Hello Alley blog followers!
Nothing stays even keel in ICU land. The last few days have brought good moments and challenges.
The doctors were not happy with the slow progress Alley is making trying to come off the ventilator so decided to investigate this further as to why. They did a CT scan of her lungs and ultrasounds of her arms, legs and stomach. And surprise!! She has a blood clot in her lung, as well as one in the artery by her left shoulder. The doctors are not sure if the blood clot in her lung is from the donor's lungs, or bleeding from surgery or after surgery, but either way, this is why she is not able to tolerate being off the ventilator. The one by her left shoulder may have been there from an old picc line or just developed.
They did try to turn down her ventilator support early this morning, and it did not go well. Because of this and her blood clot in her lung, they decided to do a tracheotomy today. This will be more comfortable for her than a tube in her mouth. It also allows her to eat ice chips and hopefully a bit of food once it all heals. They are also able to wean her ventilator support a bit easier as she can come on and off of it eventually. She still is not able to talk with it, but eventually once she can come off the ventilator for a little while at a time, she can plug it and talk during that time.
The doctors did this procedure today, they can did it right in her room, and it went well. By the time we left, Alley was awake and able to write things down on paper.
The doctors will decide over the next few days when they are starting blood thinners for treating the blood clot, as they want to let her trach heal, as well as give her lungs some time to heal from the surgery.
Alley also was able to get up yesterday and today for a walk! She made it about 15 meters yesterday and triple that distance today! She obviously is very weak and walks with lots of help as she has chest tubes and iv lines and someone to give her breaths with a bag when she walks, but she is doing great with it.
We are also happy to report that we finished our 2000 piece puzzle in the waiting room. We have now begun a new one. (There may be a pic to follow once Alley is back blogging as I do not know how)