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Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

ICU Update 16 Dec

It is 2pm the start of the fourth week in the ICU. I came in later then I wanted but I did get to go to church this morning and then got some shopping done for Andrea and the boys. When I arrived Andrea was awake but still sleepy. I got to tell her all about my day and she like hearing all the details. I asked her how she felt, she said good. She did not hurt and her breathing felt better but she did not think she could breath on her own. She was not worried or afraid. Just the way she has been since she arrived.

Her vent pressure has been reduced to 30. It was at 32-34 and the lowest she had on this vent setting was 31. We will take that victory!

She has started food into her stomach!!! At a very slow pace right now 5ml/hr. I think a Coke is 380ml. How is that for slow. Anyway we will see how she does over the course of the day. I will post an update when I get some news.

Her sodium levels dropped again today. The response has been to increase her fluids which compounds her swelling problem. Her face is swollen right now but Andrea said she is still comfortable.

I just spoke to the doctor. He came by just to see if I had any questions. I missed them at rounds today but I had talked to him on the phone. But it was nice of him to stop by. Another answered prayer, thank you all.

He said Andrea is a long way from getting off the vent. They will continue to reduce the pressure and she how Andrea does. Part of what their goal is for the pressure to be reduced while Andrea keeps her oxygen levels high and her CO2 levels low. We have no idea what she can do since we don't know the ability of her lungs.

Her swelling around her stomach is mostly caused by the cancer in her liver. We though it might have been related to her stomach but even with little or no residuals in her stomach her belly was still swollen. So it is probably water. Dr Bell explained it this way. The cancer in her liver restricts to liver's ability to process blood. This restriction causes an increase in blood pressure in her liver and like a kinked hose the pressure builds up. As it does the water in her blood "leaks" out into her stomach area. So if they drained it it would just fill back up. This may also help explain the sodium levels decreasing. Her liver may be weak for processing all the antibiotics and drugs on top of the cancer so maybe it will pick back up. The blood tests of her liver have been stable the past three days. They will watch for signs that things are improving.

UPDATE - it is 6:30pm It does not look like her stomach handled the food well. She had pretty high residuals and I'm sad to say it looked like there was blood in her stomach when they checked. I have no idea what the cause is and I think I won't know anything until the morning.
When I told Andrea her stomach did not handle the food she squinted her eyes and shrugged her shoulders, to say "Darn, but Oh well." She knew this was one of the life threatening hurdles we had to get over yet she was calm and accepting as ever.

That is why her doctor feels it will take a while. Her vent will be slowly backed off as Andrea allows and her liver will need to get stronger to allow the swelling of her belly to go down. I hoping the next hurdle to fall will be her stomach's ability to handle the food.

Well that is about all of the medical news I have.

On the personal side I have been okay with sleep. I give into sleep when exhaustion takes over. Anthony and Kate are at home and Karl from my office took Nic flying. It is a perfect day to go flying, clear sunny and a little cool. I'm relaxing in the room watching football and my brother Neil and his wife Mary are on their way to visit.

Here is a nice verse a friend sent me today. I thought it captured Andrea well.

II Corinthians 3:3
"You are a letter from Christ...written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts..."

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