Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday, 10/28/11

We apologize again for taking so long to update, we will get back in the groove but this week has been extra busy! Last weekend and the first part of this week were pretty rough. Wednesday night was especially difficult, Forrest's responsiveness had declined to the point where he wouldn't track us with his eyes and definitely wouldn't give us thumbs up or really any response at all. We met with his Attending yesterday and he helped lay out a plan. Give Team Forrest any plan and we are good to go, we will go out and tackle it. It's the stasis and waiting without a plan that we aren't good at.

We've begun to do small hourly drains of CSF, to reduce the amount of fluid in his ventricles, and that has seemed to help. He is more alert and tracking better since Thursday morning when we started. Yesterday he gave Maylin and the day nurse a thumbs up, and today he gave a brief smile while we watched the fan favorite, "Super Troopers." He's doing much better tracking and paying attention to what's going on in the room yesterday and today.

We're taking each day at a time, as always, and today was better than yesterday. Forrest received an amazing and blindingly bright gift from Karen and the rest of the Dolphin Quest Virginia office, a beautiful hand made blanket with lots of bright colors shown in the pictures below. It warms up the whole ICU room! Thank you so much!

As far as the next steps of the plan, the head Doc is looking at putting in another shunt (same model as last time) as early as this Monday. It will allow us to once again control the pressure in his head, the same role that the Extra Ventricular Drain(EVD) is playing now, but the EVD, because it is external, carries a greater risk of being a vector for infection to follow into his brain. Putting in the shunt again will allow us to remove the EVD. The plan is still evolving for when we would put the cranioplasty back on, likely several months, in order to increase the chance of avoiding yet another devastating infection. In the military, they often wait 6-12 months, but in his case, because it is such a massive craniotomy, we want to minimize the effects of atmospheric pressure pressing down on his brain that occurs when it doesn't have a skull or prosthesis to create normal pressures. But like we saw before, we can and WE WILL make progress without the prosthetic. Maybe even coming home by Thanksgiving or Christmas, but all plans are moving targets, as we well know.

Thanks for the comments, you all are amazing and cheer us up and keep us going every day! Here's a quote I came across, it's kinda whimsical. " If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?"

Austin and Team 44

Rebekah and Forrest with hand made blanket from DQV

Forrest and I watching videos from his friends


  1. WOW Forrest, your blanket is awesome! The folks who made it for you must really love you!! Perhaps it's a magical blanket that has special healing never know. The entire Forrest Fan Club loves you and thinks about you often sending massive amounts of healing energy, strength and prayers. Stay strong. Anne

  2. So glad the last day or so has been better. Thinking about you guys always...

  3. LOVE THIS POST! I will write more tomorrow, but had to check in one more time to see if there was sumthin' good to know. You never disappoint, Austin. :)

    And I love your quote! So apropos for that tall drink of water known as Forrest Allen. While we know he's been swimming in some deep water of late, that beautiful, hard working head is still above it.

    As are all of yours and I am mighty grateful.

    We love you and we love that amazing technicolor blanket!

    Prayers and love + faith and hope are CONSTANT.

    Shannon and a happy Davis fam after reading the post :) XO

  4. I'm so glad to hear that the last couple of days have been a little better for all of you. Forrest, hang in there and keep fighting!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Bev

  5. Forrest, you are truly amazing. Through all of this you can still give a thumbs up and a smile. As I sit here watching the snow come down (yes,in October), I think of you all cozy in your room, surrounded by so many people who love and care about you. Cozy with your new blanket, walls covered with pictures of friends and family, music and media to keep you busy while the best medical team in the world works with determined vision. You have no idea how inspiring it all is. Thinking of you all the time.

    Abby Laughlin

  6. Forrest you and your family absolutely continue to amaze me. I think of you and Team 44 all the time and send good thoughts and prayers your way. Keep fighting buddy! I know your smiles, whether big or small, are a huge joy to everyone. Even those of us reading it love them. Your new blanket caught my eye right away, it is awesome! I love all the bright colors. I know it was made with lots of love and prayers but also with lots of healing powers. Please know all of us think of you every day. Andrew (12)(you were his mentor when he was in 1st grade. He is in 7th now) and his brother Henry (10) have you in their nightly prayers. Lots of love to all of you. We look forward to knowing you will be home soon! xoxo The Looneys

  7. Hi Forrest, Austin, Rae and Kent,

    Great to hear from you with some more good news. I appreciate Austin's comment about developing a plan and carrying it forward. The plan makes good sense to me. I am so glad for Team Forrest's expertise in things scientific and medical. While I am sure many of the strategic discussions would be so far over my head, I think about all of your medical and scientific knowledge and your good common sense and I get a real comfort in knowing that you are all working together in formulating the best-informed plan of action for Forrest. You all are absolutely amazing--keep up the great work and incredible perseverance. You are an inspiration to all of us!
    And, I was so pleased to see your beautiful family portrait in the Fall 2011 Shepherd Center Magazine! Sitting in the sunshine, all with smiling faces, including Sundance--you look like movie stars! The article was wonderful, too.
    Take care and give each other hugs from us. You're all in our thoughts and prayers every day.
    Maggie, Christina and Antonio

  8. That blanket is absolutely beautiful. We had heard of Team 44's setback about a week ago and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to log in, but rest assured you are in my daily plans. I'm really pleased to hear of Forrest's responsiveness the past few days; what a great sign!
    Hoping to visit R @ the farm w/in the next week or so.

  9. It's so great to read the Team Forrest Update -Keep those fist pumps coming Forrest!
    The Weedens

  10. Forrest just went into the Operating Room. Mom is with him standing by. Putting a shunt in as discussed in last update. Will update later after surgery.

  11. Prayers are being lifted for steady hands in the operating room and peace for those of you who are in the wings standing firm. The whole Team Forrest Team has been in my prayers since early this a.m....not sure what was going on...just knew I needed to be praying. God bless you all and virtual hugs around! Tina

  12. I cannot improve upon the perfect post from Tina above except to say that we, too, cover Forrest in prayer and will be eager for a post surgery update. Praying all goes smoothly and uneventfully.

    Praying this means you can soon get the heck out of ICU.

    So much love to all of you.

  13. Austin,

    Thanks for the update, we are watching this blog closely and hoping (knowing) the outcome will be more and more good news. We have a scoreboard going - Team 44 West Coast Rally. All energy is focused your way - Go Team Forrest. All our best. Gary and Bj