Monday, March 03, 2008

Another Day In The ICU

Tomorrow night will be the end of Vicky's third week in the ICU. Not something I want to celebrate, but I am glad she is still with us.

Today was another good day. The herd of doctors descended on her room about noon to look appropriately serious and gloomy. I've decided that this is how most male doctors look. They decided to return her respirator to the setting it was on before surgery; this is a big deal because it is less hard on her lungs. She's also down to 70% oxygen from 100%.

She tolerated the change very well. Her blood gasses continue to be good, her blood is no longer acidic and her CO2 level continues to drop. Even her glucose tests have been good so no insulin today.

I had to sign a consent form for them to move her feeding tube deeper into her gut so it's right near the entrance to her small intestines. She had been throwing up some of what she was being fed. She needs the nutrition so this will do the trick. They brought in this huge machine (a fluoroscope) to guide the process of getting the tube into the right place. Kerry and I stepped out. Besides I don't think there was space for us in her room. The dietitian came by and suggested a change in nutrition to something that has amino acids that will speed her wound recovery. That will start tomorrow about noon.

It's amazing how many specialists are caring for her. She has a respiratory therapist, a physical therapist, an acute care dietitian, a renal doctor, a lung doctor, her original surgeon, ICU nurses, radiologists and many more. She doesn't know anything about any of this. But her family is very thankful for all of them.

Her blood pressure is stabilized with very little medication. Her heart rate and BP are good.

You may be bored by all these stats but I'm not; I love the fact that some of her readings are normal.

It was sort of slow in the ICU today but the nurses said as we were leaving that the 3rd floor where they have the telemetry patients (aka heart surgery patients) is full so many of them will come to the ICU. Vicky's nurse Kent said that ICU nurses don't like these kind of patients. "They want us to fetch for them when they turn on their light," said Kent. "We are not that kind of nurse." I laughed. It's always good to laugh in the ICU.

Kerry goes home tomorrow night. I have a flight set for a week from today. That, of course, is still tentative.

One person died last night in the ICU. I knew something was up when the whole family was there around her bed last night as we left; everyone looked really sad. I think it was a grandma who came in unconscious on a ventilator. This morning her bed was empty. There is very little space between life and death.

We still have too much food but we did find out that the wonderful soup that Theresa made has MSG in it so I can't have it. She is such a sweetheart; she's making another batch that I can eat. I just wish they would stop sending the desserts.

Time for more leftover Mac and Cheese. Thank you again for all your support.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

I'm not bored by the stats...
Reading your posts have brought back memories of "living" in the ICU with my Mom. Every single gauge and stat are important.
You are a good sister.

I may not be with you but I am in spirit.

I'm keeping the prayers going...