Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010 at 7:00

Just wanted to update you on Ashley's condition. She walks very well now with just a cane. Her speech and swallow have both improved greatly. Her memory is getting better too but she still has a long way to go. If you see her, Watch Out! She is a grouchy girl.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27 at 8:10

Now that we are home safe and sound I won't be posting so often on Facebook but thank you for all your encouragement and prayers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25 at 9:30

Wendy Michelle Towle is going home tomorrow with Ashley, boys, and the dog!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20 at 10:30

I was thinking now would be a good time to let u know what you can expect Ash to be like when she returns home and how you can be most helpful. Please pass this information on to people who may be interested and don't have Facebook. Ashley has suffered from TBI -Traumatic Brain Injury. This does not mean she is retarded.... The effects of TBI are much like that of a stroke. She looks pretty good all things considered.

Part of her head was shaved when two monitors were inserted into her brain in Nero ICU but her hair has started to grow back. She'll most likely be wearing a hat in public. Ash has a weak voice and is more subdued then before. She has problems with short term memory so she will need to keep a good calendar and lists.
She also has some amnesia from the 3 months or so before the accident. She will recognize and remember u but might not recall the last time she spent time with u. She can also feel easily over stimulated and emotional so a lot of people around her asking her a bunch of questions may adversely affect her.

She DOES NOT remember the accident and hopefully she won't. Ashley has damaged nerves at her brain stem that will need time to repair themselves. Because of that damage she is unable to adequately swallow. She will not be allowed to eat or drink anything by mouth for some time. All her nourishment will be put through a feeding tube leading to her stomach.

The damaged has also affected part of her tongue making it more difficult to use. You may notice her voice sounds different. Speech therapists will be working with her so she will regain better control of her swallow and speech. Ashley's body is weak and unsteady. Walking takes a lot of energy and causes more pain.
She will need to use a wheel chair in public and a walker at home for a while. She also will need to wear a neck brace for 6 more weeks. A wound care nurse and 3 different therapists will each be visiting Ashley at home 2 or 3 times a week for the 1st month. After that she will go to the outpatient therapy 2 or 3 times a week.

The following are ways you can be helpful. Please...
Call to remind Ash of any plans you may have w/ her. Don't expect her to do much talking. Don't bring her food or make lunch plans with her. Call ahead if u want to stop in for a visit. If you think you may be sick please don't expose her. Her ability to fight off infection is decreased. Most importantly encourage her .to work hard at her recovery. For so long her life has revolved around field service and RBC work.

She wants to keep busy at that so it's means she needs to work very hard at her recovery. You may WANT to tell her to 'take it easy' and mean well by it but please don't. She really wants to push ahead to recover to the fullest extent possible. We don't know how fast or well, but she is hoping for a FULL recovery and is not willing to believe otherwise at the moment.

It would be good for people around her to have the same positive attitude. We miss you all and can't wait to be home again. Everything is going as planned so discharge should be November 26th. Ashley's blood count is now normal and her skull fracture has healed nicely. We hope to see all our friends in Red Bluff at the Sunday meeting following her discharge.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17 at 5:11

Today Ashley finally had surgery to put the feeding tube directly into her stomach. Everything went fine but she is in a lot more pain now. It should improve with in a week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 12 at 2:52

Ashley's white cell count has normalized. No idea where the infection was or where it went. The surgery scheduled today for the feeding tube as been postponed. Maybe tomorrow it will finally be taken care of.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12 at 10:19

Ash is working hard on the physical therapy. She hates being here & is hoping to come home early. The Dr. gave us a tentative date of Nov. 26th as a discharge date if all goes well. Yeah! Ash is still struggling with some sort of unidentifiable infection. Her heart & lungs are clear. They now plan to ultrasound her sto...mach. They are hoping things will improve so they can put the feeding tube into her stomach on Mon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9 at 8:04

Ash worked very hard today. She climbed up and down a staircase with 14 steps. Using hand rails of course. She is getting a lot stonger but still has real problems with balance. Her vision is blurred and she sees double which adds to her balance issues. She was finally able to shower for the first time today! Now she is sleeping VERY well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8 at 9:36

The fever is gone for now but her white blood cell count was high. The arrangemnts to have the feeding tube put into her stomach have been placed on hold until they are sure she can safely tolerate another surgury.

November 8 at 6:11

Ash is on antibiotics and is responding well. She had a great day in therapy today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6 at 10:45

Ash worked hard in rehab today. The speech therapist examined Ashley's vocal cords and discovered they are not closing properly and that is the reason she speaks so quietly and is most likely the reason she can't swallow properly. Arrangements are being made to have the feeding tube go directly into her stomach. She ha...s develped a fever with chills tonight and they are now doing new blood draws and a chest x-ray.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5 at 10:59

If your fine with just a short visit then I think it would be good for Ash to see all the people who are cheering her on. I'm relunctant to tell people to come visit only because it's such a long drive and chances are that Ash will only be up for visiting just a few minutes or so. She is still in pain, often confused &... now working hard w/ rehab which will make her even more worn out.We do miss you all dearly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4 at 9:30

Ashley moved to the physical therapy wing this evening!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3 at 2:12

Today Ashley used a walker. It was really difficult because her left side is much more weak then the right. Doctors are talking about sending her to the Physical Therapy wing of the hospital so she can have help to get up more and also work more with speech therapy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30 at 2:26

Today with support on both sides Ashley took about 50 steps and spent maybe 2 hours in the wheel chair. She is also starting to talk in complete sentences although she whispers and sometimes doesn't make much sense. It is very exciting to see all the work she is putting into her recovery. She still sleeps a lot and any visits are very limited. Thanks for all your kind words and concern.

October 28 at 3:30pm

With support on both sides Ashley took 6 steps to and from the wheelchair. For the first time we got to wheel her around the hospital floor for about 20 minutes.

Kathy Wong said- I took Ashley's brothers to see her yesterday. While there I told her a couple of funny stories and she smiled. It was so nice to see her do that.

October 27 at 8:27pm

Ashley typed the following herself: i am itired

October 27 at 1:59pm

Dr.'s believe Ashley is now stable. Her pneumonia has improved and she is more alert. The trauma doctor said this morning that her recovery so far has been phenomenal considering her severe injuries and she has been moved out of ICU.

October 25 at 1:53pm

Ashley has indicated by nodding that she does NOT remember the accident or even the building project she was on her way to. She started Physical Therapy today and sat in a chair for about 15 minutes.

October 24 at 11:10am

Ashley told the nurse her correct year of birth. She also recongnized our friend Tawnya by name which is Super because she hasn't seen Tawnya in a really long time. She is also able to tell the nurse when she is in pain. Ash is still critical and doesn't want visitors at this time. Thanks for all your responses and prayers. The boys and I miss all you guys.

October 23 at 7:02pm

Ashley is continuing to recieved treatment for the pnemonia. Plastic Dr. did a good job and her right cheek is no longer swollen.She slept a lot today.

October 22 at 10:08am

Ashley has developed pnemonia. She is having a hard time trying to comunicate but seems to understand what is going on. There will be time for speech therapy later but I'm excited to know she has the desire to try speaking.Plastic's are planning to work on her swollen right cheek today.

October 21 at 12:44pm

With great difficulty Ashley said her name today.Hopefully she remembers all of ours. :) The last monitor inserted into her brain is being removed now.

October 20 at 12:48pm

Ashley's breathing on her own and the resperation tube has been removed. Yea!! She is wearing an oxygen mask. She looks more comfortable but it not allowed to talk.

October 19 at 9:00pm

Ash had a more comfortable d ay. She was able to show a peace sign when asked 3 out of 5 times. She is breathing better. Hopefully tomorrow we will see more improvement.

October 18 at 8:03pm

Ash has a fever and has been taken off the setatives. Her body is hav'n a very hard time adjusting. She opens her eyes but not much else. It's hard to know what she understands right now. The Dr. is trying to get her body to take over breathing but she is having a hard time with that too. The MRI shows that her recovery will be a long process. Thanks for your prayers. She can't have visitors right now.

October 17 at 8:41pm

Ashley is tolerating the feed tube well. She went for an MRI today which took close to four hours. It was a bit hard on her becuase she came back with a fever. We hope to have some good news to report tomorrow.

October 16 at 9:36pm

Ashley had a quiet day. No real change to report. They will try and start feeding her through her feeding tube tonight.

October 15 at 6:42pm

Ashley moved her left arm a little. They had been worried about it but things are looking more positive for that arm.

October 15 at 4:16pm

Ash opened her eyes for just a second. She squezed my hand a little and wiggled her feet.

October 15 at 1:18pm

Ashley was moved to Nero ICU Her numbers are still good. She can't have visitors in her room, they want to start weaning her off the sedation and they need it to be quiet to keep her blood pressure low. She is also fighting an infection which is most likely in her lungs.Thanks for all your notes of encouragement, ...I'm sorry to be unable to respond to them at this time. When Ash can have visitors I will let you know.

October 14 at 4:33pm

The report is that the surgery went perfectly. Her abdomin is put together again. They will try a feed tube tomorrow. She will have to continue to remain sedated for at least 24 hours.

October 14 at 12:46pm

Ashley's numbers have improved. She is scheduled for 1pm sugery to close her abdomon.

October 13 at 3:03pm

Ashley's abdomon remains open becuase she has had multipule surgerys and swelling that made it impossible to close. They packed her belly and bandaged it up. They want to close her up now but are unable to lay her down flat due to the pressures in her brain.

October 13 at 3:03pm

They are changing the dressing now and are hoping Ash will be more stable tomorrow. Maybe they can close her up then. Her brain remains swollen and that is the highest concern. She is not feeling any pain and has not been awake at all.

October 13 at 3:02pm

A machine is breathing for her. If they continue to have trouble controling the swelling they may put her in an extreamely deep coma or preform surgery to remove part of her skull bone to releave the pressure in her head. She can't have visitors but if you want to come and sit in the waiting room you may come but ...I won't be able to visit much. I'm allowed to sit with her which I am doing if I'm not sleeping.

October 12 at 5:22pm

Ashley has had her ups and downs all day but she's still fighting so that's good. At the moment she's have an up. Thanks for all your comments and prayers. I hope she is able to read all you write in the near future.

October 12 at 3:57am

Ashley is still stable but developed some issues when they decreased the sedatives. They will have to keep her sedated after all. We may have to wait until after Tuesday when brain swelling should no longer be an issue before they try again. She was supposed to have surgery on her abdoman Monday but it has to be postponed.

October 11 at 8:09pm

This afternoon around 4:30p.m. the doctors took Ashley off of one of the medicines keeping her unconscience. They are now slowly reducing the dose of the sedatives she is on so that she will be able to wake up. Possibly as soon as tonight or tomorrow.

October 11 at 11:39am

Tonight was quiet. All numbers are looking good and heart is looking stable. Swelling has slightly decreased and blood pressure is good. Wendy will continue to update whenever possible.

October 10 at 8:39pm

The swelling in Ashley's brain has decreased with the right medication. An additional probe has been inserted into her brain and it indicates that the blood flow to her brain is very good. She is in a coma which is not uncommon. Her black eye looks much better and they finally dressed her in a pretty green gown. She looks like she is comfortable. The boys are with the friends.

October 10 at 2:09pm

Thanks for all your concern and prayers. Ashley's body seems to be healing but her injuries still severe. She is still in critical condition and has remained unconscious. We will know more about her brain swelling in a couple of hours.