Sunday, February 19, 2006

Three pieces of good news!

Jan is now sprouting two tubes fewer than she was this morning!

(1) The pressure from swelling in her brain has fallen low enough that they removed the tube that was monitoring it earlier today. Hooray!

(2) And, more importantly, Jan had her breathing tube taken out this afternoon! (For you medical types, or medical-TV-show-watching types, she was extubated.) How great to see that much more of her face, and to know she no longer has the irritation and pneumonia-risk of the tube going into her lungs.

(3) This afternoon, Jan moved her right arm from her side to her tummy! It's the first significant right-side movement, beyond a little toe-wiggling, that I'm aware of.

Let me interrupt your cheering and prayers of thanks with a word of caution: the doctors have said it is quite common in situations like Jan's that the breathing tube might have to go back in at some point. If that happens, we will be a little disappointed, but not disheartened.

Jan has 'stuff' accumulated in her lungs, and the nurses are encouraging her to try hard to cough on her own, so far without much success. I can only imagine (ok, I can't imagine) how sore her mouth and throat must feel right now.

The nurses have also been encouraging Jan to try to speak -- even to say her own name --, but so far she has not.

We still have to be very conscious of the delicacy of Jan's condition. The medical staff 'chastised' us a little for having too many visitors in to see Jan yesterday, in spite of what seems to us to be a very small number of visitors. She got really tired, and her progress seemed to take a small step backward.

Specific things I ask you to pray for now:
  • That Jan comprehends as much as possible what is going on around her and what we and the medical staff are doing to her. We are unsure how much she really grasps the situation and, without understanding, will necessarily be very frightened, confused and frustrated by it all.
  • That the family receives the strength, health, rest and peace we need, as fatigue starts to take its toll on us. We've been running a sprint, and now need to change pace to something suitable for a marathon.
  • That we get consistent direction from the nursing staff. It seems there are many points of view among the nurses and doctors on what things are good or bad for Jan right now. The family has found this aspect frustrating, as we never know from one nursing shift to the next what we are expected/allowed/encouraged/ discouraged/forbidden to do. It is our only complaint about the otherwise wonderful treatment Jan has received at this hospital.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for Jan. All your emails to (jan_get_well) are wonderful. I have been printing them all, and keeping them in a binder at the hospital. God willing, she will soon be strong enough for us to start reading them all to her. Even though I have not responded individually to your emails, please know that they are being received and are worth their weight in gold to us, and will eventually be so to Jan.



FC said...

Please, don't let a blink or a wiggle of the finger, movement on her left foot, breathing on her own without tubes, or even a smile on Jan's face, stop you from continuing your prayers and support whichever form they take. Jan is just completing the first step in her recovery, but this will take many more steps in the days and weeks to come. She will need to hear from you then, and know how much you care for her.

She needs your enthusiasm and cheering on the sidelines of this hard track. She will enjoy your notes and comments, but we are also enjoying them as we receive them and find much inspiration in them.


Lois said...

To the family and friends of Jan:
my brother has gone through exactly what Jan is going through now Today 17 months later he is preparing to go on a mission to Bolivia He is able to play his music again and write some new songs It takes time,prayers and a lot of patience It will be worth it as you see the improvements You are in my prayers LOIS