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August 19th, 2006

No real changes to report. She is still in ICU, still on the ventilator. She is breathing on her own though and I think they are going to try to take it out again soon and see how she does.

This part is real hard for me because they've got her as sedated as possible but she's still able to try to communicate, but can't talk with the tube so I have to try to figure out what she wants and I'm not very good at it. It's frustrating for us both. I got her a pen and paper; that helped some.

Her breathing and heart rate are still a bit high. I'd hoped we'd be doing better by now.

I'll get something to eat when they kick me out for shift change.
She's too sedated to take out the breathing tube. When they lower her sedative level, she freaks out, tries to pull the tube out, throw her legs over the bed rails, climb out of bed entirely, etc. (All in sedated slow motion, of course.) The nurses said she was a handful this morning. I know why - it's anxiety. They had her wrists in (soft) restraints so she wouldn't pull the tube out. She's got a damn tube in her throat, two chest tubes going into her side draining the incisions, and a catheter. And she's probably confused and freaked out and in a lot of pain. So when they try to wake her up, her blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate all shoot up, and her O2 levels go down.

But if they could get the tube out, she wouldn't be so anxious and she'd feel a lot better. So it's a suckass cycle.

They finally started giving her some anxiety medication. She was sleeping quietly a couple hours ago when I left for shift change. Over the course of tonight they will try to slowly lower her sedative level while managing the pain and anxiety and in the morning they will try to take the tube out again. Unfortunately the maximum level of sedation allowed in order to remove the tube is half of what she's on right now. She has to be basically awake and alert before they can take it out. So that's going to be a challenge. That damn tube was her #1 anxiety going in and I know she's hating it.

Anyway. That's the scoop. I'm doing okay. It's really hard watching her labor so hard to breathe, taking such fast, shallow breaths. It's a strong reminder that the fact that the surgery went well is a good thing in the middle of a big pile of suck.

Ok, I'm depressing myself. I'm going back to the hospital now. I'm sure that'll help.
She is resting quietly which she did not do a lot of the day. Also her breathing and heart rates are down which is good. So they've decided to leave her sedative level up most of the night so she can just rest. I feel good about that. That means I can relax too.

I like the way the wet streets look reflecting the lights.

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