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News stories August 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 7:19 pm

My sister found me the links to the news stories that were done on Andy.


Deseret News


Fox newsΒ 

Thanks for that!


Aug. 31st

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 7:10 pm

My friend tonya took the boys today. I tried to bypass the traffic but there is traffic everywhere. πŸ˜‰ I got to the hospital around 9:30 and used valet. I called earlier and asked how it worked, fees and tips-it is totally free and tipless. WHY HAVE I BEEN PARKING MY OWN CAR? It was SO nice today. I just drove up and walked in. Love love love valet.

I had been told he had surgery at 9am, but Annie said it was on the schedule for 9:45 and they didn’t get the call to take him down till 10:00-so I was able to spend some time with him. He was really out of it and hallucinating again. I really hope that we just have a few more days till he can escape this fog. He got close once but we have had so many surgeries so close together his body hasn’t been able to really recover. This is the last one for awhile though. Yay! Tomorrow ‘they’ should be able to do the swallow study and he should be able to drink. He will love that. He is so thirsty. Then, hopefully just a few more days and he will get to eat and get the feeding tube taken out. That will be awesome.
Dr. Butterfield came and talked to us at 1:30. Andy did fine. He wasn’t able to get that bone aligned all the way and mentioned how frustating that was-that he is pretty strong and using levers etc. He was only able to get it within 1 cm next to and 1 cm in front of where it should be. He put in bone growth powder(crush up the bones of 200 healthy people and take out the good bone growth hormone and that’s what andy got today-at a cost of 5000.00 a shot!) the bone should grow together just fine. He said that is why Dr. Bauman wanted to do the spine surgery first to make sure they had room to get the spine in place, so it’s probably a good thing they did. That is a joint that will now be fused, but it only has about a milineter of movement so he won’t even notice that one.

When I went back he was in a lot of pain. Almost crying. It was surprising me that he wasn’t crying actually. We got pain killer in him, and Annie called and got an order for some extra. We got the tv turned on and he was able to calm down. He struggled today, He slept about half the time, but just can’t get comfortable. He does get more movement now, so I think that is helping, but he just has so much of his body that hurts it’s next to impossible to get him comfortable.

I left at 5:30 to go get my kids. It takes so long to get across the valley. pooey. His mom was on her way up so he wouldn’t be alone tonight. I want him to be ok and to not be stressing out, so this is good. She just called me(8pm) and said that Andy wanted to talk to me. I asked how he was doing and he said fine, but he didn’t know his pain number. He asked if I missed him. Of course I do! but I explained that I have to be with the kids(though I’m useless tonight, all anyone is doing here is yelling and whining) and his mom is there to take care of him. Stryker had just pulled a pokey out of his foot and was bleeding a bit and was freaking out a lot, so I had to go, but I told him I loved him and I’d see him tomorrow. He seemed ok with that.


aug. 30th-thursday August 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 9:06 pm

I got the kids up and off to joni’s this morning. I got gas and got to the hospital at 9am, but couldn’t find a parking spot till 9:30 and even then it was just a 2 hour limit(parallel parked even-have I said before how I didn’t pass parallel parking in driver’s ed? Never could-even in a little 4 door sedan, but I did it today with my van. Just another tender mercy.) But I was parked in 2 hour parking and when katei left I went and took her spot-i had a ticket. (Ihad been there for over 6 hours…) but its only a 10.00 fine. Sweet. I’m almost excited to know that its so cheap. I bet that’s even cheaper than the hospital valet! To only have to pay 10.00 for
great spot right in front of the hospital for all day-I’ll take it!

During all that driving I called and rescheduled 2 appts for the boys I had today to a couple weeks out. I’m sure I still won’t want to waste my time doing them then, but hopefully andy will be in a better place so I don’t feel like I need to ALWAYS be here.

Andy always is ticked at me when I come in-not because I came, but because I left. Nights are really hard for him and I wish I could be here. Yesterday he was able to get some anti-anxiety medicine prn(adavan-when he asks for it) and this afternoon he was starting to freak out so we gave that to him and it works wonders for him. He is able to relax and sleep. He will sleep without it but its usually not for very long and he wakes up confused, not really knowing what’s going on. So its been really good for him to get some real asleep(though he still wakes up confused). Anyway, my whole point was that nights are really hard for him-so I just asked the nurse and she is going to put in an order for them to just give it to him every 6 hours at night-since its prn and he isn’t aware enough to be able to ask for it. That will help so much I think.

They said he freaked out at some point last night-He pulled out one of his arc lines(really naughty) and got tied down. I’m hopeful for him tonight.

He has been higher than a kite today-but he said once that his pain number was a 2, so that’s really good. Its been so funny-he has said the finniest things. I’m so writing stuff down so I can make fun of him later. One day when I have more time I’ll post all the funny stuff he says. He’s hilarious. πŸ™‚

He begged for juice alllllll day. Lemonade to be specific. Every single person that came in the room from the orthopedic surgeon to the cleaning lady, he asked for juice today. Most of the morning the answer was no, that he had to wait till ‘they’ came in for a swallow study(not sure exactly who they are…) but then when the nurse found out he has surgery again tomorrow the answer became no flat out. He will be intabated again so we start over on the quest for jiuce. The good news in this story is that I (we) were able to get the nurse to let him have juice swabs instead of water swabs. He was pretty happy, but was in a lot of pain and starting to
freak out so that’s when we gave him the adavan and he went to sleep. Couple more days dude and you will be on the road to real food.

He has surgery to finish the sacrum tomorrow at 9am. Dr. Butterfield will be doing it and he said it won’t take long at all-he estimates that with prep time and closing him up I will be just 2 hours. Then we will work towards sitting up. He told me that can be a process since he had so much breakage and surgery and so much time laying flat. We will start with 15 minutes twice a day and work up from there. He also said something about probably going to a rehab center after this and not straight home. ick. I just want him home and happy and healthy.

Dr. Butterfield also said that in about 6 months they will go back in and take all(all? Really?) of the hardware out of his back-the bones will have time to fully heal and it can be painful and annoying to leave it in. There isn’t muscle or much fat in you lower back and have metal there can be irratating. I don’t think he actually means all of it though-when I was talking to Dr. Bauman the ‘bridge’ they created on the verterbrae that broke sunded pretty permanant. I’ll be sure to ask next time I see either of them. Either way its pretty cool that it comes out.

Andy gets more liberty with how he sits-like angle and movement. Its been pretty nice, and it seem like a but easier to get comfortable.

Aprill and Katie came up for awhile today-I’m learning to use the people that come in to visit for help. I really want to do it all myself, but at the end of the day its more exhausting than you’d think to have stood and given him swabs of water all day.

I left just after 5pm. He was in a really good place with that adavan. I asked annie again about giving him that through the night and she said she’d be sure to pass that on to the night nurse-and said that she was sure they would be happy about that. Lol-at least I can feel comfortable that they will be giving it to him right? πŸ™‚

Andy has found his phone. He called me twice tonight after I left. It’s horrible. I hate leaving him alone anyway. He called and told me he thought he was in the jungle. Asked me where I was-told me the nurses weren’t responding to him. I asked if he had pushed his button(he doesn’t always remember where it is or to push it when he needs help) and he said he had but they weren’t coming. I told him to push it again(sometimes even when he pushes it he doesn’t hit it hard enough to make it work) and he said he did. It’s just hard. So I told him to hang up and I’d call his nurse to see what’s going on and ask for more pain medicine. She told me he had one more hour till he could get more adavan and she would, or just did give him pain medicine. She said that he doesn’t like being alone and gets nervous. He had hit his button, but Annie was doing report and a CNA went in. Andy didn’t like that since he didn’t know her and wouldn’t let her do anything. Ahhhhh! so hard for me! I called my mom-If I need I can just drop everything and run to the hospital, but not all the time, the kids are really struggling the last couple days. She suggested I call Joni. What a great idea! I’m sure I would have come up with it, but just called my mommy first. She and Gordon went up right away. I’m so grateful they could go. He called me again a bit later, before they got there, stressing out again. He told me he needs me to come, and I told him I couldn’t, that the kids need me, but his mom’s on her way and he was ok with that. He told me to call his nurse again(Have I become the nurse button?!?). I called his mama and they were parking and almost there.

She called me after she got him all arranged and they were bathing him-so she left the room and called me. They are going to stay till midnight, or later if he needs them still. We talked a bit about what’s going on and they are going to take the night shift at least for a few days-till he is more ok on his own. I feel so bad for him, but I just can’t be there 24/7 so I’m glad that we can switch shifts and someone can be there with him more. I can’t imagine how he feels waking up confused and in pain. What a horrible feeling.

Some pictures from today:

This is a picture of the other arc line he didn’t pull out. This thing is taped to his arm and one side connects to a machine(I think it checks his blood/oxygen level) and one side is in a vein in his wrist.

Ewww-hairy knees with staples. NASTY!

Check out the angle of his bed! Nice! He can have up to 45 degress today, and have his legs up a bit.

Brushing his own teeth-they had lip skin stuck to his teeth. His mouth gets so dry. His tongue is cracked at the end. Poor boy! oh, and his hand in unwrapped now, you can see what has been under all that guaze.


Juice cup with swab. Yay!

I’ve had a request for some happy pictures of my boys-so here are a couple:


Aug. 29th August 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 7:40 pm

I can’t beleive how well I’m doing running on no sleep. I amaze myself.

It took a long time to regulate pain today. He was dying mostly all night and all morning. He was in a really bad place and I couldn’t do anything for him. It was horrible. He just kept telling me ‘you don’t understand-it hurts immensly, immense pain” etc. Really hard to not be able to help. We just did a roller coaster since every time he would get comfortable the pain would start back again.

Finally around 1pm we got to give him the same medicine he was getting 2 days ago, before the surgery. (roxycodone, and oxycotin) and he got to keep the ‘pain button’. That helped his pain level to a point that he should have been ok, but he was fighting it hard. He wasn’t letting himself fall asleep and relax. I could get him to relax enough to sleep for about 10 minutes, but then he’d be awake and wanting rearranged again. I’m all about making him comfortable, but he needs to let the medicine to it’s job and try to not focus on the pain so much. Around 3pm they were able to give him an anti-anxiety drug. I’m not sure if the extra medicine put him to sleep, or he was finally able to relax enough, but he was out of it for a couple hours, so I finally felt comfortable leaving. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do tonight-I knew I wasn’t going to be able to leave him like he was this morning, so I’m really thankful we were able to get that worked out. His mom and Dad were staying later and going to make sure he was still comfortable after shift change then go home.

My kids were so happy to see me and play. They have missed me a lot, so we had some fun tonight since I left the hospital earlier than I usually do. I miss them a lot. They are so fun.

I am still daily amazed at how thoughtful and generous people are being. I’m keeping track and I will be sending out thank you cards. You all mean so much to us. Even the fact that so many are reading this blog-it’s been important to me to know that people really do care about us. Thanks.

No pictures today, I was tired, he was out of it, and nothing new happened.


oh wow

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 8:10 am

This is the end of the aug. 28th update. He had surgery all day. The night is a blur for me-the dr.s came out around 9:00 I think and told us how it went. It went well, they fixed what they wanted to fix, and in a week they will go in again to finish up. (one body can only take so much in a day) I think I’m supposed to to happy about that, but I’m not. They had to fuse a few vertebra together and they say that won’t restrict movement very much, but it will some. The heel did get squished and we just have to wait and see on that.

We went home after that, he had just gotten out of surgery and was out of it. I bawled my whole way home and forever at home. I took a shower/bath and went to bed. I got a call at 11:30pm and checked the message-it was the hospital, I guess Andy was waking up from anesthia (no way i’m spelling that right. bah) and he was in a lot of pain and wanting me. I was able to talk to him on the phone and first thing he said was ‘help me’ and he told me the nurses weren’t helping him(i’m sure they were trying) and that he needed me. So jump out of bed and book it to the hospital. Aprill came with me. I’ve been up basically all night. He is on a ‘button’ for pain meds. It’s a strong medicine, but not a long lasting one, so he has to keep hiting the button. but it makes him out of it, and sometimes he will get to the point where he will sleep for about a half hour, but then he crashes since he hasnt’ been hitting the button. Its been a roller coaster all night. I’m begging them to just put him on a drip or something in his central line. They have said they are working on it, everything just takes time, but this is hard.


Still waiting waiting waiting August 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 6:38 pm

Nothing happening yet, but a friend posted this on another website, so I thought I’d share the information. Love you guys!

I just called US BANK and here is what you need to know-

You can send a check in the mail made out to:
Gudmundson Donation Fund

Send the check to:
US Bank
3580 S 2700 W
Salt Lake City UT 84119

Enclose a note asking them to deposit it in the Donation Fund account for Andy Gudmundson.


Aug. 28th

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashlieaxandike @ 5:14 pm

Surgery Day. I’ve been dreading this for the last week. He went into surgery this morning at 7:30am. I got to the hospital around 8:00am. All I had heard was 2 hours, but I knew it would be longer than that-that was only for one of the things they were doing today. We called the medsurg icu at 10:30(3 hours later) to see if he was back of not and they said they were told not to expect him till after 5pm. WHAT THE? 5 pm?!? So we were able to get the number for the OR and we have gotten updates a couple times. Last update was 5pm and they said another 2 and a half hours. Dang-a 12 hour surgery! It’s crazy. I left before Stryker woke up this morning and I’ll be I get home after he goes to sleep tonight. “Stryker had a hard day….” “Mommy had a hard day…”

I’ll update later. Hopefully I don’t get home too late.