Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Update

As some of you know, Keith has had some health issues over the last month. He had an appointment with Dr. Gilbey last week which went well. The doctor confirmed that all his vital signs and test results are in the normal range so he doesn't have any urgent concern about that. He did notice that Keith's concentration was diminished, his speech is less clear and that his general response to questions was slower than it has been before. I gave him a run down of the issues I've noted over the last few weeks including lack of appetite, speaking difficulties and swallowing issues. We did mention that there has been considerable stress which is now abating. He suggested that we observe the status of Keith's physical symptoms for the next 2-3 weeks and if they are still escalating, he would then check him into the hospital for a 24 hour observation period where they could do an MRI, xrays, speech/swallow assessment and any other in-depth tests appropriate to his symptoms.

We also discussed the possibility that Keith's body is weakening due to SMA and the fact that he's been bed-bound for the last 10 months. The doctor also said that there is a greater chance that Keith will have to remain on the ventilator permanently. As Dr. Gilbey noted, Keith really has no physical reserves so he may have to come to terms with needing that support for the long term. We fully expect Keith to live for a long time to come, however it may be without some of the freedom he is used to.

Despite Keith's health setback, we are still excited about the new year and all its positive potential on every level. As always, we are deeply appreciative of your continued love, support and prayers.

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for us all!


Ruth, Keith & Henry Hopper

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