Saturday, April 12, 2008

Today Is My Sister's Birthday

For those of us who know how perilously close to death she came, it's also a celebration of her struggle to survive and surmount odds that were not in her favor. It may be bigger than her 60th birthday next year.

We are taking a sheet cake (store I'm not baking) to the ICU staff so they can enjoy it in their break room. We will bring another cake to Vicky's room for the family to have. No candles, but we can bring Mylar balloons.

Yesterday was a good day for her. She was much more lucid than the day before. Dialysis was first up, and she finished that without any problems. Then we had the best gift; they put the oxygen dome over the trach in her throat and turned off the ventilator. She was breathing on her own. We left at 7 last night and she had been breathing on her own for five hours.

I spent a lot of time yesterday educating her nurses on the importance of giving her the anxiety medication on time. They were quite late on a dose and poor Vicky suffered for it. Yesterday I spent some time telling her about all the machines around her. Don't know if any of it stuck but I think it's less fearsome when she knows those things. I also read her the numbers off the monitor, particularly when she was off the vent. I'd read her heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and number of breaths per minute. Then I would tell her that those were perfect numbers, which they were.

The doctors and Neil met to talk about the spinal tap and decided against it for now. Instead they are going to aspirate some of the liquid in her belly that has accumulated around her spleen. In the search for the cause of her on again/off again fever plus high white cell count (25,000 yesterday) they believe that liquid might be the source. They want to get some of it, culture it and then see if they can determine a better course of antibiotics. That's happening this morning at 11 a.m.

It's still cold and miserable here; there's still snow on the ground and the wind is blowing. Vicky's son Adam has been working near Duluth; he barely made it home yesterday due to blizzarding conditions. Adam told me that Lake Superior and the Duluth area are called the "Norwegian Riviera." That's probably another Ole and Lena joke. Those jokes are quite popular here with the folks who have spent their lives in the cold Midwest.

Well, I'm going to go scramble some eggs for the men and then head to the store to get supplies for the party. Thank you once again for all your prayers and good thoughts. You are wonderful, caring people. We wouldn't be where we are without you.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

cold and snowy here too.
Awesome that you're there for her b-day!