Monday, October 03, 2005

Off the ventilator 3 hours, Meningitis?

Big miraculous news today!
Denise was completely off of the ventilator for almost 3 hours today! The respiratory therapist was very excited. She said that it was remarkable progress. The turned her from SIMV to CPAP mode around noon today. Then just before 3 pm they took her off of the ventilator and only had an oxygen hose hooked up to her tracheostomy tube (30% oxygen, 100% saturation). She started breathing faster and was put back on the ventilator on CPAP mode after about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Leaps & bounds once again. I hope that the streak keeps up for a long time before there are any steps backward.

As far as activity, she was very awake for several hours today (even wearing her glasses and watching some TV). She drew a picture on the Magna Doodle for Gracie. She's moving her shoulders a little & raising her arms up above her head. Yesterday and today she wrote my aunt's name (the nurse that's been the resource for this blog), indicating that she wanted her to come visit again. She also asked for the moms to come back & pray/have church by the bedside again.

More super news is that she's currently completely off of the heart & blood pressure meds. Her heart rate was 107-115. The lowest I saw the blood pressure get today was 107/74 (yesterday I believe I saw it get down to 89 or so for a bit). Also, the p/a catheter was taken out and a central line put in. She did develop a deep vein thrombosis (uh... clot?) in her left leg, so she's on blood thinner again. The Quinton catheter that was in her neck for the 24-hour hemodialysis was removed. It was never used! I don't remember if I posted or not, but her last dialysis was at Arcadia Methodist. Her kidney function has been improving and she's not had any form of dialysis at USC.

Other bits:
Her j-tube feedings are up to 60cc/hour now. She's on insulin, but not needing much.
Other meds Voriconazole (doube-duty, antibacterial, antifungal) and piperacillin are being dripped into her.
The pigtail was removed from the ab, and the ascites is building up again (I believe it was building up even before the pigtail was removed).
Female organ scan done, nothing showing up to be concerned about.
Fever curve is down to 99-100 with the help of ice baths & cooling blanket, however cooling blanket hasn't been used since this afternoon.

The prayer points:
There's still some infection somewhere. So tomorrow she'll be getting a bone scan. She'll be going at 9am and again at 12pm. If you were planning on visiting her tomorrow, you will definitely want to call ahead first. (323-442-8500, ask for 7ICU, then ask about Denise's schedule in room 704). There is also a spinal tap on deck probably for the day after tomorrow (her plateletes are at 35 and she needs to get off of the blood thinner first). The MRI shows "meningeal enhancement that is consistent with possible meningitis." I don't like the sound of that. USC said that our insurance is still covering this at 100%, but there's now a question of Denise's lifetime limit on insurance. Small concern compared to everything else, but still a concern.

The stupid news:
Our car turned 200,000 miles on Saturday night (intersection of Huntington & Fremont). Then the left front axle went kaput today. After that many miles, I guess I don't have anything to cry about.

And in case you were wondering:
I decided to try to finish out a week of work, then take several weeks off. I talked to some friends, and they knocked some sense into me. The work schedule, family time with the kids, hours at the hospital, traffic, and distance all point to using up my sick days (and the donated days from my work family... THANK YOU!), then family medical leave. Thanks for the posts, emails, and "water cooler chats" that helped me decide the right thing to do.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Amy Bower said...

Phil,
You don't know me, but I have been a fervent prayer warrior for Denise and your family since the beginning of this ordeal. I am the youth group leader of the DeMeesters and the Elffers who had you as a teacher. Anyway, I know you said your daughter's birthday is sometime this month, and I was wondering if there is ANYTHING left to do. My husband and I would love to help out in anyway we can.

God Bless (and you know He is),
Amy
Phone:(626)335-6314
email: paulandamybower@yahoo.com

October 04, 2005 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil,
I am so thankful that Denise is doing so well right now! What a great turn around, and what great praises to our Healer! (You know it's all about the Cheerleading magazine! :) )

Rachel

October 04, 2005 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil and Denise,

PRAISE TO OUR LORD!!

He is so full of mercy & grace & love as He continues to take care of Denise and you. He has given us all the opportunity and privilege to be a part of all He is doing through intercessory prayer. It is a blessing to see how God is guiding you, Phil, and to see how much you depend on our Lord.

God bless you all,

With our continued prayer's and love from Athens, GA.

October 04, 2005 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil and Denise,

PRAISE TO OUR LORD!!

He is so full of mercy & grace & love as He continues to take care of Denise and you. He has given us all the opportunity and privilege to be a part of all He is doing through intercessory prayer. It is a blessing to see how God is guiding you, Phil, and to see how much you depend on our Lord.

God bless you all,

With our continued prayer's and love from Athens, GA.

October 04, 2005 5:41 PM  
Blogger rwbvagabond said...

Phil,

PRAISE GOD!!!!! I'm really glad to hear the good news coming a few days in a row- I know that has been much needed for all of you. Tell Denise I really enjoyed seeing her before I left, and I'll keep on praying for a high speed recovery!

P.S. Give the kids a hug for me- I miss them.

Tennessee Bob

October 04, 2005 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Phil,
I am one who doesn't understand the "goes to 11" on the spinal tap...what I do understand and know is that God is so present in all of this. He is so faithful to you and your family. What a blessing it has been to me and all of the other prayer warriors out here to be able to be part of this. Your love for Denise shines through every word you write. Many blessings to you and Happy Birthday to Gracie this month.
And Phil...there are so many of us out here praying for Denise, people who know her only through your words. When you have a few moments, could you please give us a verbal picture of her. I love seeing her beautiful face on the screen, and now I have learned that she is artistic because she is drawing pictures on the magna doodle...I have also learned that she has quite a sense of humor, as you do too. She has becomed so "real" to me and I, for one, would love to know more about her...and you too! When you have time!

October 05, 2005 12:07 AM  

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