Hi, everyone,

We had a bit of a scare today when Lea began experiencing fluctuating blood pressure following her surgery yesterday, and the over night nurse said that her kidneys had reduced their output by 50% from the previous day’s volume. After giving her more IV fluid to increase her overall volume, her oxygen saturation increased to a better level, and the nurse felt she was stable.

When Lea appeared to be stable again, the nurse resumed the planned treatment for the day, which was to take off 25cc of fluid per hour, and to try reducing her sedation to see how she would tolerate being a little closer to consciousness. Things were looking pretty good a couple of hours into the process, when time rolled around to “turn” or reposition her. This usually involves moving her up toward the head of the bed, and then rolling her a little to the opposite side, and then propping up various limbs to prevent bed sores, etc.

As they moved Lea up toward the head of the bed, she became quite alert, and when they began to roll her to her side, she became very agitated. She bit down on her ventilator tube and began breathing as though in a panic, stiffened up, causing a problem with the dialysis tubing to her port, her blood pressure dropped alarmingly, and her pulse accelerated wildly.

It was necessary to give her very quick doses of sedative to keep her from causing additional injury. It took Nick, the nurse, over an hour to get her quieted and cleaned up again, and had to restring her dialysis machine with new tubing. Even though sedated, she remained quite agitated throughout the day, and still partially opened her eyesand stiffened her body, as though startled, when touched. By late evening she was finally letting me touch her, as long as I told her ahead of time that I was going to touch her.

Michelle, the night nurse, was able to get her more comfortable by giving her a heavier dose of sedative. Michelle said that she wanted to make sure that Lea wasn’t sensing any pain as she was being cleaned up and prepared for tomorrow’s (Friday) surgery, in which Lea will have her abdomen inspected and irrigated, and any damaged areas of the pancreas removed. She will also receive the tracheotomy tomorrow. Please keep her in your prayers.

Thank you for your warm thoughtful comments and recollections you have sent along. I enjoy reading them to Lea, and the nurses love reading through the binder I put them in to learn more about this wonderful woman they are caring for.

By the way, it appears that Joe will be flying to Indiana Monday or Tuesday of next week, if he continues to do well this weekend. The doctors in Indiana wanted him to be on blood thinners for a couple of days before the flight, so if anything went wrong in transit they would have a head start in treating him.

God’s blessings,
Larry

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