Thursday, October 25, 2007

A New Day

First, thanks to all for your calls and emails in response to mom's set-back. I can't thank you enough for all of your care and concern. Aunt Nell and I spent the day in the ICU with mom. When I arrived, she was very anxious, but alert. I explained what had happened and held her hand a while. She seemed to calm down. She dozed on and off today. The good news is that they were able to turn off the IV medicine that they had to give her to keep her blood pressure high enough. They also were able to turn off the sedation medicine as well. Mom was very alert this afternoon. She was able to jot down some notes to answer and ask questions. She wanted to know about all the tubes, what they were for, why she had them, how long they would stay. I spent quite a bit of time explaining everything to her and the plan for her care. It was a real moment for me. I've taken care of so many patients in the past and have explained what I was doing to them and gave a brief overview of what was going on. But I really saw a change in mom after I explained what had happened, what all the equipment was for, what to expect with buzzes, beeps and bleeps. Her humor is still intact, even in the midst of this. Her chest x-ray today looked much better than yesterday's. Her right lung is reinflating which is very good. The thoracic surgeon feels very encouraged by her progress.

They tried to wean her off the ventilator today. This morning she tolerated a little less than an hour before she became very tired and she began breathing very fast. The thoracic surgeon and mom's nurse thought this was good. The doctor in the ICU and the respiratory therapist were not as encouraged. They feel she should have lasted longer. My personal opinion: the surgeon knew mom's condition prior to her hospitalization. She was/is so debilitated, he sees this as a great improvement. I feel the same way. I think that even though it was only an hour, she seems so much clearer than she's been in a long time because she is receiving all the oxygen she needs. It may take a little while longer for her to wean, but I think she'll do it!

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