Monday, October 31, 2011

Awaiting a decision (day 6)

Good morning everyone.

Things are pretty quiet at the moment, as we await the final decision on surgery in an hour or two. Nancy is sedated, with good vitals. I had a good seven hours of sleep.

Pulse 96 BP 80/54 SPO2 96% temp 36.9. I tell you this to remind you, this is ICU, Nancy is critically ill.

The medical team continues to waver a little about surgery, with the infectious disease and heme-oncology docs in favor, and the neurosurgery guys reluctant. It's interesting and aggravating to see how specialization makes it harder to make a decision. I won't bore you with the details, but the bottom line is, Nancy is dealing with a septic infection, abscesses around her spine, and they will have to be drained sooner or later.

Every couple of hours, the neuro guys take her off anesthesia, check her neuro function (can she move her hands and feet?), and she starts experiencing visible pain, going into cardiac arrhythmias. This has been going on for three days, and it's excruciating for me to watch. Then the nurse gets the propofol going again to put her back to sleep, I give her Reiki, and within 20 minutes, she settles back into a normal sinus heartbeat.

This morning, she was awake enough for the neuro exam to open both her eyes, and nod yes/no when the nurse asked questions. This is a good sign, it's the first time she's done that since Saturday morning.

I got to talk with Babbas (Dr. Andreadis) her main heme-oncology doc, and he agrees that the abscesses have to be drained. We also agree that her GVHD symptoms continue to improve, her skin is clearing, not that this is a critical issue right now. I also talked with the ID doc, one of the neurosurgeons, a 4th year med student from New York who has been following her progress. It's a good solid team.

I'll send an update when we know about surgery, probably in a few hours. Pulse 95 BP 86/56 SPO2 96% temp 37.0.


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