Thursday, June 3, 2010

A few steps forward and a few steps back

Wednesday was kind of crazy. We got some information on the what's but not really the why's. And let me begin by apologizing if this is a completely disjointed mess of an explanation, but a completely disjointed mess is about how I feel. Patrick was taken off of the ventilator yesterday about mid-day, and was breathing on his own with just a little oxygen support though a small nasal canula. He had pneumonia in the bottom of his left lung, but seemed to be holding his own.

His blood work came back and the official word is that, in addition to the pneumonia, he has spinal meningitis and a MERSA infection in his lungs. His white cell count were extremely high. It got up to 2,700. (5 - 10 is normal) He was battling a fever which got as high as 103.5. They have been able to keep the fever down with Tylenol and is on several insanely strong antibiotics for his infections.

Last night they had to go up on his oxogen to a high flow nasal canula. They test his blood gasses every few hours to see how much oxogen he is getting into his system, and the counts are low. They draw the blood from an artery rather than a vein, and the blood should be bright red, and his was a dark burgundy. His lungs were so inflamed that he is having a hard time keeping them open on his own enough to get all of the oxogen he needs, so this morning they put him on a CPAP machine. He is still doing all the breathing, but the machine keeps pressure in his lungs so he doesn't have to work so hard.

They did a chest x-ray this morning around 3:00am, and his pneumonia is getting worse. It is now in both lungs. The respiratory therapist said that it is because he hasn't been breathing deeply enough. He said that between the CPAP and the antibiotics, that should start to clear up soon.

His meningitis has had some very frighting side effects. He has been so in and out of awareness, and thank the Lord he stayed awake for longer and longer periods of time. He hasn't been able to use his left hand or look to the left. If you asked him to squeeze your hand, he just couldn't do it. I would ask him is that as hard as you can, and he would nod his head, and he thought he was squeezing it. I would tell him, "Squeeze it just as tight as you can baby." And at the most he would move a finger. That was really hard. I would tell him "Good job baby," and then check his right hand which he could squeeze with no trouble. Lastly, he hasn't been able to talk. You can look in his eyes and see that all the lights were on, and the sheer frustration on his face was heartbreaking. He would nod yes and no, and sometimes he would say yes or no, but that was it. You could see the devastation and fear, and I could hardly stand it. I talked to him, sang, and did all I could to keep his spirits up.

The good news is that things are starting to improve. His white counts are starting to come down. Last night when I finally laid down about 12:30, I told him "I love you." and he whispered back "I love you." I nearly lost it. I kissed him on the head, got out of eye shot, and BAWLED. This morning before I was kicked out of the room at 6:00, he wasn't able to talk, but there is so much joy in my heart that as he is getting better, he can! We just got a report from one of his doctors, and he said that Patrick was talking with him!!!!!! Praise the Lord. The CPAP must really be just the right thing. His white counts were still going down, and what the CCU doctors thought was brain swelling was scar tissue from his surgery! The meningitis was causing brain swelling, but at least it wasn't as bad as first thought. The infection is still bad, but not what they initially thought. His color is better, and he is staying awake longer and longer.

Keep praying, and I'll let you know as soon as I have any more news.


  1. Thanks for the update! We are praying.

  2. What an incredibly tough time to endure. You are in our thoughts.

  3. Thank God! Thank you so much for your updates, Erin. We are praying hard for you guys!!!

  4. I am so glad that he is improving! I will keep praying!