Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5

The baclofen pump surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, Feb. 10. Paul will stay in the hospital (UT Southwestern/Zale Lipshy) at least one night, maybe two but at this point we don't know. Once the pump is installed, I believe that the doctor will want to watch him as the first doses of baclofen are distributed via the pump and then fine-tune the amount and what time he receives the baclofen. We are excited but, as I said, a little scared. Paul has expressed sadness that he will have to have this device in his body but we've tried to assure him that, if it allows him to get stronger, gives him more control over his body, and, hopefully, walk with less assistance, than it will be worth it.

Paul's short-term memory continues to slowly improve. We've learned that we have different types of memory and each is located in different areas of the brain. A doctor at Pate explained it, in very simple terms, by using this as an example: You have a doctor's appointment in the morning. One part of your brain stores the information that you went to the doctor, another stores the information about what the doctor looked like, and yet another will store the information about what the doctor said. Basically, it comes down to taste, smell, vision, hearing, and physical feeling - all are stored in different areas of the brain. If one of these areas of the brain is not working properly for Paul then that leads to confusion when he tries to put the pieces together. He is currently being tested to see if it can be determined which areas are affected so that we can help him with those specific memories.

That said, Paul's longer-term memory continues to amaze me. We went to see one of the doctors for the first time at Pate here in Dallas. The moment we walked in, both Paul and I, and the doctor, knew that we all knew each other from somewhere but couldn't figure out where. We went through the usual scenarios of work, school, neighborhood, etc. but still couldn't figure it out. Then, near the end of the visit, Paul spelled out O-L-D D-A-Y... and before he could finish we realized it was from Buzz's daycare. Her son was in Buzz's class for a time but that was almost three years ago. So, the dynamics of the brain and all that Paul can and cannot do continues to fascinate and frustrate at the same time.

Please think of Paul, and say a prayer for him, next Tuesday around 3:30 pm as he goes in for his surgery. It is minor surgery but could bring about some major changes.

Thank you,


ann hynecek said...

HI Patty and Paul! Our thoughts and prayers are with you right now and will be on Tuesday. I am excited to hear the stories of recovery and really appreciate the updates. I know that there will be many more to come as the baclofen pump begins to work. Hope that you all have a wonderful day! Paul - excited to see you on facebook, can't wait for more updates. Talk to you all soon,
ann (livingston) hynecek

Anonymous said...

Love and appreciate the update on Paul. I am so glad the surgery is sooner rather than later; Patty, I know you feel the same way.

the long term memory is very interesting! It's amazing what goes on inside of Paul's head! I look forward to watching all of his hard work and progress continue. I just know it will.

We've all come a very long way in such a short time period. God has gotten you all through this so far...and I know He will continue to bless Paul as he keeps on pushing....

See you guys soon. Much Love to the Jerde Family!

Karen Hatfield

Anonymous said...

I will absolutely say a prayer - I think about you all so much! God bless you! Thanks for the update!
Michele Arnette :o)

Kristine said...


I know we talked about your fear of having the pump inside you--but remember it's not for ever. This will enable you to get strong and stay strong. You have already proven to everyone that despite the pump you are determined not to let the tone affect your efforts at regaining your ability to walk. You are amazing!

This is just one of the many speed bumps you have already crossed and probably one of a few more to come. Stay strong in spirit Paul.

Patty--I'll be thinking of you, as well, as you sit waiting for Paul to come out of surgery. You stay strong in spirit as well.

Until our next visit,
Love and prayers to both of you,

Anonymous said...

We continue have you both in our thoughts and prayers - especially this Tuesday. Thank you so much for the updates.
Mike and Diane Taylor

Joe said...

You keep on going, Paul. I know you will be super-fine. Patty, thanks for these updates on Paul. I know this truly is an act of love from your heart.

Grace and peace -- Joe

Stephanie Linder said...

So glad to hear about your progress! I know you all must be thrilled to be at home together! We will pray that the surgery will be a success and that you will see results soon! Blessings to you and your sweet family!

Love, The Linders

Lipan misses you and Buzz...hopefully you can come back soon....maybe Pinewood Derby??

Anonymous said...

I am really excited that the surgery is tomorrow.I guess excited isnt the right word. It's more that I am looking forward to seeing what this can do for Paul.

I just know it's going to be great and that it will help him in his recovery. I will be thinking of you guys tomorrow afternoon. I will be getting updates from I wont be bugging you!

Please let us know when we can come over & let us know what we can bring. We'd love to come visit.

Love you guys. Karen

Anonymous said...

Good luck tomorrow, Paul. I'll be thinking about you. Love, Holly

Anonymous said...

Good Luck tomorrow Paul!

Patty, I will be thinking about you and Paul all day and am eager to hear that everything went well.


Anonymous said...

Wishing you both a restful evening
as you anxiously await tomorrow's
I will keep you in my prayers.

Mary Ellen from Manistique

Brad said...

Wishing you the best tomorrow. We're all looking forward to your progress. Enjoy the hospital food :-)

BTW - Misha's 5th grade b-ball team (St Monica) plays St Pats Saturday. It'll be a tough game. They're both undefeated.

Anonymous said...

Patty, Paul, and Buzz~
Our family has been following your journey from the first time we recieved and email to pray after Paul's accident months ago. Although our lives are related only by 'a friend, of a friend of a friend, of a friend" We have continued to pray for every difficult step and celebrate with you through every move forward.

Thank you for the updates on the blog and for allowing us to live & pray this through with you. I've read how many wonderful friends and family are with you and so many others you may never really know, with you in this journey too. Keep moving forward!!! We love you all!
~Chase family, Dallas

Flying Colors said...

I think of you often... and did so just the other day... wondering, sending you my best wishes and prayers of recovery :)
I know your story from your friend Willie Baronet.
Continue to get better and bless you!

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