Sunday, March 25, 2012

Update - March 25, 2012
This is Melanie. I just spoke to Leslie and here is an update. Friday night was pretty much hell on earth for the Briggs family. The doctors told Leslie that she needed to pay attention to make sure the constant drip of spinal fluid didn't stop or there would be a problem. Thursday night it stopped dripping. They were concerned and called to find out what to do. They were told to 'keep an eye' on it. Leslie got continually worse. By Friday evening she was shaking and throwing up. Her temperature was 103.8. Hal rushed her to the hospital because these are signs of spinal meningitis. When I talked to him he was very scared and worried about his kids. Their good friend Richard went to the house to stay with the big kids. I have the little girls in Pocatello. Richard stayed with the kids until Hal's brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Kathy, could get there after midnight and stay overnight.
They admitted Leslie to the hospital in Logan. She does have spinal meningitis and was very sick. She made it through the night. They were pumping her full of antibiotics to try and get the infection under control. On Saturday afternoon she was transferred by ambulance to University of Utah Medical Center, where she is now.
Dr. Orlandi returned early from his trip to help with the situation. He explained to Leslie today that because they have her on such a high dose of antibiotic to fight the spinal meningitis that the cells in her body may be sealing the hole. She may not have to have the surgery to fix the bone, which would be a huge blessing.  She will have to be attached to an IV drip for the next 3 weeks.
They will be keeping her in the hospital until Tuesday, at least. Hal has taken the next few days off and really wants to thank his friend Chris for saving him at work. I am very concerned about Hal and his health. He is exhausted with worry and he has not slept much. He is headed for a big crash. I am hoping that he will be able to get some sleep while his wife and children are being cared for.
A big thank you goes to Cindy Ness and her girls for going to Logan to stay with the big kids until Leslie's friend Robin gets there tonight to take over.
Hal and Leslie wanted to make sure that I give everyone a true, heart-felt thank you to all who have given so much to help them. They have an amazing ward and amazing families. Thank you so much to all.

Some good news, Stephanie started last Monday, I took over Wednesday and we are all proud to say that I believe Lucy Briggs is potty trained. No peeing accidents since Wednesday and today she pooped in the potty. She is so proud of her sticker chart and loves all of the special prizes she has earned. Bailey lost her other front tooth last night. The tooth fairy gave her two whole dollars. I seriously think I got 2 dimes. The price of teeth has gone up a lot. Wowziers!
On behalf of Leslie's family we want to thank everyone who has helped us through this challenging time. It is so amazing to watch prayers be answered.

Friday, March 23, 2012


The surgery to repair the spinal fluid leak will be Wed. Mar. 28 @ 4:00 P.M. I had the packing that was placed in my sinusus during surgery removed today. (On my pain scale, it was second ONLY to a bone marrow biopsy.) Dr. Orlandi said it would feel like they were ripping my brain out... pretty good description. I will stay 2 nights in the hospital and then, hopefully, we can begin to put this whole ordeal behind us.

Brought to my home today: 2 rotisserie chickens, a pizza, 2 orders of cheezy breadsticks w/sauce, bag of chips, salsa, 2 bags of green salad, bottle of Ranch dressing, apple pie, 2 cartons of ice cream, and a huge bag of Sweedish fish... and that was just today!

HUGE thank you to my sisters, Melanie and Stephanie, for taking care of Bailey and Lucy for the week. What a God-send that has been. I'd forgotten what it feels like to actually be able to rest.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update-march 20th

There comes a time when you have to shake your fist, shrug your shoulders, furrow your brow, and say "Really? Heavenly Father?... Seriously?..." ...I do have a spinal fluid leak, so as soon as an operating room is available, we are heading back to the U of U hospital to have it repaired.   Many thanks to Melanie and Stephanie for taking Bailey and Lucy this week. Recovery would be much more difficult with 75 lbs of "little girl" constantly bouncing on me. Hal and Leslie

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Go away big ugly tumor! And never come back again!

This is Melanie. Leslie said I could let you know what is going on. I went to Logan Thursday night to stay with the kids so that Hal and Leslie could go to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. on Friday. Stephanie and Mom spent the day at the hospital with Hal. A big thanks to Kathleen Parrish and Kendra Burton, who also paid a visit. The surgery was suppose to start at 7:45. She finally went in at around 11:00 a.m. The surgery went very well and Dr. Orlandi feels like he was able to get the whole tumor. There was one little complication. The tumor had grown into the bone that covers the spinal column. When the doctor removed it, it put a hole in the bone and spinal fluid was leaking. He was able to put a membrane over the hole. The recovery will be a little tough though. She is not allowed to sneeze, cough, bend-over, lift anything or have her head below her heart at all or she could damage that membrane. This is going to be very tough for her especially with her little girls. They are busy, active young ladies and demand a lot of attention. Leslie needs to rest and this will make it really hard for her.
Stephanie came to Logan after the surgery and helped me with the kids. We discovered that we are a great child care tag-team. Stephanie is going to take the little girls to Salt Lake until Wednesday then I will pick them up and bring them to Pocatello. We hope this will help Leslie heal and get a lot of rest. Hallie Kate, Carson and Mason should be big helpers for her. Here are some pictures I took over the weekend of the kids and Leslie when she got home from the hospital. Thanks to Jan, Debbie and Janae for the beautiful flowers!


It's done! Dr. Orlandi is confident that he was able to remove the entire tumor (will know for sure in a couple of months). Just as he suspected may happen, there was a small spinal fluid leak when he removed the tumor from the bone in front of the brain. Somehow he managed to "glue" a membrane down to cover the leak and now I get the spend the next 3 weeks hoping it holds. I am not to bend or lift anything heavier that a gallon of milk. They don't even want me to suck through a straw...but IT IS DONE! YEAH! We confident that I will heal a bit more every day and that we are nearing the end of this jouney. The love and support shown me and my family was overwhelming. Much love.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update-Wednesday march 14

After the conference call, in which Dr. Orlandi explained what needs to happen during my surgery, Dr. Hunter (the doctor chosen by the ins. co. to perform the surgery) replied, "Oh, I can't do that." ...So now that the ins. co. realizes Dr. Orlandi truly is the only option, they have agreed to pay for the operation in full (not sure why that conversation couldn't have taken place a couple of weeks ago). Hallelujah! Prayers are answered. We are on for Fri. and I have a very calm feeling about what will happen. Thanks for all your prayers and support. 

Update-Tuesday march 13

Get this...we will not get an answer about whether or not the insurance company will cover my surgery until tomorrow...after their med. dir. has a conference call with Dr. Orlandi at 9:00 A.M. Therefore, I had to cancel the 8:00 A.M. MRI (and hope that if  Dr. Orlandi is approved we will be able to get the MRI done sometime before Fri.) We are hoping to have an answer before the P.E.T. scan @ 10:30 A.M. (it would be nice knowing if it will be covered 100% or if we'll have to borrow $7,000-$10,000 to pay for it.) Absolutely the craziest thing I have ever seen. talk about an emotional rollercoaster. Hal and Leslie