Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Different Waiting Game

One of the things that we must really need to learn is patience. We were first in the waiting game for brain swelling to peak and subside (the 72-96 hour mark we mentioned before). We now seem to be waiting for the effects of the sedatives to wear off. We got some interesting information on the Pentobarbital that she was on as a result of blood level tests that gave us some insight as to the overall level of sedation she is trying to deal with. When Pentobarbital is used for seizure control, the therapeutic level is about 7. Shannon's levels from yesterday after she had been off the medication for 24 hours was 25, and today it was still at a level of 13. In addition to that, she is still on the Fentanyl and Versed which were the original meds she was on to put her under. One doctor described it as her still being in a level of sedation similar to anesthesia during surgery. We are hoping that the Pentobarbital will continue to decline during the night and that her pressures will be stable or preferably decline so that we can start to reduce her other medications a little tomorrow. Her cough reflexes have gotten stronger today when they suction fluids from her airway and there are more rumblings in her digestive tract. So small but meaningful steps.
One interesting item to mention. Aaron spoke with the head trauma surgeon that he works with back in North Carolina and reviewed the facts and observations of Shannon's case just to get his impression. He is exclusively involved in trauma cases and sees multiple head injury cases per day. He felt that the care Shannon was receiving was very appropriate and given all of the circumstances was not concerned about her pupils and general responsiveness, but seemed optimistic given her age, health, and treatment. He encouraged us to view progress by week, not by day or by hour. There are bumps along the way in every case, but as you look at things over a longer horizon, you can really see progress. We can certainly see that as we look where we have come from in the past six days.
Nate and Jess made it down from Seattle today. They got the girls settled at our house and then Nate came up to spend some time with us and with Shannon. We are glad to have them here and appreciate their help. Kate has been (and continues to be) a trooper caring for Tonya and keeping us supplied with the clothes and things we need. One other note, we got a surprise visit today from Nephi and Clare Moon. Many of you may know that Nephi was working on our home in February, removing Christmas lights, when he fell off of the roof and suffered severe head trauma and other injuries. Many of the things that Shannon experienced in the early stages paralleled Nephi's experience. We are counting on that parallel to continue, as Nephi has experienced a complete recovery. So it was particularly meaningful to us to have them take time to visit, share in our concerns and strengthen our faith.
Thank you for your comments and emails. You have no idea how much it means to us to hear of the love and concern you have for Shannon and for us. We feel your faith and your support and appreciate the prayers that are offered continuously in Shannon's behalf.

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