Friday, December 23, 2011

Slowly but slowly

Just thought we'd give an update on Alex's condition. It's about 100% sure that we'll be spending Christmas at the hospital - as the extubation process (getting her off the ventilator) takes a bit longer than we'd previously thought. The reason for that is the last time Alex was intubated, she yanked the tube out herself. So the actual process of weaning involves lots of incremental tests to see how she handles breathing on her own. So she's up to 2 hours at a time with the vent doing no breathing for her, and she usually falls asleep during the test. That's probably because it's the only time she can fully relax - just imagine how well you'd be able to sleep with a machine pumping 12 bursts of air into your lungs every minute. But she does tolerate it really well, breathing on her own just fine and not really having to work at it. But they also do a blood test to see how high her CO2 levels are, and they're still pretty high (remember that was the main reason she was put on the vent in the 1st place). So they're not in a hurry to make any decisions right now.

So what does that mean? We're not quite sure, but it could be as early as tomorrow that they extubate, or even longer depending on the CO2 tests and her level of secretions. But we'll certainly let you know as soon as we do. Of course, being off the ventilator doesn't mean we get to take her home - we just get moved out of the ICU and onto a different floor until her oxygen needs are back to normal. So we're just playing it by ear, as usual.

Merry Christmas eve eve.

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