ICU Day 13 -Leaving no stone unturned

Over the last few days some our friends have recommended to move a few things around in our house to comply with Vastu. We also had a Reiki practitioner come to the hospital to help her heal faster. Rachana has always been the more religious and superstitious one in our family. I’ve generally been a bystander because she liked it and I didn’t have any strong feelings either ways. Rachana, to her credit, never went overboard. It helps to have different views in the family to keep some sense of balance about such things. But I’m desperate now and willing to try anything that has a remote chance of helping her.

Last night the ventilator was beeping a little more. In the morning the nurse explained that the high settings on the ventilator (last night at 65% O2 and 10 Peep) requires the machine to do its job and not have the individual try to override it by breathing on their own. So it looks like the sedatives were at a low setting and that made Rachana be awake a little bit and try to breath on her own and that was not letting the machine do its job, and so the beeping. They increased her sedatives and the machine was ok after she slept fully. It sounds counter intuitive to not let Rachana breath, but the issue is she is not doing it enough to supply all the oxygen her blood needs and by doing just a little she is interfering with the machine’s high settings. Once her lugs improve, the setting will be a little low and that will work well along with her breathing. So, basically when her lungs improve they will reduce the sedatives and try to keep her a little awake; until then she has to sleep and let the machine do its job.

The lungs in fact do look a little better in today’s xray. They say there is a lag in seeing the results on a xray – most people start feeling better before the improvements is seen on the xray. I would have guessed it to be the other way around. The ventilator will give us a more up to date feedback on her progress, which is now at 50% O2 and 12 Peep, which is better than yesterday.

Her fever continues to be confuse the doctors. Obviously she’s fighting something other than the Pneumonia but none of the tests show any other bacteria or virus. The doctors are stopping antibiotic and change another one thinking that might help. Tonight they are also giving Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg) which is basically a blood product that helps boost the immune system. It seems this is useful in people who have a compromised immune system, just like Rachana’s. Today she was transfused with a unit of platelets and red blood as both were under the threshold the doctors want to keep her above.

I asked the doctor today if she is out of danger now; he said not yet. When I asked what does he want to see to say that she is out of danger, he said he wants seethe fever to go away, and the ventilator settings to be under 50% for O2 and under 5 for peep. At that time they can do a breathing test and remove the pipes.


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