Cautiously Optimistic

Today started off well with a positive update on my sister-in-law.   Yesterday they had stopped the blood pressure medication and my sister-in-law appears to be holding her own in that area.  Her temperature was normal and the antibiotics appear to be working.  The nurse stated that the night had been good, and that things were on track.  The doctor, during his rounds this morning, stated he is pleased with what he is seeing by way of response.  He did advise however, that they had discovered a second bacteria in her lungs and are awaiting its identification; hopefully the present cocktail of antibiotics will be effective to address this new bacteria.

For the immediate future the intent is to get her breathing on her own, consequently the medical staff advised that they will remove the support provided by the respirator in the next few days.  They do not want to keep her on it for more than 14 days and she is nearing that mark.  If she is unable to breathe on her own, then they will perform a tracheostomy.  Although this sounds dire, the hope is that she will improve sufficiently in the next couple of days and pleasantly surprise all of us by regaining her capacity in this area and this procedure will not be required.

Certainly during my visit yesterday I noticed visibly encouraging signs.  I don’t know if she was registering that I was there but there was a physical response using finger movements to certain statements made.  She is still sedated, but the level of sedation has been reduced – I can’t help but think that she is making her way back to us.

Surgery Update #4

Today’s visit to the hospital found my sister-in-law’s appearance relatively unchanged.  She continues to be intubated although over the last 24 hours the doctor has commenced weaning her slowly off of the respirator.  Today as they reduced her support she picked up the pace quite nicely.  Her colour was off, likely the result of exertion since she has been breathing with support since Sunday morning.  Her level of sedation continues to be reduced.  Her vitals are good and the hospital staff are pleased with her numbers.  The bloating in her midriff has started to come down.  She still has significant water retention evident in her legs, arms and hands, but all things in time.  She is starting to dispel some of the retained fluids, and again, the hospital is pleased with her progress in this area.

By way of a status update – she continues in the right direction, slowly, safely and under watchful eyes.

Surgery Update #3

That's her on the left doing her Tai Chi.  She loves this pic, it was taken by a professional photographer and made it in the local paper. (Photo credit is on the image.)

That’s my sister-in-law on the left doing her Tai Chi. She loves this pic, it was taken by a professional photographer and was published in a local paper. (Photo credit is on the image.)

I went to the hospital around noon today to do check-in. My sister-in-law remains in the ICU and is still sedated – although not as heavily as she had been before.  She moved her arms and responded to the nurse as her position in the bed was shifted.  Her blood pressure is a little on the low side and she remains on a respirator.  The intent is to keep her intubated for a few more days to allow her body to focus on fighting infection and healing.

She has had four infusions of albumin and I believe she has had one blood transfusion.  The swelling in her belly, although not as pronounced as on Sunday, is still quite significant.  Although this all sounds quite alarming to a non-medical person like me, the nurses and doctor have assured us that she is progressing well.  Certainly, despite all the tubes and machines around her, she looks as well as anyone can in that situation.  Her skin tone has improved since she was admitted and, she’d be pleased to know, her hair is holding up great.  (God I love this woman!)

I can hardly wait until we can actually chat again – she’s keenly interested in all the comings and goings in our little town. Last night was election night so even though she’s sedated I told her all the results — because I know she will be very happy with them.  Keep those positive vibes headed her way.