Saturday, December 17, 2011
I came back to Silver City last night because there are a few things I have to take care of here. I'm going back to Las Cruces early tomorrow morning. Yesterday they took one of the chest tubes out of her and she still has one in. Hopefully it will come out today or tomorrow. She is making some progress and was moving around in the room in ICU a little better. Her breathing is not as shallow either which is a good thing. Pain is a little better controlled now. Her doctor told us yesterday morning that once the other tube comes out they will watch her for another day after that then hopefully she can come home. But yesterday afternoon the nurse said they got the culture results of the pus they took out of her lung area and it is a strain that is extremely resistant to even the strongest antibiotics. They said this should not affect her so much because they cleaned it all out but she could be a carrier of this. They have been giving her very strong antibiotics with an IV since the surgery (actually since before surgery since she first went into the hospital last Saturday). But I'm not sure if it's the same antibiotic. She has to continue for about a week on the iv so they are not sure if that will affect her discharge date. She had the surgery late Tuesday and so Monday should be 7 days so maybe it won't affect it much. They will also send her home with oral antibiotics but the first week or something has to be the IV antibiotics. We didn't get to talk to the doctor after that so we don't know for sure. But they now have her on precautions to prevent carrying the bacteria out of her room so anyone going into her room has to put on a gown.
Other than that things are looking better.
After I got home last night I saw the local paper and saw that one of my case management clients died on Thursday which made me very sad. This was a 44 year old woman with Down's Syndrome that had been in the hospital most of the past month. She was also in Las Cruces but in a different hospital. I talked to her sister a week ago, who was taking care of her since their parents died a few years ago and drs weren't sure then whether she would make it or not. She had severe mental disabilities due to the Down's Syndrome and was like a little child. Some Down's kids are higher functioning but she wasn't. She was so sweet though and I really liked her a lot. She had a seizure disorder also. She was very prone to pneumonia because of some lung issues, and in early November had to go into the hospital because of that and was in there almost 2 weeks. She went home a day or two before Thanksgiving but was back in the hospital a few days later here, then flown to Las Cruces. The problem was that the medication to control her seizures was playing havoc with her white blood cell and platelet counts. They tried changing the seizure medication but none were working and she started having severe seizures about every hour, which is what caused her second hospital admission. She went into a coma and was in a coma when I talked to her sister about a week ago. If she got the medication to control the seizures it caused other problems and if she didn't the seizures played havoc with her system. It was just so sad. I wasn't really surprised to see the death notice in the paper but had been hoping she'd pull through. One of the things about working with elderly and disabled is that I lose a lot of my patients. In the past 2 or 3 weeks I've lost 5 for one reason or another like effects of severe alzheimer's, heart disease, etc which is hard but this woman in her 40's is just extra sad to me. Her sister had told me though that even though Rita was in a coma the nurses say she could still here and her sister wanted her to stay but was giving her permission to go also and told her that if she saw their parents it was okay to go to them and be with them. So now she's with them and peaceful now I believe. Her sister has a strong faith in Jesus and although I didn't know the parents I understand they did too.
Okay, enough talking of sad things. Today I have a lot to do before I go back to Las Cruces but also want to get some real exercise in today. I've done a lot of walking this week, although in short increments but am hoping to get some real cardio in. I'd like to go for a run but am not sure yet because weather is very overcast and I still have some chest congestion from a cold I had so I'll see how I feel. And even though I may not get to the gym today I want to get my weights and exercise bands out here and do some strength training which has been missing the past 2 weeks. I've been on the go so much with a trip to Albuquerque for training 2 weeks ago on Thursday through Saturday, then again back to Albuquerque last Friday and Saturday, being sick, and then Steph's hospitalization since last Saturday. So my walks have been several of 10 to 15 minutes at a time this week.
Hope everyone has a great day today. Again, I so appreciate all the support this week I've had from my friends online. It has really made a huge difference to me when I'm away from home and watching my daughter go through all she's gone through. I could get online when feeling down and read comments, encouragements, notes with goodies, comments on friend feed and all the support. I could also read about others that have joys to share or their own personal problems and put things in perspective. The SP community has just been so important to me this week and still is. Continued prayers and thoughts appreciated on her road to recovery which will take a while even when she gets out of the hospital.
GRAPHIC PIC below
Below is a picture of her incision . Warning you so you don't have to look if you don't want to. The procedure is called a thoracotomy for those of you who are nurses or others with medical knowledge. The nurses, doctor, and anesthesiologist were all surprised that she had to have this done at only 28 years old because most often it is something that has to be done in much older patients with a lifetime of heavy smoking or other major health issues to their lungs. Not sure what set all of this off in her case. Pneumonia with a bacterial infection in a strange location in lungs and some scar tissue from something, maybe the infection I don't know, that caused part of lung or outer lining to be sticking to another part. Not totally clear on that but it had something to do with scar tissue causing something to stick to something.
This is a picture of my baby girl right after the surgery when hooked up to the resperator and all kinds of things. She looks better than that now and has a few less things hooked up to her
This is the picture of her incision I took yesterday after they took the dressing off. Under the bandage below the incision is still where one drainage tube goes into her lung. The incision goes from a little below armpit on left side around towards spine.