Back from Mayo, Again (by Karla)

We headed up to Mayo on Monday afternoon, and just got home a couple of hours ago, after three days of tests and doctor visits.

Mike started off Tuesday morning at 7:15 with an echocardiogram at the clinic.   Then it was off to St. Marys hospital to the brain clinic.  That sounds daunting, doesn’t it!  There we saw a rehab doctor who checked out Mike’s physical abilities and discussed how outpatient therapy is going in Des Moines.  He made recommendations as to how to proceed and said he wants to see Mike again next fall. 

Since Mike had not had the privilege of eating numerous meals at Cafe Presto and the Canadian Honker, I suggested that he check out the menus and pick the lunch spot.  The Honker it was, and we were glad to get a break!

Back to the clinic for an ultrasound to check the current state of the leg blood clots and the filter, followed with our beloved neurosurgeon, Dr. Meyer.  Dr. Meyer must not have read the rehab doctor’s notes, because he basically thought that Mike’s functioning was perfect!  This is the first time that I have seem him be true to his field.  Neurosurgeons have a very different take on the outcome of surgery!  Dr. Meyer was very pleased with the progress that Mike has made and even cracked several jokes.  He also started decreasing his Dilantin.  The plan is to try to have him off of the Dilantin by fall, do an EEG, and then hopefully get him off of the Keppra.

After a quick blood draw, the last visit on Tuesday was with Dr. Bergquist, the Christian psychologist with whom Mike enjoyed talking.  He had checked out the sermon Mike had preached on Easter, as well as several other articles on the church website, which was very encouraging to Mike.  He also called Rebecca, the speech therapist, and she came down for a chat.   What a good way to end the day!

Wednesday we saw Dr. Duffy, a speech pathologist.  He did an indepth testing of Mike’s speech and cognitive skills.  He gave his opinion as to what should be going on in speech therapy, which was essentially what Mike is doing here.  He also encouraged us to be very patient with this whole area.  It can take more than a year to get it where Mike wants it and getting frustrated won’t help anything.  We also went out for lunch with Ray and Connie Krueger, the wonderful couple who have again let us stay with them.

Today we were supposed to see three doctors, but really only one was necessary.  Dr. McBane is in vascular medicine.  The filter is still in place and holding back a small blood clot, so it will stay in at least a few more months.  Mike’s heart looks perfect, which is what we expected.  Dr. McBane also showed us the Powerpoint presentation he gave last week on Mike.  Part of what doctors at Mayo Clinic do is teach.  One method of teaching is “grand rounds,” where interesting cases are presented.  No one really wants to be an interesting case at Mayo Clinic, but Mike is one, so he was the topic of this talk.  We were able to see a video of the ultrasound of Mike’s heart that showed the blood clot.  Pretty shocking!  Dr. McBane also upped the coumadin, so now we have to get used to all these dose changes in the meds.

The other thing Dr. McBane did is prescribe compression socks.  He was surprised to find out that this had now been done prior to discharge.  Mike is to wear this sock on his right leg during the day, for the next one to two years!  So, we went to purchase his $73 pair of compression socks.  Yes, that number is correct.  But, for your $73, you get a free pair of special rubber gloves that are needed to put them on.  Not the kind of bargain I usually look for.  The material is so slick that you can’t put them on without the gloves.  If you thought TEDS socks that most people wear after surgery are bad, you should see these!  It’s a whole new level of compression!

Before lunch, we headed over to inpatient rehab to see if we could track down Mike’s therapists.  We were able to see Sarah (PT) and Stefanno (OT), as well as several other people who worked with Mike on weekends.  They were thrilled to see how well Mike is doing, but I would say not surprised.  They expected him to work hard and make good progress.  It was very encouraging to talk to all of them!

We were glad to get to my parents’ house to pick up the girls, and hear about the older boys’ baseball games.  We are looking forward to watching them both tomorrow night!  We were encouraged by all that the doctors said and are glad we don’t have to see them again until late fall.


5 thoughts on “Back from Mayo, Again (by Karla)”

  1. Dear Karla,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful update of your visit this week. We were all praying for good reports and it sounds like that’s exactly what you received! It must have been a bit surreal to go back to the place where so much happened – physically, emotionally and spiritually. So thankful that this trip was a happy one. Praise God for His care of you all.

    Lynne and Dale


  2. PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD! We just give God all the glory and praise God with all of you. God Bless. Love, The Peasleys


  3. What a report I believe A++ would be in order. I continue to thank the Lord for allowing you to stay with us. Looking forward to seeing how God is going to use you this year.



  4. Hello Mike, I am glad to see you are getting better all the time. It is Alumni Weekend in Newton this week and I can’t help think about the roasting you gave me last year and what a great time we had visiting and catching up. It was as if 25 years had never passed. Amazing what can take place inside of a year’s time. Enough said.
    Take care
    Bill Peters


  5. Your news is very encouraging to all! Praise the Lord for he has truly blessed you all. We are so thankful Mike has been on the Road to recovery.. and even more thankful he has you to lean on.

    all our love
    Rick & Cathy


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