couple of weeks how successful it was, but the doc seems confident that it will reduce the inter-cranial pressure enough to relieve the papilledema, etc.

I will write more later when I have a time for the surgery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Infectious Disease agrees with the uber-specialist. If I had an infection, its gone now. They are worried that if it was an infection that it will come back. But nothing to do for that except wait and watch. Hopefully, the meningitis part of this is in my past.

The neurologist also signed-off on Askimit's plan of action. Both have now discharged me to the Chair of Neurosurgy here at the Mayo. I meet with him, tomorrow to discuss treatment for the Hydrocephalus. I will know more about the treatment plan after that meeting. The most likely outcome--more brain surgery.

I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, I am going to get some dinner and celebrate progress. Waiting for a plan has been difficult for me. I am pleased to say that I think that wait is drawing to a close.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Uber-specialist's Opinion is in

My consult with Dr. Allen J. Askimit was today. He will be reporting his opinion to my neurologist, Dr. Swanson. He believes that I may have had a fungal infection, but that my body has already killed it. He believes I am dealing with the aftermath of having had a fungal infection.

I see the infectious disease doc tommorow--we will see if he concurs with Askimit. After infectious disease doc tommorow I see my neurologist. It looks like I may come home with a plan of action (I am more hopeful now than I was an hour ago).

Monday, November 12, 2007


Round three. We are here safe and sound. Typical day for me--no better, no worse than usual.

I see the neuro-pathologist tommorow. Maybe he will have some new ideas as to how best to proceed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bloomington, IL

We are in route to the Mayo--again. We stopped for the night in Bloomington, IL. We will get into Rochester tommorow sometime.

I made it to the Colts game last week and made it through the game. My hat is off to David and Jamie Ramsay for helping William and I pull it off.

My father-in-law is back on Bayly Avenue taking care of my children. He has been great.

My first appointment is on Tuesday. I will keep you posted.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cost of Health Care

Got my bill from Mayo for my first two visits: $18,000 and change. I am glad I have insurance. St. Mark's provides health insurance for all full-time employees. In my case, the parish pays the difference between individual and family plans on my wife's insurance policy. She works for the Commonwealth and doing it this way saves the parish a great deal of money. (The same coverage through the Diocese would be twice as much).

(1) I am grateful that the parish provides health insurance for its full-time employees.

(2) I worry about all those persons who are uninsured.