Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday March 14, 2009

I got some pictures and some dialogue from Alan about the last few days with Christy, I'll let him explain in his own words what went on:

"The first one is from the Boston Market feast that Christy, Luis and I shared Thursday night.  Christy had rotisserie chicken, macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy AND the best damned sweet potatoes ever!  She finished her meal by whacking a whole small container of Haagen Daas coffee ice cream.  Donald had a much deserved break and went to dinner with his friend's parents who live in
 Englewood (Craig is in Englewood, Denver).  They also took him for a brief tour of downtown.  When he told us about it, Christy said that she wanted to see downtown too!  We assured her that she could and that it would be sooner if she works hard. I can't remember what she called us in response, but it was probably, "A**holes!"

The second picture is of PT/OT/RN Donald Huddy practicing some visual recognition exercises with Christy.  He held up a bunch of objects to see if she could recognize them and if she couldn't he had her hold them to try to recognize them by touch.  She had  hard time recognizing them (it was right before her surgery to place the chest
 tube, so I think she was a little anxious and distracted).  She couldn't recognize the pair of shades she was holding by touch, but when Donald asked her to describe a pair of shades, she could do it exactly.  It was a neat example of how her brain needs to be retrained, but that the foundation is there.

The third picture is from last night. (Friday night).  Christy had just woken up when Luis and I arrived.  We brought Donald dinner and Christy was a little out of it, but still talking a lot.  Podagee!  Christy complained frequently about the pain near the chest tube and all over her legs.  Donald massaged her legs while I rubbed lotion into her feet and gave her a foot massage.  She kind of looks like she's in pain, but she said that it felt good :)  She had some nausea, so the nurse, Marge wanted to give her medicine to settle her stomach  before giving the Motrin.  Because Christy had to wait the fifteen minutes after getting the first medicine, we told her to focus on the massage treatment that  Don and I were giving her.  It seemed to work and before long, Marge was back with the Motrin.  After that, Christy started to fall asleep and it was time for Luis and I to call it a night."

Today is Saturday and there isn't any scheduled therapy for today.  Don still manages to get some in to get Christy on track.  Today Christy's hip range of motion was around 45 degrees. Stretching and getting the muscles loose is our #1 priority right now.   Plus with the chest tube, Christy should just rest for a few days.  Christy's #1 issue is still the discomfort from the Chest tube.  Christy can't even eat well.  Chest tubes are always uncomfortable.  In addition the area that the chest tube has to go through is the rib cage area.  I've had patients in more pain with incisions on or near the ribs than open heart patients who have had their sternum sawed open.  The first and only other chest tube that was placed in Christy (at Queens) was under her arm pit.  The current chest tube sounds like it's still in the left lung but it's higher and more toward
 the chest area.  It was hooked to suction yesterday and they placed it on water seal today.  No more suction.  There is water in the pleuralvac (container collecting the drainage from around the lung- picture on right side).  The water seal is to protect Christy from getting any atmospheric air into her chest.  The water actually seals the pressure in and doesn't allow water to get into the system.  The nurse practitioner (between a doctor and a nurse) checked the x-ray today and all looks well. Christy's oxygen saturation is about 97% (out of a 100%) with two liters of oxygen per hour going through her nasal cannula.  The staff at Craig reminded us that Denver is the city a mile from sea level.  There is naturally less oxygen in the air at this height.    We hope that the next x-ray shows the lung completely up and healing.  This way they can take out the chest tube tomorrow.  We'll see!

Christy's speech is clearer.... it's been more and more clear everyday.   

Christy is using the right hand more and more as well.  Christy's right wrist (weak one) was bending up into a claw-like position to get it going today.  She is having more fine motor movement and coordination with the right arm & hand!  

Christy still doesn't have a roommate yet, Yay!  Don slept with Chris last night and tonight just so Christy is comfortable and sleeping.  The Chest tube can be so uncomfortable.  Christy is getting Lor-Tab, Motrin, and massage to treat her discomfort.  Let's pray that the lung can heal and re-expand.  We can pray for Christy to be comfortable and relaxed.  Tomorrow is their last day of the weekend.  Christy and Donald are just kicking back and talking stories!

Talk with you tomorrow!

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