Friday, July 27, 2012

Sorry we missed a couple days of updates...

Apologies for the last couple of days. Sean's laptop finally died of
an apparent lightning strike. Grainne's is still working fine,
thankfully, but we've had problems with connectivity.

Let's see, where were we? Oh yes, Brian has been getting physical
therapy twice a day every day. His left arm & leg have definitely
improved in their flexibility and range of movement. He's very happy
with the progress he's made so far. Brian's still a little nervous
about getting IV's and lumbar punctures for his stem cells, and of
course we can't predict what effects they will have on him, so his
trepidation is understandable.

Wednesday, Brian had a minor accident. While sitting on the toilet,
the seat detached and slid off with him in what Brian described as a
"slow slump." He didn't hurt himself, fortunately. He was annoyed but
also laughed about it. The rest of us, when we discovered he wasn't
hurt, were all trying to stifle our giggles at the sight!

Thursday marked the arrival of Jonathan and Nevis! Yay! Shane and
Grainne went to the airport to meet them and Sean went to physical
therapy with Brian that morning. They brought tons of treats and
goodies from home, for which we are mightily thankful! Real coffee!
Taytos! Chocolate! Cup of Soup! And duty free liquor! Real coffee
does't exist in the part of China we're in. And while they do have
potato chips ("crisps" to all the Europeans), they're flavored...
well, shall we say... oddly. Cucumber flavored crisps. Cabbage flavor.
Pork flavor. Seaweed flavor. You get the idea. Beer and wine are
plentiful here, but we've yet to see any sort of liquor besides the
local spirits which tastes something like a cross between raspberry
and drain cleaner. A proper cocktail or two was most welcome!

Thursday night was a party that all the families threw. We ordered
pizza (which was quite good!) and we had chicken wings (also quite
good!). Everyone had a terrific time, and it was a great welcoming
celebration for Nevis and Jonathan. The children had a ball with
balloons, toys and games. We taught some of the others how to play
blackjack and spent the evening having a much-needed night of

Today is Friday. Yes, the day Brian gets his second and third
injections of stem cells! The staff came in bright and early with the
UV sterilization lights for his room and applied numbing ointment to
Brian's arm at the IV site and his lower back at the lumbar puncture
site. He got a some IV Valium for a bit of sedation before the lumbar
puncture. Dr. Joa (I think that was her name) performed the procedure
and injected the stem cells. It was done in less than half an hour.
After that, Brian received the IV stem cells, and at the moment he's
lying flat on his back for six hours, which is necessary after a
lumbar puncture. He's taking a nap, but he doesn't have any untoward
side effects we can note, other than a little tenderness at the
procedure site. He's doing fine.

Tomorrow we may go into Beijing. We'll see how Brian does the rest of
today. Nevis and Johnny are excited to be here, though they haven't
seen much of China yet (the medical complex where we're staying could
be anywhere). Later we'll take them to the Lotte Mart and see what
they think of that!

Stay tuned!

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