Saturday, October 11, 2008

Get Well Card

I just saw over on Gavin Edwards' site that frequent OPC commenter Scraps, otherwise known as Soren DeSelby, had a hemorrhagic stroke last week and is in intensive care in a Brooklyn hospital. I have never had the good fortune to meet Scraps, but he has certainly been a welcome addition to this site, and is by all reports a great guy. All of us here at OPC wish Scraps the best and hope he's soon back to his beloved Carla Bley records.


Gavin said...

Just got an update from his friend Ellie:

The big news is that Scraps is in fact making progress. The bleeding in his brain has stopped, and while there is still swelling, the doctors expect that it’s starting to go down. All of his vital signs are stable, and he continues to respond well to all neurological stimuli. In short, Scraps is pretty much out of the woods, and we can all indulge in a very small sigh of relief. Yesterday, he was very agitated and was able to communicate that we was in pain. The neurologist came in and ordered a shot of morphine, which took about four minutes to work. He has not needed one since. While yesterday he was alert but highly agitated, today he is more alert but much less agitated, which is a good sign. He received a feeding tube yesterday, and now, for the first time since admission, he is receiving more nutrition than can be administered through an IV. The speech pathologist comes by each day to do a “speech and swallow” evaluation, which assesses his ability to swallow food and control his throat. Today, he showed progress and ate applesauce, which he seemed to enjoy, although he couldn’t manage water, and the speech pathologist seemed to think that this was an excellent sign and said that as soon as he can actually swallow enough calories each day, they’ll remove the feeding tube. It should be noted that yesterday, he would not swallow soft food, but it was vanilla pudding, which he loathes.

Scraps can clearly understand much, if not all of what is said to him. While he has not cooperated with some doctors, it seems to have as much to do with cranky preference as ability; today’s neurologist and speech pathologist were both pretty young women. Yesterday, not so much. He tries to communicate, but has difficulty with hard consonants. He can clearly say some words, like “OK,” “No,” “Where,” “When,” “Now,” and “Home,” but becomes frustrated when he tries to put a sentence together. He has been able to communicate what music he wants, that he wasn’t worried about the manuscript he was working on, and when he wants to sit up or lie down. He knows he is in a hospital, but looks somewhere between panicked and outraged when he’s reminded of why he’s there. Today we tried giving him a pad and a sharpie, and he really understood the concept, couldn’t quite grasp the pen. If there are any OT specialists in the house, suggestions on better tools would be appreciated.

He knows when people are in the room, and when they’re talking to him, however, he doesn’t seem to recognize or track on all people. Part of this is because he doesn’t have his glasses and can’t see. Not surprisingly, he tracks best on the people and voices he knows most well. Similarly, he does best listening to Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, and other artists he knows note for note.

While his recovery will be a long haul, the preliminary signs for the recovery look good.

T. Nawrocki said...

Thanks much, Gavin.

MJN said...

Very sorry to hear this news. We're pulling for you, Scraps.

Mark Lerner said...

Wishing Scraps a full and speedy recovery.