Thursday, March 15, 2012

The First 24 Hours

At 1:30pm, my husband and I were able to see Michayla in her ICU room.  One of the monitors was going off and nurse was trying to get the alarm to stop.  I guess just before we got there, Michayla had jerked her arm with the arterial line in it & it was no longer monitoring blood pressure.  The staff was hoping after she calmed down, the artery would stop the spasms and would again monitor things.  Michayla was very groggy but did look up and make eye contact with us.  She was fine as long as no one came in to bug her.  With her hooked to the ventilator, it made it very hard for her to cry.  They didn't want to remove the tube too soon, as she is a hard intubation.  After the ICU Doctor came in, it was decided the arterial line & the tube could both be removed.  The nurses came in & removed the tape holding the tube in & while trying to decide who would pull the tube & who would suction, Michayla shifted down in the bed & basically removed it herself.  The nurse then removed the IV/Arterial line out of her right wrist.  This was about quarter to four.  The rest of the day and into the evening, we sat by her side and tried to keep her calm.  The nurses kept on top of her morphine and tylenol dosages to help keep the pain under control.

The ICU room has only one day bed, so my husband & I took turns at sleeping, while the other sat at Michayla's bedside.  We didn't want her to wake and be afraid of her surroundings.  I stayed up until around 1:30am and then took my turn at laying down.  During the 3 hours I slept, Michayla had woke up startled & did a forwards somersault on the bed.  Luckily none of the IV's or chest tube came loose.  She settled back down & slept for the rest of the night.  I got back up at 4:30am to take another turn at her bedside.

Even with Michayla losing the ventilator/tube and the arterial line, she still had an IV in her left hand, an IV start in her right foot,  a central line in her neck, 2 sets of "pacer" wires (so if her heart beat was too fast, too slow or irregular they could "zap" it in to an acceptable rhythm) and a chest tube (that allows the fluids in her lungs and around the heart to drain out).  They had a blood pressure cuff on her left arm & an red light taped to her finger to measure the oxygen levels.

Around 7:30am, Michayla's surgeon and PA came in to check on her and to let us know that they would be leaving the chest tube in since there was still a lot of drainage.  Since Doernbecher's Children's Hospital is part of the Oregon Health Science University's is a teaching hospital.  Around 8am, we had about 12 people stop outside our room, and the ICU doctor reviews the case with the interns and talks with them about her treatment and recovery.  After show and tell, the radiology department shows up to take a chest x-ray.

Michayla was more alert this morning, but you could see she was uncomfortable.  She tried to cough, but choked and ended up throwing up.  The nurse came in and we cleaned her up and changed her bedding.  The nurse asked if we'd like to try and hold her.  Of course we did, so she helped with all the tubes, while my husband lifted her off the bed and set her on my lap.  I just wanted to hold and hug her, but she was very uncomfortable, so we laid her back on the bed.

Around 11am, it was time to get Michayla up and try to get her on her feet.  The nurse helped with all the tubes and machines hooked to her, to make it so we could get her out of her room and walking.  We probably went about 30 feet, got her to step on a scale to check her weight, and then back to the room.  She wasn't super happy but she did it!!

I'd say about two hours after this walk, we saw a huge change in her.  She was more awake, smiling and even making a few coo noises.  We had been waiting on a room to open up in the regular pediatric ward and we got word that we'd be moving upstairs.  We were thrilled, because we'd both have a bed to sleep in and we'd also have a shower.  About 5:30pm, we were finally taken to our new room on 9south.

Once in our new room, Michayla sat up in her bed & played with a toy for a few hours.  She was smiling and giggling at times.  I couldn't believe how well she was doing.  We had a good night, we only woke once but quickly settled.  In the morning, we could see that our Michayla was feeling good and all our worries and fears fading.

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