It's been about seven hours since the last update and we're seen a lot happen, mostly for the good.
Today's struggle was getting the pain under control and I'm feeling good about it now. It's only 1am however and I hope to still be positive about it in the next update.
We were obviously excited to come off the vent but she had a few downs in there. The doctor prescribed 1mg of Dilaudid every 4 hours which we felt was too far strung out. At the two hour mark we were correct and they worked hard to get her pain back under control. She had a few choice words for just about everyone in the room and her nurse handled it very well.
They've been asking questions along the lines of her name and the current year and she's improved each time they've asked. She could experience amnesia-like symptoms from the Propofil (for the ventilator). It'd be good if she didn't quite remember all of that. If she does remember I'll just tell her Heather did it and not me.
We were able to get an MRI completed at 10pm. She was close to still be needed some Valuim and half her dose of Dilaudid. Her nurse is now giving her half of her two hour dose to start and the other half at the 1 hour mark. This way she can level it out and still give her a full dose every 2 hours. I love that woman.
We're expecting the the MRI to be somewhat inconclusive since it's very soon after surgery as I mentioned before. The Radiologist will probably highlight a lot of "could be's" since it will be hard to tell. They mainly want to see how it's looking post-surgery and compare to earlier scans.
At 12:30am I talked to Neuro about the possibility of the infection going to her brain. Heather raised this as a possibility and we wanted to get an opinion on it. Mom has been complaining about pain in her head since coming off the vent so getting confirmation was important. Candace (who knows Heather and talked to her the night before) talked with me and put my mind at ease. We would see many more serious symptoms if that were the case and they have already been keeping an eye on her for it. Dr. Wack is her Infectious Diseases doctor and from what everyone says, likely the best in the country. Candace told me that if it were here mom here, Dr. Wack would be her only choice for Infectious Disease.
They'd doing a culture on the fluid they removed from mom's spine. They're seen results already but need to grow it for around 72 hours before they'll have a really good idea. That will tell us exactly what it is so we can treat it better. We've been treating the symptom but haven't been effective at treating the cause as of yet.
After the MRI I was able to feed mom her first food: JELL-O. She chose red, her favorite color. She's also been drinking water as well as Sprite. Her previous intestinal blockage (Ileus) is still a concern but her nurse said she's been passing gas so they got the go-ahead to give it a try. She knows applesauce is next if she finishes her JELL-O. She's not moving around and has a lot of meds so they're watching this very closely. She's also been taking stool softeners for about 48 hours now.
Dilaudid for pain. Administered manually; half a dose to start and the other half about 1 hour later. That equals a full dose every 2 hours, per doctor's orders.
Oxycodone for pain. Taking this in pill form.
Percocet also for pain and taking pills. Pills take longer to work since they're not administered through an IV but last longer than the IV.
Valium can be given every 6 hours, mainly as a muscle relaxer. They cut through muscled in her back to reach her spine.
Toradol for pain and inflammation. It's like a high-strength ibuprofen.
Fentanyl for pain. It's a patch she can get every 3 days
Nafcillin for antibiotics.
I'll get another update out after morning rounds. She'll have a number of doctors coming around from Neuro, ID, etc. and they'll have updates on things have happened yesterday and overnight like her MRI results.