We Hope for Better . . .
The long night ran over into a long morning. Ellie continued to experience hallucinations on and off during the night until around 6 AM. We hope and pray they will not start again with the onset of evening.
Meds were stopped at 8:00 this morning. They did trials on the ventilator to see if Ellie could breathe on her own and she did well. The breathing tube was removed around 12:30 this afternoon. It has been non-stop since that time trying to keep everything balanced that is needed for Ellie to remain free of another intubation experience. The adjustments have been difficult for Ellie, and once again she works with all her might to hold her own. Her voice is hoarse and raspy and difficult to use – the doctors say that the intubation tube irritated the vocal cords and there is quit a bit of inflammation. So Sarah is still doing the dance of language translation and Ellie the dance of expression without words.
There is a machine called BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) that gives every breath that Ellie takes an extra push. Unfortuantley, it has to be strapped securely to Ellie’s head and face creating a seal over her mouth and nose. This is not comfortable for our little “warrior girl” – but she is hanging in there believing us that this too will end. There has been nausea and some vomiting throughout the afternoon, compounding the situation. They do frequent chest x-rays to monitor her lungs and an air pocket was found in the right pleural cavity. This had to be removed (decompressed) through the drain tube in her chest and now will continue to be monitored. It is very hard to maintain a tight seal to an open wound in the chest area – an air leak is always a risk.
Many more critical signs and information are being monitored non-stop to insure that Ellie is successful in breathing for herself. There are numerous procedures to be done by Ellie with the the medical staff and her loving support team in order to maintain all the necessary balances. Her doctor came in early this evening and stated that the first 12 to 24 hours are the most critical for keeping extubation. She said if we get through the night, that is good, and each hour the further out we go, that is BETTER.
I (Loretta) was able to grab moments with Sarah throughout the day to share some of the enouragement and scriptures being sent for Ellie and her family. She again says thank you for your loving support and continued prayers.