Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Made It!!!

To all of my friends and family! Thank you so much for all of your love, thoughts and prayers! This has been a very long and difficult journey! I want you all to know how much I appreciate all you have done! Im at home now. Thank the lord! Please have a safe and happy holiday!! Chow! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Closer to Home!!

Finally!  Machel is in South Ogden at the Pine View Transitional Rehab Center.  It is beautiful facility.  The lobby has a giant fireplace and is cozy.  The staff has been incredible.  Her room is really nice, it doesn’t have that hospital feel and she likes that.  She has been there just over a month.  She had a few rough weeks after the move but seems to be doing much better.  She is working hard at physical therapy and spends 2-3 hours each day.  They have been working on her right hand and legs to help get her range of motion and strength back.  Her hand is doing great and is almost good as new.  Her pain levels are also getting better every day.  About the only pain she has is in her left knee.  They have her up walking using a walker.  She gets worn out quickly but is a trooper.  She can get herself in and out of bed and the shower.  She can put on her makeup and style her hair.  She has some awesome therapists helping her!  Just in the last week you can really see a big difference.  She is amazing and is very determined.  I think she will surprise us all!  She is VERY ready to go home and….hopefully we will have her home by the end of the month!   

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moving Forward….

Well some great things have happened down at the “U” since our last post.  Machel hasn’t needed dialysis and they have removed the port.  She has been eating and drinking and feeling so much better.  Monday they took the cast off of her right hand and she has a new splint.  She has started therapy to get it moving.  Thursday they removed the X-brace from her pelvis and the blood vessel filter. The Ortho Docs have taken several CT scans and X-rays. And everything looks great.  They have given her the green light to start physical therapy.  On Saturday, they helped her STAND up for the first time in 8 weeks!  She was able to stand for about a minute.  She also was able to sit up in her bed. 
They are planning on moving her to a rehab facility sometime this week.  They need to evaluate where she can be taken care of best, there are a few to choose from.  This decision will be based on what type of nursing level she will need and how much physical therapy she will be able to participate in.  But all of these choices will be closer to home….YEAH!!  Moving has been very scary so far so PRAY for her!

There have been some sweet comments and also some great questions asked in your comments so here are some answers…
How are her spirits?
Her spirits are as well as can be expected.  She has good and bad days.  She seems strong but she is still in such a state of disbelief, shock, and mourning.
Is she all over the map emotionally? More and more every day, as she gets better she becomes more aware of everything that has happened.  She does not remember the accident or any of the details.  She has a really hard time hearing about all that she has been through.  She is also realizing everything she still has to face. 
Is she exhausted? YES!  Her body is working so hard to heal itself, she is exhausted most of the day.  Therapy is extremely hard and she is completely worn out after just a few minutes.  The doctors have told her it will take baby steps to build up her strength.
Does she enjoy company, or would she rather be left alone?  Right now family is the most comfort to her.  She realizes that everyone is concerned about her and appreciates your visits.  She has some big things coming up for her during this transition week.   Please text or call her before, especially since she is starting into some pretty tough therapy.  Visits that are short & sweet are best!
Could she stand some pampering, or is she in too much pain? Right now she is still in a considerable amount of pain.  I think once they get her moving, and when she is feeling better, she would LOVE some pampering.

She is amazing and we thank God every day that she is here with us!  Thanks for following.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Full Circle...

Well we always swear we’re not going to wait so long in between posts, but then we get caught up in the day to day and it’s two weeks again before you know it.  So after our last update Chel continued to do better everyday while she was down at the University.  The goal was to get her to the point that she could be moved to a skilled nursing center that specializes in Physical Therapy for people with major orthopedic issues.  So over about 10 days time they pushed to meet those goals and before we knew it they were transferring her to Thatcher Brook in Clearfield.  She was scheduled to be at Thatcher Brook until the Sept 28th, at which point she would go back to the “U” to have the brace taken out of her pelvis and then a couple days later the cast off her arm.  She’d been at Thatcher Brook about 4 days when it was decided she just wasn’t quite ready for that reduced level of care yet.  She wasn’t able to keep any food down and became dehydrated to the point that she had to be transported to McKay Dee to be re-hydrated through an IV.  After spending a couple more difficult days at Thatcher Brook she was transported back to the University of Utah on Sunday, September 19.  The Trauma Team felt like she just had too many things going on for a skilled nursing facility to handle.  Thatcher Brook is a beautiful place and exactly where we want her once she’s ready.  However, as a family we all felt much better having her back under the care of the Trauma Team who’s familiar with her case.  We’re just taking it a day at a time now and after a couple days to get her stabilized, she’s had a really good day today. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time Flys......

When you are hanging out at the hospital!

We have had a really busy and emotional several days. Between Machel’s care and Tim’s beautiful funeral services we have all pretty much been wiped out. What an amazing tribute to an amazing man. Everyone involved in the service did an amazing job. I know that Machel will be very touched when she is able to see the DVD. We all knew how special he was and to see this displayed during his view and funeral was unreal! Our family has been overwhelmed by the out pouring of love for both Tim and Machel and their kids throughout this difficult time. Thanks to everyone!

There have also been some pretty amazing things happening down at the hospital. Every day we can see a little more of Machel. She smiles and mouths all kinds of things to us. She gets stronger & stronger everyday. She is still undergoing dialysis every few days; it makes a big difference and seems too really help clear up her mind. She is even a little spunky! (How could she not be?)

She has been off of the ventilator since Friday August 27th and is doing awesome! This is a huge step forward. In the beginning they told us that it wouldn’t be days or weeks for her lungs to heal but months and months. So three weeks in and she is off the machine! She is still receiving humidified oxygen through her trach but all of her breathing is her! Way to Go Chel!! In fact they wanted to put the ventilator back on at night while she slept and she told them NO! Spunky!

Saturday August 28th was a BIG day. They moved her from the Surgical ICU to the Intermediate ICU. This was a big step because it means she doesn’t need the same intense critical care anymore. She is now in a more private and peaceful room. It even has pretty green walls and a big window. They have taken out all of her stitches and taken the casts off of her legs. She is now sporting some sweet blue Velcro boots just in time for fall.

Sunday we had another family meeting with the attending doctor and they are very pleased with her progress. She has made some big strides in the last few weeks and is healing up nicely. There are still a few concerns one of big ones being her kidneys. She’s still on dialysis and they have no idea how long that might last. They put a new catheter line in since she will be on it for a while. Also her head injury is still a work in progress. To us it seems like she’s coming around so quickly, but they are quick to remind us that she still has a long way to go. We discussed telling her about Tim and they still believe she’s better off knowing the truth. They gave us some really good advice on how to tell her about Tim. They also told us that we would probably have to tell her several times because she would forget. But since she has been told she really remembers almost everything. She is really sharp! She is handling it as well as can be expected.

They have been planning on fixing the break in her back as soon as the x-brace in her pelvis comes out in four weeks. But they decided to take the brace out and fix the back and then replace the brace. They were scheduled to do the surgery on Friday. So Thursday they took her in for pre-op x-rays and the separation in her is back together and healing. So….NO….surgery!! This is fantastic news! They will wait until she is up on her feet and her spine is weight bearing then take some new x-rays. And hopefully things will still be in place and healing! YEAH!!

They also changed out her trach Friday. They put in a smaller tube and put on a speaking valve. So now we can hear her sweet voice. Wow it has been a long time since we have all heard that! On the down side today has been the roughest day since she woke up. Because the dialysis cleans out the chemicals and toxins from her blood. It is also cleaning out all of her pain medication. So after each treatment she is cold turkey until they can catch back up on her pain meds. So she has been in a lot of pain. She has been having muscle spasms in her lower body where all of her breaks are. It has been a tough one for everyone….it is too hard to watch someone you love in pain.

She has been allowed some VERY special visitors! They let her grandson Hunter back for a few minutes to see her and it made her day. She loves that baby boy more than anything. We also got to bring LeDoux (her dog/3rd child) down on Thursday to visit. They allowed us to bring him into her room and he got to lie down next to her in her bed!

They have really been amazing down here at U Med. She has touched many lives of the people who are taking care of her. Several of the nurses and doctors from ICU continue to check up on her. Also the Air Med EMT that brought her in has been in several times to see her! Thanks again for all of you continued love and support! We will keep you posted.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Two Steps Forward One Step Back......

Sorry it’s been a while since our last update, but things have been fast and furious during the past week.

Day 11, August 17th: Machel seemed more aware today than she has been since the accident. They have cut the pain medicine back significantly in an effort to wake her up. They’re also working on the ventilator trying to get her to initiate every breath and then the machine finishes it for her.

Day 12, August 18th: They took Machel into surgery early this morning to do the tracheotomy and Pic line directly into her stomach to feed her. Now they can remove the tubes going down her throat, which will be more comfortable for her. She handled the surgery real well, but has been pretty groggy from the anesthetic. We met with the representatives from the long term critical care hospitals today; one in Bountiful & the other in Salt Lake. We went with the Bountiful location after visiting both locations, but still have reservations about moving her so soon. Some things have to happen before they can move her. The chest tubes have to come out and they’re also watching her kidney function to make sure it’s stabilized.

Day 13, August 19th: They were able to remove two chest tubes today, which leaves just one left. She seems pretty alert and is able to follow commands from the doctors, when they tell her to squeeze their fingers or wiggle her toes. She responds to her kid’s voices more than anything. They are talking about tentively moving her tomorrow or sometime over the weekend.

Day 14, August 20th: They moved Machel to South Davis Long Term Acute Care today. It’s very apparent that the move has been hard on her. She’s agitated and seems to be in pain. They’ve got the ventilator on full support until she acclimates to the change of location. They don’t have near as many monitors on her as what she had at U Med. We all left tonight feeling a little uneasy - not because it’s a bad place, just not convinced she’s ready for this.

Day 15, August 21st: Today has been a really long day – probably the longest since the day of the accident. We spent all morning at the mortuary making plans for Tim’s funeral next week. It took much longer than anticipated and everyone left exhausted. We grabbed a bite to eat and then everyone grabbed a catnap. Then we got a frantic call from family down at South Davis; they’re in the process of loading Machel into an ambulance to transport her back to the University of Utah. After talking to the Charge Nurse at South Davis, we’ve found out they’re moving her because of “critical labs”. When we get to the University of Utah, she’s in the Emergency Room and in the process of being admitted back up to the surgical ICU. It’s 11:00 pm by the time we finally get an update from the Trauma doctors. Her kidneys are failing; she’s suffering from pancreatitis, and needs a blood transfusion. They’re inserting arterial lines into her neck to put her on dialysis and will be putting her on IV Antibiotics. What a nightmare, we could have lost her today if not for the fast actions by the U-Med doctors.

Day 16th, August 22: We have a whole new woman today! They did the dialysis last night and it’s unbelievable what a difference it’s made. The treatment cleared all of the toxins and chemicals out of her systems and this is the clearest she’s been since the accident. She actually tried to mouth words to Josh & Cassie, asking them how long she’d been here. So we’re remembering back to the first meeting with the Attending Doctor when he told us to prepare ourselves for potential setbacks. I remember thinking if she’d just start getting a better we could deal with anything. It’s way harder to actually live through one step forward and two steps back…

Monday, August 16, 2010

Days 9 & 10:

Sunday was a quiet, uneventful day - that's not a bad thing. Chel slept most of the day despite the fact that she’s been weaned off the Sedatives and all of the IV Pain Medications. They are talking about doing a Tracheotomy sometime during the next week. She isn’t stable enough yet to be off the ventilator for as long as it would take to do the Tracheotomy, so it may be a few days. They’re also going to move the feeding tube out of her throat, and put it straight into her stomach through her side. Sounded really scary and awful at first, but then they explained that it would be much more comfortable for her. There is also concern about ulceration of her throat if they leave the feeding tubes in her throat to long.
Wow, what a difference a day makes! We could hardly get her to open her eyes on Sunday, today she’s had them open all day. She’s moved her arms around a bunch and seems to follow the sound of your voice with her eyes. She appears to be a little agitated, but the doctors tell us this is normal when there has been a lot of head trauma.
The doctors tell us tonight they can’t operate on her back until her pelvis heals enough to remove the X-Brace that’s holding it together. It will take about six weeks for it to heal completely. So they’re talking about moving her out of ICU to a Long Term Critical Care Center. Then when her pelvis has healed they’ll bring her back here to operate on her back. So we hurry down here every morning and then we wait…