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.