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Thread: meeting with Carl C. Kao

  1. #81
    carlR...Tuesday is when we leave and Friday the 24th is the operation. Would love to be able to walk back (as you said), will have to take one day at a time though!

  2. #82

    questions and the answers ....***FEEL FREE TO ASK YOUR OWN????

    Q:> How is Ed feeling?

    A:> He sleeps a lot...medications are partly the cause. Important, but so
    is eating.

    Q:> Is there any pain? If so, what kind and how much,
    is the pain?

    A:> Ed is in NO pain....they have him on some low dose pain medication. I
    imagine the incision site would be painful otherwise...

    Q:> Any noticable improvements (i.e. like the others can
    fingers, legs?)

    A:> He can feel about an inch lower on his chest and his neck mobility is
    almost completely back as well as the weakness in his right arm is
    almost gone.

    Q:> Any new patients?

    A:> Two more arrive tonight.....

    Q:> Why can't Ed sit up, you
    mentioned that another patient had sat up in bed after his operation.

    A:> Sitting up will cause spinal headaches. A slight incline is OK after a
    day. With no headaches, I imagine he can sit up and eat tomorrow or the
    next day.

    Q:> What
    if anything has Dr. Kao said about the operation...any surprises he
    ran into,
    good surprises, bad surprises?

    A:> The operation revealed good ones for Ed..... Although his compression
    was severe, it was limited to 1.5 centimeters. His cord was tethered
    and Dr. Kao took care of that, too (that's what gave him back his neck

    Q:> How did the hyperbaric chamber go?

    A:> No problems. Barbara gave Ed muscle relaxers and valium the first day.
    Today, Ed is in the chamber with NO valium.

    Q:> How are
    the others doing?

    A:> Greg had some urine in his blood today. I suppose it was from changing
    the catheter. Linda, his mother, immediately got Barbara who
    immediately had it taken care of... John is able to move his fingers a

    Q:> Explain if you are able, how do you mean that he
    was able
    to move his leg(s) (Greg)?

    A:> I do not know all the details of Greg's injury, but I do know it was not
    as severe as John's or Ed's. Movement is VERY limited at this point,
    but it is there....

    Q:> Did the person who moved fingers have a
    transfer, was he a quad and unable to do so before the operation?

    A:> John did not have a tendon transfer that I am aware of. He was a

    Q:> Are
    all men there having the operations? No woman?

    A:> No women yet, so far just the three men.... I understand one or two
    women will be here with us...

    Q:> Has Ed (or anyone)
    any new sensations or feelings?

    A:> So far. I think John has shown the most improvement....

    Q:> how is the weather?

    A:> The weather is WONDERFUL, but VERY windy.....

    Q:>v What kinds of clothes should we bring? A:> You won;t be cold or hot....VERY nice. I put a comforter over me at night and that is all....

    Q:> I saw in the pictures that there was a
    nook, can you email out on that?

    A:> Yes, everyone can use the computer to e-mail anywhere, no charge...

    Teddy Lancaster

    In Ecuador until September 4th....

    [This message was edited by Birde on August 19, 2001 at 08:35 PM.]

  3. #83

    report from Ecuador***Aug.19,2001

    Now that the surgery is over, it seems like it is all downhill, but it
    is not. There are all sorts of little things that have to be done, have
    to be watched, and have to be remembered.

    Ed must lie on his back for ten days. After a couple, he will be
    allowed to partially sit up to eat. In the meantime, I have to feed
    him. He can drink juices, water and soups through a straw, but the rest
    is up to me handing him a fork or spoonful of whatever.

    We are both getting sick of the same old food. I still have not made it
    to a store. I want to get brown rice, wheat bread, canned pasta (or ANY
    pasta), tofu, bean curd, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, milk and whatever
    other food I think Ed may like and eat, especially food with protein.

    Dr. Kao sees him every day. Today, Ed was told that he urine sample
    showed a particularly tough bacterial infection, common in patients who
    have been in hospitals and facilities of the like. He is on a special
    anti-biotic for it. Dr. Kao is insisting that Ed's catheter be clamped
    off 6 hours at a time to "train" his bladder. Neither the hospital or
    rehab center had made any sincere effort in this matter.

    Ed complained of a "hard bump" on his is the site of the
    surgery where extra gauze padding has been secured to the area to keep
    pressure on the incision site. He has a drain in his back to collect
    the excess spinal fluid being produced. This will probably be removed
    in a day or so.

    Dr. Kao also insists on an "abdominal" binder. Helps circulation by
    holding in the gut (Ed has no control here yet). The one we brought
    with us from the rehab center was not good enough for Dr. Kao, so he
    supplied another.

    Everyone in recovery so far has had daily bouts of hiccups. All are
    briefly put on a stomach medication. Spasms will be relieved as
    sensation slowly comes back, but the abdominal binder seems to
    exacerbate them.

    A physical therapist visits Ed twice daily for an hour of leg message
    each time. His legs are wrapped in ace bandages to prevent phlebitis
    and are removed for the hyberbaric chamber an for massage.

    Dr. Alaracon, the owner of the clinic (or a relative) has dozens of
    paintings everywhere. They are beautifully unique so I took photos of
    many of them and am posting them on the website for your enjoyment. I
    have not yet asked, but I sure would like to bring one or more home.....

    More tomorrow.....

    Teddy Lancaster

  4. #84

    the countdown begins...

    well guys, the countdown begins. We leave tomorrow at 5Am to Chicago, chicago to Miami, Miami to Quito. We are schedualed to get to Quito around 8:30pm. The actual operation is schedualed for Friday, Aug. 24 at 7AM. Pre-op tests and x-rays, and MRIs need to be taken care of before, as well as some exploring Ecuador on our part! We are excited, and really nervous too! We have NEVER been away from our children this far or this long in our lives, that alone is very hard! They (2 boys) start school the day after we leave, and we will not be there for that! We never have been out of the country either! We must live "sheltered lives"?!!! I DON"T "DO" planes well at all, that is going to be pure hell for me! I have had a couple hundred nightmares about that jumbo jet crashing to the ground!!! As I said in past posts, we will try and keep you posted as much as we can, if the "freekin' plane doesn't crash! I bought out the local drug stores supply of dramamine, and perhaps a steady supply of on board cocktails will calm the nerves a bit! I really have been "lucky" to have found all of you, your support through this has been a "God send"! If I have time I will check in tonight, as I know I will be unable to sleep a wink! Thanks! ADIOS AMIGOS! (trying to brush up on the 'ole Spanish) B.T.W. You should be able to keep up to date either here, or at:, or at:

    [This message was edited by Birde on August 20, 2001 at 11:16 AM.]

  5. #85

    It sounds like a very interesting trip Birde

    Keep us up to date with things, and best of luck to you. You are in good hands with Dr. Kao, hopefully you will regain some function.

  6. #86


    Our hearts and prayers go with you.


  7. #87
    Senior Member SKYCO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001


    I wanted to thank you for your bravery.You have restored my hope in that some day I'll will get out of this chair.I'm to where I can't wait to read your latest post.It is no longer someday,now it's someday soon.

  8. #88
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Good luck down there Birde! You won't crash. And remember, if you or the wife feel tired it's the altitude. You'll adjust. Oh, and while you're exploring keep the valuables'll need them to check out.

    Sue<-----pulling for both Birde and Ed

  9. #89

    pictures and the latest report from Ed & Ecuador...

  10. #90
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Auburn, AL,USA

    my son Jake

    Dear Friends:

    Please say some prayers also for my 15 year old son, Jake. He is 9 months post C-4,5. We will have the same surgery as Birde's husband next week. We are rushing things a bit faster then we want, because of the complications of syringomeglia. We would have prefered to wait another year post injury, but he is losing not gaining function and sensation. He needs surgery to correct the cavity in his spinal cord, so we prefer to have it all done at one time. Keep up with this progress at or hear at spine wire.



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