Shannon has had a pretty good morning. Her paralytic has been off for 5 hours but we still are waiting for a reliable neurologic exam--no movements yet. Her pressures are staying down (20 and less). Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Walker, rounded on her earlier and said her ICPs have been acceptable and he does not place a lot of weight in her pupils right now because there are so many things that could be effecting them. He felt that she was still in the critical time period for another few days. He confirmed that Shannon has a significant amount of DAI (diffuse axonal injury) but while it is still way too early to know for sure, he was hopeful that she would make a "meaningful recovery." The recovery road ahead will be long and difficult.
The newest development this morning is that Shannon has developed pneumonia. Her white blood cell count is elevated (16) and she has 40% bandemia which is a sign of acute infection. She is having more secretions from her lungs and her x-ray is much worse than it was two days ago. All that points to pneumonia, but they are checking for other sources of infection. She has been placed on strong broad-spectrum antibiotics and have sent cultures to see which bacteria are causing the infection. The good news is she has not required more respiratory support from the ventilator. They have increased the PEEP setting on the ventilator which will help keep her lungs more expanded but it was a prophylactic measure rather than a response to her lungs not working well. Her lungs are healthy at baseline and pneumonia is extremely common in trauma patients on the ventilator so while this is a "setback" it is very manageable and I suspect she will get over it quickly.
Shannon also has developed an ileus--where the intestines slow down in response to the medication she is getting. This means that the nutrition she was getting was not going through her intestines quickly enough and things were backing up. They have stopped her tube feeds and are given her some medication to help stimulate her bowels. Hopefully they will be able to restart the nutrition later today.
We continue to feel at peace, knowing the Lord is in charge. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. Shannon has received several incredible blessings that have blessed her with full recovery. We trust in the Lord and know that He's plan for Shannon and for us will be what is best. Aaron