August 2, 2009
Sorry this is being posted late. We arrived back late last night and we were a little tired. The start of the day did not go as planned. Saturday going in to Sunday, they attempted to take off her Nitric Oxide(medicine that relaxes the vessels in her lungs), but Jenna did not tolerate it. She went in to what they call a Pulmonary Hypertensive Crisis, which means that she has high blood pressure in her lungs, and she will not release CO2 out of her body and just keep in her lungs, which is not safe. Almost immediately her pressures in her right ventricle went up, her oxygen saturation dropped, so they increased her ventilator rate back up to 18 from 12 and her Nitric back to 5. They said that after surgery the vessels are irritated and have fluid in them, so if they are not relaxed, then they clamp down causes these types of problems to occur. So, they wanted to attempt to get her off of the nitric because it is a gas, and if she has to be on long term-we cannot take home this big huge tank. So, they transitioned her to a oral form known as the little blue pill-Viagra. Do not be alarmed, the original use for this medication was actually for heart patients in this situation. So, she has began this now, and has had about 3 doses so far. If tolerates, then she will be able to be weaned on the vent easier because her lungs will be able to push the blood back to her heart. She is still a little agitated today, not as bad as yesterday, but is still doing what they call "thrashing" which is where she is just jerking all over the bed. At this point, she is either completely asleep or she is completely wild, there is no between. Twice today she popped loose the cord on her ventilator, which caused her oxygen level to drop into the 60's. She is just having trouble getting comfortable from all of the tubes. Everyday it gets worse. Today the just want her to rest so that they can possibly attempt taking her off the ventilator on Monday. The goal is to her Nitric level down to 1 by midnight and off by the am. Her arterial blood pressure has remained stable for the most part, except she is mad, then it jumps really high and her oxygen drops because she is pushing down and holding her breath. Her oxygen has remained in the 90's, but she has also been given oxygen via her ventilator. Hopefully she will remain in these numbers once they start to take it away. They also placed a NG tube into her stomach so that she could receive some real food instead of just the TPN nutrition. They started her on 5ml per hour and she is tolerating it so far. Yummy Yummy in her tummy, real food! Her CICU score today was 79. So, she rested all day and we stayed quiet. Our families went home today, which was sad. It was nice having support here during this time. Now we are just trying to keep her rested so that she recovers well. We will post again when we hear news. Thank you for all the love, support and prayers.
Love, Jenny, Justin and Jenna