Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday January 9, 2009
I'm starting this blog so that all of the people who love Christy can keep track of her progress day by day... I'll try to highlight the information that we receive daily in simple terms. if you have questions I'll get back to you as soon as possible. My name is Gabby and I am married to Kaeo, Christy's brother. I work in an ICU at Straub hospital, so I'm trying to aid the family in understanding all of these overwhelming machines, labs, meds, tests, and procedures performed in the ICU. Hopefully this will help spread the news to everyone who cares about christy and wants to pray for her and send love her way!!
Today we received our first bit of wonderful news.... We have been worried about the possible injury to Christy's brain from lack of oxygen. When Christy suffered her accident, there was some time that she had no heart beat and was not breathing. She received a cooling treatment for 24 hours to decrease the metabolism of the brain and prevent further brain injury from swelling. Since weaning off the paralytic, sedative, and pain medication after the hypothermia treatment, Christy has received some tests. Christy had an EEG lasting the night of 1/8/09. An EEG is a test done to measure brain waves. Many electrodes are placed on the head and brain waves are recorded onto a computer. She was sedated and paralyzed to do this study. What we learned is that Christy has some normal sleep-wake cycles. Why this is so exciting is that this means that the cerebral cortex is at work. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that would be most susceptible for injury in an anoxic event. ( Anoxia is the lack of oxygen, and specifically here, we're talking lack of oxygen to the brain.) The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that we use for language, writing, memory, awareness, etc. So, the doctors want us to give her some time to try and wake up more. We are looking for her to move purposefully and open her eyes. We don't know how long it may take.
There were also some small parts of the cat scan that indicated injury to the cerebellum and Basal Ganglia. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance. The Basal Ganglia controls some other functions including speech. The injury was caused by some Thrombus or blood clots. These will eventually dissolve on their own, and the doctor does not want to place a blood thinner too strong in her body because of the risk of bleeding in the brain. Bleeding in the brain would be more injury than she currently has, so we're being cautious. So we just have to wait and see her improvement daily.
Another positive piece of info that we received today was that she had an evoked potential test done and did well. They stimulate a part in your wrist that goes to the spinal cord and then to the brain and back. They know that if you do not detect the stimulus reaching the brain on both sides, that you do not have a good chance for recovery. Christy passed on both sides, being that the stimulus could be detected in the brain on both sides. We were very pleased that all of the love and prayers have been working. Please keep sending love to her no matter where you are. Please keep thinking about Christy as we know her, full of life and spunk! She is a beautiful woman with an infectious smile!
I will update again tomorrow and add more information as we recieve it!