*DAY +42 POST TRANSPLANT & 49 DAYS STRAIGHT IN THE HOSPITAL*
The time we have spent in the ICU has been such a physical, emotional and spiritual roller coaster. Our little Hazelnut's body will make improvements in some areas, then seem to go backwards in others or new problems seem to pop up. The improvements have been so wonderful for us to see, and despite the setbacks, and how they affect us emotionally, the doctors keep telling us we are staying on the right path (which is all we can ask for in the ICU). First, let me share that the tremors have stopped! She sometime's twitches a few times throughout the day, but the uncontrollable shaking that she has been experiencing for almost two weeks now is finally over. The doctors are less concerned now that something neurological is going on! So thank you for those specific prayers! The ultrasound of her kidneys have shown no blockages and have not gotten any worse or better. She has continued to urinate and it is getting clearer every day! This means she has stayed off of the CVVH machine, and they even removed the line in her neck today! They also removed the arterial line in her wrist and the catheter, so tubes keep coming off. She has also continued pooping, which is another good sign that things are recovering.
Despite all of these improvements, she is still struggling quite a bit. As I have mentioned before, since coming off the CVVH her lungs became compromised again. With all of the urination, we hoped we would have seen some improvement by now, but they remain about the same. She still needs an oxygen nasal cannula around the clock and when agitated is not breathing well. The doctors believe this will improve, but it will just take time (something I hear A LOT). Also since coming off the CVVH machine, Hazel has not been very responsive. She had a few days after being extubated, and still on the CVVH when she was quite lucid, and that is when we captured those few smiles. But since Sunday, she has been sleeping almost all day and all night. When she is awake, she will look at me or watch a movie, but is not talking or even shaking her head yes or no to simple questions. She just stares at me. The CVVH machine acted as her kidneys before and would strongly filter out all of the sedation medication, making it affect her less, and in turn her body would require more. However, now that she is off the machine, and her kidney function, although improving, is not at 100%, the medication that has been in her system (and the ones still coming in as we are trying to wean her through the withdrawals) are staying in her system more and hitting her quite hard. The doctors believe she is just pretty "doped up" and will come out of it soon. They still want to do an MRI, just to rule anything out, but her respiratory status is still not stable enough. This part has been extremely difficult because we miss our little Hazelnut so much, and just want to see her be herself again! Please pray that she can come out from under these drugs and that her mind is unaffected! Another issue is with her vomiting. This is most likely a part of the withdrawal, and she is not doing it excessively, but the vomit has had some blood clots in it which could signal damage to her gut. So she is now on a strong medication that should help protect it and allow it to recover.
All of this being said, we are still so unbelievably thankful that she still is continuing to pull through all of this. These days are very long and we wish we could go home, but the fact that God has even given us these days is an incredible thing. We will stay here as long as it takes to get her well, fight through these tough and tiring moments and continue to rely on His strength and grace.
For any of you who missed this picture, it is one of the very first times I got to hold Hazel in weeks. You can see how wonderful it was for both of us, but also how much farther she really has to go: