Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Small World

From time to time, I read and occasionally comment on a couple of LDS-themed blogs, and have done so for about a year and a half now. It's an interesting diversion during the day, and rarely takes up any time. However, on one of them, there is a woman who has been doing some interesting posts about little known pioneers and others from Mormon History. She's done several at Times and Seasons, and one in particular caught my attention. She was talking about a missionary who went missing in Alabama in 1888. Southern States Mission President William Spry, later governor of Utah, sent a James Tilman to try and find out what had happened to the missionary. Tilman, a southern native, traveled undercover, and was able to eventually find the body, buried in a paupers grave, that could be identified as the missing missionary.

Ardis Parshall, the writer of this post, was trying to find out about Tilman, and said that later in the 1899 to 1900 time frame, he may have been in East Texas with a family by the name of Odom. That made me think about Heber Nephi Folkman, and his mission to Texas, so I was going to offer to search through HNF's missionary journals, of which I think Robert, David, and I all have copies of, to see if there was any mention of James Tilman. However, when I posted that my grandfather had been in Galveston for the great hurricane in 1900, someone piped up that he thought he knew who my grandfather was, and even his birthday. Turns out that Heber Nephi later found the children of the original Odoms, and got them baptized. I'm not sure where, and I'm trying to find out, but apparently Heber Nephi's missionary journals exist in a copy somewhere else that this other person has read, and was very familiar with. He said that in East Texas, Folkman was a name held in much reverence.

At any rate, Ardis wants to post about the missionaries who were in Galveston for the storm, and the records indicate that there may have been three others besides Heber Nephi. I'm going to try and dig out my copy and forward a scan of it to her, but she also thinks that the originals, or at least a copy of them, should be in the church archives. Not a bad thought, but a small world indeed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Carrie and Shane took Emma to the Seattle Temple the other day to get some pictures, an unusually nice day for this April, so having only one grandchild to brag about, I thought I'd share it with you all.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Zach will probably kill me for this, but we haven't much talked about his issues, and I thought you should all know. Zach spent from Thursday morning till Monday evening at HarborView hospital in Seattle (the inspiration for the hospital in Gray's Anatomy, I believe). It's your typical big city hospital, with the major regional trauma center, metal detectors at the doors for after hours visitors, and $4 an hour parking for everybody.

Zach, as most of you know, started having trouble with scleroderma several years back. It's an autoimmune disease closely related to Rheumatoid Arthritis, and in fact was diagnosed as that originally. It's potentially serious, but his case was mild and "superficial", which means that it only affected the bones of his right hand, and some slight discoloration and thinning of the skin on his right arm and shoulder. It took 6 years to get that diagnosis, and then 2 years of medication got it under control and in remission. He should, if the general history of this disease holds up, not have a problem with it ever again. We all hope.

Last spring, Zach started having what he described as "head rushes" or lightheadedness. While we were in Utah last June, he had what Carrie immediately recognized as a short seizure, some slight shaking of his arms and legs, that lasted about 5 seconds. That prompted a quick trip to the emergency room, but a CAT scan and MRI showed nothing wrong, so we started on a long round of diagnostics and tests. We spent a couple of months chasing heart related problems, but nothing showed up, even with wearing a monitor 24 hours a day for 3 weeks. We finally got him into Children's Medical Center's neurology group, as he was already a Children's patient for his scleroderma. They began a series of tests, which ended up with a 24 hour EEG test, that showed he was having mild seizures of an indeterminate nature and cause.

We've tried several different medications since last fall, one of which he was allergic to, and another that aggravated a previously unknown tendency towards depression, and really put him in a tailspin for a couple of weeks. The current situation is that he spent the last three months in Bellingham going to school up there, and continuing to have minor seizures. Since the seizures cause a short loss of vision and balance for maybe 5 seconds, he has been unable to drive, which really sucks for a twenty year old. A lot of his life has been on hold while we deal with this issue.

As he is now twenty, Children's wanted to transition him to an adult program, so that's why we ended up at HarborView. The head of the Neurology department there said he wasn't sure that he was having real seizures, so they brought him back in for an extended test. Now, normally Zach has the seizures while he is doing things, like watching TV, or playing video games, playing scrabble or card games with the family, or other times when he is engaged and active. He never has them at night, and almost never when he is lying down. As you may have guessed, the extended EEG required him to stay in bed, and not move around. As a result, he registered very few episodes while he was in that part of the hospital, so the doctor decided to do the whole cardiac thing again, and moved him to the cardiac care unit. Both wards were filled with interesting people, as you would expect from a large, public hospital. Stories for another day. End result, we know there is nothing wrong with his heart, or the veins and arteries leading to his head, but we know it at a much higher level now. Sigh.

So after finding nothing, he was released last night, and is back at school at BCC here in Bellevue today. Still can't drive, and is looking for part time work. About the only negative involved in all of this is that he can't drive, and he can't (or we can't, and the doctors can't) seem to figure out what is causing this. I suspect there are more tests in his future, but your thoughts and prayers are all welcomed.

So his heart is fine, and we are all trying to figure out what is going on in his brain, but really, how different is that from any other 20 year old?

Zach, just thought we'd share, if you read this. And my apologies for sneaking this picture while you were asleep in the hospital the other afternoon.