Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good and Not-so-Good News

Brenda is back doing the narration today, and it's been another busy day in the Wallin household. Jon didn't have therapy today, but had an appointment with the neurologist this morning, so he spent the morning in my office with me before we headed over.

Overall the appointment went well, even though we did hear some good news and some not-so-good news. For the first time since the stroke, we were able to see the MRI results and see how big the bleed was/is. Both of us were surprised at just how big of an area it covered. The doctor told us it was a 6.5cm bleed (close to two and a half inches, ish!). When you think about the total size of the brain and how much room there is in there, that's a pretty substantial amount. All along we've been told he had a "substantial bleed," but we really had no idea what that meant, or how big that actually was. But today we definitely got an idea!

While the neurologist was encouraged by Jon's progress, he pretty bluntly told us he was more amazed that Jon pulled through at all. It's hard to sugar coat what he said, but he basically told us that many patients with that large of a bleed don't survive, or if they do, end up comatose. That one statement definitely brought tears to my eyes! I'm not sure we both realized how close we were to a much different outcome. And while all along we've been thanking God for His role in Jon's recovery, we are even more thankful that he was able to come through it like he did!

So to say the least, Jon's doctor was very impressed with his recovery to date, and very encouraged and encouraging that much more is to come. That was wonderful to hear! So the good news: the recovery continues - we continue to see progress and everyone around us is encouraged that much more is to come; the not-so-good news: they don't know what caused it and because it was such a substantial bleed, there is still a significant amount of blood on the brain, which means it might take a bit longer than we had hoped to recover. But we do know it's not an IF for recovery, it's a WHEN!

While parts of the appointment were scary and eye-opening, it makes Jon feel somewhat better knowing that because of the severity of the stroke - it will take some time before everything comes back, and we can't get too discouraged if it still takes longer than we hoped.

It's back to therapy tomorrow. Jon's parents are coming into town to take him, their first time since Jon started outpatient therapy. I know they are anxious to get a first-hand look at how he's progressing. Then I think we will all be ready for the weekend!

And while we've known since the day of the stroke that prayers and God's oversight have gotten us through this, it was made pretty clear again today just how much God has literally carried and blessed us. So again we have to say Thank You to Him and to all who offered their prayers.


  1. It's shocking to hear what the neurologist said about the severity of the stroke. You're right...prayers and a miracle from God got Jon through. I know the Lord will continue to give all of you strength. I continue to think of you all and pray for you daily. Love you guys!

  2. Oh my...what an eye-opener! Been there; done that and it is amazing how the body can heal when for all intents and purposes it shouldn't.

    Your neurologist's surprise is a wonderful tribute to the prayers being sent your way. Your attitude, and Brenda's, is another reason for your success.

    Keep working hard and keep good thoughts always.

    God bless.