ICU Day 45 – Long Road Ahead

Rachana is making slow, but much needed, progress. Her fever still shows up every 2-3 days. Last night it touched 101.5 and our hearts sank again, but she recovered well today. She is now fully awake and communicating, but not fully mentally aware. After all these days in the ICU, on a single bed, and sedated most of the time, she has a surprisingly good mental state. Now that she is more awake and communicating but only mouthing words (still can’t talk because of the ventilator), she is now asking for stuff we can’t do; like ‘let’s go home’, ‘I want to drink something’, ‘take this tube out’, etc. Also with the pain killers not on a constant drip, but given as needed, she is now in a little more pain. So things are improving but getting challenging too.

The doctors have told us that she still has maybe a couple of weeks on the ventilator, a few weeks of antibiotics and monitoring for critical issues, a couple of months of rehab (physical therapy), vascular surgery if clots are not managed by blood thinners, hands and legs surgery to remove the gangrened digits, and heart surgery if the vegetation on the heart is not gone by antibiotics. So we are easily looking at many many month of recovery.

However long, we are thankful to be talking about recovery and not the worst case scenario.