Each day now, Nancy shows considerable improvement.  Her voice is stronger and she can write better.  An occupational therapist got the bed into the shape of an overstuffed chair and had Nancy moving her arms and doing finger exercises, all the time asking questions.  Nancy did well on most of this.

A couple of doctors and a nurse visited and explained what they call ICU-ites.  It happens that when one spends time deeply sedated and in the intensive activity of a unit with things beeping and then someone will yell ‘code blue’ and all h— breaks out in the next room – – – one does not sleep well.  They seem to be sleeping soundly but they never go into deep sleep (REM sleep) and this means their brain isn’t getting the rest and relaxation it needs.  After several full days of this one can get a little disoriented.

They hope to move Nancy to the more restful level of care (the ACU, or acute care unit) on the fourth floor on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Today she wanted her cell phone and laptop.  The nurse and I convinced her she could not have them in the ICU.  Her voice isn’t back strong enough to talk on the phone and her arms and hands are a bit weak so she would just be upset if she had the computer.  I did not even ask if they had a hookup to the internet in there.

Her lungs still have a tiny bit of a rattle but that is lessening daily.  She was hungry and eating Jello and drinking water and orange juice.

That’s all for now.


Sunday about 5:30 PM

I called the ICU early today and then waited until this afternoon to go down to Yakima.  Nancy is holding her own without the ventilator. Because of the long time with the tubes in, her voice was very weak and we (nurse and I) tried to talk in a manner that she could nod and not have to speak.  She also tried writing on a clipboard but weakness, attached tubes, and such made much of it hard to read.

The nurse had no luck with the notes Nancy tried to write but I could make out a few words and then guessed at the rest — Nancy would agree or disagree and I would try again.  We made some progress.

She was hungry and finally we got printed “Is food not part of the service here?”  She had been well fed with a brownish liquid via a drip line and that’s probably not going to leave you full when it is taken away.  Because of the sore throat we just got her some jello and orange juice.

We played — or attempted to play — a little verbal trick on her. We have a dog named Shay and I asked if she remembered Shay.  The nurse quickly said “Is that your cat?”  With no hesitation, Nancy let her know that Shay wasn’t a cat.

She insisted on keeping the paper and pencil with her even though the folks there can’t make as much sense of  her attempts at writing as I can.

Her nurse thought Nancy was improving by the hour and by Monday AM would be still better.  I will go back early with some of her favorite yogurt as that flavor isn’t usually available.  I can also help with the communications.

More Monday evening.

Saturday afternoon

There is not much to report at the moment.

As of noon the ventilator was set on its

lowest setting and either later today or

Sunday the idea is to see if she can go it

alone.  If not it will be restarted and

they wait some more.

As I understand this, when her pulmonary

function deteriorated last Saturday there

was some damage to organs which now have

to heal, which is occurring slowly.

As her sedation has been reduced a bit

she has responded to those about her,

but any neurological issues are yet to be

determined.  First the ventilator has to go.

So no news there.

Liver enzymes levels, which in her case

seem to be relevant*, are continuing to

come down – suggesting in-progress healing.

I did not get numbers today but a couple of

days ago they were reduced by 30% from the

day before.  (*may not be in some other

sorts of liver issues)

On the home front I had to replace the

heater in the horse trough (expecting very

cold for a few days here).  And I am

working with the youngest of the dogs

trying to get her to go in and out via

a ‘doggy’ window.  The two oldest are

fine with this from previous experience

but this one thinks I’m nuts for asking.

Friday afternoon 12/4/2009

I visited Nancy mid-day today and she was less sedated

and able to respond – open eyes, squeeze my hand and

such.  Still not off the ventilator. 

I just got home so that is it for now.  I’ll work on this

tonight and add material. John

Comments are off for now.  Thanks.