Vivian's ventilator (center). On the left is a machine that hooks up to a vest wrapped around Vivian's chest and shakes her for 15 minutes, eight times a day. "The Vest" (how's that for a creative brand name) supposedly knocks the gunk off the walls of Vivian's lungs and makes it easier to suction out. Robert compares it to the fat jiggling machines from the 50's
Although I did not have the quiet interlude by Vivian's bed that I was hoping for, today was a very good day for Vivian.
We had a scary episode this morning when Vivian's blood pressure numbers plummeted and a cadre of three nurses and Dr. Matson materialized out of nowhere and began scurrying around attending to Vivian while Robert and I sat agape in our tiny crowded corner of the room. Most likely Vivian's arterial line that gives a constant measure of her blood pressure became kinked or clotted and was thus providing false pressures because Vivian's blood pressure numbers returned to normal quickly when they adjusted and flushed the line. They will monitor Vivian's blood pressure closely just to be sure this was indeed the case. We also experienced multiple episodes today where Vivian started to wake up and thrash and pull at her myriad tubes and wires. Robert and I helped restrain Vivian while the nurse administered more of a Valium-type medicine to little avail (shades of last Friday). We finally were successful in quieting her down, and I think the ICU staff realized the necessity of keeping Vivian sedated until she is off the ventilator. On the bright side we were glad to see Vivian's spunk and determination peeking through her swollen little body. Robert and I are counting on that spirit of hers to help pull her through this.
Several causes for praise today! We had a very positive meeting with Dr. Matson this afternoon. He showed us Vivian's latest chest x-ray that, in his words, showed "material improvement." In the past twenty-four hours, Vivian's fluid input versus output was negative two-and-one-half liters. That is wonderful news and is very obviously having a positive effect on Vivian's lungs. Yesterday Vivian was showing signs of a yeast infection, a common side effect for someone taking antibiotics, but a very undesirable situation for a patient with pneumonia as the yeast can spread to the fluid in the lungs and cause a host of problems. Today, however, Vivian's lab results showed no trace of yeast. Hooray! Vivian's CPK numbers continued to drop, and her hemoglobin was improved if not yet optimal following yesterday's transfusion. All in all, a banner day for our sweet girl.
We are thankful for Vivian's progress and for God's provision for our family during this crisis. Dorothy (Dots) happily spent the day shopping at NorthPark with her grandmother. Will is working as a counselor in the Summer Splash day camp program at our church, and we are glad that in addition to keeping him busy during the day, his job wears him out and lets him sleep well at night.
Thank you again for your continued prayers for our family. Please know that I read and cherish each and every note, comment and email that you send, even if I am not able to respond individually. Robert and I thank God for the presence of each of you in our lives.
"Jesus said to him, 'Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.'" Luke 8:50
Married for 27 years to Robert, three kids: Will (23), Vivian (20) and Dots (17) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born, currently tutoring math ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, traveling, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, keeping up with old friends ~~~ happy to correspond with other parents about raising a child with special needs
I unintentionally contaminated all of the pictures on my blog when I changed my privacy settings on Flickr. I am working backwards to correct them all, but it is quite a tedious procedure! If you encounter a post with error messages from Flickr where the pictures should be, then I haven't gotten to that post yet. Please let me know and I will update it immediately. Thanks for your patience!