pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Thank You for all Your Well Wishes & Help - an Update on my Brother

What a week it has been.     The much anticipated and planned-for visit from my older brother, Steve, didn't quite go as we had hoped. I had prepared a fridge full of very easy to swallow food, with lots of other dishes planned, ready to be created should he fancy any of them - and for that I must thank all of you for your wonderful suggestions.

Alas, it very quickly became clear that his condition was rapidly deteriorating as speech, swallowing and breathing gradually became more difficult than 'normal'.   At 4am we had to call for an ambulance.   

Because we live on the Edge of Nowhere that doesn't mean an instant response.   It involves careful explanation of how to find us, and someone has to go out on to the road with a big torch to help the driver locate our driveway.      It took a long time, more than half an hour - an unimaginably long time with someone who is struggling for air.   

Luckily, the call was also answered by a First Responder.   She arrived like the cavalry and got to work, spreading calm and creating a positive atmosphere.   I cannot thank her enough.

Twenty or more minutes later the ambulance arrived.

To cut a long story short, Steven is now in an excellent hospital on the other side of the country and is receiving virtually every treatment they can throw at him.   He has been fed through a tube in his nose and is being administered a whole concoction of drugs and plasma.   His condition is still very serious, but he is responding.

Ian, my younger brother, is over that side of the country too.   He is supporting Steve's wife, driving her to and from hospital and generally keeping things going.     I have no doubt that he is also keeping Steve entertained, with his wit and humour,  during visiting times!    

As far as Steven's condition goes - this is Ian's latest report on Fb...

Just got back from visiting Steve today, and he's well into his IVIg therapy and responding very well. His swallowing is going to be tested on Thursday and if he "passes" he may actually see some real food, albeit pureed or mashed - and the thought ischeering him up mightily! In hospital for at least another two weeks while he's monitored on this cocktail of drugs and IVIg. His voice has come back too, so long as he doesn't over-work it. So far so good! Fingers crossed for remission. Cheers guys'n'galleons, I've passed your kind comments on to him (after I explained what Facebook is)!


  1. I am so pleased to read that they have been able to stabalise your brother's condition. He clearly is in the best place for the moment. All the best, Jx

  2. I've been so happy to read Ian's reports. I had no idea your brother Steve had already arrived at your house. Thinking of you all. (And of poor Steve, the captive audience of his clever little brother.)

  3. Oh crumbs! Ian explaining Facebook, the mind boggles. And poor Steven probably hasn't the energy to tell him to put a sock in it!

    Thinking of you all.


  4. Oh boy, how scary for you all, sending my best wishes to all your family

  5. Dear Elaine.
    What a sad time for your poor brother Steve. You must have been in such shock to see him like that.
    The food doesnt matter.. he is more important.
    I am glad that he is being treated . He is in the best place.
    I wish him all the best with his recovery ..
    val x

  6. very scary but hopefully he's in the best place for him right now... sending love x

  7. Oh, that must have been so frightening and stressful for you all. I'm sorry his visit didn't go as planned, but I'm glad the hear he's doing better in the hospital now, and I hope his healing continues!

  8. Thank goodness for the first responder! I'm so glad to hear Steven is in good hands and receiving the best of treatments. Keep us and your family are in my prayers.

  9. That must have been such a frightening time for you all. I do hope the recovery continues in leaps and bounds and that Steve can enjoy some real food (and stress free days) soon.
    Jane xx

  10. Here's to the worst being behind, and Steven having flan sooner than later.

  11. How frightening for you, terrifying fr him. Hoping for the very best care for him . . . with better days.

  12. What a dreadful disease! It must have been so hard to have to wait for the ambulance to come under those circumstances. It must give you a lot of comfort to have Ian taking care of things in the meantime. I wish your brother Steve all the best. (My father had Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis so I know how difficult those degenerative diseases are.)

  13. So glad to hear your brother is improving! It can indeed be a very frightening wait for an ambulance. What a wonderful thing to have a First Responder!

  14. Elaine, what a nightmare for you all. Send your brother my best wishes. Hope things improve soon.

  15. Very best wishes from here. Let's all hope things go well for him. Cro xx

  16. Thank you, everyone. It looks as though all the treatments and therapies which my brother has undergone in the last 10 days have really pulled him round, for he is to be released from hospital today. He has regained the ability to breathe, swallow and talk - small, but essential, things!

    (LL - don't forget Ian (Owl) has a wicked sense of humour and spins a good tale. Steve knows perfectly well what Fb is all about - but that doesn't sound half as funny. ;)


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