Sunday, May 4, 2008

Laine’s Medical Update – Sunday, May 04, 2008

One Small Step
Things have been rather quiet in the ICU over the weekend. I believe that’s a good thing, since the ICU deals exclusively with major trauma cases. I got to thinking about the contrast between the incoming patients; so very fragile and struggling to hang onto their very lives and the outgoing patients; who have made it through the toughest part of their trauma and are well on their road to recovery. Laine is definitely in this later group. However, in order to make that transition, Laine needs to demonstrate her ability to breath on her own with no assistance from the ventilator. Yesterday, they actually tried that arrangement for the first time and for a good portion of the day, she was breathing with nothing more than the high octane oxygen cuff that sits over her tracheotomy port. Eventually they had to put her back on ventilator assistance as her carbon dioxide levels got elevated. Nothing too discouraging. They will try to switch back to oxygen only again later today.
Laine is showing good signs in other areas as well. One of her three chest tubes were removed this morning. The plan is to remove one tube each day, which will have her tubeless by Tuesday. At the same time, they are starting to cut back on her morphine and as they do she is coming in and out of consciousness more often and staying more lucid for longer periods.
But the really great news of the day is this; if Laine can transition off the ventilator, they are going to wheel in one of those big therapeutic easy chairs and see if she can sit on her own for a few moments. That small distance may prove to be a long trip, but one that will represent a major turning point.
Thanks to all for following Laine’s progress and for tuning into her website.
Michael Ashker