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Looking back, I realize that most of my posting this spring has been friends-only or otherwise filtered because of sensitive things that have been going on. Rather than make them all public, here's the condensed version of what's been going on with Kevin (vogonpoet):

In 2005, he suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) after falling in the bathroom and hitting his head on the corner of a wall. He received stitches and a CT scan at the time, but other than having the stitches removed he had no followup care regarding the head injury. (This was his choice, as he had health insurance at the time.) I noticed a lowered frustration tolerance and some short-term memory issues, but nothing intolerable.

In late March 2009, he conked himself in the head with an electric slow cooker in the process of getting it down from being stored on top of a wall-mounted kitchen cabinet. Initially he had a bruise and any other symptoms were indistinguishable from the stomach bug he's had on and off all spring, but a few days later on the 27th Kevin was sitting half-asleep on the couch when he had a tonic-clonic seizure.

I called 911 and he was taken to our local hospital, Presbyterian Plano, and admitted for the weekend. During his hospitalization, he was given several bags of IV potassium and had a CT scan, an x-ray, and an MRI. The cause of his seizure was not identified and he was discharged with a prescription for potassium chloride tablets and instructions to follow up with a neurologist and his family doctor.

We saw the neurologist on 8 April. He felt the two most likely causes of Vogon's symptoms are liver deterioration (he took Tylenol (paracetamol) for muscle pain while he was drinking heavily in his Army days) or the anomaly seen on CT from his 2005 head injury. He ordered a liver function lab to compare to past results (one done in the hospital, another done in 2008 as part of a biannual workup with his gastroenterologist) and an EEG.

Kevin had an EEG on 15 April and I didn't notice anything abnormal, just a few out-of-range alarms that the technician marked after they beeped. During the photic stimulation he tensed up from lying relaxed with his hands crossed on his abdomen to rigidly holding onto the sides of the bed. He said after each round of strobe flashing that it made him feel nauseous and like he was falling.

We saw the neurologist again on 22 April to discuss the EEG and he said it was normal for someone with Vogon's type of past head injury. He again ordered a liver function lab (Vogon hadn't gotten the first one done), we filled out paperwork to request copies of his 2008 labwork for the neurologist to look over, and he was instructed to follow up with our family doctor for his next potassium chloride scrip.

As of 9 June, Kevin has not gotten the liver-related labwork done nor has he had a followup with our family doctor, although I gave her a brief run-down of what was going on when I saw her for my quarterly scrip renewal in May.

Since the seizure, he's had numerous neurological symptoms appear or get markedly worse. He thinks he may be having complex partial seizures and is pretty sure he had a tonic-clonic seizure last week while I was not home.

Laurel and I spent the week of 30 May-5 June staying at friends' homes after he incorrectly assumed I was doing something he didn't like and disconnected the internet/phone, took away my cell phone, and then told me to get out of the house because I hit him. (I had tried grabbing at my cell phone after he took it.) The situation was compounded by non-compliance with taking his medication during the prior week. He made a threat over the phone and reiterated it two days later, so after seeking and failing to qualify for a protective order, I swore out a mental illness warrant to compel him to get medical care. After I returned to our home on the 5th on the condition he seek medical care, he agreed to voluntarily check into the facility specified in the warrant after tying up some loose ends in his personal business. I have packed him an overnight bag and will be accompanying him to the hospital tomorrow, 10 June, to see that he gets checked in.

Laurel is spending the summer with my parents as usual (she left on 6 June) and I feel safe with Vogon as long as he remains compliant with his medical treatment plan. If things get out of hand again, I have a safety plan. Right now my focus is on helping him find a baseline diagnosis, get treatment to control the seizures, apply for SSDI disability and other assistance (we still have to contact the VA), and maintain or improve his quality of life. I do love him and was committed to him before the head injury, this spring has just been very trying on both of us.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
I understand how hard it can be to live with someone with a head injury. I wonder how much of my mother's insanity was related to her own.

Be careful. I know you won't let anything happen to Laurel, but be careful for yourself, too.
Jun. 10th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
I'm glad you have a rational plan. It's been hard to see this unfold. *hug*
Jun. 10th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Jun. 10th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
It's good to have a summary of what's going on. Will they finally do those tests when he goes in tomorrow?
Jun. 10th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
He has to fast overnight before having the blood draw for the labs he hasn't done, so once he's admitted they can do that the following morning. (When I was in the same hospital a few years ago, a phlebotomist came through every day before breakfast to do blood draws for any patients requiring them.)
Jun. 10th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
Didn't he also sustain a head injury from some altercation with the police or am I thinking of someone else?
Jun. 10th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Holy cats, I totally forgot about that when I was writing this post. The officer called an ambulance to check him out afterward since Kevin got a small laceration near his left eye. I think that was relatively minor, but that was another thing he never followed up on with a doctor.
Jun. 11th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Well, this does help me put the pieces together better,as rough as it must be to post something like this. Hang in there.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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