Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve - New Room (328)

Michele is out of ICU and in pavilion B room 328 - YEA!. They were scared and skeptical the first time Michele went to the step down unit but this time around everyone feels like she is truly ready to leave ICU and are happy she is in step down. She is breathing 100 on her own with a little nose oxygen just for New Year' s Eve Fun.  Tomorrow they will drain the fluid again below her diaphragm and hopefully find the source of the infection. She has taken the full prescription of the first antibiotic but her white blood cell count is still highly elevated.  Her fever is gone - another YEA!  Not much more to say tonight. I will see her tomorrow and have a better bird's eye view of her happy factor. Happy New Year everyone and Steveie D says thanks so much Travis for the lovely flowers,  but she still can only have cards in step down.
Best to everyone for a Happy 2011. On K-Love (a radio station) the DJ's suggested to pick one word to work towards in the coming year. I have my one word for me and also picked a word for Michele. If we all pick a word and pray for that for her,  imagine how fast she will be 100% again. Keep up the faith all - she is gaining on it!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just say "No" to the Trach!

Michele is just a bed away from leaving ICU - Thank you God! Her Trach tube was removed today and she is eating and talking. Her taste buds are super sensitive. Stevie D said she said something was really salty to her that when he tasted it, it was really bland. Her fever still needs to settle down and the infection needs to go away, but all news seems to be improving daily.
On a side bar the game this week was more than originally thought. CJ, and the Swiggerts (Jim & Jamie) also attended and the boys were able to move around a lot and utilize some seats that were practically courtside. Zach and Corbin both touched the game ball, shook Rockies Hand, and took tons of close up pictures of the Nuggets Dancers ( a 14 year old's dream date). They all had a great time watching the Nuggets and MIchele was glad they were able to go.
Address to come hopefully tomorrow of her step down unit number.... Hang in their girlfriend you are a rockstar to all of us!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tub Tuesday and Threw Away some Tubes

So Michele has made some good progress towards her recovery today. Her feeding tube and lung tube have been removed - Just Say NO to a Liquid Diet! She is able to drink juice and some other yummy concoction well some other nutritional something, perhaps its not so yummy. Her doctors told Steveie D. that it may just be days before she can try to go back to the Step Down area of care. Her fever has subsided for the most part.  Yesterday was a day full of visitors including Scott Cook's family (owner Cook Chevrolet), the Sperry family, and my guys Steve and Corbin Diehl plus of course the regulars Linda, Sam & River.
Yesterday was Bailee bath day. I may be saying that wrong but it entails cleaning every nook and cranny of all the wounds and body. It took three people (Linda, Steve and Nurse) 2.5 hours to accomplish this task. Maybe we should bathe longer? I have never even been in a bath tub with smell good beads for over 1/2 hour. Way to get clean Michele! Steveie D. said he was exhausted afterwards, so you can imagine how Michele must have felt.
Corbin and Zach continue to honor Michele by playing all the Xbox games she bought Zach.  We found the Xbox early on in a great hiding place in the house then River went to the car to recover the rest of his presents -Xbox stock should rise this year. The boys (Stevie D., Zach, my Steve and Corbin) are going to the Nuggets game tonight for a little hospital break. I know Michele will be so happy they are getting away, since her concern is more for her boys then herself. She does need her rest and Linda and Sam will be there to watch out for her, although in this ICU the nurses and staff are amazing.  Have a good night Michele! People continue to let me know how much they love you and are thinking of you. All the girls at Bella salon today sent their love and prayers. Amy said to let her know when you need anything done to your hair and she will come down and take care of you:). We know you will be home before you need a new do.....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Clarification

Michele is in ICU and had a minor surgery last night to insert a drainage tube. It is just below the lung not in the lung like we originally thought. They are hoping to drain the chest and therefore find the infection which spiked her 104 degree fever.  Michele now has her cell phone with her,  so she can text Steveie D. if she is worried or anxious for any reason.
Good News is Jeffrey and Steven surprised their parents by coming to Denver from California on Christmas eve. They didn't tell their parents they were coming and jumped out in the lobby and both scared and surprised them - good one guys! I am so happy for you and your parents to get to be together for Christmas!
Several more visitors have come and gone, but since I am no longer down there, I am trying to piece together all that is going on. It is still very stressful and tiring for the hospital family crew. Sometimes when I talk to the group there, only the pertinent  medical information about Michele and her recovery is passed along,  but know that Steveie D. appreciates everyone who has reached out to Michele and the entire family. Her being back in ICU is being seen as a good thing to the family - so no unnecessary worrying - just prayers.  Stevie D. will update us again this afternoon.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Update

Michele's status is that she is back on the ventilator and has a tube in her lung to drain the fluid. They are working on clearing up the infection. Everyone feels comfortable with her back in ICU because the level of care is superior.  
Christmas dinner was delivered by Mr. & Mrs. Clause (AKA: Stu and Sue Fishman). Linda and Tom joined the group and there was a festive event. Michele needs her rest so encouraged the boys to leave the hospital and also attend a game. River said everyone is very optimistic and realize while it is a long haul she is gaining on her recovery. Everyone in Denver is feeling the love and prayers of us all....

ICU Again

Michele is back in ICU. I don't have a lot of detail yet, but yesterday Steveie D. went over to the hospital early having a bad feeling ( he didn't leave her the night before until 1:30 in the am). When he arrived at 8:30 am he was told she had a fever of 104 and they were transferring her back to ICU.
On a happy note, Zach has been in touch with the kids and they did celebrate Christmas. Linda text and let me know Michele will be OK, but no details yet on how they spent Christmas day. I'll update more this afternoon when I hear from the group at the hospital...
Merry Christmas all and please keep your prayers and well wishes coming. two steps forward and one step back is to be expected. Let's all stay positive for Michele. I know she feels our love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Michele is now out of ICU and resides in Pavilion B Room 350. It was a another great day with no Ventilator and they even changed  the Trach. She was able  to talk to say hi to Zach and Stevie D for a minute today while between trachs. Then she said I hope they don't cram another one of those things down my throat, but unfortunately they had to put one back in.  Today was very tiresome with morning walking  - 10 steps and being a bit anxious over the room change. After Stevie D. left her room today they put a do not disturb sign up for a bit because she has to have her rest and we all know how she likes to entertain.  
River is down there now and  the boys ( Steve, Zach, and River) are headed back to the hotel for dinner and down time till the 8:30 visiting hour appears again. Steveie D. was finally able to get in an afternoon nap - he has not afforded himself such a luxury yet , so he must be feeling better about Michele, her progress and prognosis. It is going to be a different kind of Christmas in the hospital, but they will make it knowing they have Michele.
Tonight at the Christmas eve. service, Pastor Troy reminded us as we left the sanctuary to go out and be lights like the candles we were holding. Steveie D. was so bummed not to be at church tonight for Christmas Eve. but he is a light to Michele and the family remains strong and bonded and lights for each other.  Sam and Linda are still there and a strength to Michele while away from their own boys. The whole group is blessing one another as God has blessed Michele.
Merry Christmas Eve all and Thank you God for our Christmas miracles -  Michele and your Son!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Michele Walks!

Michele walked today! She was able to get out of bed with assistance and walk around her room with a walker. Steveie D. said it hurts her a lot but she is doing it! This is so amazing. Her accident was only 15 days ago. She has to be careful not to put too much weight on the leg with the broken tibia and ankle, but other than that she can walk. She is also 100% off the ventilator so no more assistance with breathing and only a flow of oxygen through her Trach. So with all this good news comes even better news. She gets to move from ICU today to the step down unit which is less intensive care. It is she predicted will be there for 3 - 7 days then back to Steamboat Springs. Steveie D. said he is freakishly happy:)
With today's great new and progress,  Linda and Sam were so excited that they went to the store and bought the entire ICU staff 4 giant platters of fruit and vegetables, and deserts and lunch wraps  and cupcakes and you get it - everything you can imagine. The staff is very happy with Linda & Sam!
Today was a big day of visitors. Dan & Kristy Reagan, Sencery King and her grandma and grandpa (Chad and Heather Kings daughter), Jim Moilan, Alex and Teresa Luber.
Back at the hotel.... James you hid the salmon so good Stevie D. just now found it in the frig. Were you hoarding that as your personal stash and forgot it???? And you thought it was all gone...
River was able to pick up some personal belongings today from the vehicle but haven't heard yet how that went. He is coming over shortly for dinner so we shall see what was salvaged.
Thank you Jeff at Neste for fixing my cracked windshield yesterday (happened on the way to the airport with Danielle). Michele its good to be your friend. I get VIP treatment now - No Charge!. Thanks so much Jeff! He also sent his prayers to the whole Dunklin family.
We are all so proud of Michele and her progress - Keep the prayers coming as we still have some internal issues that need to be resolved.  You are doing so great Michele! Everywhere I go in town people ask about you and send their concern and prayers and hugs. We will see you very soon....
PS - Go to the bottom of the blog and look at the new picture of Michele walking....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday - Best Day Yet!

Michele had the best day ever! Attitude is good, breathing is good, prognosis is good - all is good in Michele world. Linda has determined she will take a family leave from her teaching position of 22 years and care for Michele once she gets back to the Boat. This is such a blessing in itself because Stevie D. will be back to managing Cook Chevrolet and Zachary will be back at school, so to have Linda here is just another bonus point on the miracle pole.
I came home today with Ali and Corbin and brought my mom back with us. Little did we know another blessing was occurring. We drove right past the leaking vehicle in Silverthorne that has I-70 closed for 4 - 8 hours. We watched as the chemicals poured out and the guys in suits were lining every corner and intersection in Silverthorne. I had one more gift to get at the outlets and didn't think anything about the pit stop. Oh MY.... Little did we know cars right behind us would not make it as far as we did. Enough about us - glad to be home and not stuck on I-70.
Michele is our Christmas miracle and she continues to surprise and outdo anyone in her condition. Your prayers and well wishes have made such a difference. If there are any new changes I will update, but just know all is well and she continues to improve. all of you have made a huge difference in her healing. I tell her how the whole town has come together for her and she smiles. Its such a Christmas miracle to see people care so much for one person. Steamboat and all of its once upon a time locals have really rallied in prayer chains, good wishes, and positive energy. I love calling Steamboat home!
Danielle, everyone will miss you now that you have gone home and we look forward to seeing you and James sometime after Christmas. My kids are both calling you their favorite - Auntie Danielle.... From your wanna be Dunklin sister (another in-side joke, Michele will surely appreciate in time). Nighty night all, Michelle
PS - Dear Lord we don't know why things happen as they do, But we trust you. I am so happy to be praying to a God I don't always understand. If I got you, I would be a little worried. I don't want to worship a God I can understand; I want one that  is much more powerful than my wildest imagination. We do know however Lord you have had Michele in your hand since before the accident and have never left her side. We know whether we are in her room or not ,that you have a host of angels surrounding her and protecting her and you have never left her. You are there guiding every doctor and nurse and caregiver who is helping her or has helped her. Thank you in advance for her complete healing. We have all seen your power and miracles in healing and life and know you will restore her to full capacity. I can't wait to see what good will come from all of this. In Jesus Name we pray Amen.  Me and Zach and Michele joined hands and prayed this when I left today - It made Michele beam. She knows the Lord has her, so don't worry about her, friends - she knows she will be OK - her faith is strong.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Great Day!

The posts may go down to one every other day since she is doing so well. She continues to push the envelope on the times the exercise duration last and her ability to withstand excruciating pain for most of us. She was breathing on her own, sitting in the bed chair, and even leaned up and held her self for minutes for a ferocious back scratch. Once she rested a bit the physical therapist had her swing her legs off the bed and sit by herself with no help for 10 minutes. I am sure the therapist would have been satisfied if she would have sat for only a single minute. Michele is doing great. We may not make the Christmas goal but perhaps New Years.

Michele, there have been many funny family times. This is what you need to ask when you are out:

What did Teresa, Linda and Donna do at burger King? How many orders of fries did they finally get and how did they finally get them.

When Danielle and Stevie D went on their walk what was Steveie D's reward and who is Big Dave?

Who is on Sam's top 5 list?

And the last one Michele is my question for you: on a scale of 1 - 10 how hot would you rate Trevor (Danielle says not to count the side burns)?

I am sorry this won't make sense for most of the blog followers,  but trust me Michele will love the the family fun

The kids and I went to the mall today. Its funny how boys shop for their mothers. I guess the more fragrance's in a 14 year old mind, the better. Just remember he did it all by himself:)

The Benihana knock off dinner tonight was fabulous. I wish you could have been with us.

Linda and Sam wrapped presents today for the kids at the hospital and the staff offered them Broncos tickets. I don't think Linda will go, but don't expect to see your boys next Sunday.

We love you and thank God for the healing that has already occurred and the healing to come.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quiet Day

Steveie D stayed with Michele all day. She likes to have him by her side, especially the last two days. Linda is with her now and helping the nurse to bathe her and change the bedding. Steveie D. told Linda she couldn't help and the nurse told Linda to get some gloves on so the nurse knows a good helper when she sees one.

Michele is much more aware of all that has taken place and what is still to come. Its daunting to think about her recovery. They have placed her on a button pump that allows her to administer her own medication. With her high tolerance for pain she is able to make it without a lot of button pushes. She has been off the ventilator all day. Tomorrow may be the day she is able to ween completely off the ventilator (we hope and pray). This will be a huge step in getting closer to leave the ICU. She will have a T Piece (SP?) after the ventilator is gone which will allow a flow of oxygen but still she is doing all the breathing on her own. 

Great news from the Cat scan and respiratory doc. The abscess is drained and the infection is going away. All vitals are improving. The respiratory doc. could not be happier with all.

Nancy sent me an e-mail with a fun fact for you all. If you come to visit Michele, don't think that you can accidentally "misrepresent"your age because Michele will call you on it! The boys enjoyed bowling today with Linda and Sam. Me, Ali and Danielle did a little Christmas shopping. Going to see Michele now. More updates tomorrow but everyone keep optimistic and positive because we know God has her....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Work Day

Michele is tuckered out today. Lots of visitors and breathing on her own. She had a Cat Scan earlier in the day and we are still waiting for the results. Also closed her tummy a bit more today, so she really has been worked over.  She even wrote on a pad of paper earlier in the day. Zach was so proud of his mom he texted a picture of the writing  to Corbin. Her voice is becoming slightly more than lip reading and its getting easier to understand her needs. My visit was short since our three hour drive from SS took 5 hours today. Once at the hospital the kids decided we should go to the Nuggets game so Zach, Corbin, Ali and myself had a great time and Z a much deserved reward after being such a trooper and support for his mom and dad - he is an awesome young man! We are hopeful for more lung exercises tomorrow and positive results of the cat scan.
Other updates: Teresa learned when the ICU smells like burnt popcorn when the flight for Life has just come in. The waiting room was packed tonight. James who is back in Arizona has learned to access the blog (miracles are happening all around us). Buddy and Colleen King are headed back to SS after a visit - drive safe Kings! River said the snow was great today on the mountain. Hope lots of you got out and enjoyed it. I want to give a shout out to my husband, Steve,  who stayed home with the puppies and is catching up the laundry - You rock Steve - thanks for understanding my need to be here.  I only saw Sam and Linda briefly since we went to the game, but I hope Sam is going to cook something yummy soon. Teresa and Donna are taking one of the rooms at the hotel tonight. We decorated the hotel  with a baby Christmas tree and all of the Dunklin gifts. Michele did a lot of shopping ahead of time (we can't disclose the gift hiding place but it was a good one) - good work Michele for shopping in advance!
Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep, the angels watch me through the night and wake me in the morning light - Nighty Night everyone - Sweet dreams Michele...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday News - New Faces

Today began just like yesterday closed. Great news with Michele improving. To Michele's surprise she was able to meet Bryan Rickman the West Routt Chief/paramedic who initially made the life saving choice on freeing  Michele from the vehicle. At first she did not know who he was, but when Stevie D. told her she held his hand then brought it to her heart. I wish I could have seen that. Bryan probably doesn't get to see the happy ending as often as he would like. I know it will always mean a lot to Michele that he made the effort to visit her in ICU. Steveie D. is forever grateful to him. More visitors today as well. Tommy Reuter, the Stimsons. and  Nancy K. who brought Zach down yesterday. I am sure that made Michele happy. Not being down there today, but working instead, I don't have a ton of funny stories to tell you except Michele got tired today and kicked everybody out of her room to go have lunch together.  I am not sure if this was before or after Stevie D. bumped her bed and got the look.  She is much more interactive at times, but when she is tired she has to rest.  
This afternoon produced another little "walt." Walt is what Steveie D refers to as a set- back. Fluids are gathering in the lungs, but the doctors are keeping a close eye on it. Lets just keep praying it is taken care of along with the other complications as quickly as possible.
Other updates: Michele is alert enough to tell us where she hid Zach's Christmas present so that will be wrapped and make its way to Denver tomorrow. Stevie D is now working out on the treadmill since he has  had too much comfort food. Linda, Sam and Stevie D continue to be the rocks that have not left her side. Danielle should be a lip reader since she is the master at comprehending her. Linda my love and prayers especially to you tonight. I hope you had some refreshing time today with God in the chapel.  I know how important it is for you to have that time and how very important your sister is to you.
See you all tomorrow. Let Z-Man know Ali and Corbin are looking forward to a little mall time with him. Teresa and Donna drive safe in your early morning departure - I'll be a few hours behind you guys.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Day

Last nights fever is gone and today is progressing nicely - all vitals are good to go. We are waiting for the results of the culture to figure out the correct antibiotics but it seems the initial antibiotics are helping her a lot. No word on the other stuff yet. She is talking up a storm, I should say mouthing up a storm. Danielle is a master at reading lips, so she is key in helping Michele communicate. She is as alert as we have seen her. She is even watching TV now. She is excited about Zach's arrival. Linda just came out and said "excellent" she is smiling and already annoyed at Stevie D, so we know things are getting better. Rolling her eyes seems to be the first thing that comes back - we are going down to the awesome cafeteria (seriously it is awesome!) for a celebration lunch while nurses make her pretty:). Thank you God in advance for making her completely well!

Wednesday Good - Byes

James left on Wednesday evening to go back to Arizona. He was pretty thrilled you finally gave him his kiss.  Earlier in the week you gave all of us kisses, but James only got your eyebrows to snarl. We had a lot of fun with that. He was thrilled to get his kiss, but sad to go home given the new complications. He was very much needed and appreciated by all. River and I both feel like we have a new brother. Danielle (Stevie D and James's younger sister) is a great addition to the group. She gave us the new picture we added below of you two this summer.  She will take the doctor notes when I go home for a couple of days.
I am hoping today will be a better day. They warned us about infection and phenomena, but somehow we thought you would escape both - you didn't. Your spirits seems good even though you feel bad. When asked if you were OK last night you mouthed "I feel like shit".    River and I have to go home today for work, but will be back as soon as possible. Pat came to see you for the second time last night (not sure of his last name - sorry Pat - a really nice guy who used to manage Steamboat Motors). When Stevie D. got the evil eye to leave your room , we all went back to the hotel and ate yummy left overs that Sam cooked the night before, then I took James to the airport and went to Moms. The rest of the gang went to see you again at 8:30.   Its hard to watch you struggle, but we know you will be OK in time. Zachary will be here soon - school is almost out for Christmas break. He had a big band concert last night. I know you are so looking forward to seeing him and Steveie D. especially wants his wing-man here.  Keep fighting....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Positive Stuff

On a positive note Thanks you so much Reuter family for giving Steveie D. the one bedroom apartment near the hospital to help house himself and others while he is down here. Linda and Sam will continue to stay at the hotel which is just across the street; this is a good base camp since it is so close, but now we have more room with the Reuter place.  Last night Sam cooked us all an amazing Armenian meal - thanks Sam - it was delicious! Keep praying everyone for her Bowell to make a full recovery in addition to all your other prayers. It really works. Steveie D. says when I pray over her or read Bible verses to her her vitals go down instantly. There is so much power in saying God's word out loud. For all of you who are saying prayers, sending love, expressing good vibes and energy, leaving comments, sharing concerns, offering donations and anything else I am sure I forgot (sorry) thank you so much for being a part of Michele's recovery! Although not all of you share our Christan faith, you certainly have lots of  love to give and we feel it. Michele will be so happy when she is well to see how the town and her family and friends across the country, including prayer groups who don't even know her personally, rallied for her recovery.  Michele and Steveie D. are really loved and you guys are making a difference Thanks all! The other Michelle:)

New Complications - Prayers Needed

Michele, Michele, Michele - Just when we thought we had you out of the woods and you were going to prove everyone who told us to be ready for two steps forward and one step back theory wrong, you  took a little step back today. You have some complications. Steveie D. Has asked me to alert all of you to the complications and to pray for Michele for a successful outcome, please.

The Cat Scan this morning has found air in the Bowell and also an abscess. Our prayers are that the air takes care of itself and that the Bowell continues to receive a good flow of oxygen and when the abscess is drained the infection will be identified and cleared up quickly. The docs. will continue to monitor her and her fever for a day or two to determine the course of action. She will not be sitting up on the hospital bed chair or exercising her breathing on her own today. The phentanol (SP?) drip has been reintroduced to keep her more sedate while the docs figure out how to manage the new issues.  We are not sure if there are more infections or where they are, but in time that will be identified. She is on basic antibiotics now but will be on the exact antibiotic for her infection once the abscess is cultured. Keep praying....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wow - a whole quarter

Michele, I just talked to Nancy Kounousky and you will love this. You remember how Zach and Carter were so excited last week to get 9.9 seconds in the Sorrocco JV game? Last night they played almost a whole quarter. Nancy knew you would get a kick out of that since the boys goal this week was just to get in a full minute at the next JV game. Way to play Zach and Carter! You are resting now after a very big day.... Thanks for all the kisses today:)

Michele's Address

If you would like to send anything (they won't allow flowers in ICU) here is Michele's address:

Denver Health
777 Bannock Street
Denver, Colorado 80204

ATTN: Pavilion A - Room 228 - Michele Dunklin

Tuesday - Truly Miraculous!

Oh my things are so good here. Michele is sitting up in a special chair (HUGE DEAL) and has been breathing on her own for 5.5 hours. She is now back on the machine to let her rest. She did so good with her breathing. The doctors and nurses say this is so amazing that she can be in the special chair this soon. This morning in PT she raised both her arms above her head. The therapist said rough and tough men that only have a few broken ribs can't even do that at day 6. They cut her pain meds. in half last night and she is down to only 20 percent today. When Steveie D. saw her in the special chair this morning (he snuck in early before visiting hours began) and she was sending kisses he had tears of joy streaming. He is so thankful and appreciative of everyone who has been a part of this journey. Her eyes continue to open a lot and she is listening to and responding to conversations. God is so good!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nephews Leave - Good Reports

Today the nephews (Steven & Jeff) had to leave. They came to see you to say goodbye. You had given a lot of eye contact today - you must have opened your eyes about 10 times. The boys asked you to blink if they are your favorite nephews. You winced and tried to lift your arms. Whether it was to hug them or punch them we are not sure. They will be back at Christmas. Miss you already Steven and Jeff... Luckily we have Daniele (Steveie D's sister) coming in tomorrow. Mom Dunklin would love to be here, but Steveie D needs her for the long haul once Michele gets home. So she is waiting for his signal.

The x-ray's say there is no need to operate on your pelvic fractures - YEA! also the kidney leak has subsided so no need to operate there either - its a great day, Michele. You were off of your ventilator for 5.5 hours today. Way to exercise those lungs. You may be back at Vectra before we know it. OK that may be too optimistic but why not - God is working miracles. See ya tomorrow friend - keep mouthing those kisses and everybody keep praying we get Michele back to the boat by Christmas.... Nighty night, Michele - Love you - Michelle

Monday Exercises

Today is a busy day for you girl. Since you are proving everyone wrong in how long it takes to recover from horrific trauma you might as well breath on your own long before expected. The respiratory team says this is very aggressive treatment to take you off the ventilator for extended periods this early, but you are handling it. You will be breathing on your own with oxygen today then they will put you back on the ventilator to get a good nights rest. Some people don't like to take deep breaths with a few broker ribs - I guess 22 is nothing for you. Stveie D. says your tolerance for pain is very high. It sure is! You are also very sensitive to the medication so it doesn't take much to keep you pain free - we called you a cheap date:) You may not have surgery today since they were checking on your kidneys this morning, but maybe tomorrow. They are watching your vitals to access the pain and you are handling it - way to go! Linda said you even mouthed kisses last night after I took the boys home. Because you are doing so well..... Steveie D has asked for specific prayers to have you home (to the YVMC or Doak) by Christmas. I know with God's help and He sure hasn't left you yet, we will have you home by December 25th. See you soon...

PS - Teresa said Sasha met a new friend who has a fenced yard. Her friend is a little older she is now one, and they are already best buddies. Sasha is enjoying her holiday. Teresa is putting her in obedience training with Diana Childs since you won't be able to train her when you come home. She will be so excited to see her mommy again. Her neutering has healed up just fine.

For all Michele's friends  - If you would like to contribute to the family monetarily an account is set up at Vectra Bank under the name of "Michele's Miracles" Teresa Luber can be contacted at the bank directly for any information on the account: Her direct line is 970.870.4220 - thanks so much Teresa for doing this!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hi Michele,
Since this blog is truly for you to remember this time you are sedated, I will tell you how today went. You had x-rays this morning on your pelvis and I'm not sure what they learned, but afterwards you had to have your legs exercised and it was the most facial expressions Steveie D. has seen. I am so sorry you have to hurt and go through therapy, but I am sure the doctors know what they are doing. I feel like you were more responsive today. Its so good to have you coming back! We are all very optimistic that you are progressing towards healing. I forgot to tell you in earlier blogs that your initial CT scans (I may have that word wrong) determined that you have no brain damage at all. You will be our A+ girl once the rest of you heals - praise God - yet another miracle. We also learned your heart is bruised. I can tell when I pray over you it brings you comfort, but what we really see is how you respond to Zachary and Steveie D. - You really love your boys. You opened your eyes for about 30 seconds today.  I expressed today to Linda that I didn't like to see you squint your forehead and have to experience the pain but big sister is remaining fully positive and says "no pain no gain". I wish I had a sister like Linda. She is going to be by your side until January. The nephews are leaving tomorrow, but I really enjoyed meeting them both. Great men who love their parents so much. They will be back at Christmas but both being responsible men need to get back to work for now. I know Sam wants grand babies but those boys are holding out for perfect. You will have to ask the guys  about family poker last night. I missed it by going to mom's house after dinner, but I hear Stevie D. was his poker self for a bit. It's good he has his family and friends because he misses you.

Sue and Stu came today and brought enough food to feed the hospital. We had sushi, cold cuts, trout, and salmon. The best was the baklava tray:). You have so many people that love you. The bag of mail they brought down was full with letters to you. Keep getting well and keep focusing on God. I am sure He was your last thought after the wonderful lunch we had the day before your accident. Love you girl! Michelle

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Surgery

Michele is doing great. This morning she had an abdomen surgery and was able to partially close up (just waiting on swelling to decrease to finish the job). Slight fever today, but keeping it controlled. She is really on the road to recovery we believe, and continue to be thankful for everyone's prayers and well wishes. Nephews Steven and Jeff arrived early this am. Teresa now has Sasha (Michele's puppy) and she is with her puppy friends - thanks Teresa. Teresa will be opening an account at Vectra Bank, where her and Michele work, for Michele's recovery. So many people have asked how they can help. Of course all the prayers seem to be what we need the most. In time, when we get her home there will be lots to do to help, so thanks so much for all your offers. We will let you know when Steveie D. needs something. Right now its just day by day and hoping to get her out of the ICU and transferred to the step-down unit. They are not allowing flowers in the ICU, but thanks so much Cafe Diva for the gorgeous arrangement. The boys' hotel room really needs a smell good!

I forgot to report that yesterday they exercised her lungs by allowing her to breath on her own for a bit. This is how she will gain her strength. River just took Zach and Corbin to work out - they need to expend some energy. I am just watching our camp here in the corner of the ICU waiting room. It looks like a yard sale here. We are sharing the room with the family of the young women from Denver who lost her unborn baby in a hit and run. Pray for this family as well.  Tragedy's like these are not wished for on anyone, but I have seen so many people come together in family love and faith in this room for healing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

scary stuff /more family/errand day

Our ups and down went down a bit this afternoon. Michele's heart rate jumped high quickly.  They made Stevie D. leave the room while they stabilized her. Eric Meyer happened to be working here and said not to worry. Everyone tells us not to worry but its nerve racking at times.  Visiting hours cease from 6:00 - 8:30 and the lady at the front gives us the evil eye and the time out signal with her hands, so we all walked back to the hotel. We are quite a group:)

James who is Stevie D's brother from Arizona arrived today; he is a very good addition. He doesn't get the cold weather - flat lander:) Tonight Linda and Sam's boys (Steven and Jeff) will arrive around midnight.

Stevie D, Zach and James stayed with Michele while River took the Trailblazer to the shop (their window broke on the way here the night of the accident). Linda, Sam, Corbin and me went grocery shopping and picked up River from the shop. Now we are all back at the hotel and planning dinner. Corbin and I are going to Grandmother Weda's (my mom) who lives in Littleton tonight and do some laundry for River and Stevie. This sounds so corny to me. Michele, we miss you and want you to wake up soon, then I won't have to bore your friends with who is going potty when....

Our Emergency Docs in Steamboat

Allen Belshaw and Mark Hermacinski are amazing! They are both general surgeons who were at YVMC and saved Michele. They are also trauma surgeons.  In level 1 trauma centers the trauma surgeons and trauma chiefs are general surgeons, just like Mark and Allen. YVMC is only a level 4 trauma center, but they do have residency trained and board certified trauma surgeons. I can't say enough how impressed the docs at Denver Health are with our surgeons. Stevie D. and I were just talking that people here (Denver Health)are still talking about what a job they did on Michele. Anyway, Steamboat, we have a top notch facility with the best docs anywhere. Stevie D. and all of us are so thankful and grateful to everyone involved thus far...  

Very Optimistic

We have been very encouraged all day!  Today's nurse has been working here 15 years and is the first person to let us know she will be ok, in time. We are really hanging on to the fact that she is going to make it. We know there will be ups and downs  and she may go back before she goes forward but as we were told it is a marathon. She is resting nicely today and no surgeries scheduled. We met with the doctor who first saw her (Jeff Johnson). He reiterated what a great job the Steamboat team did to stabilize her and allow her to fly.  Even the large group of docs who were making  rounds later in the day made the comment that the Steamboat team should be commended for the skill. He went over again all the things that happened to Michele and what steps we she has to take to move on.  In addition to everything else I have told you earlier, there are breaks all along her back (non that will keep her from walking), a broken sacrum,  and a few other breaks I can't remember. We thought the cut in her left thigh was packed but it is stitched up and doing ok. He is cautiously optimistic. . He says we have to be prepared for the 5-7 day troubles like infection and phenomena. He says another challenge is to close her abdomen. Until it is closed they will have to go in every two days to clean. It is common not to be able to close this wound due to the swelling. They hope to be able to close Monday or Wednesday. She is currently on sedation and analgesic or calming meds. and pain killers. She also has an IV fluid which is sustaining her (food). Their next big step is to get her off the ventilator. It could be days or weeks, he couldn't say since everyone is different.  Another biggie is to heal the left lung (large incision) and have the ribs heal. They will keep her sedated and comfortable while this happens possibly  a week - 10 days. After this she can go to the step down care which is a little different then ICU. Here she has 1 nurse all to herself. At step down she will  be seen every two hours and be on a new floor at the hospital not critical care. After a time in step down she will go to acute care which is when someone needs assistance in rehabilitation - still a hospital setting.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hotel Time

Part of the purpose of this blog is to keep a running record of Michele's recovery so when she is well she can read what she has been through.

Well Michele, tonight after we left you at the ICU at 11:00 the boys were really boys. Right now River, Zach, and Corbin are playing poker - Steveie D went to Bed and I am busy creating this blog. Yes I am stuck with the boys without you - you owe me:). The boys are so funny. Its like they don't even know I am here - I am finally the fly on the wall listening - good stuff! We all feel encouraged and are very happy and hopeful right now. We left the hospital on cloud nine bc when the nurse cleaned your trach you opened your eyes and tracked Steveie D. He was very excited to see your beautiful eyes, finally. After telling you he loved you about 10 times (when did he become so sappy?) he told you to close your eyes and go to sleep. The nurses tell us you don't know we are with you but we are not buying it. We know you know. We love you! Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep - the Angels watch me through the night and keep me in their blessed sight... In Jesus Name We Pray Amen (this was the good night prayer I said to you when I left tonight)  Nighty night Michele - Hugs and Love Michelle

First 24 Hours

Michelle Diehl (me) and Corbin my son who is Zach's good buddy, came down Thursday mid-day. Teresa Luber and her mom Carol came shortly after us. River, Teresa and me all tried to collect the information and keep the story straight its amazing how much we can"t remember - information overload.  Here is the information we were able to collect from the doctors and nurse:

Michele had the Trach. and color is looking better. This was to get tubes out of her mouth. Doctors say she is still critical due to many major organs being damaged. She does have both kidneys still but one is lacerated and so is liver. Diaphragm was fixed in surgery today and not a lot of blood so that was good news. Lung is bleeding but tubes remove blood. Organs will have to heal although docs have done what they can. They continue to give her antibiotics for infection. White cells is up which fights infection - good news. Its a miracle she even lived to make it to YVMC. God is with her. We continue to hear about miracles. The on-scene guys (paramedics) saved her life then was able to get her to YVMC - although CPR did not have to be used. The ER docs in SS were the ones to initially stop bleeding of a few organs and save her again - docs here (Denver Health) said not being trauma docs they did an amazing job! Lots of broken stuff (including 22 broken ribs and hip) and lacerations. Some are not life threatening. They will keep her sedated for a very long time - expect three weeks here then maybe weeks or months at YVMC. The doc just said its a marathon and expect her to get worse before better - its typical ICU stuff. Sorry I can't call everyone. I'm in the ICU with her now. disperse as you deem fit. I will start a blog tomorrow. Keep Praying!!!:) Love to you all, Michelle and our star patient Michele:)

Upon Arrival to Denver Health (Formerly Denver General)

Upon Michele's arrival at Denver Health she was in the same stable condition after the flight but needed 2 liters of blood. She also needed platelets to get her white cell count to rise and fight infection. The Denver Health Center is known for its trauma care and the doctors at YVMC said it was the best place she could be. Prior to creating this blog we were trying to disseminate information the old fashion way. Here is the e-mail Chris Spradlin sent:

Michele Update

I just spoke w/ River ( a close friend of the family ) as well as Steve (Michele’s husband ) and here is the latest…
·        She had fluid on her heart this morning so the docs decided to do surgery & they believe it went well and fixed the problem…they continue to monitor
·        They mentioned that Michele was about to have a tracheotomy within the hour
·        Steve mentioned there are 3 to 4 big things that she is fighting through right now…all of which on their own can be very challenging
·        Michele is not out of the woods yet, but they are seeing PROGRESS! 
·        Seems like each small surgery or battle is turning out positive

Please continue to pray!

Michele's Accident

On Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 Michele had been shopping in Craig and on the way home she was in a terrible car accident. The paramedics on the scene were instrumental in saving her life. Bryan Rickman one of the paramedics on the scene was instrumental in getting her out of the car and ironically has been a friend of Stevie D's for over 20 years. It was a miracle that she made it to the Yampa Valley Medical Center. The doctors there performed another miracle by stopping the majority of the internal bleeding. Once stabilized she was flight for lifed to the Denver Health Center. Steveie D. came down with River and Zach Wednesday night. Michele's sister Linda and her husband Sam arrived a few hours later from California.