photo taken by Angela Speiker

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another surgery

Walt went in for another surgery this morning. He had a biopsy done. We were hoping for results from the biopsy this morning (or at least a quick look from the doc), but it was unclear. They have sent off the samples to pathology and we will get results within a few days. Until then Walt is happily (not so much, rather grumpy and unfiltered) recovering in the neuro ICU again, same hospital as before. We are at least quite familiar with the area. It is funny that we led the hospital volunteer to the right location in the hospital, told him where to go, and nearly walked right in ourselves.

This biopsy was minimally invasive, so recovering will be less than before. They are hoping to move him out of ICU w/in a day or so, then moving him to a regular room in the hospital. Until then we will try to keep Walt happy, and get rid of his grumpy face.

I will post more info on the biopsy as I hear results.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


We are waiting for tomorrow, and enjoying today. Walt's cognitive has decreased significantly this week. They ordered several CAT scans and an MRI on Thursday. Dr. Morgan (his neuro surgeon) called Friday morning and wants to meet with Cheryl Monday morning to go over the scans. We are all anxious and making a lot of guesses as to what we think might be happening. We are asking for prayers for both Walt & Cheryl.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A long time.....sorry

So sorry for not updating about Walt lately! We were without a power cord, then got a virus, then had issues with an internet connection, and that's not even to mention the life & happenings keeping me away from the computer!! So, I do apologize for all those who had been checking the computer to keep updated on Walt.

The first and best news I can post, Walt is WALKING!!

Let me take a step back and describe in more detail since it has been so long since I've posted. Walt is still at Wesley Rehab Center in Wichita. He is actually becoming the senior member there, becoming quite well-known by all the staff :) He has been making fabulous progress. They have continued to work him VERY hard with 3 hours of therapy a day, and even making him work while at meal time. He spends a majority of his days in a wheelchair these days. His physical therapist (PT) has been pushing him hard. His left side is gaining so much strength. He can lift his left arm parallel to his shoulder, can lift his left leg up off his chair, and can move his hand around. It was such a blessing to see this out of him. He has such a positive attitude, too. Well, except for those few rare moments when he is rolling his eyes at Cheryl for making him work too hard (this was good to see, too, b/c it reminds us of the old Walt we remember).

Back to my good news--last week the PT was working with him and got him to walk along the set of parallel bars, which is about 15'. That huge milestone even brought tears to his eyes, and brought back encouragement to him. He told us he wasn't sure he would ever walk again before those steps. He has moved on to walking with a walker, and was walking around the gym yesterday for a total of almost 100 feet!!!! With each step he takes it makes him more determined to take another step. We are all so very proud of him for his determination and hard work!!

At this point the rehab facility is talking about a possibility of Walt coming home in the next couple of weeks. It is all very dependant on various things Walt has to accomplish. Cheryl is working very hard at preparing the house for his homecoming. There is a bathroom remodel going on, and a ramp being built. I will post more on this when we hear definitive dates. For now we know that he does have a surgical follow-up visit with Dr. Morgan, the neurologist, next week. We are thinking Dr. Morgan may run a battery of tests on him at that point, but again, we will just have to wait and see.

Cognitively, Walt is still struggling a little. He seems to do better on some days, and other days are rough, most especially when he is tired. His short-term memory is challenged, but you can see in his eyes that he is trying so hard to remember the right name, or get out the right word. We will just keep cheering him on to work hard at this area.

We have some sad news to share. Maggie, Walt & Cheryl's beautiful, sweet puppy went to Heaven. Maggie had been staying with us, and had been doing really well. She passed away in her sleep, peacefully. We were saddened by this event, and hated to share this news with Cheryl. We especially hated having her have to tell Walt about Mags, as he loved her so very much. She was a great hunting dog, a sweet companion, and she loved Walt (and all those extra special food treats he always shared with her) very much. We miss and love you Mags!!

Walt celebrated his birthday last week. We are thankful to have him with us to celebrate another wonderful year.