Wednesday, August 03, 2005

URGENT - lung hole being kept open by ventilator

URGENT- Denise has a new challenge, people. The next couple days are crucial (what day isn't crucial?), as Denise needs to get more oxygen on her own with less help from the machine. The hole that's in her lung (bronchopleural fistula) needs to heal because it's letting too much air out; she's not fully benefitting from the oxygen she's getting. The hole is being kept open by the pressure of the ventilator. Some of the air that they want to get into her is going through her instead.
The problem is that too high a concentration of oxygen can make the lungs less elastic, so they don't want to have it cranked up too high. However, if they put that less-concentrated oxygen into her lungs in at a higher pressure, she absorbs more oxygen. That pressure is turning out to be a problem, as it's keeping the hole open. I picture trying to patch an inner tube that's constantly under full pressure.
So what they're going to do is flip her into that prone position again. It's proven to be very beneficial to her before, when she needed 100% oxygen concentration on her back, and only 80% when prone. That was a HUGE help. Our hope is that that since she needs on average maybe 70% oxygen on her back now, they can flip her, lower the pressure, maintian the concentration (or perhaps lower it... wouldn't that be a miracle?), and let that hole heal up. It's risky to move her with all the tubes & wires. But they've done it before several times, so I'm confident.
Remarkable progress happened last Thursday & Friday when things got scary. Keep Denise & the medical staff in your thoughts & prayers heavily at this time. Keep in mind that in addition to the current obstacle, there's still the inflammation & fluid in the lung and there's still a raging infection that Denise is fighting.

On the positive side:
-so far, no strep for anyone else that's been with us
-Denise's blood sugar is up because they put her on IV nutrition... she absorbs it better, and that will hopefully make for faster healing of this hole as well. She was probably getting tired of the creamed filet mignon dinners, anyway. :O)
-The lumbar puncture (spinal tap) was done yesterday. Not all results are in. But the stains don't show any presence of things we don't want to see. The cultures will come in later today, and the infectious disease doctor will look at them later.
-MY FAVORITE: Night before last, when they put the lung tube in, I believe God worked a plain-clothed miracle. The specialist that was needed happened to already be there at that odd hour of night. Opinions are that if he had to be called and drive in, Denise would've died. In the midst of the difficult road we're on, that was a great example of a faith-builder.


Blogger Sara Haman (Smith) said...

Dear Phil (and hello to Denise's family),

I just wanted you all to know that we are storming the gates for Denise down here in San Diego. I have many friends and family here praying for her and for all of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please whisper to Denise that her old college roommate loves her and is praying for her.

August 03, 2005 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Toni Lee said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have many friends and family praying also. My church has also started a prayer chain for Denise. We all love you and admire your strength! Thank you for keeping us updated on everything that is happening.

August 03, 2005 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Phil and Family,

Please know that we are on our knees praying, we are really sending those prayers up that her life be spared. Her work is not finished and God is even using her now. We love all of you and are praying that God will Do a MIRACLE and heal her completly.

We love all of you and are praying for you all to have God's strength during this time. God is faithful to take care of his own. Be not affraid for he is with you, he has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, he has promised to complete a good and perfect work.

Please let Denise know that I love her and I am praying for her along with my kids.

We love you,
Renee, Dennis, Zachariah

August 03, 2005 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E-mails were sent to all of the pastors from the Friends Church Southwest, and everyone connected to Quaker Meadow. You are all loved and covered in prayer.

August 03, 2005 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Karin Olson said...

Dear Phil and family,
I have continued to pray for Denise's healing along with many others I know. I am here to help you in any way I can whenever you need it. We rejoice in the smallest advances because we know God is in the picture 100%.

August 03, 2005 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family and church 'ohana in Hawaii are praying for Denise's full and complete recovery. Jesus never fails us, whatever His plans for Denise are. Phil, may God continue to bless you with strength and courage and your remarkable sense of humor in the midst of this trial. I am blessed by your faith and your love for your wife. Thank you for updating all of us praying for your family. May the Lord hold close Gracie and Jacob. In His hands, in His time, in His care...
Sarona and Tim Farrell and family
friends of Antoinette Andrews

August 03, 2005 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Jessi said...

Praying for Denise in Michigan!

August 03, 2005 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Phil and his family....
Your good friend Kristen also a good friend of mine has keep us so well posted on Denise's condition that I feel your family is now part of my circle of good friends. I have friends and family thoughout the United States and other countries that have also started praying for Denise to get better and are also keeping you, Gracie and Jacob in their prayers to get though this difficult time. May God Bless your family and give us the Miracle of healing Denise completly.

August 03, 2005 11:54 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

You don't know me, but I am a friend of Sarah Mair. She asked me to pray and I have been. I think of your family often...May God bless you and bring great things out of this horrible experience. people all over are praying for you!!
My usual site is:
and people there are also praying.

August 04, 2005 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Myleena Jones said...

My Dear Friend Phil,

My family and I and all the folks at Crimson House Church here in Springfield, Missouri are praying for Denise and you and the kids! I love you and miss you! Thanks for keeping me in the loop even though I am so far away!

August 04, 2005 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil and Denise,
I just wanted to let you know that I am on a prayer chain that Greg Good sends out and I am praying for you and your family everytime that God brings you to my mind. I know that God is big enough to take care of all your concerns so I will go boldly before His throne and ask on your behalf.

August 04, 2005 7:08 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

another comment-
I'm surprised it took them so long to diagnose the coccidiomycosis. The patient that I saw with it, it was among the first things that the ID doc thought about even though it was in urban Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley). Apparently the chest x-ray had a particular appearance and they did a skin test to confirm. Since this mom was 34 weeks, they induced her labor and delivered the baby and then started the Amphotericin - alas, even an earlier diagnosis didn't ultimately make a difference. It's a good thing that they have been able to keep her going this long and I hope and pray that she will come out of this and come home to you and your children.

August 04, 2005 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Alyson said...

I am very postive about the situation, I have a good feeling that denise will recover fully and it really helps to have the blog and to see you so positive as well. I have been putting denise and everyone in my prayers and I know its doing good to have as many people as possible doing the same, I passed the blog site on to as many of my friends as possible and told them to please put denise and you in there prayers and I know they are doin it. I hope to be able to get out there soon, I feel helpless here in Illinois unable to aid to those of you who need helping. Gracie, Jacob and Sopia are little enough, and with them doing new things everyday, that they are keep smiles on everyone's faces and helping them to stay positive as well. I love you guys and We all miss you, Paul and Isabella say hello and we hope to see you all soon. God bless and we are praying for you everyday.

August 04, 2005 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Philip and Denise and Family,
We continue to keep all of you in our daily prayers. We are spreading the word to everyone we speak to. A note of encouragement our brothr-in-law Vic was in a medically induced coma for three months until his body could heal properly. God is watching over all of you and He will heal Denise. God Bless and coninue to watch over all of you. Cousin, Marilyn

August 06, 2005 5:40 AM  

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