Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Another amazing day for Christy! Her big accomplishment today for rehabbing her body was sitting in the cardiac chair! This was her very first day sitting in the chair. It's a chair that has wheels, can flatten out in a gurney position, and unfold into a chair. You use a crank to separate the pad of the chair from the metal base when it is in the gurney position, and slide it onto the bed. We turn Christy on her side to slip the bad under her and then return her to her back (onto the chair pad), then crank the pad back to the base of the chair with Chrsity on it-- all in a lying position. Then seat belts secure Christy's position in the chair. At this point it's time to sit the head up and allow the legs to drop down to create a chair position. There are side rails at the top and sides for safety that go up on both sides. I couldn't find the exact chair, so this blue one is the best picture of a similar model. There are three illustrations in one picture. The top illustration shows the bed in a gurney position, the middle shows it converting to a chair position and the lower right shows it converted!
This black and white picture is another illustration of a chair similar to the cardiac chair that Christy sits in. This picture is trying to show the extension part that goes to the bed, maybe. The thing is that the entire chair pad (shown with the head rest on it) slides over. The Head pad is adjustable and is attached beneath the head portion of the chair with Velcro. This type of chair allows Christy to get the benefits of rehab in the chair without having to bear weight on her legs or get out of bed to get to the chair. It's better than sitting up in the bed because the feet go down as if sitting in a real chair. Christy has basically been stuck in her bed for 36 days. Just sitting exercises her heart and body. When we are in a sitting position, it takes more effort from the heart to pump the blood to the brain and the body. It's working against gravity.
Once Christy has a good rest, she is very alert afterwards. She was sleeping in the earlier part of today, and woke up able to nod her head yes and no to questions. The biggest, coolest thing she did today were purposeful things with her hands! Lehua was her nurse again today. She was walking by when Christy was sitting up in the chair and said "Hi Christy! Can you wave to me?" and Christy picked up her hand and waved!!! Holy cow! Keli'i was with her while she was in the chair. It was hard work for Christy to hold her head up well while upright. An annoying piece of her hair kept falling in her face. Keli'i, like a sweet brother, kept moving the hair behind her ear for her- over and over again. Then Keli'i got distracted playing with the kids, and her hair fell in her face again. Christy brought up her own hand up and moved the hair out of her face!!! It was so exciting. Every day, Christy does something more that wows us all. Thank God for little blessings. Christy was in the chair for a while, and lehua asked if she was done sitting in the chair- Christy shook her head "No". Lehua asked if she wanted to stay in the chair longer, and she nodded "yes". So on Christy's very first day in the chair she spent FIVE hours sitting up! What a tough Portagee!!
Christy is still coughing up mucus from her trach. She is still needing somewhat frequent suctioning from her trach. Christy isn't trying to mouth words yet, so it is really is too soon to discuss closing the trach or changing it to the speaking valve. The speaking valve would allow Christy to breathe in the trach hole (stoma), but exhale through her mouth & talk if she wants to. We'll have to see what the Lung doctor wants to do. The two things done so far were the downsizing of the trach to a size 6, and weaning her off oxygen. We'll take it one day at a time.
Forgot to tell you yesterday that she got her casts off. Today she had one softer cast-like boot on her left foot that will keep her feet from foot drop (the bad type of flexion we talked about in a previous blog). Foot drop would prevent Christy from walking. They would probably have to go to surgery to fix it if it happened. Anyway, Chrsity has the boot on the left leg, and no boot on her right leg. The boot has Velcro straps to keep it in place. The right leg was kicking up a storm still.
When my mom came to give healing touch today, Christy was pulling the energy into her full force! So much that when my mom was done, she was a little sweaty from the activity!! crazy huh? Christy is using all that energy to heal herself!
When we left tonight, Christy had fallen asleep. She started by finding a cozy spot in the covers, and brought her arms up to her face like normal (see illustration of sleeping guy).
She was sleeping in this same position except with her legs bent up more. Also the head of her bed was raised about 30 degrees. She's starting to do more and more things in her normal Christy way and we get excited watching!! Christy gets worn out from all the activity and I think it's too hard for her to concentrate all day long & always be responsive. She keeps her eyes open and looks for people and listens to voices, but nodding all day or purposefully doing things to command is too demanding. She is staying actively interactive for longer periods of time each day and that's so wonderful. We can not ask for more! She is trying so hard to do more each day and we love any little bit we can observe.
Please keep praying with us--those prayers are working! Every day we're getting a little more of our Christy back. We are so incredibly thankful!