Archive | September, 2013

Thanks for praying

23 Sep

Not much new to report. The afternoon and evening have been a struggle for her to breathe without extra support. The physicians are constantly assessing how to keep her stable to give her body time to reach equilibrium. She’s definitely aware of what is going so I’ve stopped repeating myself in updating her on this past week’s events. Each hour things change so I’ll just ask that you pray for complete recovery.

Not as positive right now

22 Sep

About two hours ago her color drained, her work of breathing increased, her level of awareness dropped and so did her blood pressures. She’s back on the bi-pap which has helped the breathing, but the clinical folks here (including myself) are not happy with what may be going on. It’s not clear, and it may be transient, but I’d appreciate you praying that God stop whatever may be happening and restart the progress we were seeing earlier.


22 Sep

This morning my mom is much more alert and speaking a bit. That is definitely a major improvement. I’m giving her ice chips and she’s tolerating that well. Her kidneys are a bit better but her white blood cell count has gone up. No fever, but please pray that no infection jumps in there. She’s off the bi-pap but on a venturi mask which she really doesn’t enjoy. She is definitely more oriented now, like she’s coming back to us. Thank you for all who are praying. There’s still much improvement needed, but I know so many are praying for her. Just to give you an idea, we’ve had over 3,000 visits to this site in the last week from over 20 countries. That’s around the clock prayer!

Late afternoon Saturday

21 Sep

My mom has had increasing difficulty breathing throughout today. The pulmonologist is putting her on bi-pap but thinks she may need to be intubated again. Right now he is discussing this with the nephrologist who is trying to get her kidneys functioning well and her electrolytes balanced. There are competing needs going on within her body and the caregivers are working to balance these so she can improve.
She comes in and out of awareness and is able to follow what I say to some degree. She cannot speak though, and it’s difficult to know how much she is comprehending.
Asking God to balance the electrolytes, strengthen the kidneys, draw the fluid from around her lungs and increase her level of consciousness so that she can talk again soon.

11:00 AM update – Saturday

21 Sep

This will be a partial update and I’ll post more later as I speak with the various physicians. She continues to be unable to form words and appears confused. Her lab values indicate that she’s dehydrated so they are giving her some extra fluids to see how she responds. With the dehydration her sodium and potassium levels are off which could be the driving factor in the confusion. The nephrologist will be watching her closely today to balance things out again.
Last night they drew 500cc of fluid from around her lungs but it didn’t really help her oxygenation. She’s on a non-rebreather mask now to make sure she gets all the oxygen she needs.
Pray that today her chemistry begins to balance out and her confusion decreases.

A minor intervention needed

21 Sep

They just performed an ultrasound eval of her lungs and are going to do a thoracentesis to drain fluid from her left lung. Hopefully that will help her move more air and need less oxygen. But no fun either way.

A big heart – 7 PM

20 Sep


This is the pillow patients get who need something to cling to when they cough so they can support the incision and get a deeper breath. Various caregivers sign it for her and make sure she remembers them. It’s a nice way to help patients.

I’ve seen an big change in her alertness just in the last couple of hours. Thank you for praying for this. She isn’t speaking yet but her eyes are more clear, tracking with me. She’s acknowledging some things I’m saying by nodding her head or giving a short, “Yeah”. We had her bed in an almost upright recliner position which she tolerated well. So for tonight I think she’ll progressively work off the sedative that’s still floating around and hope to see a big improvement in the morning.

Please continue to pray for:
– Increasing alertness
– Kidney function improvement
– Pain managed with minimal medication

4 PM Friday

20 Sep


We’ve been in the CCU for four hours now and she is in a much more comfortable environment. Her oxygen had to be bumped up a bit and she won’t be able to take anything by mouth for a while. They’ve let her blood pressure drift up some to help the kidneys filter better. She will respond to voice a little but I don’t think she recognizes me yet and is not speaking at all. She’s able to move her arms and legs so we’re not looking at stroke, but she may have gotten some air to her brain during surgery that takes some time to dissipate. I am able to stay in the room and interact with her now, as opposed to 20 minute visits every four hours or so. I’m hoping that will help move her more towards consciousness but the doctor told me it may take a couple more days.
She wouldn’t appreciate a photo of her as she is, so I took a photo of the cards she’s received and a gift basket provided by a generous friend. Maybe I’ll do a shot of her heart-shaped pillow next. That will be her close companion as she holds it to her chest when she coughs over the next few weeks.

New room and new environment

20 Sep

She is now in CCU in a much less frenetic environment. Visiting is allowed but she won’t recognize anyone yet. It’ll take time given the extent of surgery and sedation she experienced. I think as this progresses one of the big prayers will be that she regains mental clarity. This could be quite a long process.

A step forward

20 Sep

She had a good night without needing respiratory support. They had to bump up her oxygen but are slowly lowering it now. They just took out her Swan-Ganz and arterial lines so she is gradually getting unhooked from technology. Her kidneys are still spiking but should level off and begin to decline after the weekend. She will be moving to the coronary care unit shortly where I can spend more time with her. Her mental state is very confused but that is to be expected for awhile. Thanks to all of you who prayed she would do well breathing on her own.