R.I.P. Jason Pearman

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R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:19 pm

My stepson, Jason Pearman, passed away yesterday afternoon (Thursday, April 28th), at home. He recently turned 32. For those of you not familiar with him, he was a spastic quadraplegic from birth. His official diagnosis was Cerebral Palsy.

We have been struggling with recurring decubitus ulcers (bedsores) on his hip and legs. We have worked with the wound-care physicians for the past several years in our efforts to deal with them. Sometimes they would improve, even healing over completely at time or two, but always they would recur.

Jason had suffered a severe case of Scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Shortly after his mother and I married, he was treated for this condition via a Spinal Fusion. Steel rods were inserted alongside his spinal column, and the Spine was fused into a single bone for most of its length. This corrected some of the curvature, which had become life-threatening, but did not render it completely straight. Due to this remaining curvature, he had a 'favoured' side to lay on, which made it difficult to keep him off the hip ulcer. It also made it difficult to keep the ulcer dry and sanitary, resulting in recurring infections.

About two years ago, the ulcer on his hip began to grow and larger and deeper, and nothing we could do seemed to help. Antiobiotics, both topical and internal, no longer worked to stave of the infections. The wound-care clinic diagnosed it as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MERSA). He was placed on a long-term antibiotic regimen, using a variety of anti-biotics over several weeks.

We were later advised that the infection had moved into the hip bone, resulting in a condition known as Osteomyelitis. We traveled to St. Louis to see an infectious disease specialist, who advised us against continuing any anti-biotic treatments. The infection, we were told, was something with which we would have to live. We were advised to continue the wound-care treatments, sans anti-biotics. There were surgical solutions to treating the Osteomyelitis, but Jason was judged to be too frail to be considered a candidate for them.

On the return trip from St. Louis, his mother and I decided to begin a regimen to make him less frail, as we continued to try to lessen the severity of the ulcers. We increased his caloric intake to the maximum he seemed capable of withstanding (which amounted to about 60%-100% more than his prior intake - a steady diet of Pediasure. We switched from Pediasure to Ensure, and added protein substitutes, initially liquid, and then powdered. He showed a gradual weight gain, and his complexion began to improve.

At the same time, we began to try a variety of alternative treatments for his decubitus ulcers - Coconut Butter, Manuka Honey, etc., with varying levels of success. I cannot say that the Coconut Butter had much effect, but we did not have him on that treatment long before shifting our focus to honey. At first, we used standard honey, of which we had a jar that had crystalized into sugar. The ulcers began to show improvement with the honey treatment. We ordered Manuka Honey (from New Zealand) online and, upon arrival, switched to using it. It appeared to be effective, but no more so than the crystallized honey we had been using. The wound center advised us that they had medical-honey bandages, and we switched to them, with about the same results.

Jason soon suffered from dehydration, however, due apparently to his protein increase without our having increased his hydration sufficiently. He was hospitalized for a week, during which he was placed back on anti-biotics (the infectious disease specialist we visited in St. Louis is not affiliated with that hospital). While there, we discussed his caloric and fluid intake with a dietician, and were given specific targets for both.

He seemed on track after dismissal from the hospital, continuing to gain weight. although his energy level seemed less, and his urine output was irregular. On Holy Thursday, he took a strange turn. His urine output stopped, he became extremely lethargic, and his breathing became shallow and irregular. He no longer vocalized, and appeared oblivious to both sound and sight stimulation. He did not, however, appear distressed, showed no signs of pain or fever. We opted to keep him home and treat him as best we could.

He continued for a week, with no improvement, though little decline. His digestion slowed, such that, by week's end he was back on the same caloric intake as he had been before we went to St. Louis. I stayed hom with my wife and him on Wednesday, fearing the worst. Yesterday, I remained home until my mother arrived at noon. I went in to work for a short while. At 4 P.M., my mother called to say that Jason had passed.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Trumpetmaster » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:15 am

Shapley,

I am so sorry to hear this sad news.
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
I will have a prayer said in church tomorrow for Jason and we will pray for you and your family as well.

TM
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:03 am

Thank you!
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby BigJon » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:00 pm

So sad to hear. My condolences.
Even a blind nut finds a squirrel once in a while. – Me! Feb 9, 2001
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby jamiebk » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:55 pm

Shapley...my deepest sympathies. May he rest in peace and know happy times. Your love, attention, dedication, and sheer commitment to filling his life with wonder and joy was a huge gift that he has taken with him on the journey.
Jamie

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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Thank you all.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:23 pm

You have our condolences.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Sun May 01, 2011 9:59 am

Thank you!
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby dai bread » Sun May 01, 2011 11:46 pm

Condolences indeed Shap. To your wife as well, of course. You have both looked after Jason very well, taking him on trips with you and giving him as good a quality of life as you could.

I am intrigued by your mention of manuka honey. It's very expensive here, as its vendors make the most of its reputation for healing. Apparently it really does work, though I think Jason's case may have been too far advanced.

Again, my condolences to you both.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Mon May 02, 2011 8:27 am

Dai,

Thank you! Yes, the Manuka Honey does seem to have significant healing qualities. I think that, had we known of it a year or two ago, it would, perhaps, have made a difference. I posted that info in the hopes that others also battling such ulcers may benefit from our experience. Jason would take comfort in knowing that his experience helped someone, somewhere.

The Amazon.com Marketplace is a good source for finding such things, if your local stores don't carry them. That is where we purchased ours, and the Coconut Butter as well. We have also purchased numerous medical supplies there, such as dressings and medical tape.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby piqaboo » Mon May 02, 2011 1:44 pm

Shapley,
our condolences to you and your wife.
Its tough to lose a loved one.
It was such a hard fought battle.
He was well-loved and taken care of, as demonstrated in many of your posts past.
Piq and OT and Altoid.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon May 02, 2011 2:24 pm

I, too, offer condolences. The loss of any loved one is a grief.

God grant him peace, and may eternal light shine on him.
>^..^<
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon May 02, 2011 3:05 pm

the Manuka Honey does seem to have significant healing qualitie


I recently read "The Honey Trail," by Pundyk, and the author devotes a little to this honey and it's properties.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Tue May 03, 2011 7:51 am

Thank you all!
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Schmeelkie » Tue May 03, 2011 9:48 am

My condolences as well...
My utmost respect to your family for the depth of care you gave Jason and your unfaltering love. I'm sure he's smiling down on you from heaven!
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby dai bread » Tue May 03, 2011 8:48 pm

Shapley wrote:Dai,

Thank you! Yes, the Manuka Honey does seem to have significant healing qualities. I think that, had we known of it a year or two ago, it would, perhaps, have made a difference. I posted that info in the hopes that others also battling such ulcers may benefit from our experience. Jason would take comfort in knowing that his experience helped someone, somewhere.


Well, picking up the theme of passing on experience for others, did you try putting Jason on a sheepskin? A sheepskin with the pile cut short is supposed to be very good for bed-ridden people. It allows ventilation all round the patient. Google brings up several references to medical sheepskins.
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Tue May 03, 2011 10:36 pm

Schmeelkie,

Thank you! Yes, I do believe he is looking down upon us now!

Dai,

Yes, we do have a sheepskin, which we have placed under him. The modern medical equivalent, the aeration mattress, eventually replaced it, due to the frequency with which we had to launder the sheepskin. The mattress, which is equipped with a pump which pumps air into pockets inside the mattress, which then 'leeches' out through performations, can simply be wiped clean.

We kept the sheepskin in the vehicle, and used it when traveling. The air mattress was impractical in the vehicle. The aeration did help, but was rendered ineffective when the wound was bandaged. The sheepskin, if not laundered daily (or more often), did not seem advisable against open wounds. Both it and the mattress, however, were effective (I believe) in preventing the formation of new ulcers.

I actually prefered the sheepskin because the plastic mattress was cold and, like other plastic items, tended to be course and abrasive between the perforations.
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Postby Mahlersfifth » Sat May 07, 2011 7:58 am

Oh my Shapley. This is just so sad. I am very sorry for your loss.

I am afraid I have been too distracted in my life to see that you had such terrible news to share. I am sorry I have not been attentive to my friends here. You have lovely photos together on Facebook and the multitude of comments clearly shows how much you, your wife and Jason are loved. I hope that brings some comfort.

I wish you some peace in this sad time.

Mary
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Re: R.I.P. Jason Pearman

Postby Shapley » Sat May 07, 2011 11:32 am

Thank you! I know that you, too, suffered with the loss of Aaron.
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