Sunday, July 20, 2014

Case Study #12 - Garrett Drinking a Slurpee

"Garrett Drinking a Slurpee" 30" x 24" oil on canvas
I met Garrett through Facebook and was absolutely horrifed when I saw him posting about when hospice would be coming in to help ease his pain. I'm not sure an oil painting really eases anyone's pain, but I have never felt a sense of urgency as I have with this painting. I want Garrett to see all of the different stages and enjoy the final painting. These take me a very long time to do, so I guess that just means Garrett will have to tell the hospice workers they aren't necessary right now.

In Garrett's words:

This is Garrett and if it were not for NF2, I would not have a caringbridge site. NF2 is short for Neurofibromatosis Type 2. This causes benign tumors to grow on various nerves throughout my body. People with NF2 always have these tumors on both the left and right vestibular nerves. The vestibular nerve is part of the acoustic nerve so we usually have little or no hearing. I have no hearing on my right side and only 50 percent hearing on my left side. I have several tumors in my brain and dozens of tumors up and down my spine. I also have these tumors on my arms, neck, side, and back. That's enough about NF2 for now.

In Garrett's Dad's words on June 30, 2014:
Preliminary Sketch
We want you to know it is because of you that Garrett has NOT giving up the fight. He is a true NF2 warrior and he is not ready for hospice to take over. Your encouraging messages have renewed his spirit. It excites him to read and respond to your posts. He enjoys connecting with more people, seeing the run/swim/walk/bike in his honor, chat with friends, talk about sports, gaming and God. The NF2 crew have been an amazing cheerleading squad and he is listening. They understand his life with tumors and pain, and they have been a great source of inspiration. This love and support has given him a HUGE boost.

Today we met with Garrett's primary care physician to discuss our options. We have decided, with Garrett's permission, to give it one more final attempt to boost his immune system. We will be adjusting his pain meds to give him a more comfortable level, and will include home health care to provide a supplemental IV solution to his daily feeding. Garrett has been on minimal medical marijuana for some time, and will have a more deliberate program to see if it will help with pain, nausea and weight gain. He will be sleeping more, but if our efforts work, he might regain some strength and weight to improve his overall health. If we do not see an improvement in the next 6 weeks, we will need to continue our direction into palliative/hospice care.

We do not know how long Garrett will be with us. We know, without a doubt, that God is pleased with Garrett's determination and faithfulness. If he doesn't cross the finish line, we know it is not because he didn't give it his all nor keep the faith. The boy is a true warrior! From now until the AFC half marathon/5k race (August 17th), we are going full steam ahead. Please continue to send Garret encouraging words. He may not respond in the coming weeks if his sleep pattern increases, but please know that our efforts to fight NF2 will continue and we will keep you posted with caringbridge updates.


Kristina Marie Diaz said...

keeping Garrett close to heart!

Kristina Marie Diaz said...
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