Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Denise speaks, Kids visit

Starting 9 weeks in the hospital, and Denise spoke! I went by to visit Denise after school (it's murder sitting at work after being used to going to the hospital any time). The respiratory therapist (same one that painted Denise's nails) told me they had a surprise for me. So while I was copying numbers off of the machines, they deflated Denise's tracheostomy cuff and I heard Denise talk in a buzzy voice (one or two words at a time, like the kids in the wheelchair from Malcomb in the Middle). I was so shocked that I can't for the life of me remember what she said. But it sure was a welcome sound to hear her voice break into the the click, whir & hiss of the machinery.

I drove home to pick up the kids and drove back to the hospital, and got video of the kids hearing Denise talk for the first time in about 2 months. Gracie snuggled right up to Denise, hoses, wires, tubes and all. Jacob was once again very apprehensive, and at last kissed Denise on the forehead and gave her injections with a toy syringe. I was busy filming, but I think that every nurse, doctor, therapist, orderly, and all the other pajama-wearers that work in the CCU came in for a peek at what was going on. A few people had sweaty eyeballs. A while back, one of the nurses said that after so many weeks of taking care of Denise (and rooting for her), everyone there thinks of Denise as either their sister or their daughter. From what I've seen of the care, Denise is in a pretty good family. Good stuff! A great and welcome contrast to how scared I was last week at the thought of eventually losing Denise to a strain of bacteria for which there was no fix (it's turning out that it was margin of error from the lab & both infections are the same bug, and responding to antibiotic).

Earlier in the day I had gone to the hospital before work and Denise was asleep (not sedated, just "pooped-out-tired" asleep). Her numbers were very nice. Topping it all off, her color was pretty good. So I stayed out of the room so I wouldn't wake her (I have the squeekiest dress shoes in the world). While I was at work, Denise sat at the edge of the bed by herself (physical therapy crew on standby, waiting to dive into action if she fell) and sat in the cardiac chair for roughly two hours. She also had a luxurious shampoo and style (braided ponytail with Denise's super-curly, thick, boingy hair... a miracle!) from one of the nurses whose hobby is hair.

On the technical end, her hemo is at 9.1, they tried her in CPAP vent mode for a while (I believe that lasted about an hour), the infected lungs & blood seem to be responding to the antibiotic. Fever curve is lowering, two days in a row of lower heart & breathing rates with great oxygen saturation. They'll start feeding her a little bit through the gastro tube again. There are still moments that Denise is pale, clammy, and putting numbers on the displays that make me wonder how long this can go on. But that's because she's in critical condition. Some moments today didn't seem that bad for being critical.

Thanks for all the emails & posts offering to help out with Gracie's 4th birthday fiesta. Wow! There are so many emails... I'll start responding in the next day or two. I've got a crew taking photos and collecting party supply catalogs already!


Anonymous keri said...

YEAH!!! I am so excited and happy! Praise God for His healing. YIPPEE!!!

September 14, 2005 4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news, it seems you might actually be able to take a breath and sigh of relief. You all continue to be in our prayers.

Love to all,


September 14, 2005 6:29 AM  
Anonymous marcia said...


It's sounding better and better, isn't it? Yes, two steps forward and the occasional one back still. But all in all, Denise is moving ahead. Thank God for carrying her and your family along through this ordeal!

Any idea how much longer before they'll give her a chance to breathe on her own?


September 14, 2005 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's almost like you can breathe again! Praises to the Father for His continued healing! It must have been so exciting to be able to hear Denise again, and for your family to be all together again, even for a brief moment. Wonderful news!


September 14, 2005 11:54 AM  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

I am so happy to read this post.

September 14, 2005 12:46 PM  

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