Thursday, May 1, 2008

Laine's Medical Update - Thursday, May 1st, 2008 - 12:30pm

It's been five days since Laine's terrible fall and with each new day we've been blessed with signs of progress. One of the emotional elements of healthcare management is to prepare families for both good and bad days. The proverbial emotional roller coaster ride. So, far our set backs have been few and Laine's forward steps have been consistent. One backward step came about last night when Laine's fever suddenly spiked up to nearly 103. It was determined that she had an infection and a case of pneumonia; both being complications that are quite common with a lung injury of this sort. They started her on three seperate antibiotics and her fever has already come down significantly as a result.

The good news is that Laine's lungs continue to gain strength and her doctors have again lowered the level of assistance being contributed by the ventilator. At one point, Laine was drawing almost all her own breaths. It turned out to be a bit premature, so they went back to the previous settings. Laine's jaw surgery is now scheduled for first thing Friday morning. The plan is to plate the lower jaw line and then reset the right upper jawbone and then wiring it all together.

As far as Laine's attitude goes, she is an amazing kid. They've begun to cut back the level of her pain/comfort meds so from time-to-time, she'll drift back into consciousness, opening her eyes and trying to get herself oriented. She's begun to ask the obvious questions, like what happened and where am I? Not a moment after she was asking about her beloved horses, Frodo and Eric. Keep in mind that communication is now done by lip reading and hand gestures because the tracheotomy has rendered her vocal chords temporarily inoperable. There is a certain "fiest" in Laine today and while the communication process is very frustrating, she was tried desperately to communicate in her sedated state. There was one point that Laine was particularly struggling to ask the nurse something that she couldn't make out. Eventually, they were able to determine that she was asking for a mirror. Now, while that's normally a simple request, one has to think about the benefits of providing it in this instance. We did, she looked for a moment and then drifted back into a peaceful rest.