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…