Friday, June 29, 2012
ICU--the staph re-return
So last Friday (yes, a week ago) we had to bring Liv back to the hospital. At that point she was having some fevers, but mostly just having constipation. It was decided later that she had an infection in her bladder that was causing the fevers. Yep, you guessed it-- staph. After a day and a half on a regular floor and just trying to get her to clean out her intestines, Olivia started to having respiratory trouble. After a swab of her sputum from her trach, the test showed she had virtually "everything" growing. Now, I'm still not exactly sure what that means-- they haven't ever told us that before, but suffice it say that she was very sick.
I'm not exactly sure because the stress and lack of sleep had burred the days, but I think it was Sunday when Olivia was taken to ICU for respiratory trouble. One lung was really hazy on the x-ray. She was also having massive fevers and still stomach problems. Sunday and Monday were very concerning for Brian and I. Obviously because Olivia was so sick--they put her on bipap and she had to be on 100% oxygen, which is really bad. Also, because we have been struggling a lot with how to maintain Olivia's quality of life through illnesses. We decided a while back that we would not let her suffer like she did in the long admission (from January to April) being sedated for most of that time, and paralyzed and on the ventilator for a month. We were concerned (and still are some) that we would need to make decisions for Olivia to stop her curative care and concentrate on making her comfortable-- essentially taking her off supportive breathing machines. I think it was Monday or Tuesday they put her on the ventilator and some gas to help calm her pulmonary hypertension and she was needing less and less oxygen.
She has since stopped having fevers, has been taken off the gas for hypertension, and has had her oxygen turned down to 35% as of this morning. However, now both lungs are affected and she is
still on the ventilator. The trach makes this admission appear WAY different than the last one--she is on a small amount of sedation to help with anxiety and pain, but besides that is awake--she has no tube down her throat, it just connects to the trach. These changes make things more comfortable for Olivia, but also, I think, make the seriousness of her illness look deceiving. Even I felt that the ventilator was no big deal on the trach--it doesn't look scary at all, but that doesn't mean Olivia isn't still suffering.
It seems that Olivia is improving from earlier this week. Brian and I are concerned, though, that the staph will keep re-infecting her and she will continually be in the hospital, which is certainly not what Brian and I want for her, and I don't think what she wants for herself. If she doesn't let her lungs heal all the way between these admissions she will continue to get weaker and weaker.
We have never needed your prayers like we need them now. Please pray for Olivia, for total healing, for comfort, for strength. Brian and I are also desperate for your prayers. We need comfort as well, and wisdom and insight that only God can provide. We are so broken and want desperately to also make the right decision for Olivia, even if it is a difficult decision for us. We can make decisions to limit Olivia's care, but we need help knowing when and how and IF we need to do that.
Bet you hadn't bargained for this much honesty when you started this blog post. Sorry I didn't give you a heads up-- I hadn't planned on writing all that.