Sunday, May 23, 2010

God's instruments and unknown prognosis

Shannon is resting peacefully at the moment so I thought I would update the blog again and also answer a couple questions, albeit not fun.

We've been asked what the prognosis' is for Shannon. The answer is, we don't know.

She is still fighting just for life although it is better than when she first came in the hospital. As far as responsiveness, this set back with the ventilator puts us back to where she was 3 or 4 days ago. She isn't responding much to commands but she is raising her arms occasionally. She is just very sedated.
The ventilator had come out yesterday but, you see from the last post, that it had to be reinserted. She is now heavily sedated for probably 3 reasons; one, to keep her comfortable, two, because of the ventilator and three, to help with the withdrawal symptoms of the first set of heavy duty drugs. It is definitely a process in bringing her off some of the medications. But they did their job by keeping the pressure from the swelling down where the doctors felt it had to be.
Shannon's pressures are doing well now, they are not as much of an issue as before. They are staying around the 14-15 level and critical level is above 30. We believe that everything has stopped swelling but it takes a very long time for the swelling in a brain injury to go down. (Right now for the medical people the CPP is at 74.) They have her on several different but still very strong sedative medications and the juggling act is to keep enough on board to keep her asleep but not so much that it makes the heart rate/blood pressure go out of whack. They need her to sleep so she can heal, tolerate the ventilator tubes down her throat, gain some strength and hopefully get rid of more of the withdrawal symptoms.
When she is well enough, they will take out the ventilator again and begin to take her off the sedative drugs. As she wakes up from that, we will again be looking for those milestones of following commands, squeezing our hands, wiggling her toes, etc. But it will be a while after that before she is really awake. We expect that we will be in picu (Primarys Intensive Care Unit) for 3-7 days IF all goes well. After that we are looking at 4-6 weeks in the Rehab unit here at the hospital.

So now for the harder stuff...they continually check her responses because they want to know how much brain damage there is. We have had everything from one doctor telling us she may never wake up or if she does she will be a vegetable to another doctor who feels there is a very good chance of a full recovery. There really could be anything in between those two extremes. All the doctors and nurses try not to give us false hope and to prepare us for the worst. We know that is there job, we understand that.

HOWEVER, so long as I am feeling the strength of your prayers and faith, I reflect upon the priesthood blessings that she has been given and remember that with all the medical field knows and can do, they are not the ones in control. They are instruments in God's hands to bring about his work and his glory, following his plan. Those that know our family well, know that our prayers have not always been answered in the ways we would have liked. But down each of those roads we have learned that it is all part of God's plan. It hasn't been easy, but in the eternal scheme of things, it has been what we needed and worth it.

I am so grateful for priesthood blessings. I am so grateful for the many others who have shared with us their personal witness of our outcome, that unknown to them, has been stated in the priesthood blessings. I am so grateful for those who continue to pray with faith, believing in miracles. We have seen so many little ones along the way. We are also very grateful for the men and women who have spent so much time in education and training to be in the medical field. They are amazing. They are instruments in God's hands everyday and most probably don't even know it.

With this ventilator set back, I have reflected much on the little miracle in my life when my friend sent me the phrase, "miraculous doesn't mean instantously". It has kept my faith and hope high. Please continue your prayers, fasting and faith for our sweet Shanny!


  1. Oh Pheobe, I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a big squeeze. No part of this is easy, not for Shannon, not for you and Udell, not for Kate not for any of your family and friends yet we all know that God has a plan. As much peace as it can give us it also leaves us with so many questions. I love you and will continue to pray, fast, hope and believe in all that is possible with God's hands in your lives, all of your families lives.

  2. Well said, Brittany... we love you too... and ditto all of the above. Have a good Sabbath. Hopefully one that will bring a bit of peace knowing we are all in that place where prayers, faith and love are united...for you and yours. JoAnn

  3. As always our families prayers are with your family, today especially will concentrate our positive thoughts and prayers on Udell. And you!

  4. Well said Brittiany, I know Pheobe and Udell there is aplan here. I want you to know I have always felt that Shannon will make it. I know she hers things you tell her but can't respond. Like my dream when dad and I werre in the mission field about Annika. Only this wil be here and now not in the hearafter. I am so grateful you know that we love you and I know that one day before too long I will be able to come to the hospital and give you a big hug and let you know how much we love you all. I pray every time Sahnny comes yo my mind no matter what I am doing or what is going on.

  5. I'm not sure if Aaron told you, but Brooklynn fasted for the first time today. She wanted to fast for Shanny and even though it was hard for her, she said it made her feel happy to do it for Shannon.

  6. Sahnny, I hope it was a good night for you. It is swnowing today and the ground is white. I guess winter hasn't decided to leave us yet. Have a good day. My prayers are with you.mlove