Friday, September 12, 2008

On the move

It was not a particularly restful night for Tina, but she continues to improve overall.  She has swelling in her head and neck which they tell us may not reach maximum for another day or two before it begins to subside.  The staples at the back of her head hurt if she puts too much weight on her pillow, so that along with the swelling has meant she has not been able to stay fully reclined.  Add to that being checked on every hour in the ICU (including the flashlight in the eyes test) and the result is fitful sleep.  At 5 AM she was awakened and told they needed her ICU bed for an incoming patient and she was going to be moved to a regular hospital floor.  There was a flurry of activity involved over the next couple of hours before she ended up in her new room.  It is not a private room, but for the moment does not have another patient in it.

Her morphine pump was not accessible for at least the first hour she spent in the new room, and as a result she reports it was the most uncomfortable period she has had since the surgery.  Her head is still hurting a lot.  The ICU nurses had been fulsome in their advice to stay on top of the pain because it can set up a feedback loop where the pain increases anxiety and blood pressure which causes more pain.  Let's hope she gets that tamped back down again soon.

Her spirits and appetite are good and she is talking easily despite being a bit tired.  Not any real sign of progress with the right arm, though she was able to use it effectively in eating by wedging the elbow into a pillow ... she has motion and control in the elbow and wrist, but the shoulder is not working well yet.

I saw the CAT scans last night that were taken yesterday morning.  They show both a good bit of swelling outside the skull and gas pockets inside.  Overall, though, the surgeon is satisfied with the progress.  He told Tina this morning that she conceivably could be released later today, but he would not recommend trying to go home before tomorrow.  All this is predicated on continuing progress, of course.

Again many thanks to all who have kept vigil here and for the many kind comments.  Tina is continuing to get pleasure and support from you all!


  1. Michael, that's good news. Thanks, once again, for the updates. I really appreciate being able to come here and find out how my friend and her family are. I'm sure that Tina's uncomfortable and it's hard to keep being thankful for the big picture when the details are so annoying and distressing. Hang in there Tina!! Keep ahead of the pain like they tell you. And Michael, Kearney and Shea, take care of yourselves too! Lisa

  2. Tina, we're so glad that this invader is out of your head and that you're experiencing daily improvement. Once this post-op stuff is past, we hope that you go straight to the rapid healing part. All positve thoughts to you, kiddo. And to you,too, Michael and the rest of the family.
    Renee and Michael

  3. Alot of good news in this post, although it hurts to read that she hurts.

    I know she will be so much more comfortable when she can be home and in control of her environment, but don't let the bureaucracy rush the process past your comfort level. That is the most important lesson we learned from Brian's MRSA episode: you can control the discharge process. If you feel pushed, speak up. The other lesson we learned, btw, is that the patient getting good night's rest is really not a priority. That's always seemed odd to me because of the data on the effect of sleep deprivation on the immune system. A very confusing approach, even in the best of hospital care situations.

    Know that we are all waiting with baited breath for the next update and wishing with all of our hearts that it be good news.

    I certainly hope the healing properties of chocolate are being utilized to full advantage.

    Our love to you.