The biggest medical updates involve three categories:
Carotid Arteries: CT Angiogram two weeks ago showed flow increase from 50% to 60% on left carotid, which is progress. However, the pseudo neurism still there, and there are still some slight abnormalities in the right carotid artery and vertebral artery. Christine’s vascular neurosurgeon is watching the left carotid most closely. He said that given her body’s track record of progressive healing he wants to wait and see if it continues healing in the next few months before considering a stent for the left carotid artery. He scheduled a CT Angiogram follow up in the new year. The hardest part for Christine is listening to the long list of stroke/mini stroke symptoms or neurological shifts/disturbances that she needs to be watching for closely and be prepared to get to the ER quickly. Thankfully, Christine is asymptomatic so far, but this caution felt to her “like the continued beleaguered swimming in unclarity and waiting.”
Infection: Last Wednesday, in an effort to find and address an infection that has remained near the base of the stabilizing metal of Christine’s facial reconstruction for some time now, specialists took the next step in a multi-step process, a pulpectomy that led to 2nd root canal. Only one of the four roots were necrotic which doesn’t fully explain the infection but they want to wait four weeks for antibiotics to leave Christine’s system to see if the infection comes back, revealed by a drain through the gums or imaging around the bone. The roots and hardware from facial reconstruction are intertwined so specialists are nervous. Everyone is trying to avoid the need for a second facial reconstructive surgery, because the implications of setbacks in healing and potential complications are significant.
Cognitive Fatigue: Neuropsychologist and specialists are also concerned about increased cognitive fatigue. Compared to pre-accident, she has lost seven of her waking hours because of cognitive fatigue, a combo of removing herself from household activity and early bedtimes. (Imagine crossing out seven hours of your daily productive schedule) Christine is fully herself and strong cognitively during the morning and early/mid afternoon, but those hours are mostly spent doing exercises and paperwork. Listen HERE (in the middle of the sermon) to hear Christine’s description of her therapy work. The hours lost due to cognitive fatigue affect her presence with her children, her community, her ability to get back to driving, etc..
- For Christine’s heart: for stamina and dogged hope, for joy and encouragement
- That the doctors are able to find and address the precise location and source of the infection. Please pray against the infection becoming systemic or seeding in the hardware/metal of facial reconstruction, and for full Holy Spirit burnout of the infection to prevent major surgical intervention
- For carotid arteries to continue to heal and for pseudo aneurism to shrink and disappear into the wall of the left carotid artery
- Increased cognitive stamina and capacity, especially in offering presence and creativity to her kids
- Provision with paperwork and medical coverage through all possible means
- Healing and restoration of all Christine’s senses especially taste, smell, and hearing
From Christine’s own words: “In this space of persistence and fragility, here are three cards that are holding my heart in prayer. The first was given to me by a girl who wrote me in the first days of the accident. Corrie Ten Booms words mean even more in this season of healing and recovery. The second two were sent by two dear friends, speaking to the Lord doing a new thing—new life, new beginnings—which might not be recognizable or identifiable yet, and feels uncomfortable, foreign, and frustrating even bringing on some grief and loss… BUT GOD… is doing a new thing. I am choosing trust in this unknown landscape and unknown future. I am savoring the recent Thanksgiving drive to Fort Worth family with all my kids in the car, savoring fires in the fireplace with my beloved husband, savoring Advent beginnings, savoring wonton dumplings and breakfast tacos with sriracha (texture and spice are nice when you can’t taste anything else), and then of course… savoring flat whites.”