Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday (Turkey Day), Nov. 27

I arrived home with Mindy today at about 12:30 p.m. Aubeny and Mindy's mother (Vickie) posted welcome home signs, prepared by Aubeny and relatives, for Mindy before our arrival. Vickie prepared a tasty Thanksgiving meal. We had visits and a calls from relatives. We are happy to have Mindy home.

Michael and Aubeny

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Something To Be Thankful For

It is official, Mindy will be coming home tomorrow morning. Yeah!!!! Discharge time at U of U is before 10 a.m. so we can expect her home by noon on Thanksgiving.
Welcome home Mindy! We love you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Surprise Phone Call

While I was at home today, minding my own business, I received a surprising phone call. It was Mindy calling from her hospital room to chat. Can you believe that? Not even one week ago she wasn't able to speak. Now she's making phone calls.
She is well. She receives five therapy sessions a day. She is completely off of oxygen.  She reports that pain management is "icky", but she says, "That's okay." See, she even has a good sense of humor. Good ol' Mindy.
Rumor has it that she may be coming home on Thanksgiving day! Yipee!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday, November 23rd

Mindy continues with rehab, is eating well and is off of oxygen during the day. Yippee! Pain is still an issue, though. We are anxious to get her out of the hospital and back home and are hopeful that she could be released as early as late this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Nov. 21, 2008 Part 2

Mindy has been moved to inpatient rehabilitation. I'm glad because it not only signifies progress, but they are more concerned about controlling her chronic pain. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


Friday Nov. 21, 2008

I was with Mindy late last night. She was struggling with her chronic pain. The doctor doesn't want to give a lot of pain medication because of the fear of her oxygen level decreasing. Fortunately, the pain comes and goes, which is better than it would be if it were constant. However, Mindy is strong and is doing very well. She is being blessed.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday, November 20

Mindy continues to amaze me--her sister Fiauna--with her progress. She was even more talkative today. She struggles to find the right words at times, but she has a sense of humor about it; she told me that there are going to be a lot of "Mindyisms" as she struggles for the right words. Pain is still a big issue for her, unfortunately. We will continue to pray that something will help with this pain issue.
The pneumonia also is persisting, so she is still receiving oxygen.
Tomorrow they may move her to an in-patient rehabilitation unit for continued medical treatment and therapy. We will keep you all posted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Mindy has been moved out of the Neuro ICU. She is still receiving excellent, high level care, but she has graduated from intensive care. Today she was able to eat real food and she was quite talkative and seemed to be in good spirits.

She is still being treated for pneumonia and is on oxygen, but she is gaining strength. She will continue to receive speech and physical therapy.

We are all really excited about this progress. Way to go, Mindy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008

I would like to thank our friend and neighbor, Kellee Clark, for the idea of making this blog to more easily provide information about Mindy's condition. I would also like to thank Mindy's sister, Fiauna Lund, for creating it.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Aubeny came to my room where I was in bed and told me that Mindy had fallen. I went to the front room where she was on the floor. She was unable to efficiently respond and had lost much of her ability move. She was taken in an ambulance to Logan Regional where it was decided to Life Flight her to The University of Utah. Because Aubeny was quick to inform me that there was a problem, and with a blessing from Heaven, the physicians were able to effectively treat Mindy (The doctors explained that after six hours of a stroke occurring, the ability to take corrective measures diminishes).

Mindy is currently in ICCU where she receives much monitoring and care. The doctors explained that her recovery would be a roller coaster of events -- meaning that for a while there would be times when things would look good and times when they would appear worse. There have been times where her motion and cognisance have been better and worse, but there has thus far been an overall trend of improvement. The doctors also explained that once brain swelling goes down, we will be able to have a better idea of the extent of the damage. I'm not sure how much swelling there is currently, but there may be a significant amount of decrease within the next few days.

The regaining of function has been obvious to this point. She does pretty well with movement in her right leg, but is struggling more with her right arm. She has been able to say a few words, but her ability to speak is very limited as yet. She has been more successful in writing, but this too is limited. At times it appears that some of her responses, such at nodding her head, are simply a result of responding to a stimulus without comprehending what was said to her. Other times, perhaps more often, it is clear that she understands and responds accordingly. In my opinion, the fact that she has regained the amount that she has in such a short period of time is cause for much hope and optimism that she will regain these functions. Staff from physical therapy took Mindy for a walk today. Though there was a slight limp with the right leg, she did very well.

Mindy has other problems she is dealing with along with the results of the stroke. On Nov. 3 she had a hysterectomy from which she was recovering at the time of the stroke. She also has chronic pain which can be very severe at times. The medical staff is trying to balance between a couple issues: Providing enough pain medication for the pain, but not so much that her nervous system is reduced. It appears that too much medication has caused loss of motion, but a lack of medication results in her suffering from pain. No easy task, but she is in good hands.

Aubeny has been handling the situation of her mother very well. She has shown much strength. She is a trooper.

Priesthood blessings she has had, and the progress she has shown, have caused me to believe that the outcome will be very good. Heavenly Father is watching over her. Thank you for your prayers, help, and concern.

Kind Regards,
Michael Heaton
As many of you know, Mindy suffered a stroke on Saturday, November 15th. She was flown by Airmed to U of U Hospital where they discovered that the internal layers of her carotid artery had torn, resulting in a reduced blood flow to the left side of her brain. Blood clots formed behind the clot further cutting of the blood flow. Doctors were able to place a stint in her artery to repair the tear and hold it open. They snared and removed the largest of the clots and used clot busting drugs to break down the others. By Saturday night she was alert and responsive. It is hard to say at this time how much damage was done to her brain and what the lasting effects will be. Doctors are very hopeful that she will regain her strength. Those of us who know Mindy also know that she will fully recover. While she has trouble speaking, the doctors feel she will regain her speach.
Monday they discovered that she now has pneumonia. She is being treated for this with antibiotics and oxygen and a competent medical staff. She remains in the Neuro Critical Care Unit at the U.
Michael is busy coming and going from the hospital while Aubeny is tended to by her wonderful Aunt Dawn. Grandma Smith will come this week to help out.
Continue to check the blog for regular updates.