Sunday, September 28, 2008
Today she was walking unassisted, and without a cane! She even walked up and down some small flights of stairs. The doctors are giving her an anti-spasmodic medication and keeping her right foot in a brace to help keep her foot stabilized while she is walking. She hasn't been eating much, probably because the pain medication (fentanyl patch and Norco) decreases her appetite. But, her need for pain medication is decreasing and that is a good sign.
Kira's therapy has been stepped up a bit so that she is working hard enough to get tired. The therapists were emphasizing how important it is for her to rest in between sessions, but she wasn't getting tired enough to rest.
Baby Ross visits his mom at the hospital every day and she has been changing him with her left hand. Kira's mom reports that the baby is very calm with her and can sense that something special is happening. For now Kira is requesting that her visitors are limited to only her immediate family, but she knows that we are all thinking about her and anxious to visit with her when she is ready.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Kira is speaking in complete sentences. She is getting bored and then sad between therapy sessions, so they are looking into increasing the amount of therapy she receives.
- Discharge from inpatient rehabilitation should be in one week.
- Yesterday she changed the baby using only her left hand and did a good job.
- Today Kira squeezed her left index finger with her right hand.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Kira is getting physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech therapy every day. Her therapy schedule changes every day. When she first arrived at Mercy, they had some major difficulty getting her pain under control. Now that they've figured that out, Kira is able to work hard on regaining her strength. The therapists are great! They are young, energetic and encouraging. They are working on stretching exercises on her right side, so that when her muscles "wake up" they will be ready.
The wound care specialist came by. Yikes!!
Yesterday Kira had a wonderful visit with Baby Ross. Her mom says when he was in his mother's arms they were just looking at each other and he knew he was with his mommy. One of the therapists came in to do a session and saw the baby and said she knew how important this time was and would come back later. We think Baby Ross is a critical part of Kira's therapy and great motivation to keep her working hard.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Before leaving Stanford:
After the long trip - now settled into Mercy Sacto:
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
- Kira was able to have a phone conversation with her mom today. She said one word for every breath she took, but she is getting some sound back.
- Kira will be transported back to Sacramento tomorrow, to Mercy General's acute inpatient rehabilitation. Doctors are estimating she will spend three weeks in rehab as an inpatient, then continue being seen as an outpatient.
- The clot in her brain has dissolved and she is not in danger of having another stroke. She will have follow up appointments with cardiology and neurology in two weeks.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Check these out:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Kira was proudly showing off pics of the baby to the nurses. Foley cath was removed. Kira was moved to a private room at the end of the hall. It has room for a cot in there. It's perfect. She was sucking water from oral swabs and said she was hungry. She has a feeding tube like Baby Ross had (ng tube). The IV in her neck was removed and her only IV is now on the top of her right hand. She sat up in a cardiac chair for a long time during the day. Therapist staff is at a minimum over the weekend, but we tracked down a speech therapist who gave us some information on aphasia. She did say not to go out and buy flash cards because Kira is going to get better and we won't need them. So nice to hear.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Kira is out of ICU finally! One of the several tubes in her neck was removed. Ross got to watch. He said it was about 4-5 inches long. We don't know how many more there are.
Also, Kira stood up yesterday with the help of the doctor. Great news!
Kira, Daddy Ross and Baby Ross had a wonderfully long visit yesterday. Kira was moved out of the ICU an Baby Ross was going to visit her again. Leona wanted to let you all know how much your encouraging replies mean to them, so please keep posting.
Thankyou to all!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I called ICU this morning and was told that Kira was talking (whispering) more this morning. She also communicated to the nurse that she wanted to see the baby. The nurse told me she was crying earlier. I asked if Kira could get her hair washed and we'd bring the baby to see Mommy after that.
Big Ross has been a wonderful caretaker for Kira. He spends hours sitting at her bedside and whenever she wakes up he is so attentive and positive. He is going to help her any way he can. With her loving husband and amazing son, Kira has so much to get better for.
Last night therapists showed Ross how to help exercise her right arm and leg. The therapist said that Kira feeling Ross' hands helping her would do more good than therapists' hands. They are trying to stimulate her nerves.
Today Kira was sitting up in a chair! They said that she could balance herself when she sat on the edge of the bed. She looked SO much better. Very alert and very responsive. The occupational therapist was with her and Kira was feeding herself ice chips with her left hand. Each and every step of this was very deliberate as all the muscles we take for granted when we eat are having to re-learn their jobs. She did very well.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Kira is mostly unresponsive, her face is expressionless and she can't talk. If you ask her a question she can nod her head. She can't move her right arm and can barely move her left arm. Her family is not sure if it is because of the heavy drugs she is still on or due to the stroke. She will be having another CT today. Her mom is bringing her an MP3 player with some music to listen to and a poster board with some pictures.
The family would love to receive cards. If you would like to send a card to Kira please mail it to:
1720 West El Camino
Mountain View, CA 94041
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Kira had the CT scans (heart and brain). There is a little swelling in her brain which is to be expected following a stroke. There is a little blood at the site where the patch was placed on her aorta, but nothing of concern.
Kira wanted to make sure that her mom took pictures of her after her surgery and that I posted them on her blog. So here are some pictures from the last few days.
Right After Surgery:
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Kira was able to move her right leg today, but hasn’t moved her right arm yet. She is still intubated since she will be needing a CT scan & MRI tomorrow. Good news is that there is minimal blood flow to the brain, rather than none. The doctors have said she will definitely need physical therapy and there is a possibility of brain damage, but they won't know until more tests are done. When she does wake up she can nod her head or move her eyes to communicate.
Please be praying for Kira.
Kira's surgery lasted six hours. The doctors came out to talk to her family and said that the surgery went well. The aneurysm was the size of a baseball. The removed the dacron patch and replaced it with a stent. They were able to go in through her side.
Some concerns are that there may be some paralysis of her left vocal cord and diaphragm. The phrenic nerve (which controls the vocal cord & diaphragm) had grown onto the aorta so the surgeons had to peel it off. Kira was stable until about 3 am and the doctors think she may have had a stroke. Her right side was not responding, but this morning she moved her right foot a little bit.
That's all I have for now. I will post again when I hear from Leona.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I just spoke with her mom, Leona, and Kira went into surgery around 2. The surgeons this morning told them it would be a four to six hour surgery. There was some confusion as to whether they will be going in through her sternum or through her side and how long the whole thing will take. Leona said she'll call me when Kira's out of surgery and I will let you all know.
Right now Grandma is helping to take care of little Ross and the family is waiting at the hospital. Thank goodness Leona is feeling better today after her first ambulance ride yesterday.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I called my dad, and he left his work, and drove here. I arrived at Kaiser and she was still doing better, and very drugged up still. Anyway, long story and I'm SO tired, but lots of tests, ct's labs, and they found 2 kidney stones above her bladder. She just now got back to the hotel, and she has to pee in a stainer every time she has to go. She will pass these, and it will be very painful. My mom was saying how sorry she was the whole time the paramedics were here, and I kept telling her to stop, because it is not her fault.
So, everything is ok now, except my mom who will be suffering when she passes these stones. OUCH!!! They said kidney stones are worse than labor. No wonder she was in so much pain. I had to remind her to breath, because she wasn't doing that.
As for my surgery appt today, Dr. Hanley will be going through my left side like my last 2 surgeries, which means to sternal incision! BUT, because of all the scar tissue on my left side, they said it could take up to 4 hours to get through it all, and if it's not successful, they will open me up through the front. This means I have to heal from 2 incisions. The other news is that I will be for sure recovering on the adult side. This is because I refuse to be rescheduled. I would go NUTS if I had to do this reschedule thing all over again. Dr. Hanley would rather me be on the peds side, but he is ok w/ this. His team (fellows) will come to the adult side to treat me, so it is really just the location that is a difference, not the care. Also, I am the second case, so I have to be there at noon. Surgery at 2pm. BUT, if there is no room for the morning case, who is a kid, then they will call me to come in at 8am for surgery. Does that make any sense??? SOrry, i'm tired, and on valium. I'm on valium because I started to NOT want this surgery after the surgical consult today. All the risks just started making me sick, and I'm just so scared of dying. I have to be here for baby Ross. He needs his mom. But, if I don't get this done, it will rupture, and I will die. My life stinks right now. I try so hard to stay positive, and strong, but today was my weak day.
Alright, gotta get some sleep, or try.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
We're off to Stanford in the morning. Thank you everyone for all of your comments, it means a lot. I am nervous about this, and I just want to be ok for my baby. I'm so used to being in control over medicines, baths, feedings, diapers, dr. appts, bills, all that stuff, and now I will be relying on my family. I know they will do a good job, but it's hard on me. I have my certain ways of doing things, and I guess I'm kinda particular about things, maybe too much. I might be slightly over-protective? But, can you blame me? Having a heart baby might do that to people. He's just so precious to me, and I've seen him go through the worst things, and keeping him healthy, safe, happy, and away from GERMS is so important to me.
Ok, enough of that..here is a video of him LOVING the paper stuff from the doctor's office. He does this at every appt, but this time I took a video. He gets a determined look on his face.