Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So, I attempted to go back to work today after being at the hospital every day with Christy, and it was hard.  I was constantly thinking of Christy the whole day, distracted and anxious to see her. My co-workers made it possible for me to leave early... thank you to them.  
When Kaeo and I got to the hospital, Christy cooled my anxiousness.  We waited outside her room while the nurse and Respiratory Therapist re-taped her Endotracheal tube.  The Respiratory therapist is the person responsible for managing her Ventilator (breathing machine).  They come and monitor how many breaths she's taking, how big of breaths she's taking, and make any necessary changes to the settings.  They watch, with the nurse, to see if she's getting enough oxygen carried on her red blood cells to deliver oxygen to every part of the body.  Christy wears a sicker on her fingernail that has a red light-- makes her look a little like E.T.  It measures "oxygen saturation".  That means it measures how full of oxygen each red blood cell is.  It's like a ride. The red blood cell has 10 seats.  If all are filled, the oxygen saturation is 100%. Christy has always had a good oxygen saturation 95% or better.  Luckily, even with a damaged lung Christy hasn't needed a lot of oxygen to maintain a good oxygen saturation.  (Remember Christy needed a chest tube to reinflate the collapsed left lung and drain blood & air from around the lung) Look at the picture at the top of the page to see a chest tube. But Christy's already overcome that challenge- remember, she has her chest tube out already!  So back to the "re-taping" of the Endotracheal tube.  The endotracheal tube or ETT is inserted in the mouth and passes through the vocal cords to the spot right above the where the lungs split.  It is how the machine breaths for Christy and delivers oxygen.  It needs to be moved from the right side of the mouth to the left, so it doesn't cause any injury to her pretty little lips! Watch out Angelina Jolie!  

While we waited for them to finish, Dr. MiHae Yu came to talk with us.  Dr. Yu is one of Christy's main doctors.  The petite woman is small but MIGHTY. Dr Yu's specialty is Critical Care Surgery & General Surgery, she's also a professor at UH medical school.  She is the reason for much of Queen's ICU advanced research and cutting edge treatments. Christy had a blood volume analyzer treament in earlier days to determine what kind of fluids she needed.  Would it be blood, so she gets enough oxygen to her organs? Should it just be fluid (like water for the body)?  It's hard for doctors to tell sometimes when patients need blood verses needing fluids or needing no fluid/blood at all.  In Christy's case, they found out that even though they thought she may need some volume, she really needed to pee out more fluid.  So she recieved a drug called lasix to make her kidneys release more fluid from the body.  Having too much fluid in the body can fill the lungs with fluids and make it hard to breathe and oxygenate.  Hope that wasn't too boring, but the point was that she's getting cutting edge treatments to avoid more complications. It's exciting for me to hear about these different NEW treatments being in the field.  It's mostly comforting to know that the doctor in charge of Christy's care has a big big brain and that she is doing everything she can to get Christy healthy! WE ARE SO SO HAPPY THAT DR. YU IS TAKING CARE OF CHRISTY!  To top it all,  Dr. Yu has a great bedside manner and it's easy to like her personable, friendly personality.  

So back to the story I've been trying to tell all blog...... Once Kaeo and I were in visiting Chris, we were able to talk story with her and each hold a hand.  So much of her swelling has gone away, and she looks so good. The nurses do a killer job a french braiding her hair.  Today it was a single french braid instead of a double.  After all of the stimulation of re-taping her ETT, we were able to talk to her while she had her eyes open.  She was blinking her pretty eyes, and it was like she was listening.  The doctors say that Christy's eye opening is only associated with big stimulus (like turning positions in bed, painful stimuli, and her coughing and while suctioning her).  This kind of eye opening, they think is a reflex.  We are still waiting for Christy to turn to us and look right at us, & give the doctors the finger, but for now, it felt so good to be with her, hold her hand and talk to her with her eyes open.  The recorded voices of Kainalu and Dylan reading her a book was playing in the background, and we know she can hear them. Christy was calm... no coughing, no flexing her extremities, and no big elevation in heart rate or blood pressure.  We told her how many people were rooting for her and praying hard for her to get well soon.  We explained how much she's really touched people's lives and we wish she could see the amount of visitors she's had- superstar status, man!  We finally told her about this blog, and how many people read and wait to see how she's doing. We told her how blessed we have felt to have her in our lives, and we can't wait to laugh and rip on each other again!

Thank you for the pictures that everyone's sending. I'll try to get those in the slideshow tonight.  I have to be at work again tomorrow, so we'll see.  I'm so tired I could barf....  I won't miss a day of blogging for you guys, though. No worries.


  1. Gabby, thank you again for keeping us all informed of Christy's PROGRESS. I know Lisa said that they pull it up several times a day to check on what's new. How true it is...more than several times a day!!! We're so eager as i'm sure everyone is waiting for your news that Chris is awake and asking for her kids. I know it'll happen...it's just a matter of time. You are all in our thoughts and prayers constantly, although we many not be there physically with you all, our hearts and prayers are. You all are amazing....your love for each other has reminded us not to take anything for granted, and to cherish every second we have with each other.

    Thank you again for everything...much love to all.

    Charla and Wyatt

  2. Hey Gabby,

    You are so awesome, this is really great! Thanks for keeping us informed on Christy's daily progress. We are all praying for her recovery and for the Huddy & Gouveia family. Take care god bless everyone and hang in there!!! If there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to call.

    Lena & Mahoe & Laboy Family

  3. Gabby ~ Thank you for taking the time and energy to keep us informed and updated. We know that it cannot be easy being at the hospital and working practically all day long then coming home to write up such a detailed description of her procedures and treatments. We appreciate it as many of us would not want to bother the family just to find out how she is doing. Christy and family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~ Teri Fukuhara and Geoff Chang (part of her Hawaiian Air ohana)

  4. Gabby,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to update us on Christy's progress, explaining her progress in detail so we can understand what's happening, and creating the slide show. Uncle John and I know what a difficult time this must be for you, Kaeo, the Huddy family, and the Gouveia family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    All our love,
    Uncle John and Auntie Chris

  5. Aloha just read your story as i was searching Info on my hero Dr Mihea Yu.Hope everyone is ok and have to say she is the world's Best!