Houston Methodist – Day 18 & 19: Getting Better

Anya’s improving daily.  She was sitting up in a chair for about 4-5 hours yesterday with only the trach collar at 40% oxygen.  Ideally, we’d like to see Anya off the ventilator completely, but that may not happen due to her high CO2 retention levels.  If we can limit the ventilator to just night use, then I think that’ll be a win.

The swelling has gone down tremendously.  Her face is almost back to normal.  There’s still a little bit of swelling around the neck, torso, and arms.  I think another day or two and she’ll be back to her normal size.

She still has two chest tubes in her.  The doctor told me that he clamped them this morning, so if there’s no more swelling over the next 24 hours, then they’re going to remove both of them tomorrow.

Also, the doctors are waiting for the results of her sputum cultures from yesterday.  If they feel like the fungal and bacterial infections are under control, then they are going to move her over to Kindred Hospital.  This will most likely happen tomorrow or Thursday.

For the most part, she is doing well.  The doctor is saying that she lost about 10% of her left lung function due to the pneumothorax.  That percentage might be slightly better now because of the second chest tube.  The subcutaneous emphysema is under control.  They are feeding her roughly 1620 calories per day via the J-tube, so I think her weight is, at least, maintaining.  She is slowly starting regain her strength.  Also, there hasn’t been much green stuff coming up from her sputum, which means that the infection is hopefully under control.

Realistically, I think if she gains about 5-6 pounds in 2.5 months, and gains enough strength to walk 100-200ft on her own, then I think they will list her.  Depending on when they started the clock, we’re looking at some time around December 1st.  For now, we’re going to concentrate on the mini-goals.  First things first, let’s get the chest tubes out and get her moved over to Kindred Hospital to start rehab.

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