Tuesday, August 31, 2010

T-Shirts Anyone?

We are brainstorming ideas of ways to generate more money for China and thought t-shirts might be good.  Before we go and put out a lot of money to have shirts made we thought we would poll you all to determine if there's an interest.  The t-shirts would be $20 which includes shipping and would have the logo on the front breast and maybe the website in the back bottom as seen below.  If you think you would purchase a t-shirt could your leave a comment answering the questions below.  Answering the questions does not commit you to purchasing, it will help us determine if there's enough interest to proceed as well as what colors and sizes.

1. Would you be interested in purchasing a t-shirt?
2. What color t-shirt?
3. What color logo?
4. What size would you order?
5. Do you have an interest in designing the t-shirt?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home At Last

The ultrasound came back normal which is good news, the chest x-ray taken this morning shows no increase in fluid in the lung, more good news.  The doctors can not conclusively say the pulmonary embolism was a false positive so they will be treating Jerry with the blood thinner coumadin for another 3 months to be on the safe side. The best news of all we are home at last, hallelujah.
Jerry spent about 3 hours in his wheelchair today, he also attempted to ride the FES bike but was only able to tolerate about 10 minutes.  It's difficult for him to sit straight up he still has fluid in the pleura which makes it difficult for him to breath, he can't tolerate being upright for more then 10 to 15 minutes.  While we were in the hospital Dennis installed the ceiling lift over the bath tub.  After a much needed shave Jerry was able to relax in the jacuzzi tub for about an hour.  It was so nice being able to get Jerry in the tub by myself with very little physical exertion.  Jerry is a happy camper resting in his own bed, watching football.  

Good to be home!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Diagnosis Confusion....

The situation with Jerry is getting a bit confusing, as much as I like the doctors I have to wonder if they're qualified to solve this puzzle.  We have 3 pulmonologists, 1 neuro specialist, and 1 hospitalist on the case all of which are scratching their heads, saying nothing about Jerry's case is textbook. Their diagnosis is just not adding up and they're beginning to question themselves with regards to the diagnosis that they've made thus far.  Two of the doctors have explained to me how they came to the conclusion of a pulmonary embolism, all of which is very detailed but made sense why they would come to the conclusion of PE. I don't have the energy to write it all up, the bottom line is now the doctors are thinking the original diagnosis of PE and the diagnosis of lung infarct may be wrong, it may actually have just been a pneumonia all along.  They want to run a series of tests to try and determine weather or not Jerry actually had an embolism so they can determine weather or not he needs to continue taking coumadin. This is all kinda good news bad news, the bad news being misdiagnosed causing worry and stress and Jerry taking a dangerous drug unnecessarily, the good news being pneumonia is a much less serious diagnoses and recovery then pulmonary embolism and lung infarct. So here we are in the waiting game, waiting for them to come up with an accurate diagnosis.

Jerry had another chest x-ray yesterday which showed no change in regards to the amount of fluid present in the pleura, this is good news he's not continuing to build fluid. Jerry is scheduled for another chest x-ray on Sunday and possibly an ultrasound of his arms, legs and heart today.  That's all for now, we'll keep you posted.



Thursday, August 26, 2010


It looks like we will be staying for awhile at Dominican. Jerry had a chest x-ray this morning at 6am, a little early for us late risers. The x-ray shows the pleural effusion is again taking on fluid in addition the pulmonologist now believes that the lung infarct was not an infarct at all because an infarct would not cause so much fluid.  The doctor believes that what they thought to be an infarct is actually a pneumonia. The plan is to do another chest x-ray tomorrow, if the fluid increases again then the doctor will do another thorasentesis (remove the fluid) with the assist of an ultrasound.  The ultrasound will assist the doc in finding the precise spot to insert the drain.

If you've been following along with what's been going on then you should be familiar with Jerry's INR.  If you remember the INR should be between 2 and 3, however last week the INR was 4.6.  This means that Jerry's dosage of coumadin was way to high.  Jerry was taken off the coumaden to bring the INR down and now his INR level is 1.7, so starts the process over of finding the right medication dosage for him.  Jerry goes back on coumadin today and won't be released until his INR level is between 2 & 3.  Between the INR and monitoring the activity in the lung we are expected to be here at least through Sunday.  :(

I'll keep you posted,


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back in the Hospital

We're back to our tiny little closet, sure haven't missed it, by that sarcasm I mean Jerry was admitted back into Dominican Hospital.  We'll start with the good news the MRI results showed no evidence of a Syrinx, thanks for all the prayers.

Monday started with getting Jerry through the morning routine and ready to go to Santa Cruz for the MRI.  The weekend was hard for Jerry his pain increasing and not being managed so well with the pain medication.  Jerry was having a difficult time sitting upright for more than 2 minutes, he couldn't breath and was close to passing out when he tried.  After getting through the MRI we headed to see Jerry's doctor who was able to ease our mind with regards to the syrinx but it was a rather upsetting visit.  While viewing the MRI with the doc we were able to see the damaged area of Jerry's spinal cord.  I was shocked to see the difference in size between the healthy cord and the damaged cord.  The doc explained that the spinal cord atrophied just like muscles can atrophy, I didn't know that could happen and seeing it on film was rather shocking.  I couldn't contain the tears as hard as I tried, even writing this the tears return. It's gonna take a miracle, so please keep Jerry in your prayers.

Jerry's doctor was concerned so he sent us to the lab for some blood tests and on to Radiology for another chest x-ray.  The chest x-ray taken Monday was significantly different form the x-ray taken 4 days prior so Jerry was admitted once again to the hospital.  The x-ray showed a significant amount of fluid in Jerry's right lung the lung that had the embolism.  The official diagnosis is "Pleural Effusion" you can click on that for the clinical definition. The simple definition of pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity.  Thoracentesis is the procedure the pulmonologist used to remove the fluid from Jerry today.  I was able to be present for the procedure and I gotta say that needle was gnarly. I was astounded with the amount of fluid they drew out, 1 1/2 liters and they didn't even get all of it. Another chest x-ray was performed directly following the thoracentesis which showed some fluid remains.  My understanding is they will do another chest x-ray in a couple days to determine if the fluid is building again.
The cause of the pleural effusion is yet to be determined however the pulmonologist believes the lung infarct developed an infection.  The good news is Jerry feels so much better with minimal pain after the removal of the fluid.

So here we are again anxiously awaiting to go home, desperate to get Jerry back to health, we are hoping to be released by Thursday. 

Thank you everyone for keeping Jerry in your prayers, we appreciate the support and warm wishes.

Love to all,


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Somethings Not Right

 We were so ready to be released from the hospital on Friday last week, some nurses were great, others not so much.  The room was about the size of a utility closet, the hospital didn't have adequate supplies for Jerry's care, which had to be brought in from home. It's just so much easier to care for him at home so it was a blessing when he was released or so we thought.  Jerry has not been doing so well since diagnosed with PE (Pulmonary Embolism), his pain is not being managed so well at home.  The first four days at home Jerry did well, he had to double up on pain meds but for the most part he felt comfortable as long as he was taking his meds. Tuesdays blood test showed Jerry's INR level to be at 4.6, if you remember it's supposed to be between 2 and 3.  Jerry was taken off the blood thinning medication Coumadin for a few days until his INR drops back into range. Wednesday things started to go down hill with pain management and difficulty taking deep breaths, by Wednesday night a fever set in.  After consulting with Jerry's doctor Wednesday night we were instructed to be at the hospital in the morning for a series of tests which included a chest x-ray, x-rays of both shoulders and an MRI of his C-Spine. Unfortunately the MRI machine was broke so we will be getting the MRI on Monday, the shoulder x-rays came back normal however the chest x-ray shows a "lung infarct", you can click that for a clinical definition.  A lung infarct basically means that the lung tissue that the clot attached itself to died from lack of oxygen and blood flow. The doctor believes that the pain in Jerry's right arm and shoulder are a result of the clot and infarct however he wants an MRI to rule out a "Syrinx". In layman's terms a syrinx is a cavity that develops in the spinal cord and has spinal fluid filter through it. The syrinx can expand and put pressure on nerves or damage the spinal cord. Jerry's symptoms are consistent with a syrinx, I pray that it's not, I want to get to the bottom of the problem but I don't want it to be serious. If we cannot manage Jerry's pain at home then his doctor is going to admit him back to the hospital and we so don't want to do that.  Jerry's been in bed for two days with limited activity to avoid a flare up in the pain, sitting in his wheel chair only intensifies the pain.  It's sort of a catch 22, being idle in bed makes him feel a little better but puts him at a higher risk of pneumonia.

On a positive note Jerry was able to use the new FES bike three times since he got home from the hospital last Friday.  I'm excited for Jerry to be able to get into a normal routine using the FES bike, we just need to get him healthy first.

I feel a little sad, missing my son Josh, he moved to San Diego on Tuesday.  Josh will be attending UCSD to work on his masters for civil engineering.  I'm very proud of him but will miss him all the same.  Dennis left on Tuesday for San Diego to help Josh move and didn't get home until late Friday night. It was a little rough not having much help with Jer especially when the power went out Thursday morning at 3 am.  Jerry has an alternating air pressure mattress which requires electricity, without it the mattress is as flat as a pancake.  I waited a few minutes hoping the power would come back on but decided I had to get Jerry off that mattress, so I loaded him in the Hoyer lift and transported him into my bed. Just as soon as I got Jerry settled in my bed the power came back on and seeing as how Jerry was not to thrilled about sleeping in my bed and would be more comfortable in his own bed, I loaded him back in the Hoyer and transported him back to his own bed.  Needless to say I think I got about 4 hours of very broken up sleep, I'm still feeling a little tired. It's good to have Big D home.

That's all for now, I'll keep you posted about the MRI and doctor appointment on Monday.

Oh by the way, great news we are now close to raising $8,000 for the China fund. I added an image so you can watch the thermometer climb on the top right corner. 

God Bless!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Great Day At The Ballgame With The San Jose Giants

We had such a blast on Sunday, for those of you who went to the San Jose Giants game, you all ready know it was a great game and a wonderful time all together. The only thing that would have made the day better is the Giants winning the game. For those not able to make it, the Giants lost to the Modesto Nuts 3-2. I'm so thankful that Jerry was out of the hospital and felt well enough to make it to the game. The day was absolutely wonderful, it was great to see so many of our friends come out to support Jerry as well as many familiar faces from our community. One mentionable highlight was seeing Jack's followingJerry.com sign on the big screen when the camera man panned the audience, that was sweet.  Thanks to all who purchased tickets and made donations, the support from friends, family and community helped to make this a successful fundraiser, the estimated profit is $2,800. Great job everyone!

I want to thank the following people for busting their booty to sale tickets: Claudine, Gretchen, Jack, Dana, Trish, Leanne, Marci, Rob, Cindy, Neal, Mike, Debbie C, Josh&Janea. Also a BIG THANKS to Cycle Sport, Video 9 and Stanford Ave Automotive for providing a public place to purchase tickets.  We hope to see you all next year at the 3rd Annual Following Jerry to the Ballgame.

Much love,

Katie Mac

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Game Day, Go Giants!

I'm so ready for a day of fun in the sun enjoying great baseball at the San Jose Giants Stadium.  For all you who have not gotten your tickets yet it's not too late.  You can still order online until 2:00pm today and pick up your tickets at the box office will-call.  If you are local, Video9 in Boulder Creek and Cycle Sport in Scotts Valley still have tickets available.  Tickets purchased at the box office today do not benefit Jerry.  

If you were one of the many friends helping to sale tickets you can bring the proceeds to the park, I will be around the picnic tables on the first base side.  The stadium stands don't have wheelchair access so unfortunately we won't be able to sit in the stands with everyone.  Anyone wanting to say hello feel free to come visit us on the first base side of the stands at the picnic tables along the fence line. 

See y'all there, GO GIANTS!!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quick Update / Ballgame

Wow, what a week. Great news Jerry was released from the hospital yesterday about 5:00 pm, home at last.  We have such a busy day ahead.  As most of you know we purchased an FES bike for  Jerry, we are so excited to get it up and running.  We've had an appointment scheduled for a few weeks for a technician to come today to do the set up on the bike.  I had to jump through several hoops yesterday to be sure that Jerry had a doctors release to ride the bike given his current condition with the blood clot.  It was quite an effort to avoid losing our appointment with the technician.  All went well and the technician was able to fly here to do the set up.  The technician was here until 4:00 pm and Jerry was only able to tolerate about 15 minutes on legs and a few minutes on arms.  It might take him some time to feel up to par, he's still not feeling well. It may take him about a week before he is feeling well enough to begin a daily bike routine. We are very excited to finally have this piece of equipment.

On to the ballgame, anyone who purchased tickets on or before Thursday will receive the tickets in the mail, please note that an extra set of tickets will be held at will-call for you in the event you don't receive them.  Anyone who purchased tickets past Thursday can pick up your tickets in will-call at the ticket booth. 

It's not to late to get tickets you can still get tickets at the following locations:

Cycle Sport
245 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley

Video 9
12550 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek

Stanford Automotive
110 Stanford Ave, Santa Cruz

You can also send an email to katie@ihwy.com if you would like to make alternative arrangements to get tickets. 

See You There, Go Giants!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whoohooo for 2

Jerry's INR level reached 2 today so if everything goes well he will be released Saturday morning. 
Thanks for praying!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010



I'm getting cranky....


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not Today

I can't believe we are still here in the hospital, it's time to go home.  We are now looking at hopefully being released by Friday. Jerry's INR level needs to be between 2 and 3, yesterday his INR was 1.5, today 1.6 at this rate we're never getting out of here.  OK that's an exaggeration obviously, it just seems to be taking way to long to get the INR level up.  Pray for 2 tomorrow.

Good night,


Ballgame Update

I hope to see you all at the San Jose Giants vs. Modesto Nuts ballgame to benefit Jerry's therapy.  Just a quick reminder the game is this Sunday Aug 15th.  Tickets purchased at the box office will NOT benefit Jerry's assistance fund.  To benefit Jerry's assistance fund you can purchase your tickets online through this blog.  Tickets purchased online by Wednesday will be mailed, tickets purchased online after Wednesday can be picked up at will call at the stadium.  You can also pick up your tickets at the following locations:

Cycle Sport
245 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley

Video 9
12550 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek

Stanford Automotive
110 Stanford Ave, Santa Cruz

You can also send an email to katie@ihwy.com if you would like to make alternative arrangements to get your tickets. 

See you all there, GO GIANTS!!!!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Out of ICU

Jerry was moved out of ICU today up to the second floor, whoohoo, next move home.  Jerry has to be on a blood thinner for at least 6 months, he will be released from the hospital when his INR (International Normalized Ratio) is within a specified range.  Jerry's INR has to be stable for 2 days before they will release him, the simplified version of that means they have to be sure his blood is not to thick or to thin. Blood is drawn every morning to check Jerry's INR level and if it's not in the range it needs to be they adjust the dosage of his blood thinner. As of yet Jerry's INR is not where it needs to be, once they get it where they want it he has to stay at the hospital another two days to be monitored.  So if today's blood test shows Jerry's INR levels where they need to be then we get to come home on Tuesday. That's the update for the day, I'm headed back to the hospital.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Good News / Bad News

I'll start with the bad news, it looks like Jerry has developed a small case of pneumonia in the lung that has the clots, he's being treated for it and they don't expect that it will get any worse.  The good news is it hasn't affected his breathing and it's not causing him any discomfort.  There's more good news, they're ready to move Jerry out of ICU, and more slightly less bad news, they have no where to move him to, at this point there are no available beds.  So we may or may not be moving out of ICU dependent upon the bed availability, the comforting factor is he no longer needs to be in ICU.  That's the update of the day we'll keep you posted if theres any changes.

Much love going out to y'all,


Friday, August 6, 2010

Quick Update

Thanks to all for the prayers and warm wishes of healing for Jerry.  I'm home for a short break, checking messages, returning calls as well as a much needed shower.  OK don't say yuck but yeah I've been in the same clothes and haven't had a shower since Jerry was admitted to ICU on Wednesday, I think I just heard someone say eewww, yeah that's about how it felt.  Any how, Jerry was admitted for a Pulmonary Embolism which is a fancy way of saying blood clots in the lungs. After speaking with his doctor this afternoon turns out Jerry had several small clots pass through his heart and distributed into his right lung. That's the bad news, the good news is now that the clots are in the lungs that's where they'll stay until they're dissolved with blood thinners. My understanding is the clots can't leave the lungs to reak havoc elsewhere.  It may take several weeks for the clots to fully dissolve however we are expecting that Jerry should be able to come home by Monday.  Jerry was in a great deal of pain and had moments of difficult breathing however I think they've finally found the right combo of meds to make him comfortable and he only had to be on oxygen for less then a day.  Jerry seems to be feeling a lot better and is a little more like himself, he even smiled a few times and was cuttin up on me.  I'll take a little razzing any day of the week, it kinda lets me know he's doing OK.  :-D
I better get back to the hospital and give Dennis a break.

Thanks again for the love and support,
Katie Mac

P.S. We fully plan on Jerry being well enough for the SJ Giants game.  You can still order tickets online, don't panic if you don't get them in the mail right away. I promise as soon as Jerry's home I'll get the tickets in the mail.  See y'all there, Go Giants!!!

Friday Afternoon

Just talked with Dennis and here is the update.....

Jerry has been struggling with a lot of pain today, but his fever has subsided for now--which is great.   He is resting and taking it really easy, and is pretty much just waiting for the symptoms to subside and his body to fight things off.

Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts...it's appreciated.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jerry Update

Just a quick update about Jerry....

You local folks might already know that Jerry is currently hospitalized, and will likely remain so the next 3-5 days.  He has two blood clots in his right lung, is experiencing a lot of pain, and is also running a fever.   Dennis and Katie feel like the medical team is getting a good handle on it, and Jerry has spent the day zonked out after a really rough night.

So, if you can pray for Jerry, and also for Dennis and Katie, that would be fantastic.

For the Macs,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


A big shout out to the good folks at the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Growing Up in Santa Cruz for their help in advertising our Sunday, August 15, 5pm ballgame between the San Jose Giants and the Modesto Nuts!

If you've not picked up a copy of the August edition of Growing Up in Santa Cruz, be sure to do so and find the *awesome* half page ad they generously provided!

Be sure to get your tickets soon via www.followingjerry.com

Go Giants!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Game ON!

The time has come, the time is NOW to get your ticket to the ballgame.

We are just two weeks out and we are anxious to see you all on Sunday, August 15 for the 5pm game at the San Jose Municipal Stadium as the San Jose Giants take on the Modesto Nuts!

Tickets are just $7, and after we cover our event costs, $6 of every ticket goes straight to Jerry's assistance fund.  To cover our costs, we only need to sell about 150 tickets--so, there is great possibility here of adding a great amount to help with Jerry's therapy costs as we have 1200 tickets available for sale.

If you went to the game last year, you know that it is a FANTASTIC way to spend a summer evening.  If you've not been to a minor league baseball game before, it's a real treat.  The baseball is pretty darn good, and the food at the Stadium is REALLY good--seriously, some of the best pulled pork sandwiches on the whole planet and they are even CHEAP.

Anyways, we need your help to sell these tickets.  Last year, the vast majority of tickets were not sold through this website nor at any of our local ticket locations--they were sold by friends and family like you!  So, we humbly ask for your help once more to make this event happen.

If you'd like your own stack of tickets to sell off to your friends, family or coworkers, please contact us at katie@followingjerry.com

If you can help us spread the word via Facebook by setting your status update to point people to this game, we'd love it.  Find the event page for Facebook here and join us!

For all of us on Team MacCallister,