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Sunday, December 2, 2007

ICU Update 2 Dec 2007

One Week Later

Today marks the one week since Andrea came to the hospital. She arrived short of breath and unable to maintain her breath on her own. Today she is much the same. We still wait for a change in her lungs, something that would show us the infection is retreating. She has weakened lungs and she needs all the healthy lung capacity she has to support her life.

Here is my summary of the week.

Sunday Andrea almost dies in ER, put on vent and sent to ICU. She is aware of me but mostly asleep. Cultures are drawn to identify the source of Andrea's problem. Andrea's heart rate is around 150bbm and breathing at 56-59bbm. She is running a race lying in that bed.

Monday Andrea is weak and tired but she knows when I talking to her and she tries to respond. We are still waiting for tests to tell us the cause of her infection. Cancer is most likely ruled out as the source of the problem.

Tuesday Andrea is removed from drip pain meds and the nurse now controls how much and when she gets the pain meds. The hope is the more awake Andrea is the faster she will recover. Andrea awakes is a panic and has to be restrained.

Wednesday Andrea is placed back on drip pain meds. She is not responsive all day bit she seems comfortable. The night nurse gives Andrea too much sedation and Andrea's CO2 levels get too high. I spend Wednesday sitting by Andrea's bed making sure she is comfortable and meeting with doctors discussing treatment options. No change in her condition and no results on what the cause is.

Thursday No real changes still no in her condition and no cause has been identified. Andrea is not responsive but resting well. Andrea's CO2 level starts to return to normal.

Friday Still no known cause. At noon the chemo girls stop to pray for Andrea. The doctors decided to stop the pain med drip and try the manual medication again. I'm concerned we will have a repeat of Tuesday. Andrea begins to wake up in the afternoon; she opens her eyes about once every 2 minutes but only for a second or two. By 8pm she is smiling and awake, even trying to talk to her Mom and Sister. It is so nice to see Andrea again.

Saturday Still no known cause. Andrea is awake in the morning. At lunch they sedated Andrea to try to put a line in her artery. They can't get find the artery. Andrea wakes back up around 7:30pm. Andrea is so awake she is smiling and "talking" with her family. I walk in the room and they are all laughing and having a good time. What a blessing.

Sunday Still no known cause for the infection. Andrea is awake, asking for water and a pen to write. She has no strength to write but draws a funny picture that could be used in a physiological evaluation. Turns out she was trying to tell us she is hungry. More good news. The doctor tells us Andrea has gotten better each day since Friday. Ummmm I wonder why? At 2:00 I was able to pull my chair next to Andrea's bed and lower the side rail and laid my head on the pillow next to her. I put on some nice Christian music and I said let’s take a nap. Andrea nodded okay. The next thing I know I'm waking up 45 minutes later and Andrea is just looking at me. I said did you take a nap? And she shock her head no. The nurse walked in and said she just watched you while you slept. She is so special. I wish you could see her as she tries to mouth words with that vent in her throat or try to lift her hand to write. She is so strong and such a fighter. It just humbles me to sit with her. She did have me sneak in some Coke and soak her sponge to suck on. I told her you would make a great Coke commercial right now.
Andrea knows where she is and why she is there but she does not remember going to the hospital.
As I left tonight her heart rate was down to 104, and her breaths were around 35-40/minute. She was resting and asking for water.

If Andrea continues to improve I think I will hold of on changing her treatment from antibiotics to steroids until Wednesday. She has one more week until we will have to consider moving the vent tube from her mouth to her tracheal tube. Two weeks is about as long as they want to leave a vent tube in your mouth. I'm believing she won't need the vent by then.

Thanks for your support and for lifting up Andrea in your prayers. We would not have made it through this week without you.

1 comment:

  1. I believe Andrea will be home before anyone expects it! She is just that way.