Friday, December 10, 2010

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.

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