Saturday, October 29, 2005

Details: Out of ICU, Trach gone, Bear bile

Good morning! Here are details to accompany last night's headlines about Denise's day yesterday:

Her temp spiked at 101 (curve continues to lower), and she reached a "normal" 98.7 for the first time in months! We hope this indicates that the infections are subsiding or done. Heart rate ranged 91 (relaxed) -122 (when in pain or working out). Blood pressure ranged 104-116 systolic, and she no longer has to wear the cuff 24/7. She needed no oxygen while sitting upright (which she spent several hours doing), and only needed .5 liters while laying down (and saturating at 95% during that time). Earlier in the day she said that she felt like her nose & ears were clogged, but by the evening, she felt all clear. She did vomit yesterday, but I was there for it and saw that the first thing up was a big ball of phlegm, then the food (let's see... cranberry juice, jello, broth... I think in that order). Denise said she wasn't nauseated... it only happens because of the thick mucous. I heard a suggestion to suction her well a while before she begins eating, and eat one small course at time to keep the hurling to a minimum. We shall see.
The liver people came in today (somebody please post the correct name for a liver doctor) and said that her liver is enlarged but should shrink back to normal size over time. The liver numbers are abnormal, but they are heading toward normal. There have been "blips" in those numbers, however. Apparently there's sludge in the bile, so they're giving her ursodiol, or "urso" as the docs call it. It's a naturally occurring bile acid. We have it, but bears have even more of it. Think about it... ursa major, ursa minor, urso... So she's getting bear bile to correct the sludge problem. Pretty cool, huh? If she starts pilfering picnic baskets, we'll know why.

During PT, she stood up 3 times. This is the first time she's stook in months. She likes that the sneakers helped her ankles regain their bends. But she doesn't like wearing them when she's laying down, because they're too heavy for her to be able to exercise in. She's strong enough to use weighs for arm exercises (a flashlight... a drink can...) with the OT. The PT also does wound care for her bedsore. Yesterday they put in that custom-fit sponge that's hooked up to a vacuum pump. Denise says it feels weird & hurts, but so does everything. Along the lines of her being able to verbalize what she's going through, I received an email from a prayer mom (actually, one of them's not a mom from my school... she just got lumped in with them). She said that while it was thrill for them to hear Denise finally able to speak, it was heartbreaking to hear her express her pain & discomfort. Bittersweet, for sure. She is being offered pain meds, but she hates feeling "out of it" and refuses unless it's unbearable.

Her trach was removed, and the hole bandaged earlier yesterday afternoon. Her mom & her kept it as a surpise for me to discover during my evening visit. Sneaky stinkers. But it was a wonderful surpise indeed! When I noticed, she said, "Surprise! Yay!" and clapped her hands. She says it feels much better without the trach, and it's even easier for her to breathe & speak. Last night when we were praying, she prayed out loud for the longest time she has since going into ICU.

Denise's biggest news was the move off of the critical list, out of the ICU, and into a regular hospital room. That's a milestone. Seems like a thousand-milestone. They even let me help participate in the move (thank you!). Now she's in a private room (the chaplain pointed out that we can close the door & curtains... hubba hubba (Go, Chaplain!). The procedures are mostly limited to the daytime. Things will be dim & quiet at night. There's a big window with a view of the city lights at night, and probably just smog during the day. This room is even smaller than the ICU room. My fears of running out of wall space were quelled when Denise said that she didn't really want me to put up all the cards again, since she can't see them anyway. Instead, we came up with the plan of having some photos printed up poster-sized and putting those on the walls.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

Wow what a relief to know that Denise is out of ICU, we are so pleased and are still praying God will Restore her body 100%. We love you and cant wait to keep reading the good news.

I know that you have been overloaded with cards I would love to beable to scrap book them for you if you would like. Let me know, it would be an Honor to beable to help in this way.

Keep hanging on to Jesus! Lord I pray that you will continue to touch Denise and fill her with your presence, Lord we ask that you touch her from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. We give you praise and Glory Lord forever for what you have done.

Love always,
Renee, Dennis, Zachariah Bailey

October 29, 2005 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; To declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, And Thy faithfulness by night,
...For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands. How great are They works, O Lord!" Psalm 92:1,2/4,5

What a precious blessing it has been to see how far our Lord Jesus has carried you, Denise, through this difficult process of healing your body, strengthening your soul, lifting your spirit and it will continue to be a joy watching Him fine tune you the rest of the way.

Thank you Lord Jesus for guarding the heart, soul, spirit, mind and hands of Phil, Gracie, Jacob, Mom, Dad, friends, Doctors, Nurses, PT, Lab Tech, and prayer warriors in this wonderful work God, You have been doing.

We will continue to hold you all in our prayers...In His love,

Athens, GA

October 29, 2005 8:13 PM  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

It just sounds like it is getting better and better. Thank you Jesus!

October 30, 2005 1:23 PM  

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