Friday, May 14, 2010

The Waiting Game

It is about 11 am on Friday--about 45 hours since the accident. It is hard to believe that it has not even been two days yet. Shannon had some challenges last night. The biggest challenge that we are facing is the management of her ICP (Inter Cranial Pressure) which is the internal pressure in her brain. The doctors tell us the that swelling from her injury should peak sometime in the 72-96 hour range and the challenge until the swelling starts to subside is to keep the pressures managed to a safe level. So there are many different factors that they employ to manage that number. Last evening, the pressure rating started to get higher than they wanted to see. Not unexpected as they say, but worrisome and something that needs to be addressed. If the pressures aren't controlled it can cause additional damage to the brain beyond what occurred from the accident. So they tried to increase some of the medications she was currently on but that did not bring the pressures down like they wanted, so at about 2am they put her on a more powerful sedative to put her deeper into her drug-induced coma. That has had a positive impact with her pressures being quite a bit lower this morning. So we continue to be in a "wait and see" mode, praying and exercising faith that her body will respond well and keep the pressures at reasonable levels.
The nurse was also concerned that the function of Shannon's right lung was less productive than it should have been. And there was some concern that she may have aspirated when she threw-up Wednesday night following surgery. So they took an x-ray and were somewhat surprised to see that the lungs looked better than they had yesterday. They had elevated Shannon's left side with pillows in the night (standard procedure to shift weight around). The nurse shifted her so her right side was elevated around 9:30am to take some of the pressure off of her right lung. She has responded well to that and her lung function has improved. So they feel like the angle of elevation and the time in that position put excess pressure on her right lung. They will adjust things more frequently, but it looks like her lungs are fine and working properly.
They are also giving her a unit of red blood cells right now just to keep her hematocrit level up. This is the first additional blood product that she has received since Wednesday following surgery. Aaron decided that he wanted to come out and be closer to the situation so he is on a plane as I write and should be arriving in Salt Lake mid afternoon. I can't think of anything else right now. If anyone knows how to hold things stable and press the fast forward button to get us past the 96 hour mark, please let us know. In the mean time, we appreciate so much the outpouring of love, support, faith and prayers in Shannon's behalf. We are strengthened by your faith and concern and know that our collective pleas to a loving Father in Heaven are being heard and answered.


  1. Butch and Phoebe,
    We love you and have a constant prayer in our hearts for you and your family.
    Greg and Amy

  2. Thanks for the update. She's halfway to 96! Thanks, as well, for the collective fast. I've felt peaceful as I have thought of and prayed for Shannon throughout the day. I am so grateful you feel strengthened as you watch and wait. Pat

  3. I fasted for ya today shan, love you so much and can't wait for you to be back and better :(, praying for you all the time and can't stop thinking about you!