As the saying goes, “To know her is to love her,” and if you’re friends with Amy Krog, you know this to be true. To know such a friendly, bubbly, sweetheart-of-a-girl makes it such a heartfelt shock when you find out we almost lost Amy this summer.
On August 4, 2019, Amy’s immediate family was notified that she was being rushed to the emergency room. Amy was hospitalized for acute metabolic encephalopathy due to hypoglycemia. In layman’s terms, this means that due to low blood sugar, Amy experienced a brain dysfunction from impaired cerebral metabolism. Complications from this range from very mild mental disorders to deep coma and death, and in Amy’s case, it means she almost died. The end result was Brain Injury.
What does this mean? Amy’s recovery prognosis and survival was in question. Amy was hospitalized at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul for a month. Due to the brain injury, she needed immediate, around-the-clock care. Amy’s physical state required that she had to relearn everything that comes easy to you and me – talking. Walking. Sitting up. Processing the world around her.
Amy needed to relearn to sit and eventually stand. Her vocabulary was limited. The hospital and family were concerned about how this brain injury would affect her short- and long-term memory, as well as her balance, cognition, and even her vision. Her eyes were not working together, and she seemed to be seeing double, or different things out of each eye.
Amy needs our help, and one thing the MMA community is known for is its love and support for one another. It has been awhile since Amy has been a local card girl, but many of these friendships have lasted a lifetime, and I know I count myself among them. I was devastated when I found out what she has been and is going through.
Amy now has a developmental optometrist, therapy doctor, brain injury doctor, counselor, social worker, and a regular physician. In the first months, Amy’s mother took time off from work to care for Amy. A PCA has since been approved for her, but that PCA is leaving soon for another position. Care for Amy, medical expenses for Amy, and equipment needed for her home care is quickly adding up.
Amy’s physical condition is improving but it is slow. Amy’s mother Cathy Maland shared, “Amy has been progressing towards her adult self and struggling towards more independence. Her short-term memory has improved immensely but the long-term memory is a hit and miss. She is not able to cognitively see the whole picture yet, and she unable to make decisions that have immediate or future consequences. She is afraid to do things like putting on make-up and she doesn’t know why. When you have a BI (brain injury), the first place your brain takes you is fight, flight, or freeze.
“Fortunately Amy’s eyesight and eye health are good. Unfortunately, she has abnormal oculomotor movement of the eyes, vertical heterophoria, visuospatial deficit, and disorders of the visual cortex. In other words, her vertical and horizontal alignment and tracking are off. She is supposed to wear her prism glasses all the time, so the brain doesn’t have to work so hard and can heal. But, she doesn’t understand that and only wears them to her therapy appointments.”
Amy’s medical team is concerned about Amy being a vulnerable adult. Her intelligence is intact, but she needs for her brain to reconnect. Support, love and prayers are important and welcome. Amy is not connected to her old social media accounts as she has no memory of the correct log-in information. You can send well-wishes through CaringBridge.org, or through family members if you are connected online.
I posted this blog as a way to reach out to everyone who knows Amy but may not know about what has recently happened in her life. I also wanted to ask her friends and family for support, whether it be donations for her medical expenses and care, through prayers, or words of love and concern. Please SHARE this blog to get the word out, and because at this time of year, many people are happy to put charitable donations out to strangers. I know I am!
Please join me in helping support Amy! I know she has brought many a smile and joy to my life – I want to return it to her tenfold!
Amy’s CaringBridge: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/amykrog
Amy’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/1qqm0ncguo