Everyday is now looking a little bit better than the day before. In this past week the doctors removed both the chest tubes and the feeding tube as well. So now she has no tubes except the trach and the IV line for antibiotics. The plan is to ‘cap’ the trach maybe next week and let her breathe entirely through her nose and mouth, rather than the trach. Once that gets comfortable and her O2 levels are stable, the trach can be removed.
The vascular surgeons are being cautious about the procedure to clear her clots. She is currently on antibiotics to clear the ecoli she had a few weeks ago and the course is scheduled to go till Jan 18th. The surgeons want to wait till the antibiotic are complete before they attempt to clear her clots. The vascular surgeons say that until they do the procedure they won’t know how stubborn the clots are. The simplest ones can be pulled out with a balloon inflating the artery and the surgeon pulling out the clot. If that doesn’t work, the surgeons will attempt to put a stent in the artery to prop it open. If that doesn’t work they will use a portion of a vein to create a bypass to avoid the piece of the artery that is damaged. As these are potentially major procedures, they don’t want to do it while she has a possibly active infection.
So while we wait for the antibiotics to run its course, the focus is on physical therapy. The other day the therapist was being very cautious because of what she’s been through, but Rachana asked them to push her and wanted to do more than what they had planned. She’s definitely on a mission to be fit, fast. Yesterday she walked for about 200 feet with the help of her therapists and a walking machine.
This week was emotionally tough on her. With all the festivities of Christmas and New Year, she is missing the kids a lot and the situation with the legs is constantly on her mind. It is very difficult to accept losing an essential part of the body. We are trying to explain to her how technology has enabled many options that make life quite normal even with artificial feet, but there is a heartbreaking unbridgeable gap between saying it and living it.