Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today was a real thanksgiving day. Maria is tube free. (no NG tube and no feeding tube) No more breathing treatments since last night. Did well today, tho tired. Hopefully all that is behind her, and if she continues her pattern of improvement through the weekend, she could be moved to rehab by Monday. They got her in the best rehab facility here RHI. It's one that the NASCAR injured drivers go when they need it. I'm not sure how much her insurance will pay for, so it's a good thing she's making rapid improvement. We all thank you for the prayers and support you've given all of us through this ordeal. Maria still has a lot of work to do, and of course we're hoping the turns are all upward, so your continued prayer for her will be appreciated. However, my updates will come less frequently. I hope all of you also had a thankful day and that God blesses you abundantly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maria gets some food to eat.

Maria ate clear liquids yesterday and is on full liquids today. She's eating cream of wheat right now. PT came earlier, and she's always excited to see them. Usually they come a little later, but the therapist came to see her first this morning. When they let her sit up on the edge of the bed, her heart rate went up, and she felt dizzy, so they decided to let her rest and try again later. She hadn't had her meds yet, and the nurse thought she'd do better after the meds kick in. They've started her on lopressor because Monday night she started periodically having an elevated heart rate, and her blood pressure (though better than before) is a little higher than desired. Overall she is doing amazing and is very happy to be able to eat. Yesterday she ate her applesauce and jello herself (fed herself). Also yesterday, her doctor came in and told her that there was only one reason why she was alive and then pointed up. We have had many, many hospital personnel telling us that they were praying for her. Last year, Indiana was the state that put the motto "In God We Trust" as the regular license plate...not the vanity plate. I don't think they are doing it now, but did last year.

Za'Mya had another "event" yesterday during feeding, and this time they had to rub her chest to get her to come out of it. So they won't be dismissing her right away. At first they were going to since she brought herself out, but now it'll be next week before she gets out. We're not happy for the reason, but it means that Maria will be able to see her each day and makes our responsibilities less at "home". Still don't know where we're going after Dec. 1, but hope we get it figured out before Don leaves to go home.

Vanessa, Tandita and TJ are on the way here for the day and should be here soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One month

Today is the one month mark of Za'Mya's birth. She is not coming home today, cause she had an episode in which her heart rate and oxygen levels dropped suddenly. It corrected itself, but Saturday night her oxygen levels dropped again and corrected itself. Because of these two events, they will keep her up to 5 and probably 7 days longer, which is helpful for both Maria and us. They haven't done the ultrasound on Maria yet for gall bladder but are supposed to do that today. I left at 4:00 a.m. and she slept about 4 hours. I think she slept more after I left but not sure how much cause I haven't talked to Esther yet. We had an undesirable nurse the last two nights, and we are telling the charge nurse that we don't want her to care for Maria again.

Somehow I misunderstood our accommodations status, and we have to be out of the house where we are by Dec 1, not Jan 1, so we are trying to figure out where to go. May check with the academy to see if we can stay in their annex dorm, but we won't be able to take Maria there because of the steps. At least it does have laundry facilites, and Stan Detweiler lives there, so we might be able to wrangle some kitchen priviledges. We'll see. God has worked things out for us so far, so I know all that will be resolved, too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lookin Better

Maria had a great day today, nausea this morning, and a little tonight. She called us on the phone this morning, and we could hear her speak clearly. She looks really good tonight, but is tired from the lack of sleep and having company today, I suppose. She's getting ready to sleep now, so hope she has a really good sleep tonight. Still wanting someone to stay with her overnight, and it's probably good until we know she's not throwing up so suddenly.
The charge nurse rigged up a way for her to be able to push the call button with the back of her hand. (Her staff is calling her McGyver.) Maria is doing her exercises and progressing. Tonight she took the back of her hand and lifted it to her face to try to push the hair back out of her face.
We took boxes of chocolates to the MICU staff...two marked "Day Shift" and two marked "Night Shift". Of course had a thank you note for their incredible care giving that we all signed. It was received with big smiles, and one of the techs came over to Maria's room to say thanks since he didn't see us bring it in.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday night

The hard part of watching Maria go up and down physically is mostly past. Now we are going through the emotions of Maria watching Maria go through the ups and downs of recovery. Still on a feeding tube, but tonight they are stopping the feeding and clamping the NG tube because she is having bleeding, and they want to give her the stuff you take to reduce the risk of ulcers. I'm hoping that it will at leaast stop the vomiting that comes now and then and hope she can get some rest. Please pray for her, cause she is still having bad dreamss/thoughts and not as many hallucinations nor as dramatic ones, but still harassed now and then. Right now she keeps twitching, and I just keep praying for her and for the presence of Jesus, etc. She has been afraid to go to sleep, and is really dozing for the first time in two days, but it is a very restless dozing.
Her voice is getting stronger, breathing much less rapid...reasonable. She got to go down to see the baby again, mostly cause Esther kept after the nurse to do it as she was promised. She had PT today and sat on the edge of the bed again, but doesn't remember doing it.

The baby is being dismissed Monday,so I'm concerned about her mental state about not getting to go down to the nursery to see her. Just keep on praying, please. And thanks for your support as well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Don got here about 1:00 + and Maria got to see him. He and Esther went back to the house to sleep what's left of the night and will be back in the morning to relieve me. I'll probably stay home most of the day. Cornel will be here about 3:00 Sabbath afternoon, so we'll let him take over the rest of that day. He's supposed to be bringing a car seat, cause the baby is expected to be dismissed to me sometime next week. Good to have some extra hands at least for a few days. After that, Noylen and I will have to alternate and hopefully Maria will be at least a little more mentally clear and physically stronger.

The neurologist thinks her challenges are muscular rather than neurological, but they are checking and watching things to be sure. She has reflexes, albeit slight. Along with it, there has been some not so lucid ramblings that they tell me is expected. This morning she asked me what I did with her hotdog. I asked her what hotdog, and she said the one that she was eating...where did I put it... later she told Esther she'd better catch her brother before he fell.
She was also "afraid to go to sleep" because they were trying to drug her. I found out later that she apparently overheard the patient next door "arguing" with the staff last night and caught parts of it and thought it was about her. Later, we heard the guy yell out, so I think that was probably it. She finally going to sleep now, and I hope she sleeps well, cause she has not had much sleep for 3 days.

To make a long story short, I felt so bad as well as a real dud the other day when I realized that when she first came awake, we were telling her how well the baby was doing, etc. then really TODAY realized that she was trying to ask how Gabriel (her 2 year old) was. Not that we hadn't told her, but we were focusing on the baby and she was all the time worried about Gabriel and didn't really comprehend that she had the baby. What a dufus I felt when I realized it. Anyhow we called Gabriel's dad and let her "talk" with him. He calmed her anxiety and she seemed ok then.

Maria and Cornel have some things on layaway (I assume at Walmart). The special services nursery where the baby is has told us they have a few items of clothing they are going to give us to help us get started with that. Cornel is working 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 6 days a week. It's hard for Maria cause she wants to see him, but when we tell her his schedule and occasionally are able to get him on the phone, then she seems to understand and accept that he can't come until the weekend. They live nearly 3 hours away.

They tell us to expect 3 days of rehab for every day Maria was in ICU. That means 3 months! The plan now is to get her started on rehab here and hope she will get strong enough to move her out to California if we can work it out to take Gabriel with us. I don't think she'd go without him. Of course the baby will go, too. All this is up in the air of course until we see how things go. Bar any unforseen setbacks, they expect a full recovery. Brain scan was good and everything is working except her arms and legs plus the weakness.

When we got here this morning, they were planning to move Maria to a bed that converts to a wheel chair. The RT came in to give her breathing treatment, and she asked maria if there was anything she wanted, and Maria replied, "I want to hold my baby." Now did that choke you up? If it didn't, you are in the minority. Anyhow, yes, we have pictures. They were able to situate the baby on her and she got to hold her for a while. I'm sure they'll take her down every day, but she tires out and we didn't stay real long this time. I asked her if she was tired and she nodded, and I asked her if she was ready to go back and she was. Her "voice" is a bit stronger today, too.
They are calling in a neurologist to check her out in regard to getting her arms and legs working again. She's off of all oxygen, though it is available if needed. She is not as unresponsive, sad, or depressed whatever you care to call it as she was. And she's anxious for her dad to get here. He'll be in about midnight and will be her for a week. Hope we have some vacation time left for the family reunion next summer!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Maria is looking better now and more awake since they moved her here from ICU. She's been depressed as would be expected when suddenly waking up and finding that you can't move your arms or legs, etc. She still has the NG tube in her nose as well as the feeding tube, and of course IV's, but physical therapy came shortly after noon and this encouraged her greatly. She asked to repeat the exercises, and Esther (she arrived this evening) and I helped her do them. She still has a few things that are a concern, but the medical teams are working to resolve. As she is understanding that this is a temporary thing, she has got back of her determination, and that's good to see along with a few smiles and a sprinkling of tears, too. The PT asked her if she wanted to try to sit up on the bed, and she nodded, so she and the nurse assisted her and she sat there with assistance for a couple of minutes. I think this encouraged her the most...hope, who can live without it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Early Tuesday morning

Cornel ended up staying all night and called in this morning to take off work today. I'm so glad he did. Maria was "emptying out" the tanks all night. (threw up twice more)The docs do rounds really early, and the doc said she's doing fine and they think she will be moved out of ICU either today or tomorrow. She has a little cough, but he said that's because she's gaining her strength back. (they want her to cough I think to clear the secretions) He's going to have a chest X-ray, tho, just to be sure. As I said before, she's quite weak. Noylen and I will be going in later this morning and try to post another update this afternoon or evening.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday night, 11/16

This afternoon the nurse was doing some things for Maria, and she started coughing. Sometimes she brings up stuff, so we suction. Had the "hose" in my hand when all of a sudden she started throwing up everything, of course all liquid. Fortunately it was a gusher and we were able to position her forwardly...and the nurse took the suction tube and I guess everything went in the right direction, cause tonight she is resting well. Still has rapid respiration, but her blood gasses are great, and they inserted an NG tube into the stomach, so it is empty and they are giving her something for nausea every two hours. The nurse tonight is Krista which makes me happy. She was the one who was there when Maria arrived and was her nurse then. I trust her. Cornel came just after Maria threw up and is still there, but probably will be going home soon cause he has to work tomorrow. I feel comfortable not going back tonight, she seems to be doing ok and nods an ok when you have to leave. Hard to do, but Noylen and I are trying to be sure we stay healthy, too. We stayed overnight last night, but did get sleep at the hospital nursery where the baby is. They have a special room for parents, but we can't do that very often. So goodnight, will keep you posted tomorrow, I guess.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good News

So much has happened that I'm not sure where I left off. First of all, the "team" came in to decide the next step. The boss of the team after some discussing said, "She's at the point that we need to remove the tube and she will either fly or we will have to do a trach." They asked her if she was ready to have the tube out and she shook her head yes. They did a test by turning everything off to see if she could sustain, and she did. So they decided to do it, but everyone had to get everything they needed to be ready for whatever needed to be done. So in less than 10 minutes everything was ready, and they removed the tube, put a "mask" on her, and she breathed in and you could see the relief in her immediately. They have her with just the "noseplugs" now and it's going well. She's very weak but still is not sleeping as of 2 hours ago. Shortly after she was off the tube, Cornel's brother walked in, and she smiled a big smile at him. She has communicated with nods, pursed her lips to make kisses at us, and mouthed a few I love yous. She was told not to talk for 3 hours but even then she could only whisper very softly. She has a bed sore on her back side that is bothering her. Got it early on, and they've been tending to it and watching it. She's been a fighter throughout, but the really hard part is starting for her now. Please don't stop praying for her just because she's made this huge hurdle. Praise God for his added blessings.
Sorry I've skipped some stuff, but the bottom line now is trying to get Maria off the sedation. She acts like what I picture a person going through they do that coming off sedation? They want to remove the breathing tube but can't unless she can be calm enough for them to do a breathing trial to be sure she can do it on her own. Have tried twice already.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

1:33 a.m. text message from Esther

I just got the following text message from Esther, who calls in to the hospital now and then to check on Maria's progress...
"Liver scan ok, numbers improving." 1:33 a.m. Monday, Nov 9
From: Esther Peariso
Praise God.

Sunday evening

Today Maria's liver scores were not very good. They have had OB up here to see if anything involving her pregnancy and/or delivering the baby was in any way involved. They came and found nothing in that arena. They have done an ultrasound of her liver, and we are still waiting those results. This morning they had her up to 70% oxygen, but it is down to 60% now with high 97-98% scores. We were told that they will probably be going down to 55%, but that hasn't happened yet. As you know, the liver is a biggie...but as the Harp and Ponder song goes, "we've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord; trusting in His holy Word... The prayers of His people are always heard. I have been examining my life for any iniquity that would in any way interfere. I hope others are doing the same. And no, I'm not talking about works....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday, November something

A bit of improvement to report today. Sorry for not posting the last few days, with nothing new to say and because I just wasn't online much at all.
This morning when I came in, they had gone down from 55% to 50% oxygen and her levels were holding good. In fact when the Respiratory therapist suctioned her, she went up to 100% briefly but has remained in the high end of the 90's.
We had an anointing service a bit ago. Very touching and uplifting. The pastor who visited Maria in the hospital in Marion just before they transferred her here (Joe Quiles) and Larry McConnell who is associated with the Cicero church presided. Pastor Quiles told us that at that time he asked Maria if she wanted to give her heart to the Lord, and she replied "I did that a long time ago, but yes." And he asked if she wanted to ask Him to forgive her sins to which she also replied "yes." And he prayed with her then. Maria is sedated more than before, but she did open her eyes briefly as the pastor was talking to her. She is in God's hands. What better place to be.
After the anointing, I noticed some doctors outside her door and went to find out what they had to say since I hadn't seen a doctor today. They were from infectious disease, and they said that her fever had come down some today and that the oxygen levels were good as I said above. They said she's not out of the woods yet, but it was a positive day.
So keep those prayers coming. And thanks to those of you who have sent cards to Maria. They're on the window sill, waiting for her to be well enough to read them.
The baby is doing fantastic, and now weighs 4# 5.6 oz. We have great pics on the phone, but you'll have to wait until we can transfer them to the computer...Noylen will have them up way before I do.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow...He is sustaining us every day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No positive changes today. Maria has been spiking a fever that could be a number of things including an infection of some kind as a result of the tube in her nose, etc. The nurse suctioned some stuff that she thought might have come from her nose. They took 2 sets of cultures today, but I guess it will take up to 48 hours to get any results. I think I said that they want her to improve pretty much before they make any major changes other than things involving meds. They changed her over to a different sedative because she was requiring more and more and she was still agitated a lot. She is very quiet now and doesn't open her eyes as much, but this is what they want. She needs her oxygen levels required to go long on receiving high doses of oxygen can cause problems. And the more active she is, the more oxygen she she needs to remain quiet and heal. Don called me last night, cause when he got home from work there was a letter from the couple who ran the orphanage in Costa Rica where the kids were preadoption. It was a very nice, uplifting letter of affirmation and hope. We have maintained contact with them through the years now and then. Maria received a letter/card from a facebook friend, too.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009

Maria is stable, but continues to require oxygen. This morning it was down to 60% and when we left last night it was at 70%. So that is an improvement. Her levels were remaining at 95% plus or minus and still are.

They are not going to do the lung wash because they think it could set her back, and they want her to step forward. They are looking at cultures and want to lood at them for the next 48 hours before deciding if they should do the lung wash (not correct term). Her lngs are "weepy" so they don't want to make more fluid there. They will be more aggressive at getting fluids off, however her kidneys are working well.

From culture results they may play with the antibiotics. She hs running a fever of 100 plus a little up and down that they keep checking on. The team of drs. are watching over her and considering options. It was Dr. Wolfe's partner that talked with us today, and he says they want to give her time to improve and that is better than rushing in and doing something that could set her back. (not his exact words)

Noylen is doing incredibly well, and it has been good for both of us that she is here. Please pray for her, too, cause the past couple of days have been very hard for her.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday night

Dr. Wolfe just came to give us a report. It has been a roller coaster ride to keep her oxygen levels up, as you know if you've been keeping up with posts. They are perplexed as to why she is not steadily getting better and are concerned that there might be scarring in the lungs. Tomorrow they are going to wash her lungs and if she stays stable they will use a scope to look around as well. They will test whatever fluids they get. The thinking is that the bacteria and pus may be gone from her lungs, but inflamation could remain.The doctor said that she may not survive, (because of her condition, not because of the test) so keep those prayers going strong. Esther tells me that this procedure is very common. The big deal now is that she needs to be able to reduce the amount of oxygen they give her and still maintain appropriate levels of oxygen.

Since Maria is heavily sedated tonight, and her levels are maintaining good scores, Noylen and I decided to come back to the house earlier than usual so we can get to sleep sooner and get up earlier to go back. Nurse promised to call if anything changed or went downhill. But it's hard to sleep when you need to pray. Praise God for His promises...that they are sure....that it's Jesus righteousness that we can claim...that I know he loves Maria dearly...that I believe His love covers us all.

Sunday, November 1

This morning, Maria was responding to the nurse's questions. She asked her if she knew where she was, and she shook her head no. She told her she was in the hospital and was telling her about the baby and asked her if she had seen the baby, and maria nodded. Maria is doing well, but they need to get her off the oxygen...or at least down to the mid 30's or low 40's. They told us that if she wasn't fighting the mouthpiece so much they could lower her sedation. But she thrashes around when they bring her down. I came out here to send you the report, and before I got this much written, Cornel came to the door and motioned me to come quickly.

Maria was responding to his questions as well. She had tried to sit up. He asked her if she had seen the baby and she nodded. She started to thrash around, so I told her stuff about how she was doing well and that she needed the tube in her mouth, etc. etc. and that if she could remain calm, they could let her stay awake more. She seemed to calm, and we reassured her about herself and about the baby, etc.etc.

When she wakes up like that, her oxygen goes down, but it stayed above 90 this time. However her blood pressure went up. She was going back to sleep, so I came out to write this. She is on what is called a bivent (for Esther)...and if I understand it correctly she needs to be on a different type before they are ready to consider removing the tube thing. The nurse told me that down the road a bit, they could be talking about doing a trach tube and that it should not scare us, cause that would be easier for her and will heal up easily when she doesn't need it any more. She said that some people can have the bivent like Maria has and remain awake and watch TV etc without any problem, but others just can't do it. So we'll see if as Maria becomes more and more responsive if she can keep from panicing or not. The nurse said "I couldn't do it, I'd have to be out". I think I would, too.