Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011

So I was laying in bed a few days ago, visiting with Molly and Charlie, when the inside of my left palm began itching. So i went to scratch it and noticed that the sensation was different than what I've been feeling, which is basically a pins & needles feeling in my hands. So i asked Molly to come over with a ball point pen and poke and prod both hands so that I could compare them. I was excited to realize that normal tactile sensation had returned to my left thumb and forefinger and the surrounding palm area. The doctor was excited as well when I told him because that enervation comes from below the level of my injury. Bottom line = my spinal cord is slowly waking up and I look forward to more of it!

Also, I'm working with my physical therapist to get dialed in on a manual chair with power assist wheels as this is the type of chair that I hope to be using when I get out of here. The manual chair will be much more transportable than the 300lb power chair that I'm currently getting around in.

My friend Justin James visited yesterday with his guitar. We were treated to some excellent original music from his upcoming album. Thanks brother!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

Back in rehab! After a week in ICU dealing with major blood clots its great to get back to work.  I lost a little ground but should regain it quickly.  Got outside for the first time in 9 days...that sunshine sure felt good!

Love to all,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

Tonight is my last night in ICU. I'll be moving back to the rehab center tomorrow morning after a week of having two machines and seven IV's plugged into my body. I had an enzyme and a blood thinner pumped into my legs to dissolve the clots as well as an ultrasound wire that would electronically assist in the breakup of the clots. Dr's say that the blood clots in my legs are 90% gone, although they are still very swollen. The swelling should go down in a few days. I'm looking forward to getting back into the rehab program as I've sitting on my back for a week straight and it has been pretty monotonous.

Thank you so much to all who have made donations to the trust. Your generosity is overwhelming and will always be remembered.

I look forward to receiving visitors again when I get back into the rehab center, email Molly if you want to check on scheduling @

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another speedbump in the road to recovery...

Molly and Charlie here, with a quick update. 
Friday, Eric's ankles started getting a bit swollen, and his Doc and nurses attributed this to the mild steroid that they had started him on. On Saturday morning his legs were very swollen, almost looking like the muscles which had atrophied away came back....but we knew it was just swelling. The Doc and nurses still thought it was a drug side effect. Sat night they sent him to radiology to be sure, and it turns out that he has developed bloods clots in his legs. The filter that was put in place previously did what it needed to do and caught the blood clots before they could do too much harm (That was a great call with that procedure doc!). Eric's blood pressure and temps have been swinging up and down, and he hasn't been sleeping very well, so he is quite tired.  He is currently on bed rest until tomorrow (Monday), when he goes from rehab to the main hospital where they will set him up with procedures to dissolve the clots directly.  This is anticipated to be about 2-3 days in the main hospital, after which he will return to rehab and restart his "normal" rehab routine.  He is back on blood thinners to deter the formation of any new clots, and will stay on that for about 6 that this does not happen again. 

On another note, we got Eric's special needs trust set up late last week, and should have his bank account squared away early this week. We are planning on setting up a Pay Pal link on this page for those of you who would like to donate to help us add to a better quality of living and recovery for Eric. 

Since the trust is set up, you can also send checks made out to:
"Eric Joseph Berkey 2011 Special Needs Trust"
you can make the checks out to Marienne Colvin, Daniel Berkey, or Charles Colvin , followed by "Trustee" (i.e. Marienne Colvin, Trustee).
We will be the 3 trustees associated with his account and will do everything in our power to get Eric what he needs. Please mail checks to:
1118 Fresno Street
Unit 5
San Diego, CA 92110

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Molly (aka Marienne) or Charlie -->
Eric -->

We want to thank everyone for your help and contributions as well as all the positive healing vibes coming his way!
Molly and Charlie

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011

It looks like I'm past the speed bump with the ulcer. All my vitals/blood chemistry seem to be stabilizing and improving on their own, so the doctors are reducing some of the meds they had me on last week. I'm glad to be back at work in the therapy gym and I don't seem to have lost any ground in the 3 days that I had to miss. Normally we don't do therapy on the weekends, but I had full sessions on both Saturday and Sunday to make up for lost time.

The rehab hospital has discharged quite a few patients, so I'm enjoying a private room for the time being. The only drawback is that my room has become the storage closet for extra equipment, but the oxygen bottles and other machines are quiet roommates.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

3/3/2011 - Speed bumps in the road to recovery

Haven't updated the blog in a while because of a minor medical issue. I began having fainting spells last weekend that were confusing the hospital staff and myself of course. Initially we thought it was orthostatic hypotension which is a drop in blood pressure common to SCI patients that when transitioning from the horizontal to vertical position can happen. But it wasn't long before we realized that I was suffering from a bleeding ulcer in my GI tract that resulted in significant blood loss. So, they first transfused 6 units of blood into me and then performed endoscopy which confirmed that it was a duodenal ulcer (exit point of the stomach). No further treatment was necessary for the ulcer as it was already healing. the suspected cause of the ulcer was the combination of steroids and blood thinners that have been pumped into me for the last month. Normally they wean you off the steroids, but due to the ulcer they cut me off cold turkey. They also had to cut the blood thinners. Due to the risk of blood clots without blood thinners, they installed a inferior vena cava filter, which is comparable to the frame of a tiny umbrella that is placed in the largest vein in the body.

I missed out on a few days of therapy, but things seem to have stabilized and I got back to therapies today.
Any complaints that I may previously had about the food in the hospital now have been retracted from being on a clear liquid diet for the past 4 days. I'm now back to a normal diet again!
Thanks again for continued kind thoughts!
Best regards,
(typed by Molly)