Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hey all! Today is a good day! Christy worked with physical therapy and sat up in the chair position today. It was her very first time, so she only sat up for a short time. She is dependent on the physical therapist to do the moving, but she's getting exercise. They were going to sit her up again but they didn't want to overwork her. She's been extremely active on her own- much more than yesterday. She is swinging he arms around and over her head with fists. She is kicking her legs up and the right side much more than the left. She arches her back and arms go over her head! The left sided leg being weaker isn't really a surprise when we remember that she had left sided weakness from the blood clots in the brain.... But no seizures TODAY! She's moving so much, the nurses had to pad the side rails so she doesn't hurt herself. She's even getting her hands around the feeding tube... not grabbing it purposefully, but moving so much around it, sometimes she accidentally gets tangled with it. She is receiving pain medication as she needs it intermittently. Her shoulder and ribs are probably hurting her with all of the crazy movement. Since she isn't having seizures, she doesn't need Ativan just to calm her. Pain medication is the better treatment for comfort. Her brain Doctor, Dr. Mayer is calling her violent movements spinal reflexes. Anything called reflexes is not sounding good these days, but there is a difference with these. The exciting thing about her having spinal reflexes is that the brain is trying to send messages and it's getting to the spinal cord, but not quite coordinated in the limbs yet. AND... the doctor sees this as Christy COMING OUT OF HER UNCONSCIOUSNESS, MEANING SHE IS COMING OUT OF HER COMA STATE!!!!!! I'm so excited to be hearing that she's waking up a little!! It's just the beginning, but we're so excited. The medical way to say she is coming out of her unconsciousness is that she is "getting lighter". So if you're going to audition for a neurologist or neuro-nurse on "House", you can say.... "hmmmm, the patient is getting lighter". hee hee! The other thing that the doctor mentioned is that these crazy movements are going to get bigger and worse before they get better... so beware!! Don't get punched in the face while visiting! The doctor actually warned about getting punched! Christy is so strong! The doctor is still monitoring the tiny twitch in Christy's lip and cheek. Without seeing her, it sounds different..... keep you posted.
Christy can also hold her head in the middle and sleeps with it in that position. All the way up to this point, she has been favoring looking towards the right side heavily. People often neglect one side when they have a stroke. One of the ICU nurses mentioned that people tend to favor looking in the direction of the injured side of the brain. And she did have more little stroke-like areas on the right side. (Remember we talked about the emboli and ischemic areas in the brain from blood clots at the very beginning? there were more on the right than left.) So it's so good hear these things!
They also took her cervical collar off! If you have seen Christy, she had to have a grey collar around her neck that was kept in place because they weren't sure if she had any cervical injury. Remember the picture of the spine. The cervical part is near the neck. It has much less vertebrae in the cervical set, then the thoracic set. I'll re-post the pic for you! For some reason, the picture will not come down here, so you unfortunately have to scroll up to see it.
They also did a breathing trial on her today. They capped the trach off, so she could try and breathe through her nose and mouth! They just close the hole in the throat so she breathes normally! Because Christy did well, they decreased the size of her trach to a size 6 (smaller than previous size). They are letting her breathe with this new size trach for now in hope of closing the trach completely! I'll keep you posted the progress with the trach. I'm not sure how long it will take. It will probably depend on how fast she regains consciousness.

The PEG is tentatively being scheduled for Monday. There was no room on the schedule today, so they plan to do it after the weekend. I will also keep you posted on that.
My mom did healing touch on Christy today for about 40 min. Usually Christy is able to relax and even sleep during the treatments. Today, with her big activity, she would only calm & relax for about 10 minutes. She's still taking the energy in, and has been using it to heal herself... Today we are seeing only what we all already knew. Christy is one tough Portagee and she's fighting her way back to health full force!
Please keep the prayers and love coming, pretty please.... this is the start of a long recovery. A recovery that could not be done without the outpouring of love and support for Christy and for the entire Ohana! We are so grateful for all the constant love and prayer felt in all our hearts. Chris' rehab is starting and we're only expecting more of Christy as the days go on. There will be days that are hard, but there will be days that she will progress. We are so very very thankful for such an incredible day!


  1. Thanks Gabby. I'm so happy to read all of this. Way to go Christy! You can do it. I want to come back to HI and see that you are up and yelling at the nurses (in a nice way :)) to get you up and out of bed so you can play with your kids.

    Love you, Cathi

  2. Hi Gabby,

    Such great news!!! I'm sure everyone is stoked that Chris is proving how strong she really strong we all knew she was. We will never stop loving Chris and will always, always have her and all her wonderful family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

    It's sad under these circumstances but watching how much love and concern everyone has in their hearts for her is a lesson in itself. AGAIN, even without her knowing it, Chris is teaching all of us what genuine goodness and love is all about. Can't wait for her to come back to all of us!

    Thank you again for keeping us informed on Chris' progress. Even being three thousand miles away, you're on it! A billion hugs to ya, and thank you soooo much for such AWESOME news!!!

    Much love to all...hugs to Don and the family,

    Charla and Wyatt