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Sunday, September 30, 2007

9/30 Afternoon Update


Hi Everybody,

Last night went really well, Courtney watched over me the whole time. I didn't have any seizures, maintained a healthy blood pressure and slept soundly (ditto that for Court). Things were calm up until this morning when she had a bout of nausea and later ran a heart rate around 130 this afternoon. Court has remained relatively drug-free lately, but when she appears to be in pain the nurses use either of two medications: Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug or Fentanyl, a strong narcotic pain reliever.

We're not sure yet when or where Court will be moved in the coming days, she is still scheduled for the cardiac catheter tomorrow and defibrillator implant on Tuesday. Unfortunately, when she is moved upstairs she won't receive the same level attention as the ICU because the patient-to-nurse ratio will be closer to 6:1 than 1:1. As hard as that is to take, Courtney has made so many strides already there's no reason to think she'll stop when she has more time to herself.

God bless her, she sneezed a few times this morning. Courtney's also been stretching her legs and arms vigorously, she has gained a lot of strength. When holding my hand she grips harder and will bring me near her face or neck area. I wish I could take the trache collar off, but the only consolation we have is that she'll be able to move to a smaller tube soon and may eventually have a speaking valve that allows her to talk (if she can). One day I want to have some direct quotes to use here, quotes or a hug, I'll settle for hug from her.

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Saturday, September 29, 2007

9/29 Evening Update


Hi Everybody,

Photo from Julie

Courtney is doing really well tonight, she's calm and keeping a steady heart rate. Hopefully that remains the status quo as I'm staying with her overnight for the first time. I forgot to pack my pajamas, but I'm sure there'll be enough truth or dare and gossip about cute boys to make for a primo slumber party. This will be a good chance to give Court's folks a break, Doug is gearing up for the Leaf Peepers Half-marathon in Waterbury tomorrow and Julie and Marty have a friend up from Maine for the night.

I hope everyone rests well tonight, I know I'm going to try my best in the ICU barcalounger (which bares an eerie resemblance to Dr. Xavier's X-Men chair).

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Friday, September 28, 2007

9/28 Evening Update


Hi Everybody,

After nearly getting whacked in the face and then having my hand stomped on, I've determined that Courtney is a bit cranky tonight. She has every reason to be, her heart rate still dances around, hot-cold-hot-cold. Usually 6 p.m. is a tough time for Court in the hospital, maybe because its dinnertime and instead of meat and potatoes, its dinner via syringe.

Come next week Court will be moved up to the fifth floor in McClure, called telemetry, for the next phase of cardiac recuperation. There, the medical team will run a catheter from her thigh up into her heart to monitor her blood circulation. The results may give us a better clue as to the cause of Court's heart attack. The doctors also plan to implant a small defibrillator inside her chest as a safety measure should she, God forbid, ever have heart trouble again.

Thank you to all of the visitors that have brought smiles to Courtney's face. It's hard to believe its been two and a half weeks since she entered the emergency room, but you've kept us all in good spirits. I'll keep you posted over the weekend, we're hoping to do some apple picking Sunday.

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Photos (12)


Hi Everybody,


Court's doing well and may have the chance to move up a floor as soon as Monday. Here's another round of pictures, some scans from Julie and Patricia McDonald.







-Sean

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9/27 Evening Update


Hi Everybody,

Courtney's made several attempts to climb out of bed, flopping one leg out at a time, I swear she's going to break for the door any day now. She'll be moving up to the fifth floor in McClure in a few days (I believe its the presidential suite), so we'll have to say a heartfelt goodbye to nurses in the Intensive Care Unit. Her folks met with the social worker and case manager this morning to talk about next steps like rehab, when Courtney may be able to be moved in a few months. One place that has stood out early on has been
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, we're not sure about the insurance coverage and the money involved at this point.

Tonight we're keeping our spirits up with pizza and beer, saying goodbye for now to Aunt Marti who's flying back to Arizona tomorrow to teach 6th graders about owl pellets and hang out with Eric Byrnes. She says she'll have to check the blog for updates while she's away (I know that's where I get most of my information from). I want to thank everyone for their complements on maintaining this space, but to be honest when you have such rich subject matter; a pretty young girl making miracles happen and a crew of family and friends that pour in their love by the day. I'm happy to have met you all, whether in person or through cards, e-mail and comments and you've helped Courtney make it to where she is now.

A couple of links I'd like to share, one that gives me hope and one that makes me laugh:

Here's the incredible story of Jill Finley, a 32-year-old heart attack victim who then fell into a coma, putting her husband the hardest position of his life.

Woman wakes up from coma
Woman wakes up from coma


The Red Sox did a little rookie hazing the other week, I hope nobody stops reading because I'm a boston fan, but even Yankees fans will get a laugh out of this.

Rookies play dress-up
Rookies play dress-up


Feel free to post any links or info you've found.

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9/26 Afternoon Update


Hi Everybody,


Courtney's made great progress, she's getting stronger each day, almost at each visit. She absolutely hates the collar around her neck and trache tube, she grabs at it, lifting her right arm up entirely to tug at the tubes or reach for the strap. It shouldn't be much longer until they can alter the tubing that might eventually allow her to talk. It appears as if she wants to yell or moan at times but the air escapes through her neck before it can reach the vocal chords.

I can't imagine what's going through her mind, whether she's entirely aware of what we're saying and doing or if its all a haze with the sedatives and medication. She has so much pent up energy, she looks out of place confined to a hospital bed. To think about small things we take for granted: she hasn't stood up for weeks, she hasn't tasted food, even been outside. A whole world of news is going on around her, yet her world is made up of an ICU room with little activity except loving visitors and medical staff shuffling in and out.

Court's legs almost have a life of their own, she moves them off the side of the bed to stretch out. The nurses will move her legs into different positions, even putting boots on her at times to arch her feet (they look like designer Uggs, tan with fur lining inside, I think I saw Paris Hilton wearing a pair into jail the other week). She's also undergoing some basic physical therapy, down the road she'll get to move to a rehabilitation center. That may not be for a few months, but we're all here for her.

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

9/25 Afternoon Update and Photos (11)

Hi Everybody,

Nothing but good news today: Courtney is coughing less, more expressive facially and moving around in bed. I'll try for more detail later tonight after rounding up all the info. In the meantime I wanted to post some more pictures you guys have sent in. I've had the chance to see so many different places that Court's been to, Belize looks beautiful (no offense to Maine or Vermont, but the water looks too good to be true). I would really like the chance to see Belize and Central America simply based off of how Courtney beams whenever she shares memories from trip.


From Allison Pfersich


From Allison Pfersich

From Claudia Larrow

From Claudia Larrow

From Claudia Larrow

From Claudia Larrow

From Claudia Larrow

From Arden Wallace

From Arden Wallace

From Jan Boyle

From Jan Boyle

From Jan Boyle

From Jan Boyle

From Jan Boyle

-Sean

Monday, September 24, 2007

Photos of Courtney (10)


Hi Everybody,

I just left the hospital so Courtney could get some much needed rest, she's breathing well but it's tiring work. The contrast in these pictures gives me a good laugh, she's the outdoorsy type and PBR type (aren't we all?).

Photos from Ann Carpenter











-Sean

9/24 Afternoon Update


Hi Everybody,


Courtney's keeping very active today, she's moving her legs back and forth, stiffening her wrists and she's been able to touch her right hand to her cheek. It's been a big relief to see her in motion, especially after a scary night that saw her running a fever and a heart rate around 140 (normally kept between 80-100). We were very worried about her, they replaced her breathing tube and put her on the respirator temporarily. Court's temperature and levels returned to normal this morning and her goal is to keep breathing on her own until Midnight.

We'll continue to watch over Court and her platoon of stuffed animals, Mow Mow, Honey, Pecos and the three bears. Between the bears and the bag of porridge she's eating (Ultrapak, actually), it's like coming to visit Goldilocks. We're still trying to get the bed "just right."

I'll be back later tonight with some more photos.

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Sunday, September 23, 2007

9/23 Afternoon Update


Hi Everybody,

Impressive: Courtney is breathing on her own.

Even more impressive: she's responding to basic commands.

Earlier one of the nurses put Court through the paces, asking her to smile, then stick out her tongue and she did. We had hoped all along that she could not only hear us, but also comprehend what we were saying, we have our proof today. Courtney will stay off the respirator as long as she keeps breathing and clearing her throat on her own. She's still smiling and laughing, I think she giggled after overhearing a certain somebody talking about his illustrious Dungeons and Dragons career this afternoon.

Keep the love and laughs coming.

-Sean

9/23 Morning Update


Hi Everybody,


Photo from Ann Carpenter

We couldn't get her to shake the hiccups last night, we tried everything: breathing into a paper bag, standing upside down while gargling water, scaring them out. They did eventually go away, probably because Courtney had had enough of them and wanted to go back to sleep. She kept me in a loving vice grip with her strengthened left hand. Her grip is tighter and she's been closing her mouth more freely.

I sat with her for a bit as she slept and chilled with Mow Mow. That cat's got some crazy stories, she told me her mom used to party with Roosevelt's Teddy Bears at the white house. It was like Studio 54 for stuffed animals back in
the early 1900's.

A couple of folks have asked how long Courtney and I have known each other and how we met, its not much of a story, but I guess it's better than meeting in a library or in a bar.

The first time I met Courtney Blasius she was asleep. She had firmly staked her claim on a burgundy couch-like chair in the living room of a friend's house on Cedar Street. This would have been an entirely appropriate napping environment had there not been twelve of her friends sitting around drinking PBR, playing Foosball and speaking in loud drunkenly tones on Friday night.

I had known Amber, who lived at the house, through her boyfriend Cyrus who knew my friend Craig who was my roommate in college (Burlington is great for getting to meet people, you make two or three friends and eventually you can link yourself to half the city). Throughout the drinking games and conversation I kept checking back with the sleepy girl in the corner. No one was drawing all over her in permanent marker, so she wasn't passed out from drinking. Somebody mentioned she had been driving for a few hours as the reason she was tired, maybe she had climbed a mountain or wrestled a bear in her spare time to boot.

It came time to leave, not to go home and stop drinking, but to go downtown and drink more. Amber and a few friends had been yelling at Courtney to wake her up, trying to convince her to come downtown. I landed the decisive blow when I nudged her leg with my foot until she got up and asked who the hell I was. Her eyes were now open, she had been hiding some pretty blue ones while sleeping in the corner.

The night got later and we wound up in a bar called Plan B, a hipster hangout with monotype prints on the walls and overpriced drinks. I asked Courtney what type of drink she'd like (I promise that a fair amount of schmoozing preceded this question, Court's not the type to take drinks from random guys). I had pegged her for a rum and coke or a beer drinker.

"A whiskey and Red Bull," she said.

"In the same glass?" I thought to myself.

I ordered her drink and my now seemingly-tame beer, I would be sure not to confuse the two pint glasses on the walk back to our seats. She told me all about her trip to Belize, her skin was still bronze from the trip, (I thought I had been dating a Latina girl for the first few months) I could tell she really loved it there. Courtney was graduating in two days, but wanted to staying Burlington for another year or so to be with friends. Not only did she have a great group of friends, but she was really active, liked to travel and had larger personal goals. She was unique in my mind and she made laugh.

I'm not sure how I wound up piggybacking Courtney back to her apartment, I believe she placed my machismo in question, saying I couldn't carry her the entire length of Elmwood Avenue up to Cedar Street. We made it back to the front door, me hiding my heavy breathing. We did the awkward teenager-thing where you talk for too long, fiddling with screen door and the banister, waiting for a pause... and kiss. You don't get more than a handful of moments like that in life. We said goodbye and I headed off to my apartment, a good ten blocks away in the opposite direction.

The fatal mistake that Courtney made that night was giving me her cell number and agreeing to go the breakfast with me next morning, which concurrently led to future mistakes (some call them "dates").

That's enough from me, I would like to hear from some other folks. What was the first time you met Courtney? What did you learn about her?

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

Photos of Courtney (Pt. 9)


Thanks to Ann for beefing up the photo stock of Court, I'll spread them out over the next few days. There may or may not be some visuals from 80's night coming in the near future.

Photos from Ann Carpenter









Saturday, September 22, 2007

9/22 Morning and Photos (Pt. 8)


Hi Everybody,

We met with Dr. Mravkov, a member of our neurology team at Fletcher Allen and he gave us a positive assesment of Courtney's progress, although he kept to the same generalisms and cautious optimism that rest of the doctors have employed. She was resting much of the morning, but suffered through some seizures last night and this morning. Its defeating, like hitting a wall, when one of these seizures hits and the doctors are trying to find the right medications and dosage to stop them.

We're keeping our faith and hopefully Court will be ready to entertain some guests later today, it sounds like there's a good crew lined up to visit.
We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.

-Sean

From Tom Groblewski

From Tom Groblewski

From Conway-Cole

From Conway-Cole

From Conway-Cole

From Jesse Ram