A Rainy Day of Blessings
Last night another drain was placed in Ellie's chest, just above the first one. (Above, meaning closer to her arm pit - both drains are in her side.) For some reason the original chest tube was unable to evacuate the air near the top of her right lung. Placing the second tube higher and aiming it up rather than straight into her chest cavity allowed the doctor to release the air pocket as well as drain some fluid. The chest x-ray last night confirmed that the procedure was a succes, and the x-ray first thing this morning verified the good news. The word from doctors this morning was music to our ears: Ellie is ready for extubation!
This morning during rounds, Ellie was taken off all sedation drugs. They were prepared to give her an anesthesia drug (that wears off quickly) to hold her over until extubation, but she was so calm and lucid that the attending doctor has allowed her to remain conscious as long as she is calm. Ellie, of course, set right to work on charming the doctors. She answered questions (with nods and shakes of her head) including an emphatic "yes" to wanting the tube out of her mouth. She squeezed fingers and waved, and was awarded with a hug from her doctor!
Ellie is once again determined to communicate and I am reminded of how exhausting that can be. At one point, we had to get out paper and pen for Ellie to write out the word she was trying to say. It was hard to make out and we had to resort to playing "20 Questions" to find out that she wanted us to snuggle with her in bed. (I think that I might just keep that piece of paper forever!) She became fully aware of the arm restraints and looked to me for an explanation. She seemed to understand and was very interested in holding the restraint and looking at it. Eventually Ellie felt tired and was able to communiate that she felt pain from the chest tubes. She even told us that her pain was a level 5 on a 1 - 10 pain scale. The doctors ordered something to make her more comfortable, and she is currently sleeping (1:00PM).
I am writing this update on our coach near Ellie's bed and looking out at a gorgeous (albiet wet and rainy) view of the East River. Directly across the River is Roosevelt Isalnd where we have perfect view of the smoke stacks from the movie "Conspiracy Theory" (this is a little creepy when I let myself think about it - but kinda fun too). Barges and other water craft go by under our window from time to time. For the moment, all is peaceful and my heart feels light with an air of anticipation as we eargerly await extubation. I suppose the feeling might also be due to the rain outside - I just love rain!
I woke this morning with such a feeling of thankfulness in my heart, somethings are easier to be thankful for than others, but the exercise of consciously and specifically thanking God for the hard things does wonders for my soul. Then there are the easy things to praise God for on the top of that list are the amazing family that we have who choose to set aside their lives and move heaven and earth to be by our sides. And of course our ever faithful family and friends who love us and pray for us without growing weary. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and love. I don't know what we would do without you!
[Dictated by Sarah]