Grateful!!! Really this sums up my whole update.
We are very grateful for all the prayers, calls, texts, messages, emails, amazing meals that have been lovingly made and brought to us, gift cards for food, the wonderful support of our parents, family, friends, co-workers and even strangers, generous donations to our family on the GiveSendGo site for our medical bills and continued care, generous offers to help with Christmas and other needs for our family this season, my Mom for putting her life, work and needs in NY on hold to come help us while we were in the hospitals and continuing to help run our little circus at home, for Ron being home and his aneurysm being small and that he does not need surgery and just needs lots of rest to heal and pain management, that I am not bleeding right now and I am stable and that we can all be home together with the kiddos!!!
Ron had his appointment on Monday with the cerebral vascular Surgeon. Thanks Dad (Larry) Thompson for taking him! The Surgeon took a lot of time with Ron and the appointment went very well. Ron was given permission to drive again. This made him very happy. Not that he needs to go anywhere but just the ability to feel a bit more normal is good. No exercise yet except a calm walk. He has an appointment the first week of January with the Vasovagal Clinic. Ron is working on pain management and if it gets to be to painful he will have an appointment with a pain management specialist. He will have another MRI in 6 months unless he is having more pain or other symptoms arise.
I am feeling stronger everyday. I have good days and not so good days (migraine days). This is also what happened back in April after my first hospitalization. I am very grateful that I am having less migraines than the first time around. I pray for all of you but especially when I am suffering with a migraine. I had a terrible one on Thanksgiving. I was able to spend the morning with the kids, my Mom and Ron until about half way through the Macy’s Day Parade. Then I had one of the worst migraines I have had in months. I stayed in bed the rest of the day until it finally started to fade in the evening.
The good news was I felt great on Black Friday and got to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal for brunch. I was able to venture out to pick up some supplements that are not covered by our insurance (Thank you to those who having donated to us to make this possible!) and at night we all went as a family to Bethlehem Hills Christmas Light Park for opening night! It was a blessed time and my Brother-in-Law Rod and all his elves (staff) including our Isaac have done an AMAZING job. If you are local you really need to go!
Tomorrow morning bright and early I will be heading to the hospital to have the Pill Camera Scan procedure. I do not have to stay at the hospital all day. After I swallow the Camera Pill I can go home. I will be wearing a data receiver on a special belt that will record the data from the camera pill. I will return the receiver on Friday and they will upload the images from the scan. Thank you in advance for praying all goes well with this scan!
I am so proud of how the kids have handled the trials of this year. The older kids have really stepped up in their studies, leading the younger ones in prayer and praying for all those who have prayed for and support us, playing with Lilli when we need it more calm and quiet in the house.
Isaac our oldest has been working very hard managing his high school studies this year on his own, working for Wiegand’s Lake Park this summer and for his Uncle at Bethlehem Hills Christmas Light Park and balancing his time with sports, music, extra classes and youth group. I was very touched to see that Isaac’s first response to any time I have been ill or hospitalized this year is to text his friends and our family asking for prayers. When we got in the small car accident before I was hospitalized last month he led the kids in praying the Rosary as we were driving through white out conditions. It was God’s grace and the prayers of my kiddos that got us to safety.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for everything you are doing to show us your love and support! Ron and I are very humbled by this whole experience of needing to accept the generosity of others. We like to be on the giving side but we have learned so much about love, surrendering and suffering being on the receiving end.
May God bless you in abundance!!!
Cristina and Ron
Happy early Thanksgiving!!!
Yesterday Ron and I had appointments with our wonderful PCP. She spent over 2 hours with us. It was a very good visit. Ron was given a new lift to wear in his shoe. He has slight scoliosis due to one leg being longer than the other. He used to wear a lift and it did help with the Vasovagal episodes. She instructed Ron to wear the lift at all times and discussed with him how to improve his posture while working and driving. These things should take the stress off the shoulders and neck especially where the Vegas area is where he has the Vasovagal Syncope. She did not want to give him a full Osteopathic Manipulations adjustment until the artery is healed but she did do some Cranial Sacral therapy to relieve some pressure in his neck and head. She also said she does not want Ron driving for a bit longer until he shows signs of more healing. We do not want him to have an episode while driving.
Ron also has his follow up with the Neurosurgeon next week and hopefully we will learn more about the Vasovagal Clinic as well. Ron was quite beat after our appointments.
I am feeling a lot better! This recovery is going a lot better than last April. But I was a lot sicker in April and had been sick for quite some time and I was not totally aware of it. I really think what made the difference this time was I knew how to spot the signs for a GI bleed and I got help quick. Receiving the 3 blood transfusions promptly was key but what I think really put me in a great place for faster recovery was the iron infusion. I had a great Hematologist at UH who felt the Iron infusion would do more for me than a fourth blood transfusion. I think he was right! I have some alternative things I will be doing for the migraines but I already feel better due to the fact that my blood levels have stabilized. My veins are ok and will just take time to heal. We will follow up weekly with phone or email updates for our doctor for the next few weeks. Thank you for your generosity which gave us the ability to pay our doctor today!!!
Next week I get to swallow a camera! What an amazing procedure! Our modern technology/medicine is incredible.
I felt quite energized after our appointment and Ron was supper hungry (also tired) so we stopped by Chipotle to pick up some Lunch to eat on the way home. Thanks Laura! While in line we bumped into someone who recognized us from a Facebook post someone had shared of us. It was actually someone who had gone to school with Ron’s younger sister. She said she had been thinking of us and praying for us. She was shocked to see Ron in front of her and tapped him on the shoulder and showed him the picture of him and our family on the internet. What a small world! Our doctor is 40 minutes away from where we live and what are the chances of seeing someone we know or knows of us. It was wonderful to meet her and her friend. We can now put a name and face to someone who is helping to hold our family up at this time and we can now pray for her personally.
A HUGE thank you again to my amazing Mom who is still in town helping to take care of all of us!!!
May God bless all of you especially this Thanksgiving weekend!
Cristina and Ron
I cannot thank each of you enough for all of your love, support and prayers!
Today I had all our current medical bills spread out all over my bed. Not a pretty sight! But I only cried once (that is a good thing) while trying to work with the different billing/Medical companies. Bill payments for individual doctors and hospitals are like return policies. Each one is completely different from the next. Some of them are willing to help out and give discounts and some are not. Because of your support I was able to pay off a couple small bills and get a larger one reduced by 50% because I was able to pay it in full. That felt like a huge victory! Thank you for your generosity that made this possible!
Tomorrow Ron and I both have appointments with our family doctor. And because of all of you we will be able to pay her! Yay! Our family doctor is amazing. She is so amazing that 12 years ago we left our other physicians that were covered by our insurance to have her as our PCP for our whole family. She is completely out of pocket. But she is so good that we choose to see her over other physicians. Thank you for tangibly providing for our immediate needs so that we can get the care we need right now to heal and not have to stress over how to pay for it.
Today we had weather in the 50’s which was great after all the cold and wet weather we have had. I was able to walk to the mailbox for the first time in almost two weeks. It felt so good to get out side and walk our driveway! My blood work shows my Hemoglobin levels went up a bit more. Yay! I am still quite tired and get exhausted quicker than usual and have migraines on and off but these symptoms are all improving. Right now my veins in my left arm are what causes the most pain. They really took a beating with blood draws and IV’s. I am getting them looked at tomorrow but most likely they will just take a while to heal.
Ron has been resting and doing well. He did have a Vasovagal Syncope episode on Sunday after he went to Mass. He really wanted to support Isaac who had his first high school retreat this past weekend. He took it easy and everyone made sure he stayed sitting. Although going to Church wiped him out, I think it was really good for him to see family and friends and do something normal.
Today Ron was able to schedule his appointment with the Neuro-Vascular Surgeon for next week. We are still waiting to hear back about the Vasovagal Clinic. I am so grateful we live in the Cleveland area with such great hospitals and physicians close by.
I am praying for each of you! Ron and I have been humbled and brought to tears by your generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Your grateful friends,
Cristina and Ron Thompson
To our AMAZING community of prayer warriors and supporters,
I do not even know were to start. Today felt like Christmas morning! I woke up to the realization that we were all back under one roof again after two weeks of hospitalizations and uncertainty. Ron was discharged last night after meeting with the Neurovascular team at the hospital. At the moment Ron’s diagnosis is a Dissection of the left Vertebral Artery (actual separation of the artery wall at C4). The exact cause is unknown. The last scans of his kidneys shows a 60% blockage in the artery supplying blood to his left kidney. At this time it is not causing damage to the kidney but Ron has work to do in food and lifestyle changes to help clear the blockage over the next 6 months.
Ron has been instructed to REST! Not an easy thing to do for him. For the next 6 weeks he is not suppose to lift anything over 5 pounds. This means he will have to take at least short term disability from work. We are not sure how this is all going to work out but we trust that God will provide!
Ron has follow up appointments with the Vascular Surgeon, our PCP and a Vasovagal Syncope Clinic.
Ron is in good spirits and is in a lot less pain. Thank God!
I do not have a very clear diagnosis yet. The doctors are still unsure where the bleed was in my small intestines. I have stopped bleeding and my iron levels are stable. I am still anemic and very tired and weak. I am not able to drive yet but my amazing Mom has been my personal chauffeur for our follow up appointments. :) I will be seeing two specialists next week and then I have the Pill Camera scan on December 5th. I am also unable to work at this time due to my recovery.
We are still getting requests for how we can best be helped at this time. First and foremost your prayers are at the top of the list. We are truly grateful for everyones prayers! They are what is carrying us especially when I feel overwhelmed. Ron and I are not good at asking for help or even admitting when we really need help. I guess God wanted to make it abundantly clear to the both of us that it is a GIFT to others to let them help. We are truly humbled by everyone’s love and support!
At this time we are blessed with dinners being provided for us until the middle of December. If anyone wanted to provide a meal but was not able to sign up we could use gift cards for gas or food when we are at appointments or testing and not at home to eat. Most of our appointments are 45 minutes away.
Thank you so much to all those who have donated to the GiveSendGo site that my amazing friend Karina set up for us. Part of my needs for healing is low stress. We all know how stressful money can be! I was really worried about trying to rest and heal when we have had so much mounting debt this year do to my hospitalizations, continued care inability to work as much and now Ron’s hospitalization. To all of you who have donated you are helping my recovery in a very tangible way!!! Knowing that we are going to be able to pay our bills and especially have money to pay the doctors that are completely out of pocket is a HUGE relief and blessing! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
Poor Ron has been with out a working car since July. We are hoping to get that fixed soon.
Jacob our almost 14 year old had his stitches removed this week and had his first PT appointment post surgery. He is doing great! Oh, to be that young again and heal so quickly! :)
It is because of all of your prayers, love and support that we have made it through with a sense of peace in the chaos of this storm we have been traveling through this past year. Thank you so much for everything! Please know that we pray daily for each of you that are praying for us and supporting us. If you have any personal prayer intentions you would like to share with us so we can pray for you as we rest and recover feel free to email them to me at email@example.com. It is a blessing for us to offer our small sufferings up for others and it helps to have specific intentions to pray for.
May God bless you in abundance especially as we enter into Thanksgiving, Advent and the Christmas Season.
Your Grateful Friends,
Cristina and Ron Thompson