Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How quickly things change...

Life rolls along and you just never realize how quickly things can change. Our lives changed on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. That's when we first realized that something was very wrong.

Our 33 year old son, Reid had been complaining about a back ache for a few weeks. Then he developed a cough and went to one of those walk in clinics at the grocery store where he was given medicine for bronchitis and told that if he didn't get better to go somewhere else where he could see a doctor. He didn't get better so on October 10th he went to an emergency clinic where they gave him muscle relaxers for his back, something for pain, and a decongestant. He still didn't feel any better and by now was complaining about his legs feeling funny. So, on October 13th my husband took him to a different emergency clinic where they took an X-ray. At first they thought he had an enlarged heart, but after a cat scan realized it was a large mass in his chest. He was immediately transferred to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. After an MRI he was transferred down to Hermann Hospital in the Houston Medical Center and put in the neuroscience ICU. They had also had a mass on his spinal column.

He was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, but it was canceled due to concerns expressed by the anesthesiologist. She wanted more tests while the neurosurgeons wanted to get that mass out quickly because it was pressing on his spinal cord. Due to the large mass the anesthesiologist was afraid that when they turned him over for surgery his breathing would be compromised. Then it was decided to do a chest biopsy under local anesthesia in the hopes they could determine what it was and start treatment without surgery. The pathologist were unable to determine what it was after four different samples. So, it was finally decided that the benefit of surgery outweighed the risk and the spinal surgery was done on Friday. Preliminary pathology seems to indicate a cancer, but once again we're waiting for a final report. They seem to be having trouble identifying what's wrong and are doing stains. (At least I think that's what it's called and it takes longer.)

He's been up on his feet walking a little, but the legs are still numb. Then Monday they thought about sending him home, but realized air was leaking from the chest biopsy into his skin which happens sometimes. Actually, it has something to do with the lung separating from the wall and air leaking in. They've been watching for it. So, a chest tube had to be put in for a few days. It was good that he didn't come home or we would have been rushing him to the ER.

I can't say enough about how wonderful everyone has been at Hermann Hospital. We've probably spoken with ten or more doctors. Last night I spent the night since he's been even more uncomfortable since the chest tube was put in. I'll be spending the night again tonight. I'm home now doing a load of laundry and taking a shower.

When I know more I'll try and post more. Please keep Reid in your prayers. Thank you, Betty


  1. Oh Betty, it was so ghastly to read what has been happening to Reid. I'm glad that they are taking good care of him in the hospital. May everything work out OK. I'm thinking of you, thinking of you.

  2. Dear very awful. I cannot imagine how you are feeling. The poor dear man. I will remember him in my prayers. Two members of my family (my youngest sister and a newphew) are also having terrible health problems. I will email you privately about them. For now I will pray for you too, that your strength will be there for you. Lots of hugs...Loretta


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