Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where We're at & What You Can Do

So, here specifically is where we are since Christmas Eve:

Brian's nurse for the past two & next three nights is a traveling nurse with a lot of experience working with spinal cord injury patients. She noticed his agitation & decided to untie his arms to calm him down by allowing him to move around a little bit on Christmas night. This helped him a lot but as he is known to do, he ripped out another tube that night--the feeding tube. She knew this was a risk in untying him but felt it was worth it to give him some wiggle room, which we all agree was a good thing.

Anyway, that warranted a procedure to put the feeding tube back in & a chest x-ray to ensure it was properly located (they weight the bottom of it & it goes through the nose all the way down to the tip of the intestine!). The chest x-ray at that time showed that the lungs were clearer than they had been so they decided to not put him back on any antibiotics & let his body naturally fight the pneumonia. So that was obvious good news.

Yesterday, in spite of being restrained again & now with these padded mitts/boxing glove things he pulled the balloon off his trach. Yes, he did. So, instead of doing a procedure to fix it, they've left him off the ventilator to see how well he can breathe on his own. They basically just have the ventilator tube with a neck mask thing wrapped around the trach to just give him that little bit more oxygen. Again, not necessarily bad news since he's sustaining breaths on his own.

He's starting to come around more--which is a very good & a very hard thing, I think. He's a little more playful: he put his arm around one of his sisters, patted our heads, gave us fake smiles, etc. but he's also very visibly agitated & frustrated. He desperately wants out of bed, he wants to be untied, & he's sneaky. He even will pull the mitts up to his mouth to try & rip them off. He seems a little scared about where he is (Who can blame him, he's been tied in bed since December 14th?) & though we love to see he's fighting, he's really borderline on fighting being against his favor.

Today when we went to see him, they were just rolling him back into the room from a CT scan. His heart rate was very irregular last night & he wasn't responding to medication to regulate it. They found a lot of fluid in his right lung, which was surprising because the right lung is the stronger one, which they think has been interfering with what his heart needs to remain steady. They put in another chest tube & drained over a liter of fluid. The nurse explained that when someone gets brought into trauma they almost hyper-hydrate them & eventually when the body doesn't need all this fluid, has to find a way to get rid of it, which can include going into the lungs. They also have him on an IV similar to those pills you can buy that take a lot of fluid out of your body to help. Though it will take a little while to see if the chest tube solves the heart rate problem, we are hopeful that it will. However, if he pulls this tube out, the potential damage he could do to his lung may force them to reinsert the trach. Since he hasn't been on the trach for more than a couple days, this procedure will be more invasive & will require reinsertation of the throat tube while they take the trach out & replace it. So, though again, not the end of the world, something we really would hate to see him have to go through, if at all avoidable.

Which leads me to what you all can do:

Keep praying.

He's in so much pain & confusion right now: flu-like symptoms from fighting pneumonia, painful coughs producing a lot of fluid from traumatized lungs & beneath broken lungs, the stiffness that comes from almost two weeks lying in the same position in bed, being tied down unable to even scratch your nose when it itches, the fear that comes & goes while in & out of medicated states, a titanium rod recently inserted in your back, tubes in your body where they don't belong, a stomach being fed but not in a way where you feel any sense of satiation or fullness, not knowing where you are or why you there, whether or not your even safe, & not even able to ask the questions to find out the answers, just to a name of few of his circumstances. How can we even comprehend how overwhelming this can be?

We all know how physically strong & gifted Brian is. We now need him to be strengthened mentally & spiritually. Please pray specifically for this. Pray for patience & calm. Pray that he will lean on the Lord & stop fighting to allow his body to physically heal. Pray that Brian will find peace in Him & let go of the understandable fear in all the unknowns of his situation until the time comes to address them.

The nurse I mentioned earlier who is taking care of him at night was so encouraging on Christmas. She said that she's seen so many miracles in her four years of experience. Though this is her first round being assigned to Brian, she saw him when he first got the to Trauma & honestly thought he might not survive, he was in such bad shape. The doctors at that time even said he may not ever use his arms & look at him now--you can't restrain the kid enough to keep his arms down. She said miracles like these can continue to occur because families & friends maintain positive support of the patient & she was adamant that prayers are answered, that God is the one that heals. We don't know what the outcome will be or how we'll get there but we can all keep doing the things we do have control over--praying for Brian to trust in the Lord:

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Psalm 18:2).

We're already seeing evidence of how trusting in God brings him the much needed peace. Shortly following the chest tube procedure today, Brian T. read John 17 & Brian's very jumpy heart rate & movements immediately calmed. Between these readings, prayers (he nods yes every time you ask to pray over him (& we get nods no, so...) & immediately relaxes) & Eli--he seems to get the peace he desperately needs!

It really shows us how much we do not have control over; however, this is not a bad thing because we serve a kind & loving God who wants us to have a relationship with Him & to trust him. So, please keep praying--strengthening your relationship with Our God & praying that Brian's will be strengthened as well!


  1. Brian,
    I am praying for you to find some peace in all this to know that soon enough you will be out of that bed and all your questions will be answered. I pray that you find the strength, patience and courage to carry you through this healing process.

    I love you and want what's best for stop pulling tubes out mister ;) Soon enough they will be taken out, just have patience. Trust that God knows what is best for you. Your family is amazing and is always there with you. Just try and rest peacefully and let God do the healing.


  2. Brian, Kara and family,

    I definitely pray for Brian's peace, and know first hand that God will give that to him. I can't even begin to imagine how frightening the situation must be for I certainly pray for that anxiety level to lower so that he can get the rest that he needs.

    I pray for all of you to keep up your strength!

    Love, Cindy Tyndall

  3. Keet,
    Hey buddy! I just got back into town, but wanted to let you and your family know I was thinking about you the whole time. I'm so glad to see that you have seemed to make a little progress in the right direction while I was gone. Keet I'm prayin for you buddy and please just try to be patient and calm so we can get all of those tubes out of you!! Love ya man

  4. Brian,
    What great progress you are making! Rest in the Lord, let Him give you strength. The Lord is healing you. Be at peace in knowing that. I'm continuing to pray for you.

    God has good plans for you:

    11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD... Jeremiah 29:11-14a

    Sue Webb

  5. Brian,

    I am praying for you to have restful, peaceful nights and for you to continue to engage more and more with your loved ones during their daily visits as you continue to come around.

    When I saw you on Christmas, you looked like you were resting peacefully and much more comfortable than the week before. The visit helped me spiritually, mentally and emotionally, knowing that our prayers ARE being answered.

    I know as you start to become more aware it will be easy to get frustrated and discouraged - keep faith in the Lord, He will get you through.

    "Do not be afraid of tomorrow. God is already there." - Author Unknown


  6. Brian, we are so sure that you will amaze the doctors by what you will be able to do. You are in our thoughts and prayers every day. Keeter family, we are also thinking and praying for you. Kara, thanks so much for the continued updates!

    Love, Summer & Josh Ryan

  7. In the name of Jesus Christ,
    I stand in agreement with all the prayers that have went forth. Father, We thank you for the total recovery of Brian by your hand, Thank you for giving him peace, thank you for strengthening every fiber in his bones. Father thank you that according to 1 peter 2:24 Jesus took on the sins of all mankind, shed his blood for Brian's pain, bore every sickeness on his body for Brian and by his stripes Brian is healed. Father thank you for establishing Brian in righteousness, and the will of God for his life. Thank you Lord that the prayer of Faith has gone forth, and every word shall be established. Father you said that whatsoever we ask for in prayer we are to believe we receive without doubt and unbelief in our heart. So Father believe that you have already healed Brian Keeter in the name of Jesus Christ. We bind the spirit of doubt and unbelief, and loose peace in the name of Jesus. Now Angels, hearken to the word of the Lord and may every word be established in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

  8. I hope that he continues to recover. I am going through a thing kind of like it myself with my daughter Savannah. I will be praying for you and your family I invite you to look at my blog on my daughter

    Jennifer Jones Darrough

  9. Brian and the Keeter family,

    Glad to here of the progress Brian has made. I talked to Will Oldham who had just visited Brian and was amazed at the progress Will described to me. God will continue to heal Brian both physically and mentally. We will all continue to pray for Brian as well as the Keeter family. Hope to see you soon.

  10. Brian and the Keeter family,
    The Harrison family thinks of you everyday and enthusiasticly awaits your return to Prince Street.

  11. I have been trying to send you'all a comment since before Christmas. My computer is old and we haven't been able to get through. We are in a true state of stock that your wonderful family has to go through this. We are here for you if you need anything. I want you to know that I have walked a similiar situation when my brother was a senior at Carolina. He fell asleep driving and they found him with his head under the steering wheel. They told us he would not make it through the night. Then they told us he would be a vegetable if he lived. No hope. Well, Mr. no hope married, has a wonderful son and beautiful home and has retored from being a postmaster to another in the school system. He's healthier than I am! I want to tell you this because the brain and other body parts DO regenerate--and don't you let anyone tell you any different. It helps, I think, if the person who is injured is stubborn and refuses to give up--a mind set that you're not going to let this beat you is crucial.One more thing--on Christmas Eve we go to Casry Presbyterian Church for services and communion.
    This past Christmas Eve I looked around at the packages and things and as far as I was concrned we could just let the whole thing go until Bryan came home. We went on to services and when they passed the bread they say "this is the Lord's body, given to you". When it came to me I passed the plate to Callie and said"Send it to Bryan, send it to Bryan" and that was passed to Molly and then Ted.The same with the juice. Then I just started sending everything to Bryan..a Christmas carol, a candle being lit...I would just say the same thing. After this it seemed an aura was stirring in the church and I believe I felt as close to a higher power than I ever have in my life.So, numerous times during the day I stop and spend a few moments sending my wishes and hopes to all of you. I also warn you that this is a long, tough journey and--whatever you do(especially Luanne and Kermit)you've got to get enough rest to face this.We are with you every day in our hearts. Love,Betsy for the Harrisons.