Thursday, February 24, 2011
A Quiet Day
It's Liz again. Today was for the most part a quiet day. We are still dealing with the same issues: sedation, trying to get the fluid out of the lungs, weaning the oxygen and nitric oxide, high fevers and low blood pressures. I think Dad's fever reached an all time high of 103.9 last night- I was in the room helping the nurse pack him in ice and give him a cool bath. We were able to convince the doctors to allow him to have a one time dose of ibuprofen, which finally did the trick. They are hesitant to use ibuprofen (Advil) in ICU patients because of the risk for kidney damage and bleeding ulcers. Dad's kidneys are working great, but he did have the scare with blood in his stomach the other day, which is why they are hesitant to use it more often with him. But it seemed to work this time and overall his fever was lower throughout the day (101-102). Sedation continues to be an issue. When he is not sedated enough, he really fights the ventilator which decreases his oxygen saturation, so they are continuing to work on that. He did have a few episodes of coughing up a large amount of fluid several times today. They are hopeful that indicates that he is finally getting some of the fluid that has been sitting in his lungs out. They are continuing to give him the Bumex (a diuretic) to help pull more fluid off of him, but have some trouble with that because he has occasionally been dropping his blood pressure too low. Overall, not many changes were made today. The doctors this morning said that they felt perhaps he was nearing the end of this acute phase, as he has settled out on his oxygen requirements. He remains on an FiO2 (amount of oxygen the vent is giving him) of 55% and his blood gases today looked good. The wonderful nurses in the MICU have been taking good care of him, and we hope that perhaps he is starting on the road to recovery. Weaning the ventilator will most likely take some time, so we are trying to be patient, even though it is hard! He is still not really able to respond to us, although I noticed that he seems occasionally to squeeze his eyes shut or grimace at appropriate times when I am talking to him. If you would like to send him a message, feel free to email it to me and I will read it to him. My email is email@example.com. I know he appreciates all of the thoughts and prayers.