News about Nathan and Heather Straz

Thursday, 21 April, 2005
Heather is walking and eating
by nate

Wednesday was a good day for Heather. She ate a whole bowl of Cream of Wheat for breakfast. Around 10:00 she was transferred out of the ICU to her own room. By the afternoon she was walking around the floor. Read on for more details.

Heather was able to eat breakfast on Wednesday morning. She was able to take her morning pills and ate a whole bowl of Cream of Wheat.

Dr. Davis stopped by during breakfast. He told Heather how the surgery went. He said there was little doubt in his mind that the Chiari was causing her symptoms. Dr. Davis said that the tonsils went all the way down to the C2 vertebra. They took out a small portition of C2 (about 5%) in addition to the C1 arch and part of the skull. We also got a few pictures from the surgery.

After breakfast I went to the library to try to write a blog entry. Unfortnately I couldn't get to When I got back, they had Heather in a wheel chair and were about to transfer her. They moved her upstairs to her own room on the 9th floor.

I stayed with her until they served her lunch, at which point I went and ate mine. It took me a while to get back to the hospital because I went looking for a teddy bear for her. Her one request before she came to Mayo was that she wanted a new stuffed animal during recovery. Toys'R'Us was the only place in Rochester (besides the hospital gift stores) with teddy bears. I couldn't find a bear with enough character so I settled on a Yellow Lab. She loved it. :)

Later in the afternoon she was able to clean herself a little bit and went for a walk. Her first walk was all the way to the other end of the building and back. It really was quite impressive.

We also talked with Dr. Davis' assistant, Dr. Utter. He explained the photos in great detail, showing us the tonsils and where the bones used to be. He emailed me the digital pictures, which I'll post later.

For dinner she ate some pork, stuffing, and canned pears. She also had chocolate cake for dessert. Still no stomach problems. We went for a couple more walks that evening, including one lap where she walked without holding my arm.

Thursday morning she was feeling good. She ate Rice Krispies and toast for breakfast. We also walked around the floor a couple times. Heather is really looking forward to going home.

We spoke with Dr. Davis. He wants Heather to have one good day on the floor before she goes home. So she won't be going home on Thursday, but Friday is likely.


Anne - Heather's Mom said on Apr 21 at 03:19 p.m.:

It's so wonderful to read about Heather's days in the hospital and her recovery. Of course, I love talking to you guys on the phone as well!
God bless you Nate, for being such a supportive, attentive, kind and loving husband to my daughter! She is one lucky girl.

Matt - A Clarkson Friend said on Apr 21 at 08:39 p.m.:


Awesome is all I can say!!!

I'm so happy for you Heather. It sounds like things are going great! Hopefully, you'll be able to read this from home soon! I'm looking forward to seeing you both at the Clarkson reunion (whether it's the "official" reunion or not!)


It sounds like you're doing a great job taking care of Heather. I hope everything is going well for you. Thank you for the updates on refried. Take care of yourself and keep in touch!

-Matt Francescotti

Jeremy Bailey said on Apr 21 at 08:51 p.m.:

Great news!

Sounds like she will be running in no time, and Nate, you are a great care giver. We will continue to pray for you both.

Scott, Ginnie,Sam, Sarah and Jonathan said on Apr 22 at 07:42 a.m.:

So happy everything went well!

It was so great to read that your operation was such a success and you are recovering so well. Hope you can go home as soon as possible- there's no place like home! All the best to you, and thinking of you during your recovery.
All of us , Scott ,Ginnie, Sam, Sarah and Jonathan

Cyndi Doolittle said on Apr 22 at 09:38 a.m.:

Nate and Heather,
I'm so glad to hear how Heather is doing. I've been thinking about Heather a lot and trying to send good vibes through the airwaves. It sounds like everything went really well! That is such good news! You guys have been through so much. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Heather will enjoy many, many pain-free days forever and ever. It sounds like Heather's stomach is holding up better than Vi and Garrett's! I've been nursing two sick kids and doing lots of laundry. Nothing serious, just plenty of disgustingness!! Seriously - just think of what a fun summer you guys have ahead of you!
Lots of Love,