Sunday, October 18, 2009

Steady progress

I just got back from visiting Dad with Mom. I got to talk to his nurse for today. She was working on paperwork as her shift was coming to an end.

She says Dad is doing very well. She said Dad was almost weened from the blood pressure supporting drug, but she didn't want to stop that just before another shift comes in. His sedation has been reduced a bunch and Dad is more alert. He was better at looking around and could motion confidently with his arms, though playing charades to understand him is a bit tiring on everyone. He's still going through a course of antibiotics. She said the lung doctor wanted to start the process of weening him from the ventilator tomorrow. This involves change the machines operating mode to let Dad be more responsible for starting breaths and, eventually, doing the work himself. He's already taking more breaths than the lower limit set on the machine (20 vs 10 breaths per minute). After he does his own breath control for a while, they'll do an arterial blood gas test to see how well his own breathing is doing. If that looks good, they'll be able to get him off the vent. I'm sure he'll appreciate that.

They're doing better at controlling his blood sugar. The nurse requested medications be administered with straight saline solution instead of glucose (sugar) solution, and that should help keep his readings under control. In any case, they are are doing better at that than could at home.

She did say he might get some red blood cells transfused tomorrow to help out his his hemoglobin counts on his blood work. Otherwise, his blood is doing good.

All his other vital signs are steady and good. She said he's a gracious patient. However, she corrected me and said he is not an "easy" patient due to lots of IV bags to manage.

I look forward to more good progress.

-- Bob