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…

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 8: Long Days....

Wow, it's hard to believe it’s been a whole week; the days seem to run together. We got the results of her MRI back this afternoon. The break in her back (T-3 & T-4) will require more surgery, although originally they told us it would heal by itself. The problem is they need to be able to set her up in bed, because she’s more susceptible to pneumonia laying flat on her back all the time. They’re also concerned that she’s not waking up like they expected her to once they took her off the sedatives and paralytics. So they did an EEG on her head this afternoon, it will be a day or two before we get results back.

So not the best of news; we’d hoped she would have a couple days rest without any invasive procedures. We just have to trust that her doctors know what they’re doing.  It’s just been a really long day…

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 7 Slow and Steady....

We had our first formal meeting with the Attending Physician on Thursday, August 12th. Nothing to surprising – she’s definitly not out of the woods yet.  She still has multiple life threatening issues they’re dealing with, but the doctor is very pleased with her effort. (In layman terms that means she's a real fighter!)  No shock there, we all knew that about Chel   Thursday was mainly spent recuperating from yesterday’s surgery to her femur and Pelvis. They did an MRI of her head and neck Thursday night – preliminary results are good.   There are some fractured vertabrae at T3 & 4 but these will heal on their own, there is no spinal cord injury.  Machel had surgery today to repair her ankle and the last break in her pelvis. She made it through today’s procedure very well, and barring any setbacks this should be her last surgery

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So Much Love

If we had One would be that you all  know how much we appreciate your care and concern and we feel your love.

We all realized that Tim & Machel knew a lot of people, but our family has been overwhelmed by the out pouring of love for these two amazing people. Everyone we talk to tells us the same thing "They’re our best friends" – and the thing is, they're right - they really were best friends with so many people. Hard as we try we just can’t seem to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on. So we’ve decided this might be the best way to let ya’ll know how Machel and the kids are doing and maybe just have a good group cry. We hope some of you might decide to share some of your memories of Tim & Machel and maybe even a picture or two along the way at   Here’s a quick update to let you all know how far our miracle has come in just the last 4 days.

Day 1:  The EMT’s intubated Machel upon arrival at the scene and immediately transported her via life flight to the University of Utah Hospital on Saturday, August 7 at approximately 12:30 PM. When she arrived at the ICU she had no blood pressure and was not emitting any C02. Her Pelvis was shattered and she was bleeding internally. There were numerous broken bones and unknown head trauma. She had received a tremendous blow to her chest causing severe lung damage. She was rushed into emergency surgery in an attempt to stop the internal bleeding. They also stabilized her pelvis and inserted chest tubes.  Neuro Surgeons inserted a monitor to measure the pressure in her brain.  The next 24 agonizing hours were spent waiting for the next update from the medical team and praying to God that she’d pull through.

Day 2:  This day has been spent getting Machel stabalized, which this amazing team of doctors has finally been able to do.  She's a fighter and with all of the prayers going up on their behalf things are looking better today.
Day 3:  Baby Steps... That's what they're telling us today.  They've taken her into surgery to close some of the incisions made in the fight to save her life the first 2 hours in the hospital.  She's not stable enough to go to the operating room so they do the surgery in ICU.  She suprizes everyone after surgey when they turn off the ventilator and she breathes on her own for 45 minutes.  They administer 3 units of blood in preparation for additional surgery tomorrow morning.
Day 4:  The Nuero Surgeons give the Bone Doc's 2 hours today to fix her worst broken bone by inserting a metal rod into the femur to stabalize the bone.  They also realign her pelvis and reset the metal bar that holds it in place.  She's handled the surgery well enough that they're hoping to work on some of her other broken bones on Friday.  They're able to take her off the medicine that goes through her ventilator - this is a big step!!  Tomorrow we hope to get an update from the Attending Tramua Doc.  We'll keep you posted...

The Family