Monday, December 28, 2009


Well, I didn't make it down to the hospital today, but not for a lack of trying. I made it two exits down the highway before I gave it up. Snow, don'tcha know. It actually wasn't so bad that I couldn't have eventually made it down, but getting back would have been hairy.

It was just as well. Jane had a pretty crappy day. Nothing dramatic, and the doctors still aren't overly concerned, but she's definitely feeling under the weather. The suspicion for the moment is that she's fighting a virus -- possibly a rhinovirus. And guess who has a cold? And has had it for almost a week? Listen, I've been washing and Purrelling my hands obsessively and wearing a mask every day, even before I was feeling cold-y because Sarah was sniffly, but still. Tom keeps sliding suspicious glances my way (kidding [mostly]).

So, Jane's been sleeping all day, like you do when you feel grody. She'll peek her eye open for a minute and then do the baby equivalent of ducking her head back under the sweaty covers.

Some technical details. Her oxygen was in the 70s and 80s all day -- obviously a big jump from the 40s and low 50s where she's been for weeks. Her CRP went up again (that would be the protein level, and I did ask Awesome Nurse Angela what it stood for: c-reactive protein, the level of which rises in response to inflammation), from 20-ish to 23.something. Her normal levels in the past have been under 5, except right after the trach surgery. But her blood gases have been good these last few days, better than they'd been the last two weeks or so. Weird.

SO. So, she obviously needs a little something to help her through this. Oxygen is part of it, and today's day attending authorized a 5-day steroid burst, and today's night attending bumped up two of the pressure settings on the vent and wrote up a new plan for dealing with this new development. Which is always a good thing. And she has primary nurses on tonight and tomorrow, so for the next 24 hours at least she'll have people on who know her well.

I have to give a shout out to Respiratory Therapist Fitzy (call name Top Gun), who earned the Awesome title today by fighting hard at Angela's side to get the doctors to take Jane's elevated oxygen needs seriously enough to make some changes. He's on again tomorrow, which makes me feel better. Continuity of care, people!

Damn it all. And I was hoping to help out with the trach change tomorrow, but no way, not if I'm going to be shoving germs down into her lungs.

They did tell us there were going to be bumps in the road. Figures they'd be right about that part.


Rachel said...

Poor sick girl and snowed in everyone else. I hope that she's back on a less bumpy part of the road soon!

artandsoul said...

Hugs, Tia. Bumpy, snowy, germy. Sounds like winter has truly come.

Hope you're feeling better soon. Ditto for Jane. Warm, snuggy, resting - that's my wish for you both.


annachorn said...

Hey Tia, Just catching up with the latest postings. So sorry, you've caught a cold of some sort. Surprised, however, you've managed to escape until now. With the stress and fatigue you've been dealing with, it's amazing you have any immune system left. Sometimes, this bumpy road sounds more like a volcanic mountain erupting. But, still, you admirably persevere and soldier on. And, Jane has proven to be every bit as much a fighter. Clearly comes by it naturally, from both you and Tom. I know you're all going to get through these myriad "bumps", and come out even stronger on the other end. I do continue to hope and pray that the new year offers much promise for all of you. Meantime, you should have a hot toddy (my Dad's colds being a favorite excuse for a little libation). Unfortunately, Jane's stuck with the steroids. Hopefully, they'll both work. Sending all of you our very best wishes for a bright and happy 2010 (Yikes, where do the years go?). Love, Ann